Former Wales and Llanelli flyhalf Phil Bennett has questioned Scarlets’ move for Welsh-qualified flanker Jack Payne from Queensland Reds in Australia.
Payne, 20, has arrived in Wales, but any move cannot be made official until passport issues have been resolved.
Scarlets president Bennett would prefer to see local players at Scarlets, but admitted importing Welsh-qualified players from abroad could help Wales.
“There’s a lot of mixed feeling from Llanelli,” he said. “We’re kind of old fashioned here. People still go back to the great Llanelli days . . . they all want to be Welsh, Welsh-speaking if they had their way,” joked 66-year-old Bennett.
“But let’s be honest, look at the Australians, the All Blacks and how they’ve milked the situation of getting players from Fiji, Samoa and different places. You’ve got to get and live with the very best in the world.”
After climbing into the top four after two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series, Australia and New Zealand know it’s far too early to rest on their laurels with Olympic qualification also up for grabs this season.
As the 16 captains assemble for the Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in Port Elizabeth, Australian skipper Ed Jenkins and his New Zealand counterpart DJ Forbes reflect on their respective team’s elevation to the all-important top four after the first two rounds of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Australia have slipped another place to fifth in the latest World Rugby Rankings with France, Japan, Tonga, Canada and Namibia also falling after defeats.
Australia’s 26-23 loss to Ireland on Saturday has seen the Wallabies slip another place to fifth – equalling their lowest ever position since the World Rugby Rankings were introduced in October 2003.
The Wallabies headed into the match in Dublin sitting just one hundredth of a rating point above England, but will now travel to Twickenham to face Stuart Lancaster’s men this weekend behind two northern hemisphere nations with Ireland strengthening their hold on third place with the win.
Argentinian tenor Marcelo Zalada managed to cock up the words of Advance Australia fair, but at least, unlike Ras Dumisane, he still managed to make it sound decent.
In case anyone forgot what Ras did to Nkosi, have a listen.
There has been no change in the Top 12 of the IRB world rankings following the opening round of The Rugby Championship.
Despite seeing their 17-Test win streak end in Sydney thanks to a 12-12 draw with the Wallabies, New Zealand continue to lead the way on 93.42 points.
The Wallabies, courageous in their efforts – and perhaps a little unlucky – remain in third position on 87.32.
There will be a new name on the Women’s Rugby World Cup as New Zealand are the high profile absentee in the final four of the competition.
In the last round of the pool stages in Marcoussis, England’s draw with Canada saw both into the semi-finals where they will be joined by Australia and Ireland.
New Zealand, who have triumphed in the past four World Cups, won their last game of the pools but they went into their game against the USA already knowing they were out of the competition.
Defending champions New Zealand got their World Cup defence off to a strong start on day one of the tournament while wins for hosts France, Canada, Australia, England and Ireland mean the competition is set for more classic match-ups before the 17 August final.
The seventh Women’s Rugby World Cup saw sell-out crowds watch six top-quality matches at FFR headquarters in the French capital.
Ireland beat their Pool B rivals USA in a match that could be crucial for the progress of the girls in green, while Australia and England impressed in their pool openers.
There is a palpable level of excitement in the country ahead of the Commonwealth Games which will be held in Glasgow this year. Driving up the road over the weekend one was reminded by overhead sign boards long before reaching Glasgow of the need to plan ahead and potential difficulties in travelling as a result of the Games.
The online search engine Google has the theme of the games on its page, there is a lot of coverage in the media both online, in print and of course in audio and visual. Radio schedules have already been changed on some stations providing coverage already ahead of the Games which are due to get kick started with the opening ceremony tonight. In advertising it’s radio coverage the national broadcaster has even made a pledge to bring all the action of Scotland’s medal winning events live to the public. Colleagues have members of their family involved on a voluntary basis as ambassadors for Glasgow 2014 with some having already been helping out in the Athletes Village for the last two weeks.
Wallaby Liam Gill and Rebels flank Sean McMahon are all but certain starters for the Australian Sevens side in next month’s Commonwealth Games.
Provided the pair get through this weekend’s Super Rugby fixtures unscathed, they will be released to join the Australian Sevens camp next week and be included in new coach Geraint John’s final squad of 12 for Glasgow to be named on 7 July.
Reds openside flank Gill won a Sevens silver medal with Australia at the 2010 Delhi Games, while blindside flanker McMahon played his last Sevens tournament as recently as late last year in Dubai.
Geraint John has joined the Australian Sevens team as head coach, from Canada who enjoyed their most successful season to date.
The 51-year-old has been head coach of the Canada’s Sevens team since 2010.
John, from Carmarthen, Wales, takes over the reins from Michael O’Connor, who stepped down as Head Coach in February after six years in the role.
Scottish Rugby is immensely saddened to learn of the death on Monday night of the former Hawick, Scotland and Lions internationalist Hughie McLeod. He was 81.
Hugh Ferns McLeod was a pioneer, ahead of his time. His achievements as a player were the stuff of legend but, arguably, it was the manner in which he moulded future success in Hawick that marked him as a truly special character.
Hugh drove himself very hard as a player. He set high standards and expected the same of others. Into retirement he still followed a fitness regime which might have proved – no, would have proved too onerous for younger folk. Whether it was cycling, swimming up in Edinburgh or walking, Hughie loved to be active.
Veteran Toulon flyhalf Frederic Michalak has been preferred to Montpellier’s Francois Trinh-Duc in France coach Philippe Saint-Andre’s squad to tour Australia in June.
Saint-Andre named a 31-man squad on Wednesday and once again Trinh-Duc finds himself out in the cold, with Michalak recalled as back up for first-choice flyhalf Remi Tales.
Although first choice under Saint-Andre’s predecessor Marc Lievremont, Trinh-Duc has found himself eased out of international reckoning under the new coach.
Former Rugby League player Lausii Taliauli is set to make his World Sevens Series debut after being added to the Australia squad for the Glasgow leg this weekend.
Australia head coach Michael O’Connor made the late change to his squad after Taliauli was declared fit by the Australian Rugby Union medical staff.
South Africa and Australia battled each other in the 3rd and last T20 Cricket International at SuperSport Park, Centurion, from 18:00 SA Time on Friday 14 March.
This was the last game for the 2 sides, before departing for the T20 International World Cup, starting on Sunday.
Australia won the match and the T20 Seires by 2 / 0, after the 1st game in the series was rained out and abandoned and after the 2nd game was reduced to 7 overs a side, where Australia won earlier in the week.
Australia won with 5 full overs to spare and by 6 wickets.
The score cards was updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.
South Africa: 128 / 7 (20 Overs)
Australia: 129 / 4 (15 Overs)
South Africa and Australia battled each other in the 3rd and last 5-Day Test at Newlands, Cape Town, from 10:30 SA Time on Saturday 1 March to Wednesday 5 March.
South Africa and Australia were 1 / 1 in the series, after South Africa convincingly beat Australia in the 2nd Test at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.
The score cards was updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.
Australia took control of the match from the first ball of the test, declaring their innings twice, whilst South Africa fell cheaply in the first innings and almost batted for a day and a half in the second innings.
Australia knocked the last wicket over, that of Morne Morkel, with only 27 balls left in the Test.
Australia win by 245 runs and win the Test Series 2 / 1.
First Innings – 494 / 7 Declared (127.4 Overs)
Second Innings – 303 / 5 Declared (58 Overs)
First Innings – 287 All Out (82.5 Overs)
Second Innings – 265 All Out (134.3 Overs)
Since South Africa’s return from international sporting isolation, two teams have tormented the county’s sporting heroes and sports-mad public alike – the All Blacks and the Baggy Greens.
Lead by a succession of hard-nosed captains and spear-headed by some of the best players in history, Australia has been the cricketing nemesis of the Proteas and the team South African fans most ‘loved to hate’. ODIs and Tests between the teams have produced some of the most memorable games in cricket history.
Even though fans hated playing second fiddle to the Baggy Greens, their acknowledgement of Australia’s cricketing excellence ranged from grudging respect to open admiration.
South Africa and Australia battled each other in the 2nd of three 5-Day Tests at St George’s Park, Port Elizabeth.
Australia were 1 / 0 up in the series, after beating South Africa onvincingly in the 1st Test at Centurion Park, Pretoria.
The score cards were be updated at regular intervals here on Rugby-Talk.
See you in the comments section!
South Africa squared the series with a 231 run win, the series now 1 / 1 with the final 5-Day Test set up nicely for Newlands, Cape Town.
There was still 1 full day to go in the Test, but South Africa asked for the extra half an hour on Day 4 to finish the Australians up, which they duly did.
First Innings – 423 All Out (150.5 Overs)
Second Innings – 270 / 5 Declared (64 Overs)
First Innings – 246 All Out (57 Overs)
Second Innings – 216 All Out (73.4 Overs)
South Africa’s Proteas cricket team and Australia went head to head and toe to toe in the first of 3, Five-Day cricket Tests at SuperSport Park, Centurion from Thursday 12 February. THe match ended more than a full day early, with Australia winning by 281 runs..
The match started at 10:30 SA Time on 12 February 2014.
South Africa won the toss and elected to bowl first.
This was the Live Game Article, where we updated the scores from time to time during the Day’s play and where the cricket supporters amongst us had have the opportunity to discuss the game.
Australia’s best emerging talent will compete against national representative teams from Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and Argentina in the 2014 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup (PRC).
The competition was established in 2006 to help develop rugby in Pacific nations, but for the first time in 2014, it will include the Argentina Pampas and will be held entirely in Australia.
Glasgow 2014 has today (Tuesday January 14) confirmed the teams and pools for the Rugby Sevens competition at this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
A rip-roaring contest and magnificent entertainment it may have been, but Welsh faces after yet another defeat by Australia spoke only of more misery and another missed opportunity.
Round 1 of the End Of Year Tours of 2013 is upon us and it is that time of the year where we see the teams from the South migrate to the North to go do battle with those from Europe and beyond.
The Test rugby games of the End Of Year Tours or November Internationals are always a nice spectacle to see. Some teams use this as an experimental base, whilst other teams use this competition to prepare for other competitions like the 6 Nations. The big thing here is that the 3 Southern Hemisphere giant teams are ranked No 1 to 3 in the world. So, every team wants to beat these sides for bragging rights and to also get an indication of where they stand in preparation of the next Rugby World Cup.
So let the battles begin!
Andrew Trimble has missed out on a place in Ireland’s squad for the November games against Samoa, Australia and New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium. The Ulster wing fails to make Joe Schmidt’s 34-man squad which includes uncapped trio David Kearney, James Coughlan and Jack McGrath.
With the Pumas hosting the Wallabies this weekend it is still all to play for for both sides to avoid the wooden spoon in The Rugby Championship.
These two teams are facing their own demons this season as the Pumas have recorded no wins and the Wallabies only one win in this year’s competition. The Pumas will be backing themselves for a win against a struggling Wallaby team who also aeem to be full of internal politics about pay disputes.
The losing team in this clash will finish at the bottom of the Log. This clash will be an interesting one as both teams want to prove a point.
With the Wallabies having arguably their worst season ever, flyhalf Quade Cooper has voiced his concerns regarding the team.
After losing against the Springboks in their match on Saturday, Cooper told the guys to come together and support the coach.
A win in this match is crucial for the Springboks if they are to still have a chance of winning the tounament at the conclusion of the Test against the All Blacks next weekend, a loss could mean season over as far as silver wear goes.
The Wallabies are battling under new coaching staff and winning has become an extinct species down under.
They managed their first win this year in The Rugby Championship in their last encounter against the Pumas, with one solitary point, having scored zero points in the second half.
All in all it is doubtful that the Wallabies will walk away with a win in this match, having said that, they will not make it easy for the Springboks, in a must win match.
In a Springbok medical update, it still seems as though some players are still recovering from minor niggles as a result of the last test against the All Blacks.
Wallaby James O’Connor has now been dropped from the Wallaby squad, indefinately, due to his recent escapade at the Perth airport.
Australians are today mourning the death of a legend.
Edward Heinrich, who is considered a classic Wallaby, has passed away last night at the age of 73.
With only 730 days till World Cup 2015 the pools and qualifying teams are starting to take shape.
There is still quite a few qualifying matches ahead and still a playoff series to fill all open spots.
Bad news in the Wallaby camp seems to be at the order of the day.
This is turning into a year that Australia will never want to relive.
The Rugby Chamionship match between the Australian Wallabies and Argentinian Pumas is was a strange old battle to basically decide who was not going to receive the wooden spoon in the competition, a clash with it’s own merits and demerits. Neither team had won in the competition for the year and were desperate to pick up the first win and the game went right down to the wire.
A former NRL player has been banned for 8 matches for biting an opponents penis in a club match last week.
In 6 games played this year in The Rugby Championship these teams have combined only managed to get 1 Log point. Here is a head to head breakdown of how the two teams compare.
These teams have met each other 19 times in the past, with the Wallabies winning 14 and the Puma’s winning 4 and only 1 draw. With the current form of these sides, a draw could not be a far fetched result in this case.
The Wallabies have scored a total of 493 against the Pumas compared to the Puma’s 287. This leaves a average score line of 26-15 in favour of the Wallabies.
Neither team has manged any wins this year, but the Pumas did manage a to get a bonus point against the Springboks in Mendoza.
The Pumas will be backing themselves for a win in Australia, coming off 2 good performances against the Springboks and All Blacks respectively.
Australia is playing their final home game in this year’s Rugby Championship before touring to South Africa and Argentina and at this stage a win is non negotiable for the Wallabies. They will attempt to trash the Pumas to earn back some respect from the Australian rugby public, as this is one their worst years in rugby history.
England and Australia meet on Wednesday at Edgebaston, Birmingham, in the third One Day International (ODI) of the current five match series. The match will be a day night affair with play scheduled to start at 15.00 South African Time.