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European Rugby

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AustraliaAustralia’s 2015 World Cup preparations will be well tested on their end-of-season European tour in November with coach Ewen McKenzie trying to replicate their potential campaign for the Webb Ellis trophy as much as possible.

McKenzie’s side will play five matches on five successive weekends, which includes clashes against World Cup Pool A opponents England and Wales.

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Brian MujatiElton JantjiesEP KingsThe Eastern Province Kings are chasing the signature of Springbok prop Brian Mujati ahead of the start of the Currie Cup.

The Kings have already been bolstered by the recent signings of lock Izak van der Westhuizen (Edinburgh), hooker Michael van Vuuren (Stade Français), centre Tim Whitehead (Sharks), scrumhalf Kevin Luiters (Cheetahs) and wing Paul Perez (Samoa).

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Bakkies BothaSpringbok and Toulon lock Bakkies Botha has tweeted an X-ray showing nine steel pins inserted into a plate in his broken arm.

The Springbok and Toulon lock successfully underwent an operation to have a plate inserted in his arm after he broke it in Toulon’s 23-10 Top 14 defeat against Brive.

Botha is expected be out for two-and-a-half months, and he has indicated that his rehabilitation is on track.

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Aviva PremiershipAfter brokering the deal for a new European Cup, starting next season, bosses of Aviva Premiership clubs are understood to be working on plans for a World Club competition.

It has been reported that the English clubs will test the resolve of the IRB by proposing plans to create a new worldwide club tournament for the summer of June 2018 which, as it stands, is currently a designated international rugby window.

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Owen FarrellEnglandEngland and Saracens flyhalf Owen Farrell is in doubt for the rest of season after he was forced to leave the field at half time in the Premiership leaders 28-24 win over second-placed Northampton on Sunday.

Farrell had to be relieved of kicking duties by Argentina’s Marcelo Bosch and didn’t take the field in the second half at Saracens’ home ground in Hendon, north-west London.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster will be hoping that Farrell is fit enough for their end of season tour of New Zealand.

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MunsterJames Coughlan, who captained Munster to their 5-22 defeat at the hands of Glasgow Warriors last Saturday, was left infuriated by the display.

Munster’s shock defeat is their first at home in the competition and comes after a quarterfinal victory in the European Cup against Toulouse.

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Jarrad HoeataCardiff BluesCardiff Blues revealed a major coup in the signing of New Zealand international forward Jarrad Hoeata, from Super Rugby outfit the Highlanders.

Hoeata, who can play second row or back row, will move to the Arms Park at the completion of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

The Tauranga-born ace has been a member of the All Blacks, Maori and All Blacks Sevens teams.

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George ChuterEnglandFormer England and Leicester Tigers hooker George Chuter has announced that he will retire from playing professional rugby with immediate effect.

The first man to make 250 appearances in Premiership Rugby action and a Rugby World Cup Finalist with England in 2007, Chuter has played 292 first-team games in 13 seasons with Leicester Tigers.

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Bryan HabanaSouth African star Bryan Habana scored a try on his return to action after a three-month absence because of a hamstring injury as Toulon beat Bordeaux-Begles 22-20 in a thrilling Top 14 encounter on Saturday.

The 30-year-old – a World Cup winner in 2007 – touched down in the 66th minute as Toulon came from 20-9 down to prevail, largely thanks to 14 points from Frederic Michalak.

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ERCEuropean clubs have agreed to launch three new continental tournaments, after almost two years of conflict.

The six federations and representatives from English, French and Welsh teams made the announcement on Thursday.

In a joint-statement, the nine stakeholders also revealed that previous competition organisers European Rugby Cup (ERC) will be replaced by a new organisation – European Professional Club Rugby – based in Switzerland.

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Melrose SevensThe 2014 edition of the oldest sevens rugby tournament  – Melrose Sevens – takes place this weekend at The Greenyards, Melrose rugby club’s home ground.

The tournament has featured many clubs from various parts of the world in the past, including South Africa and New Zealand. In fact, it was while watching Melrose Sevens on television in the early 2000′s that I got my first glimpse of current Springbok captain Jean de Villiers. If memory serves one correct he was playing for the University of Stellenbosch at the 2002 Tournament and his abundance of talent was clear from the outset.

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EdinburghBreslerDie Skotse rugbyklub Edinburgh se Suid-Afrikaanse spens raak al hoe voller. ’n Amptelike aankondiging word eers later verwag, maar Alan Solomons (afrigter) het glo ’n sewende Suid-Afrikaner na Edinburgh gelok.

Die slot van die Haaie, Anton Bresler, sal hom glo ná die Super Rugby-reeks by Edinburgh aansluit. Bresler kan hom as plaasvervanger vir die oud-Cheetahs slot, Izak van der Westhuizen, wat op pad terug na Suid-Afrika is, daar aanmeld.

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