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ScotlandGlasgow Warriors flyhalf Finn Russell picked up a nasty injury very early on in the Warrior”s match against Connacht in Galway in the PRO12 semifinal on Saturday. He was involved in one of those ‘freak’ events when he and team mate Zander Ferguson ran into each other.

Current Scotland U20 tighthead prop Fagerson had to leave the field but was able to walk off although he didn’t return for the rest of the game.

For Finn Russell however the collision was more costly, as the medics rushed onto the field to treat the two it became clear that Finn had suffered a nasty injury to his face. Early on during the on-field assessment they had him standing up but then lay him on the ground. After what seemed like quite a while he was stretchered off to a sporting applause from concerned fans at the ground and taken to hospital.

Glasgow Warriors put out a short message on Sunday night confirming that Finn was still in hospital undergoing observation. Today the club put out a longer statement with the news that although he remained in hospital he didn’t require surgery and that he may be released later this week.

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World Rugby Under 20 ChampionshipSpringbok Under 20 coach Dawie Theron on Tuesday named his 28-man squad that will do battle at World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Manchester, England, from 7 – 25 June.

Eastern Province centre Jeremy Ward will lead the team in the showpiece, while his provincial team-mate Junior Pokomela and 2015 SA Schools captain, Western Province lock Ernst van Rhyn, have been named as vice-captains.

The squad features 2 players who were members of the Junior Springbok squad that finished 3rd at the international showpiece in Italy last year, namely centre JT Jackson and scrumhalf Marco Jansen van Vuren.

9 Members of the SA Schools team that featured in the Under 18 International Series in South Africa last year have also been included. They are centre Stedman Gans, flyhalves Manie Libbok and Curwin Bosch, scrumhalf Embrose Papier, locks Ruben de Villiers and Van Rhyn, loose forwards Cobus Wiese and Zain Davids and prop Carlü Sadie.

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World Rugby Under 20 ChampionshipEngland Under 20 Head Coach Martin Haag has named his 28-man squad for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Manchester (7 – 25 June).

The home side face Italy, Scotland and Australia in Pool B and several players with Premiership experience have been included: Theo Brophy-Clews, Will Evans, Harry Mallinder, Joe Marchant, Ollie Thorley and Johnny Williams.

Jack Walker will play in his 3rd World Rugby Under 20 Championship, while George Perkins and Josh Bainbridge both featured in Italy last year.

England have a strong record in the tournament having reached 6 finals in the last 8 years but this squad have a unique opportunity to play in front of their home supporters.

“This group will only play together for this tournament.  It will be a proud moment when they pull on the white jersey and run out in front of family and friends in a home World Cup,” said Haag.

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ScotlandHead Coach Vern Cotter has named a 27-man Scotland squad for the national team’s 2-Test summer tour of Japan next month.

The Test matches will be played on consecutive Saturdays at J1 League football stadia; the 1st at the Toyota Stadium in Toyota City (18 June), the 2nd at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo (25 June), homes of Nagoya Grampus and FC Tokyo respectively.

Cotter also confirmed that Glasgow centre Mark Bennett has not been named to allow him to be considered for extended GB 7s selection ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

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rorylamont

Rory Lamont: On-field treatment following Fibula fracture against France in 2012

The relationship between Rory Lamont and rugby has always been uneasy. When it was good, it was really good: 29 Scotland caps, two World Cups, and stints in Europe’s top leagues with Toulon, Sale and Glasgow.

When it was bad, it was really bad: whispering campaigns about his attitude, 16 operations, “double figure” concussions. By the time the game ran out of uses for him, the feeling was entirely mutual.

Three years ago this week, Lamont announced his retirement. The last of his many injuries, a lower leg fracture from the previous year, hadn’t properly healed and the end came as a relief.

“I was thinking, ‘finally it’s over’. I felt like an animal being put out of its misery. I’d had a miserable year, people questioning my integrity, and I couldn’t wait to crack on with my life and all the amazing things I was going to do.”

Never did he picture becoming a recluse, battling severe depression and suicidal thoughts. Nowhere in the retirement brochure did it say he’d lose 25kg in four months and be unable to stomach solids for a further five. The bit about being so low he hoped he’d be run over by a bus? Not what he’d signed up for either.

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SARU CEO, Jurie Roux

SARU CEO, Jurie Roux

SA Rugby on Monday acknowledged the findings of the Eminent Persons’ Group report on Transformation for 2014 / 2015 and the sanction imposed by Fikile Mbalula, Minister for Sports and Recreation.

SA Rugby, as well as Cricket South Africa, Netball SA and Athletics South Africa, had revoked their privilege of “hosting and bidding for major and mega international tournaments in South Africa as a consequence of… not meeting their own set transformation targets”, said the minister. The decision would be reconsidered at the next reporting of the EPG, which is expected in November.

“We understand and support the Minister’s urgency in addressing the issue of transformation,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.

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Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones has a well-deserved reputation for psychological warfare but, 10 months before the next Calcutta Cup, the voluble England coach has started early even by his standards. In an interview with a mass-circulation Japanese paper,  Jones talked about his very 1st Six Nations game against Scotland at Murrayfield and was dismissive of the hosts.

“It was a game I always thought we’d win,” the Australian told the paper’s London corespondent. “I don’t see Scotland being a strong team. You look at Scotland at the World Cup, who did they beat? They were lucky to beat Samoa, they beat USA, they beat us (Japan), and we had 4 days’ preparation, and they were beaten by Australia and South Africa.

“So, they didn’t have a great World Cup, but everyone was talking as though they were a fantastic team. England didn’t have a good World Cup but we’re a stronger team than they are.”

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quinnroux

Quinn Roux

Connacht’s South African lock Quinn Roux and trio of other South African players have been included in an Ireland squad which will meet for a training camp on Sunday.

The uncapped Roux is joined by loose forward CJ Stander, and hookers Richardt Strauss and Rob Herring who have all played for Ireland before. The quartet will be hoping to make it into Ireland’s final squad for their tour of South Africa in June.

However, Ireland flanker Chris Henry’s hopes of being selected for the summer tour of South Africa appear to have suffered a blow after he was left out of the squad for Sunday’s training camp.

Henry, who did not play in the Six Nations, is not among the 44 players who will meet up in county Meath.

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Allister Coetzee

Allister Coetzee – New Springbok Head Coach

Former DHL Stormers and DHL Western Province coach Allister Coetzee has been named as head coach of the Springboks for the next 4 years, ushering in an exciting new era for rugby in South Africa.

The 52-year-old former Springbok assistant coach succeeds Heyneke Meyer at a time when a number of veterans of the 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph have gone into retirement, including 3 of last year’s 4 captains.

“Allister’s appointment marks the changing of the guard at the top of Springbok rugby and is an exciting new departure for SA Rugby,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of SA Rugby.

“It is a watershed moment for our game with new players developing alongside a spine of experience and it was the right time to have a new man guiding the Springboks for the foreseeable future.

“Allister was the outstanding candidate in terms of his rugby credentials, his understanding of our unique South African transformation imperatives and also in the image he will present as Springbok coach. I am delighted to welcome him back into the Springbok fold.

“The Springbok coaching job is an enormous challenge but Allister has the full support of us at SA Rugby and we will be united in our efforts to continue to make Springbok rugby strong. I want to wish him well in his new job, I also want to pay tribute to Heyneke and his management team for their dedication and service to Springbok rugby the past 4 years.”

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Joe Marler

Joe Marler

England prop Joe Marler has been banned for 2 matches and fined £ 20 000.00 by World Rugby for calling Wales forward Samson Lee “Gypsy boy”.
Marler, 25, had avoided punishment by The RBS 6 Nations organisers, but World Rugby conducted its own investigation.

He made the comment in England’s RBS 6 Nations win over Wales in March and had an apology accepted by prop Samson.

The Rugby Football Union said Marler would not appeal against the decision and considered the matter closed.

World Rugby, the sport’s global governing body, said it had “Exercised its right to take appropriate action before an independent judicial committee in the absence of such a process by Six Nations Rugby in accordance with the regulations”.

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Fourie du Preez

Fourie du Preez

Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez called time on his illustrious rugby career today (Thursday).

The 34-year-old Du Preez represented South Africa in 76 Tests between 2004 and 2015, captaining the Springboks in 4 Tests at the World Cup in England last year. He also won 164 caps for the Bulls and Blue Bulls from 2001 to 2011, and played 55 times for Suntory Sungoliath in Japan.

Du Preez played his last match in the green and gold in last year’s World Cup semifinal against New Zealand, where he picked up an injury which ruled him out of the 3rd-place play-off. He has subsequently finished his career with Suntory.

“Fourie du Preez will go down in the annals of South African rugby as one of the most decorated players ever,” said SA Rugby President Oregan Hoskins.

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RBS 6 Nations trophyWho was your standout player of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations? Read the profiles below for a reminder of the achievements of our nominees.

 

Gareth Davies:

The Wales scrumhalf took the opportunity that Rhys Webb’s injury presented and impressed throughout the Championship.

He scored a stunning try in their victory over Scotland in Round 2, was RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match in Round 3 against France and claimed the final score of Wales’ Championship when he came off the bench against Italy on Super Saturday.

 

Guilhem Guirado:

Guy Novès’ France side might have finished with 3 defeats but their captain Guirado led by example throughout.

The hooker was superb, crossing for tries against Wales and Scotland, driving his pack forwards and demonstrating brilliant tackle and breakdown work in every match.

 

Stuart Hogg:

The Scotland fullback’s scorching try in the final Round against Ireland will live long in the memory but Hogg’s influence throughout the Championship was apparent.

He made 2 tries as Vern Cotter’s side ended their winless run in downing Italy, scored 1 and he scored 1 and made 1 in their historic win over France – while also adding a penalty from his own half. All that before his fantastic solo score in Dublin on Super Saturday.

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Scott Cummings

Scott Cummings

Over the past year the flower of Scottish rugby is beginning to come back into bloom.

Last season Glasgow Warriors became the first Scottish side to win the Guinness PRO12, then Scotland were agonizingly close to a Rugby World Cup semifinal place with their last gasp defeat to Australia.

Last weekend in the penultimate Round of the RBS 6 Nations, the Scots broke a decade long hoodoo by beating France at BT Murrayfield.

Their compatriots at Under 20s level had made history of their own by beating “The Auld Enemy” England in the tournament’s opening Round for the 1st time since the inception of the Under 20s Six Nations Championship.

Leading the charge of this new generation of young Scots is Under 20s captain and lock Scott Cummings, who due to commitments with his club side Glasgow Warriors will not be playing against Ireland in the final Round of competition after guiding his side to 2 wins.

However, Cummings’ contribution to Scotland’s Under 20s and the experience he has gained playing in the Guinness PRO12 reflects the current renaissance in Scottish rugby.

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Joe Marler

Joe Marler

England prop Joe Marler has avoided any sanction for striking an opponent during his side’s RBS 6 Nations win over Wales at Twickenham.

A Six Nations disciplinary committee found he struck prop Rob Evans in the 15th minute of Saturday’s match.

But it said in a statement: “The disciplinary committee found that the offending would not have warranted a Red Card and so imposed no sanction.”

Marler could now play in England’s final game against France on Saturday.

However, that could still be in doubt as the 25-year-old Harlequins forward may yet face action for calling Wales prop Samson Lee “Gypsy boy” in the same game.

Marler apologised to Lee – who is from the Traveller community – for that comment, and Lee has said he accepted the apology as “banter”.

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Joe Marler

Joe Marler

England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler has been cited for striking Wales prop Rob Evans in England’s 25 / 21 RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales at Twickenham.

Harlequins prop Marler appeared to land a forearm in the face of Evans while trying to assist Dan Cole ground the ball over Wales’s try-line.

“Joe Marler has been cited by the independent citing commissioner for allegedly striking an opponent in the 15th minute of the 1st half of the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham,” said an RBS 6 Nations statement.

If found guilty at a disciplinary hearing later this week, Marler will face an “entry-point” ban of 2 weeks, which would rule him out of England’s attempt to seal a 1st Grand Slam since 2003.

Officials have yet to decide whether a separate incident of verbal abuse, in which Harlequins prop Marler called Wales’s Samson Lee “gypsy boy” during the 1st half of England’s 25 / 21 win at Twickenham last Saturday, warrants disciplinary action.

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RBS 6 NationsIreland have made 2 changes, with fit-again Jared Payne starting at centre and Simon Zebo deputising for injured full-back Rob Kearney.

Stuart McCloskey, who made his Test debut against England a fortnight ago, drops out of the squad altogether.

Hooker Rory Best will captain the side on his 50th championship appearance.

Flyhalf Edoardo Padovani makes his 1st start as 1 of 4 changes for Italy, along with Guglielmo Palazzani, David Giazzon and George Biagi.

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RBS 6 NationsWales head coach Warren Gatland has named his team to face England in Saturday’s key RBS 6 Nations match at Twickenham.

Gareth Davies retains the scrumhalf spot ahead of Rhys Webb, who is named among the replacements.

Webb, 27, was recalled to the squad after 6 months away from international rugby with injury.

Lock Luke Charteris is on the bench where Paul James comes in to cover the injured loosehead prop Gethin Jenkins.

We’ve named a pretty experienced side for Saturday,” said Gatland.

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Brasil Rugby LogoThe USA Eagles started off slow in their 4th match of the 2016 Americas Rugby Championship. After conceding the first 18 points of the match, the Eagles came within 1, following tries by Joe Taufete’e, Aladdin Shirmer and Niku Kruger. However, a late penalty by Brazil’s Moises Duque ended that run, as Brazil took a historic 24 / 23 victory.

The match seemed to go the way of Brazil almost from the start, as the Eagles conceded 2 penalties leading to points in the 1st 6 minutes. The 1st penalty following the Eagles being called offside in an early maul, the 2nd following a call against Kingsley McGowan for interfering with a Brazil kick.

It wasn’t long before the Brazil attack would break through the Eagles defense yet again, this time for their 1st try. Following an Eagles lineout in Brazilian territory, the home team recovered possession with a steal and nearly a length-of-pitch run. The Eagles recovered but a kick to change field possession was taken nearly 50m by Brazil’s Daniel Sancery, through multiple would-be tacklers, to put the home side up 13 / 0.

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RBS 6 NationsAll roads led to Rome, where Scotland changed their RBS 6 Nations fortunes with a hard fought win over Italy (36 / 20).

Two 1st half, and one 2nd half, try interspersed with a succession of Greig Laidlaw penalties gave Scotland their biggest RBS 6 Nations score since the championship expanded in 2000.

The Scotland captain was awarded man of match for his kicking off the tee and calm leadership that saw the away side maintain structure and clarity of thought despite 2 2nd half Yellow Cards – for Finn Russell and WP Nel – and sustained Italian attacks.

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Hi,

We have 3 NEW SuperBru Pools for all to join!

  • The RBS 6 Nations 2016 starts on 6 February 2016, so hurry up and do not delay to register for it!
  • The Varsity Cup 2016 starts on 8 February 2016, register for it too, whilst the iron is hot!
  • The Super Rugby 2016 starts on 26 February, we are well within time, but do not delay and register for it!

This year we will do it a bit differently and open 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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rugbyfunCompassionate players and officials from New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Australia are looking for ways to send aid to their beleaguered northern brethren.

After the opening weekend of the 2016 SIX Nations saw standards of play so far below the heights reached by the likes of the All Blacks, Wallabies and Argentina in the World Cup, there is concern for the plight of the home unions, France and Italy.

“Did you see those matches?” said Keith Waters of the New Zealand Rugby Union. “It was so tough to watch. As a rugby man and a human being, how can you stand by and see Scotland trying  so hard to score a try and not feel your heart torn asunder?

“Something needs to be done to help those guys. The rugby world can’t stand by and let people play like that.”

Concern was first raised in Auckland at halftime of the France – Italy match, where neither side were able to put together much coordinated, constructed play of any note.

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World Rugby Sevens SeriesWith Wellington now but a distant memory, the Sydney leg of the Sevens World Series took place this weekend, with new significance.

There had been 3 different champions in the 3 tournaments prior to this weekend – Fiji in Dubai, South Africa in Cape Town and New Zealand in Wellington.

South Africa started the weekend with a 2-point advantage over Fiji on top of the World Rugby Sevens Series Log standings.

New Zealand won the Final of the Sydney Sevens, beating hosts Australia by 27 / 24, again in the dying seconds of the game, to take the Title and earn back to back wins in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Three teams are now equal on the Points Log for the World Rugby Sevens Series 2015 – 2016, namely South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand, all on 69 Log Points. In 4th and 5th places on the Log are Australia and Argentina, both on 54 Log Points.

With only 6 Series tournaments left before the teams head to the Olympic Games, a lot of talk, understandably, are on Rio.

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SIX NationsThe Under 20 SIX Nations, not as glamorous as the SIX Nations for the senior teams, is intensely contested.

Last year England were the unbeaten winners followed, in order, by France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy.

Like their senior team, England’s Under 20 captain is a hooker – Jack Walker, whose brother Chris captained the 2012 side which retained the championship.

Coach John Callard said: “The 1st game of any Championship is always tough, especially playing away in Scotland, but the players are excited about getting started.

“We’ re looking for them to use this competition to continue developing their all-round game.  For example, we want functionally fit forwards who, as well as having a strong set piece, are ball handlers and good decision makers right across the field.

“You can always come back to a tighter game but we want players to see this as an opportunity to express themselves and enjoy playing for their country.”

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Money and SportI found the article below on a website called rugbybetting.com (See the Link to the original Article by clicking HERE). The article is actually not about betting. It put the racial policy of SA rugby within context of the World Rugby rule book. Interesting perspectives. I thought the rugby-talk readers might enjoy this.

The World Rugby (formerly known as the IRB) rule book on racial discrimination reads as follows:

In terms of By-Law 3 of the IRB rules and regulations, the IRB is compelled to prevent any form of racial discrimination in rugby. IRB Regulation 20 also stipulates that any action which may be construed as racial discrimination will be regarded as misconduct. In terms of By-Law 7, not only is a country’s international team bound to this; the provincial rugby unions resorting under a country’s board must adhere to these principles as well. In terms of By-Law 9.4(r) the IRB may institute disciplinary steps against any rugby body that violates these rules.

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Rosko Specman

Rosko Specman

Latest news on the Wellington Sevens Final is that referee Matt O’Brein has now apologized for his officiating during the Final. Too little too late, one feels. On the positive side it can only be good for the game if referee’s man up after the match. I also like Neil Powell’s handling of the situation, in terms of his communication with the referee, players and media.

The article below was published on stuff.co.nz earlier today.

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Matt O'Brien

Matt O’Brien during the Wellington Sevens final

In a recent article published on stuff.co.nz, sport scribe Mark Reason ripped into referee Matt O’Brien’s officiating during the Wellington Sevens Final between South Africa and New Zealand.

The article below was published on stuff.co.nz yesterday.

New Zealand won the Wellington leg of the Sevens championship, after a nail biting finish, beating South Africa 24 / 21 in the Final.

OPINION: Brendan Venter, the former Springbok centre and current technical director of Saracens, has called for an investigation. And it is not cricket in Mumbai or tennis in St Petersburg that Venter is concerned about, but rugby in Wellington, the home of the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The Springboks are outraged by both the refereeing of their Pool match and their Final against New Zealand at the Wellington Sevens and while it may go against the grain to feel empathy with a South African rugby supporter, they have a point. Continue reading

Women's 6 Nations 2016

Women’s 6 Nations Team Captains

It will be a campaign brimming with sub-plots. New talent will emerge, reputations will need to be restored and everyone will need to put on a show as the 15-a-side game fights for attention in an Olympic year.

With the gaps between teams ever decreasing, this year’s Women’s 6 Nations is expected to be the most open we have seen.

Defending champions Ireland will fight to retain their title, although France and England will severely test their grit.

Last season the Red Roses faltered, with the world champions finishing 4th, and the combination of retirements and a number of their players focusing on the Sevens for Rio 2016 means they will have much to prove.

But it is not only England who must adjust and discover new talent, because most nations have withdrawn their Sevens players to focus on this summer’s Olympics.

Amid such uncertainty, who will prevail?

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