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South AfricaIrelandSpringboks (13) 19 / 13 (10) Ireland (Final Score)

The South African Springboks and Ireland did battle in the 2016 June Internationals at

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, at 17:00 SA Time (15:00 GMT, 16:00 UK 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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AustraliaEnglandWallabies (18) 40 / 44 (17) England (Final Score)

The Australian Wallabies and England did battle in the 2016 June Internationals at

Allianz Stadium, Sydney, at 12:05 SA Time (10:05 GMT, 20:05 AEST, 11:05 UK 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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England1South AfricaEngland U20  (31) 39 / 17 (3) Junior Springboks U20 (Final Score)

England Under 20 and South Africa’s Junior Springboks Under 20 did battle in the World Rugby Under

20 Championship 2016 (semifinals) at Manchester, at 20:45 SA Time (18:45 GMT, 19:45 UK 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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IrelandArgentinaIreland U20  (21) 37 / 7 (7) Argentina U20 (Final Score)

Ireland Under 20 and Argentina Under 20 did battle in the World Rugby Under

20 Championship 2016 (semifinals) at Manchester, at 18:30 SA Time (16:30 GMT, 17:30 UK 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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New ZealandWalesNew Zealand U20  (35) 71 / 12 (5) Wales U20 (Final Score)

New Zealand Under 20 and Wales Under 20 did battle in the World Rugby Under

20 Championship 2016 (5yh Place Play-off) at Manchester, at 16:15 SA Time (14:15 GMT, 15:15 UK 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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ArgentinaFrancePumas (17) 30 / 19 (10) France (Final Score)

The Argentinian Los Pumas and France did battle in the 2016 June Internationals at

Estadio Monumental José Fierro, Tucumán, at 23:10 SA Time (21:10 GMT, 18:10 ARG Time, 23:10 French Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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New ZealandWalesAll Blacks (10) 36 / 22 (10) Wales (Final Score)

The New Zealand All Blacks and Wales did battle in the 2016 June Internationals at

Westpac Stadium, Wellington, at 09:35 SA Time (07:35 GMT, 19:35 NZ Time, 08:35 UK 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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ScotlandEdinburgh Rugby wing Damien Hoyland is set for his first Scotland, having been named in Vern Cotter’s side to play Japan today at the Toyota City Stadium. (18 June, kick-off 11:20 BST, 12:20 SA Time, 10:20 GMT).The former Boroughmuir flyer – who helped Scotland 7s lift the Cup at Twickenham last month and has scored 8 tries in an impressive season for Edinburgh – joins Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour in the back 3.

Elsewhere, Harlequins-bound Ruaridh Jackson starts at flyhalf for the first time since a replacement appearance against Canada in 2014 while Jonny Gray forms a starting lock-pairing partnership with brother Richie for a 15th time. Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, said: “The players have adapted well to the conditions and the jet lag since arriving in Japan on Sunday, and have prepared well in a testing environment, in the humidity, rain and heat. We picked a strong squad to travel to Japan, 23 of whom will get the chance to run out this Saturday in a Test match against a Japanese team on a revenge mission, following our win in the Rugby World Cup”.

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ArgentinaItalyPumas (17) 30 / 24 (16) Italy (Final Score)

The Argentinian Los Pumas and Italian Azzurri did battle in the 2016 June Internationals at

Brigadier López Stadium, Santa Fe, at 20:45 SA Time (18:45 GMT, 15:45 ARG Time, 20:45 Italian 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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SaracensSaracens beat Exeter Chiefs to win the Premiership final and become the first English side to complete a domestic and European double since 2004.

Exeter, in their first play-off final, were blown away by a dominant first half from Sarries, who led 23 / 6 through Duncan Taylor and Chris Wyles scores.

Jack Yeandle and Jack Nowell crossed after the break as a rejuvenated Chiefs reduced the deficit to 3 points.

But Alex Goode’s late try secured the title for the defending champions.

Victory also means Mark McCall’s side, who won the European Champions Cup 2 weeks ago, become the first English club since Wasps 12 years ago to win the top-flight and European titles in the same season.

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Guinness Pro12Connacht and Glasgow Warriors will be battling it out in today’s Guinness PRO12  semifinal in Galway for a place in the final against Leinster at Murrayfield next weekend. This after hosts Leinster pulled off a comfortable victory against Ulster last night in the first semifinal. The final score in that match was : Leinster 30 / 18 Ulster.

Connacht must surely be heading into today’s match in a very confident frame of mind as the last time they played Glasgow Warriors they ended up on the winning side with a 7 point margin of victory in a low scoring affair. That match took place 2 weeks ago in the last Round of the regular league stage and was also played at Connacht’s home ground in the picturesque Galway.

Today’s match should be played in far better conditions than the last one between these 2 teams and this could help Glasgow who like to play an attractive attacking brand of rugby. The only thing is that Connacht, under Pat Lam, have also developed into a slick unit who have the ability to run with the ball and offload smartly too and are at this stage possibly the more rounded team as they proved 2 weeks ago that they also have the ability to ‘win ugly’.

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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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Tyrone Holmes

Tyrone Holmes in action for Glasgow Warriors

Glasgow Warriors have announced a group of players who will leave the club in the summer.

Prop Jerry Yanuyanutawa, looseforward Tyrone Holmes and hooker Kevin Bryce are among the departures.

Fijian international Yanuyanutawa joined the club from London Irish in 2013 and has gone on to make 46 appearances for the Scotstoun-based side.

South Africa-born Holmes joined the Warriors in 2013 and has made 34 appearances for the club over the last 3 seasons and was capped by Scotland against South Africa in 2014.

27-year-old Bryce has made 12 appearances for the Warriors since joining the club in 2013 and has gone on to represent Scotland on 2 occasions.

Loose forwards Will Bordill and Jason Hill, hookers Shalva Mamukashvili and Fergus Scott, flyhalf Gregor Hunter and prop Javan Sebastian will also be leaving the club.

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Jake White at Montpellier

Montpellier’s Jake White

Newport Gwent Dragons bowed out of the European Challenge Cup with semifinal defeat by a strong Montpellier side.

Montpellier’s dominance earned them a 22 / 0 lead, with Demetri Catrakilis scoring 5 penalties and Bismarck du Plessis crossing for a try.

Dragons rallied with tries from Hallam Amos and Carl Meyer but they suffered their 2nd successive semifinal loss in Europe.

Montpellier will face Harlequins in the final in Lyon on 13 May.

Dragons’ build up to the game had been overshadowed by the departure of director of rugby Lyn Jones, with namesake Kingsley Jones assuming control until the end of the season,

Wales No 8, Taulupe Faletau, was passed fit for the Dragons despite injuring his eye in the derby defeat at Cardiff Blues.

Montpellier, coached by 2007 World Cup-winning coach Jake White, boasted 8 South African players in their squad, including front row brothers Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis.

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Jake White

Montepellier’s Jake White

Newport Gwent Dragons produced a stunning upset when they crossed the River Severn to beat Aviva Premiership Gloucester at Kingsholm in the European Challenge Cup.

But that 23 / 21 quarterfinal triumph would pale if they were to beat star-studded Montpellier at the Altrad Stadium in the south of France on Saturday evening.

So what are their chances of reaching the final of Europe’s 2nd-tier tournament? Rugby Correspondent Andy Howell assesses the head-to-head contests and marks each opposing player in the respective starting line-ups out of 10 with the Montpellier players mentioned first.

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Mike Blair

Mike Blair

Glasgow Warriors scrumhalf Mike Blair has retired from playing with immediate effect and will take up a new coaching role at the club next season.

The 35-year-old will remain with Scottish Rugby as an assistant coach at the Warriors.

Blair joined Glasgow this season and has made 12 appearances for the club and was voted Player of the Month in October.

The 85-capped former Scotland international has had an illustrious career, representing Edinburgh Rugby, Brive, Newcastle Falcons and the Warriors.

Blair enjoyed 10 years with Edinburgh Rugby, playing his first professional game in 2001. Highlights included being runners up in the Magners League in 2009 and reaching the semifinals of the European Cup in 2012.

Scotland’s most capped scrumhalf captained his country on 14 occasions before retiring from international rugby at the start of 2013, aged 31.

He was named Scotland’s Player of the Year in 2008 and was nominated for the IRB World Player of the Year that same season. He toured South Africa with the British and Irish Lions in 2009.

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Roger Morgan

Roger “Chicky” Morgan

He is the ultimate club man, hard-working, loyal, and most of all durable. He’s almost at pensionable age, but this real life Peter Pan is still lacing up his boots.

He’s been with the same club for 40 years, he’s appeared in every single position in the team and he is still playing at the age of 60!

Roger “Chicky” Morgan is Mr Usk RFC, the ultimate 1-club man, the kind of stalwart servant who is the heartbeat of the community game in Wales.

He’s a tireless hard worker for the Gwent club, cutting the grass, marking the pitch, putting the flags out, sorting the kit, cooking the meals, arranging the fixtures, painting the clubhouse and driving the mini bus.

And he’s still getting his boots on and playing on a Saturday afternoon, lining up wherever he’s needed.

So what does he put his enduring fitness and his longevity down to?

“That’s from my father that is,” he explains.

“He played football for Newport County and Swansea. So fitness is in the blood.”

“I just love playing the game. I have made some great friends over the years and there’s always a laugh with the boys.

“From when I first went down to the club in 1975, I just felt welcome.

“It’s great with the different generations and the crack you have with all of them.”

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Francois Steyn celebrates Montpellier win over Sale Sharks

Francois Steyn celebrates Montpellier win over Sale Sharks

Montpellier head coach Jake White cannot wait to return home triumphant for their European Rugby Challenge Cup semifinal, after beating Sale Sharks in their own backyard.

The side sat 2nd in the Top 14 turned on the power in the 2nd half after a tight 1st half. Benoit Pallaugue hit 6 penalties to steer his side to a 25 / 19 triumph, despite a late solo score from Sale centre Sam James.

The victory for Montpellier has set up a last-4 clash against either Challenge Cup champions, Gloucester, or the Newport Gwent Dragons. White is targeting a pair of victories on home soil in their pursuit for European glory.

He said: “I’m obviously very happy, it wasn’t that pretty, we didn’t play that well and we made a few mistakes which allowed them field position, and they put us under the pump. But it’s a new squad and Montpellier have never got themselves in positions like these, so I’m very happy that we can take another step forward.

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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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BT PremeirshipA horror misunderstanding cost Currie a shot at their 3rd championship title as Heriots snatched a dramatic last-gasp victory in Saturday’s BT Premiership semifinal at Malleny Park.

A ding-dong battle in which the lead changed a total of 5 times appeared to have swung decisively in the home side’s favour when No 8 Ross Weston finished off a driving maul for his 2nd try of the afternoon to put Currie 22 / 21 up with minutes remaining.

Heriots pushed for a response but, when they knocked on to concede a scrum, it looked like their dreams of a double (or treble if you include the Charity Shield) were over.

Currie kept possession as the clock ticked down but scrumhalf Richard Snedden was premature with the boot out and the Goldenacre side were given a lifeline, which they took superbly by setting up replacement flyhalf Gregor McNeish for his 2nd drop goal with the last kick, to spark wild celebrations in the away camp.

It means Heriots, who 1st face Melrose in the BT Cup final a week on Saturday, will travel to Millbrae to face Ayr on 23 April and look to retain their Premiership crown.

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Waratahs CEO Andrew Hore

Waratahs new CEO Andrew Hore

Could Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht one day be taking on the Bulls, Highlanders and Waratahs?

If you believe new New South Wales chief executive Andrew Hore, then the answer is yes.

Hore is leaving his post with Welsh side Ospreys to join the Australian Super Rugby outfit in mid April, and the New Zealander sees a potential future link-up as beneficial to both competitions.

Hore has had a ringside seat in recent seasons as the huge influx of financial muscle into the French Top 14 and England’s Premiership has threatened to leave European rugby’s poor Celtic relations trailing behind.

The southern hemisphere has also felt the commercial weight of French and English riches, with an increasing number of top-class players heading north in their primes for a big payday.

But the prospect of competing against the high-quality teams in Super Rugby would certainly offer television companies a more enticing product, according to Hore.

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BT Murrayfield Stadium

BT Murrayfield

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) has announced the key dates for the 2016 / 2017 season ahead of the knockout stages of the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

Next season’s tournaments will get underway with 2 Rounds in October, followed by Rounds 3 and 4 in December, and as is customary, the pool stages will reach their conclusion with Rounds 5 and 6 in January.

The quarterfinal matches will be staged at the end of March and the beginning of April 2017 with the semifinals played 3 weeks later.

Then European club rugby’s showcase weekend will return to Edinburgh for the 1st time since 2009 when both the Challenge Cup and Champions Cup finals will be held at BT Murrayfield Stadium on 12 and 13 May 2017.

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Guinness PRO12The player of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations, Stuart Hogg, went from hero to villain to hero last night at Scotstoun Stadium, Glasgow. Hogg, who was presented with the player of the tournament trophy by Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend during a Warriors practice session earlier this week, was shown a Yellow Card less than 2 minutes into the match against Rob Herring’s Ulster for what was deemed by referee John Lacey to be a professional foul on Glasgow’s try line. However, after spending the obligatory 10 minutes off the field his night went from bad to better to brilliant.

Hogg was involved in play on numerous occasions gaining much ground with his incisive running and scored a super try down the left side of the field with a wonderful chip of the top and gather effort. He also had the final say in the match landing a monster penalty kick late on the game to deny Ulster a losing bonus point and send the final score to Glasgow Warriors 27 / 17 Ulster. John Lacey awarded Glasgow a penalty almost 5m inside their own half of the field, up stepped the man of the moment Hoggy who slotted the penalty with ease in spite of a swirling wind.

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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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