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George North

Northampton will be “frustrated” that an investigation into the management of wing George North’s latest head injury has still to reach a conclusion, says ex-Saints team manager Lennie Newman.

A concussion panel was set up after North, 24, played on after landing on his head in the loss to Leicester.

The review, which is said to be “rigorous”, will now go into next week.

“Northampton will just want it out of the way – it’s not great PR for the club,” Newman told BBC Sport.

“And, first and foremost, they want to get one of their star signings on the pitch. They’re struggling at the minute and want to be able to select him.”

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Players making contact with an opponent’s head in “reckless tackles” will receive a yellow card at least in changes to rules over high tackles.

Players will be punished even if the tackle starts below the shoulders.

If head contact is accidental – for example, if a ball-carrier slips into a tackle – a penalty will be awarded.

World Rugby says the new rules, which come into effect on 3 January, “aim to change culture in the sport to ensure that the head is a no-go area”.

A reckless tackle occurs when a player “knew or should have known that there was a risk of making contact with the head of an opponent, but did so anyway”.

In September 2015, World Rugby’s chief medical officer Martin Raftery said that the game’s rules may have to change to reduce concussions.

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CJ Stander starred for Munster against Leicester Tigers

When you consider the calibre of opposition, it is perhaps the Guinness PRO12 clubs’ most successful weekend in Europe.

Leicester, two-time European champions and the most successful club in English Premiership history were dismantled by Munster, held to nil for the first time in Europe for 13 years.

Clermont Auvergne lead the Top 14, are packed full of French internationals and have been one of the Champions Cup’s most consistent teams in years gone by, while Ulster put five sterling tries past them.

Glasgow Warriors claimed just their eighth away win in Europe’s top flight against last year’s finalists and Top 14 champions, while Edinburgh turned over French giants Stade Francais from 17 points back.

Here is all you need to know about a stunning weekend of Champions Cup and Challenge Cup action across the continent:

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Munster maintained their winning start to the European Champions Cup as they handed Leicester Tigers a record defeat in the competition. Final score: Munster 38/0 Leicester Tigers

The Pool One game was over by half-time after fly-half Tyler Bleyendaal’s 14 points and a Simon Zebo try.

Jaco Taute added two second-half tries and also created the late penalty try as he was hauled down by George Worth.

Two-time winners Leicester’s previous worst European defeat was a 41-7 drubbing by Ulster in 2012.

Saturday’s result also brought back memories of the only other time the Tigers were held scoreless in a European Cup game, when they were beaten 33-0 by Ulster in January 2004.

Munster’s win keeps them on top of Pool One as they move to 10 points despite having played a game less than Glasgow and Leicester, with the Tigers now six points behind the leaders.

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The curtain has come down on the Autumn Internationals and there can now be little doubt that the gap has closed between the north and south. However, the prevailing question is: Have the Northern Hemisphere teams strengthened or have the Southern sides weakened?

In my book, it’s a 60:40 split. Forty per cent is owing to much better cohesion from Northern Hemisphere teams and continuity in terms of selection under the guidance of astute coaches. However, 60 per cent is due to the fact that Southern Hemisphere rugby has waned. Harsh questions have to be asked around competition structures in the south, as well as eligibility of foreign-based players.

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EnglandAustraliaEngland (13) 37 / 21 (16) Wallabies (Final Score)

England and the Australian Wallabies did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Twickenham Stadium, London, England, at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 UK Time & GMT, Sunday 01:30 AEDT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 2 & CSN on TV in SA.

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World Rugby Sevens SeriesThe 1st HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament for the 2016 – 2017 season is taking place in Dubai on 2 and 3 December 2016.

On Day 1 (2 December 2016) the usual results followed for the big nations, with the expected top 8 qualifying for the Quarters.

On Day 2 (3 December 2016) Fiji, England, Wales and South Africa (Blitzbokke) advanced to the Semi-Finals for the overall title.

South Africa’s Blitzbokke struck a massive blow by beating New Zealand in the Quarters by a mighty 40 / 0, to advance into the Semis were they will face Wales, whereas Fiji and England square up in the remaining Semi-final.

In the 1st Semi-final, Fiji beat England by 31 / 12.

South Africa comfortably beat Wales in the 2nd Semi-final, by 36 / 5.

The South African Blitzbokke won the title in fine style, beating Fiji in the Final by 26 / 14.

All games were televised LIVE in South Africa on SuperSport 1 and M-Net.

 

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FranceNew ZealandFrance (6) 19 / 24 (10) All Blacks (Final Score)

France and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Stade de France, Paris, France, at 22:00 SA Time (21:00 French Time, 20:00 GMT, Sunday 09:00 NZ 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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WalesSouth AfricaWales (12) 27 / 13 (6) Springboks (Final Score)

Wales and the South African Springboks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Principality Stadium (Millennium Stadium), Cardiff, Wales, at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & 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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EnglandArgentinaEngland (16) 27 / 14 (7) Los Pumas (Final Score)

England and the Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Twickenham Stadium, London, England, at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 UK Time & GMT, 11:30 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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IrelandNew ZealandIreland (6) 9 / 21 (14) All Blacks (Final Score)

Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland, at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 GMT & UK Time, Sunday 06:30 NZ Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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ItalySouth AfricaItaly (10) 20 / 18 (12) Springboks (Final Score)

The Italian Azzurri and South African Springboks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy, at 16:00 SA Time (14:00 GMT, 15:00 Italian 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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GlasgowWarriorsbFive years ago on Tuesday Glasgow Warriors made a signing that might not have had the immediate impact in the fans’ consciousness of a Simone Favaro or a Taqele Naiyaravoro but who has surely had more influence over the club’s fortunes than any single player. Nathan Bombrys has successfully managed the Warriors’ budget and commercial and matchday operations during a period in which the club has grown almost beyond recognition.

He may have been born (and raised) in the USA but Nathan has been immersed in rugby for many years. He first discovered the game at Syracuse University (go Hammerheads!) and played for 17 years. He also qualified as a referee – a fact possibly best kept secret given the Scotstoun crowd’s sometimes fractious relationship with match officials! He wasn’t at SU simply for the rugby though, graduating with a BFA in Film Drama of all subjects. Is Nathan’s influence the real reason for all the dramatic slow-mo shots that are a regular feature of Warriors’ HQ?

The best thing to come out of Michigan since the Ford Mustang, Nathan has been the driving force behind the club’s off-field transformation.

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Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo has become one of rugby’s biggest cult stars, possibly because he is one of the biggest men in the game. This weekend he will play for Fiji against England at Twickenham in a match reportedly set to net the RFU approximately £10,000,000. Fijian players will receive £400 each, and the Fiji Rugby Union will receive a £75,000 ‘goodwill gesture’. Most fans of the game think this stinks.

However, in a heartfelt letter, Nemani Nadolo says it is not the players complaining about payments:

Over the last 48 hours a number of news reports have suggested the players in the Fijian team have made complaints about the allowance we receive to play for our country and to honour our people this weekend when we face England at Twickenham. I want to tell you all that this is simply not true.

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WalesArgentinaWales (6) 24 / 20 (3) Los Pumas (Final Score)

Wales and the Argentinian Los Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, at 19:30 SA Time (17:30 UK Time & GMT, 14:30 ARG Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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wrwc17logoHolders England will face the USA, Italy and either Scotland or Spain in their opening pool at next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

Scotland will book their spot at next August’s tournament if they beat Spain in this month’s play-off over two legs.

Ireland are joined in Pool C by fellow 2014 semi-finalists France, Australia and either Fiji, Hong Kong or Japan.

Wales face former winners New Zealand and 2014 runners-up Canada and Fiji, Hong Kong or Japan in Pool A.

New Zealand won four successive World Cups between 1998 and 2010 but were knocked out in the pool stage in France two years ago after suffering a surprise defeat by Ireland.

The winners of the Asia/Oceania qualifier between Fiji, Hong Kong and Japan will join 2013 and 2015 Six Nations champions Ireland, plus top seeds France and Australia in Pool C.

The Asia/Oceania runners-up will play in Pool A alongside Canada, New Zealand and Wales.

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ItalyItaly head coach Conor O’Shea has selected a matchday 23 with youth and experience for their clash against the All Blacks in Rome on Saturday.

For his first Test in charge on home soil, O’Shea has handed Treviso’s Giorgio Bronzini an international debut at scrum as part of an untested halfback partnership with Carlo Canna, who has only 12 caps to his name.

Skipper Sergio Parisse will win his 120th cap in the back row, breaking the appearances record he had shared with prop Martin Castrogiovanni.

Zebre’s  player Andries van Schalkwyk has been selected to start alongside Marco Fuser in the second row. This is an interesting selection as the player, who played for many South African unions, normally plays in the back row.

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NikoM

Niko Matawalu

Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter believes new signing Niko Matawalu can add some real ‘X-Factor’ to his backline after he today agreed a deal until the end of the season.

The Fijian international will head to Sandy Park from Aviva Premiership rivals Bath Rugby and will join up with his new team-mates once the current autumn internationals are concluded.

Equally at home either on the wing or at scrum-half, Baxter believes the 27-year-old is a great addition to the Chiefs make-up and is excited at what he can bring to the club moving forward.

“Initially Niko’s joining until the end of the season,” said Baxter. “Initially we want to have a good look at him and then we’ll see if there is an opportunity beyond that.

“As a club we’re really looking forward to bringing him here. We had a good look at him previously when he first decided to move on from Glasgow to Bath, but now the opportunity has arisen for us to sign him and it’s come at the right time for us.

We’re not expecting him to be 100 per cent straight away as he has had a relatively lengthy injury, but he’s fully fit now, he’s ready to play, and we’re hoping he will get some good game time during these autumn internationals to help get him right up to speed.”

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curriecup

Currie Cup

Although the Currie Cup has been treated like an unwanted stepchild this year, the competition has still produced quality matches and some exceptional players have emerged.

The South African Rugby Union has been marketing and pushing the Springbok brand so exclusively that traditional derby games like the Blue Bulls versus Western Province have been played on Friday afternoons at 17.00!

Who in the world thought it fit to play such a big derby game on a day and at a time like that?

It’s no secret that the Golden Lions repeatedly asked that the deciding pool match between them and the Sharks be moved away from the Friday 17.00 time slot.

SARU wanted nothing of it.

Because the Lions had no big derby match on a Saturday during this year’s Currie Cup competition, the biggest crowd attendance was just on 8,000.

I will let you do the sums.

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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth could earn substantial amounts during a short stint in England.

Bok coach Allister Coetzee told the media in London on Monday that the Stormers lock was set to sign a short-term deal with a Premiership club in England.

Etzebeth, 25, was earlier linked with a move to Saracens, a club which boasts a rich tradition of fielding South African players.

That move failed to materialise, but according to Netwerk24, the lock enforcer is now being linked to Bristol.

According to the Afrikaans publication, rumours are doing the rounds that Etzebeth could earn up to £40 000 (about R665 200) per game.

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DHL Western ProvinceThe Western Province Rugby Football Union confirmed on Monday that it had applied for, and obtained, an order for the provisional liquidation of Western Province Rugby (Pty) Ltd, in which it is a 75% shareholder.

President Thelo Wakefield and Group CEO Paul Zacks said that the union had retained expert legal and accounting advice and had fully explored all options before applying for liquidation of its commercial trading entity.

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IrelandAs Rory Best declared in his on-field post-match interview at a rowdy Soldier Field in Chicago, it’s been a long time coming. Just the 111 years, that’s all. But at last, that black stain in Irish rugby has been removed, with a first ever victory over the All Blacks in 29 attempts.

Fully deserved it was too. Soldier Field crackled with atmosphere, vast swathes of the 63,300 bedecked in green watched Ireland dominate vast swathes of the first-half and kept counter-punching in a riotous rollercoaster of a second half, ultimately outscoring the back-to-back world champions and runaway winners of the Rugby Championship by five tries to four, and thus end their world record 18-match sequence of test wins.

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IrelandNew ZealandIreland (25) 40 / 29 (8) All Blacks

Ireland and the New Zealand All Blacks did battle in the End Of Year Tours 2016 Internationals at

Soldier Field, Chicago, USA, at 22:00 SA Time (15:00 USA Time, 20:00 GMT, Sunday 06:00 NZ 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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Rugby-Talk.com LogoSuperBru

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi,

We have a NEW SuperBru Pool for all to join!

  • The End Of Year Tours (November Internationals) 2016 starts in on Saturday 5 November 2016 at o2:00 SA Time, so hurry up and do not delay to register for it!

This year we are 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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Free State CheetahsVodacom Blue BullsFS Cheetahs (18) 36 / 16 (9) Blue Bulls (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Vodacom Blue Bulls did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division 2016 Final at

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 16:00 SA Time (14:00 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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New ZealandAustraliaAll Blacks (15) 37 / 10 (7) Wallabies (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Australian Wallabies did battle in the final Bledisloe Cup Test of the 2016 season at

Eden Park, Auckland, at 08:35 SA Time (06:35 GMT, 19:35 NZ Time, 17:35 AEST).

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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Vodacom Blue BullsDHL WPBlue Bulls (16) 36 / 30 (10) Western Province (Final Score)

The Vodacom Blue Bulls and DHL Western Province did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division 2016 Semi-Finals at

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria at 18:00 SA Time (16:00 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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Free State CheetahsXerox Golden LionsFS Cheetahs (26) 55 / 17 (0) Golden Lions (Final Score)

The Toyota Free State Cheetahs and Xerox Golden Lions did battle in the Currie Cup Premier Division 2016 Semi-Final at

Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein at 15:00 SA Time (13:00 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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Eben Etzebeth

Eben Etzebeth

Saracens are in advanced talks to sign South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth on a short-term deal.

Etzebeth is set to move to England following his international matches in November.

The 24-year-old is contracted to the Stormers and the South African Rugby Union, but last year had a three-month spell in Japan during the southern hemisphere off-season.

South African sources have indicated a similar deal is expected with Saracens.

Etzebeth, who has 53 Springbok caps, is regarded as one of the best forwards in world rugby, and the deal would be one of the biggest signings in Premiership history.

The deal would have to be approved by SA Rugby and, if it is completed, Etzebeth would act as injury dispensation for Saracens’ former club captain Alistair Hargreaves, who was forced to retire this month because of concussion.

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  • Bullscot 21 Feb 2017, 16:21 SAST - What are the Super rugby watchers, especially the Kiwis, thoughts of Callum Gibbins? How good is he? With Simone Favaro...
  • Bullscot 21 Feb 2017, 16:20 SAST - The rumours have been confirmed about Callum Gibbins - he has signed for Glasgow from next season for 3 years....
  • Scrumdown 21 Feb 2017, 06:41 SAST - Standards of play in the VC 2017 have been poor thus far imo. Struggle to sit through a full game....
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