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Six Nations executives have been given until the end of the month to find new sponsors for the biggest annual tournament in world rugby after struggling to find a replacement for RBS, which ended its backing last season after 14 years. The Six Nations had been looking for a six-year, £100m deal, but having spent the past 12 months talking to a number of potential backers, there is only one firm offer on the table. That is understood to be less than the £11m a year paid by RBS at the end of its contract as the economic uncertainty blown up by Brexit deters sponsors.

The championship starts in February and the tournament committee, which met last week, told its executives that a deal had to be agreed within a fortnight.

While there has been interest from potential sponsors, no one has come anywhere near the asking price and there is concern that further delay could lead to the one offer being withdrawn. That would mean the championship lacking a backer in 2018 and that would blow a significant hole in the finances of the three Celtic unions, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

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Kings (3) 17 / 43 (22) Zebre (Final Score)

The Southern Kings and Zebre did battle in the Guinness PRO14 2017 at

the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa at 19:35 SA Time (19:35 Italian Time, 17:35 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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FS Cheetahs (12) 33 / 32 (15) Pumas (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Steval Pumas did battle in the Currie Cup 2017 at

the Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa at 17:30 SA Time (15:30 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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Golden Lions (26) 36 / 33 (14) Blue Bulls (Final Score)

The Xerox Golden Lions and Vodacom Blue Bulls did battle in the Currie Cup 2017 at

Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg, South Africa at 17:15 SA Time (15:15 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Kings (3) 10 / 31 (7) Leinster (Final Score)

The Southern Kings and Leinster did battle in the Guinness PRO14 2017 at

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa at 14:15 SA Time (13:15 UK Time, 12:15 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Wallabies (10) 45 / 20 (13) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The Australian Wallabies and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

Canberra Stadium, Canberra, Australia, at 12:00 SA Time (10:00 GMT, 20:00 AEST, 07:00 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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All Blacks (31) 57 / 0 (0) Springboks (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and the South African Springboks did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

QBE Stadium, Albany, New Zealand, at 09:35 SA Time (07:35 GMT, 19:35 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Harlequins’ Demetri Catrakilis being stretchered off on Sunday

Harlequins fly-half Demetri Catrakilis will miss time after suffering a “small fracture” to a bone in his throat in the win over Gloucester on Sunday.

Catrakilis stopped breathing for several seconds and was taken to hospital after suffering the injury 12 minutes into the game.

Harlequins have not said how long the 28-year-old will be out for, but the injury will not require surgery.

Catrakilis was making his first start since joining Quins in the summer.

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Wallabies (13) 23 / 23 (10) Springboks (Final Score)

The Australian Wallabies and South African Springboks did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

nib Stadium, Perth, Australia, at 12:00 SA Time (10:00 GMT, 18:00 AWST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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All Blacks (15) 39 / 22 (16) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

the Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth, New Zealand, at 09:35 SA Time (07:35 GMT, 19:35 NZ Time, 04:35 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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Guinness PRO14 – Rugby-Talk PRO14 2017

 

Hi,

We have 1 NEW SuperBru Pool for all to join!

  • The Guinness PRO14 2017 starts on 1 September 2017, so hurry up and join up for the competition where the Toyota Cheetahs and Southern Kings now form part of this vital Northern Hemisphere tournament. Immediately also make your picks for Round 1!

As of 2016 we have been doing it a bit differently and opened our Pools up to all readers of Rugby-Talk.com, but we encourage you to register as a subsciber on Rugby-Talk.com anyway, as our banter and commenting about our Pools will mostly take place here on the website and not on the SuperBru banter boards! It is so easy to register and such fun to discuss rugby here.

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Southern Kings head coach, Deon Davids, named a strong side on Thursday that will take on the Scarlets in the opening match of the Guinness PRO14 Championship.

The Southern Kings will face the defending Guinness PRO14 champions at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli on Saturday when they play in their first match of the 2017/18 season.

Davids will field an experienced team which includes players who have plied their trade in the Guinness PRO14 previously as well as the Vodacom Super Rugby competition. The side will be led by captain, Michael Willemse.

“We have some exciting players in the backline and we also have some talent in the forwards. I would like to see a good balance between the backs and forwards,” Davids said.

“I will encourage the guys to play the way we are used to playing – that is playing towards where our pace is, making good decisions and recognising and using areas of space.

“We also need to be wary of the fact that games are not only won with ball in hand, our biggest challenge will be our work rate, intensity and physicality without the ball. That will be a big ask for us.”

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The Toyota Cheetahs will become the first southern hemisphere side ever to take part in the Guinness PRO14 championship.

The side from Bloemfontein will be making history when they take on Ulster Rugby on Friday evening at 20:35 (SA time) at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, Ireland.

“The Toyota Cheetah players are extremely excited to join this world class championship”, said Toyota Cheetah captain, Neill Jordaan after arriving in Belfast on Wednesday.

Guinness PRO14 will for the first time play under the new Conference format which sees each team play home and away against clubs in their own Conference and then home or away against the other Conference before two more rounds that ensure all derby games are played, which formed an important part the competition up till now.

South Africans who previously played for Ulster are Johann Muller, Ruan Pienaar and Franco van der Merwe.

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A truly historic chapter will be written this weekend when the first-ever Guinness PRO14 season kicks off after the addition of the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings from South Africa.

As this world class Championship continues to raise the bar, the introduction of the Cheetahs and the Kings makes the Guinness PRO14 a global tournament. Round 1 also marks the first games played under the new Conference format which sees each team play home and away against clubs in their own Conference and then home OR away against the other Conference before two more rounds that ensure all derby games are played.

The Cheetahs will be the first team from South Africa to go up against ‘northern’ opposition when they travel to Kingspan Stadium on Friday night to face Ulster while the Kings face a daunting trip to Parc Y Scarlets where the men from Llanelli will play their first Championship game since winning the title at Aviva Stadium last May.

 
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Premiership and Championship players will take part this season in the development of a new pitch-side test to diagnose concussion and brain injuries.

Saliva and urine samples will be collected during the new campaign, after studies showed they could provide swift indicators of head injuries.

It could lead to a handheld device to assess if a player is fit to play on.

 “We are keen to give it our full support,” Premiership Rugby’s Corin Palmer said.

During matches in 2017-18, players with confirmed or suspected concussion will provide saliva samples immediately following the injury and will give follow-up samples as they go through the return-to-play protocol.

These will be compared to players from the same game who did not suffer head injuries and those who had other injuries.

The study will run alongside the existing Head Injury Assessments, but if the results support those found in laboratory tests, it could eventually see tests being carried out pitch-side on a device.

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Los Pumas (10) 23 / 41 (17) Springboks (Final Score)

The Argentinial Los Pumas and South African Springboks did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, Salta, Argentina, at 21:40 SA Time (19:40 GMT, 16:40 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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FS Cheetahs (13) 30 / 24 (7) Golden Lions (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Xerox Golden Lions did battle in the Currie Cup 2017 at

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa at 17:15 SA Time (15:15 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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All Blacks (14) 35 / 29 (17) Wallabies (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Australian Wallabies did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, New Zealand, at 09:35 SA Time (07:35 GMT, 19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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Captains from the PRO14 teams posing in Dublin

The Guinness PRO14 official launch gave a sneak peek of this year’s final venue as media gathered at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

After the Scarlets claimed the 2016/17 title in style last year in the Irish capital, the first-ever Guinness PRO14 final will take place at the same ground.

For Guinness PRO14 Chief Executive Officer Martin Anayi, it offers the championship some stability at a time of expansion with the introduction of two South African teams, the Southern Kings and the Toyota Cheetahs, as well as a conference system.

And Anayi believes using the Aviva Stadium will pay dividends for the clubs in the long-term, while offering a top class stadium for the showpiece final.

He said: “It’s an amazing facility, it’s an iconic venue and we do great business here. That’s important when you understand our model. Our model is to give revenue back to the clubs to be competitive on the pitch.

“The final from last season and this final coming up in 2018 will allow us to deliver as much revenue as we can in this season of great change for the good. A little bit of stability goes a long way.”

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While all eyes will be on the semi-finals as New Zealand take on USA and France tackle defending champions England, there is still plenty for the other eight teams to play for on the penultimate day of Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 in Belfast.

The Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 semi-finals have a sense of déjà vu about them as they are a repeat of those from the inaugural tournament back in 1991.

On that occasion in Wales, USA edged past New Zealand 7-0 and England overcame France 13-0. Four-time champions New Zealand and France, bidding to reach their first final, will hope that history does not repeat itself to end their title dreams prematurely in Ireland.

The attention inevitably will be on the two semi-finals at Kingspan Stadium, but there is still plenty for the other eight teams to play for on the penultimate match day of Ireland 2017, be it automatic qualification for Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021 or simply to achieve the best ranking they can.

The top seven teams will secure direct passage to WRWC 2021 and avoid the global qualification process. For hosts Ireland, Australia, Canada and Wales that means if they can taste victory on Tuesday they will confirm their place and avoid the winner-takes-all seventh place play-off on Saturday.

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Springboks (13) 37 / 15 (5) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, at 17:00 SA Time (12:00 ARG Time, 15:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Blue Bulls (21) 40 / 41 (17) FS Cheetahs (Final Score)

The Vodacom Blue Bulls and Toyota Free State Cheetahs did battle in the Currie Cup 2017 at

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa at 14:05 SA Time (12:05 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & M-Net on TV in SA.

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Wallabies (6) 34 / 54 (40) All Blacks (Final Score)

The Australian Wallabies and New Zealand All Blacks did battle in The Rugby Championship 2017 at

ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, at 12:00 SA Time (20:00 AEST, 22:00 NZ Time, 10:00 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

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