Richard HibbardRhys PriestlandBritish and Irish Lions hooker Richard Hibbard and Wales flyhalf Rhys Priestland have joined the exodus of Wales players leaving the Welsh regions and joined the growing contingent of Wales internationals playing in England.

Lions hooker Hibbard has agreed to join Gloucester at the end of this season while Scarlets pivot Priestland has agreed to move to Wasps.

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heinekencupMjekevuPerpignan’s strong second-half showing overwhelmed Heineken Cup opponents Edinburgh at Stade Aimé Giral.  Tim Visser’s converted try helped the visitors into a deserved 7-3 lead at the interval. But they were undone by two tries early in the second half as Joffrey Michel and Wandile Mjekevu crossed.

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avivalogo2Newcastle Falcons will be keen to prove they are worthy when they get the 2013/14 Premiership season underway against Bath at Kingston Park tonight.  While the opening round has a number of intriguing fixtures – London Irish v Saracens, Gloucester v Sale Sharks, Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs, London Wasps v Harlequins and Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors – it is the Falcons that will hog most of the early limelight.

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ScotlandFormer Scotland scrum-half and captain Rory Lawson is to retire from all rugby with immediate effect.  Lawson (Newcastle Falcons), the 32-year-old son of former Scotland scrum-half and immediate SRU past president Alan Lawson, has been advised to retire on account of a chronic wrist injury.

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Gloucester looseforward Andy Hazell was suspended for 14 weeks as sanction following a Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin after being Red Carded and Cited in the Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 1, Round 1 match against Mont-de-Marsan at Stade Guy Boniface on Thursday 11 October.

In one of the more brutal and serious incidents in recent years, Andy Hazell was given a Red Card for an incident in the 55th minute of the match for striking (or rather for bating up) Mont-de-Marsan replacement, Sebastien Ormaechea.

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Champions Harlequins will be out to extend their unbeaten start to the English Premiership when they take on Sale Sharks this weekend. Quins currently head the standings after two rounds, but with five teams still unbeaten there is plenty of pressure to continue their winning ways.

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The second round of the 2012/2013 season’s Aviva Premiership was completed this weekend. In the first match of the weekend London Welsh were comprehensively beaten by Harlequins, who scored six tries to none. In the last game, which was played on Sunday, Northampton Saints managed to scrape through against a brave Exeter Chiefs outfit.

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There has been a lot of debate on South Africa’s policy around the selection of foreign based players of late, but Peter de Villiers may just have it spot on. Continue reading

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