Venter to miss start of Super Rugby
Cheetahs captain Francois Venter will have an operation on his ankle after an injury he picked up earlier in the year was agitated during the November Tour.
According to reports, the Springbok centre will have the operation in Johannesburg and will be out for about three months.
Shervington re-joins Wasps on short-term contract
Following injuries to Tom Cruse and hooker George Edgson, Wasps have signed Edd Shervington on a three-month contract to provide cover at hooker.
Shervington previously played for Wasps for two seasons, arriving ahead of 2014/15 from Worcester, and made 32 appearances for the club.
Cornal Hendricks signs for Toulon
Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks has signed a short-term deal with French club Toulon until the end of the 2016/17 season.
The 28-year-old, who has won 12 Test caps for the Springboks, had to stop playing earlier this year with a serious heart condition and is now able to make a return to rugby as a replacement for wing Drew Mitchell, who suffered an injury against Bordeaux last Sunday.
Borthwich to assist Western Force
England assistant coach Steve Borthwick is set to advise the Western Force on a two-week basis and will fly to Perth this week to coach the team for a fortnight.
"It's a great learning experience for him and he gets the opportunity of learning how to beat the Kiwis, which is important," commented England coach Eddie Jones.
"He's a very analytical coach, a very serious coach and he knows more about line-outs than anyone else in the world."
London Welsh vs Doncaster called off
London Welsh have confirmed that the Club’s British and Irish Cup fixture with Doncaster Knights on Saturday has been called off and the club will seek to rearrange the fixture for February.
This comes after the club's chairman confirmed that they have opted voluntary liquidation after "totally unsustainable current business model".
Chairman Gareth Hawkins said: "London Welsh has reached a difficult point in its illustrious history. Due to a playing budget of £1.7million and gates at games numbering as low 400, the Club's current business model is totally unsustainable.
"The debts accrued from trading in this way have left the Club with no alternative but to seek liquidation. Having to break that news to 40 staff members yesterday was extremely difficult.
"All creditors of London Welsh Rugby Club will be contacted by the liquidator.
"In the New Year, it is the hope and intention of the Board that London Welsh will be able to return to playing at Old Deer Park, however it will first be necessary to change the Club's business model to a semi-professional set-up and form a new company, and then raise £300,000 so that the Club can regain a position within the RFU Greene King IPA Championship.
"Richmond have proved that a club can compete in the Championship with a semi-pro model, and I firmly believe we can make this work in 2017.”
Scotland's Peter Horne set to miss Six Nations with injury
Glasgow and Scotland back Peter Horne is set to miss the Six Nations after being ruled out for up to four months with knee and ankle injuries.
A Warriors statement read: "Stand-off Horne sustained knee and ankle injuries and his ankle requires surgical repair at BMI Ross Hall Hospital. He is expected to be out of action for up to 16 weeks."
Horne was among the replacements for two of Scotland's three autumn Tests.
British & Irish Lions 2017 Coaching Team
Warren Gatland has named Steve Borthwick, Andy Farrell and Rob Howley as his assistants for the Lions tour of New Zealand.
Farrell and Howley redeem the roles they filled on the successful 2013 tour of Australia under Gatland, while forwards coach Borthwick joining the staff after helping England rack up 14 straight Test wins.
Gatland said: "I am excited about this coaching team. I said from the outset it was important to have continuity because we need to hit the ground running, given the limited preparation time.
"In Rob and Andy we have guys who understand the Lions concept, have worked together and know how to coach a winning Lions team.
"It's also important to have some new input. Steve has done a great job in shaping the England pack and played a major role in their recent run of success, so I'm looking forward to working with him.
"We may look to bring in a specialist coach but, fundamentally, this is the core coaching team we believe can help a talented group of players win a Test series in New Zealand."
All three assistants will dedicate themselves to the Lions once next year's Six Nations tournament ends, with a squad announement due on April 19.
The Lions are scheduled to play 10 matches between June 3 and July 8, when they take on the world champions in the final game of a three-Test series.
Craig Joubert announces retirement from Test refereeing
Referee Craig Joubert on Wednesday announced his retirement from 15-a-side refereeing to develop elite young match officials.
“This was not a decision I took lightly given the obvious lure of possibly refereeing the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand next year as well as the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019,” said Joubert.
“However, the opportunity to make a difference in other peoples’ careers and lives is something which I’m excited about...
“This position gives me the opportunity to play a more formal role in sharing my experiences and developing referees and to have a positive influence on the lives and careers of other young referees.
“I am also thrilled that I will continue to referee on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as we build our team of referees towards the Tokyo Olympics in 2020."
Joubert refereed the 2011 Rugby World Cup final as well as more than a century of Super Rugby matches and 80 Currie Cup matches. He has also refereed 25 World Sevens series tournaments including 11 finals and the 2005 Rugby World Cup Sevens final.
He will take up his new position immediately in the New Year.
Greg Cooper will take charge of Stade next season
Greg Cooper, who joined the PStade Francais as backs coach in May, will replace Gonzalo Quesada as head coach of Stade Francais at the end of the season.
The former All Black has signed a three-year contract starting at the end of this season.
51-year-old Cooper was capped seven times by the All Blacks at full-back and went on to coaching roles with the Highlanders and Blues in Super Rugby and NEC in Japan.
Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens
Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal from Super Rugby side Waratahs with immediate effect.
Skelton will join the reigning English and European champions after the Club reached an agreement with the ARU and the Waratahs regarding his availability.
He will be available for Saracens’ Premiership, Anglo-Welsh Cup and European Champions Cup games during the duration of his short-term deal at Allianz Park.
Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect
Dan Tuohy has signed a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to the Premiership with immediate effect.
The lock – who arrives from Ulster – has eleven international caps for Ireland, touching down on his test debut versus New Zealand in 2010.
Tongan Bear signs with Clermont
Clermont have announced the signing of Hurricanes loosehead prop Loni Uhila for the end of Super Rugby 2017.
Uhila impressed for the Hurricanes this season and also Waikato in the Mitre 10 Cup and is sure to make a physical impact in the Top 14.
The 27-year-old 'Tongan Bear’ has signed a one-year deal with the option of two further seasons after that.
Dan Lydiate ruled out for rest of the season
Dan Lydiate has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage in Wales’ final autumn fixture, against South Africa.
Following consultation, it has been confirmed that surgery is required and he will not play again until next season.
Pat Lam leaving Connacht at the end of the season
Connacht have just confirmed that Pat Lam has announced he will be leaving the club at the end of the 2016/17 season.
Commenting on the news, Pat said: “This has been one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my life as Connacht and Galway is such a special place for myself and my family...Rugby should never be about the individual as players and coaches will always come and go. We have worked hard to have the structures and systems in place to ensure the future success of the province for our community."
Connacht CEO Willie Ruane added: “Firstly I’d like to thank Pat for everything he has done for Connacht Rugby. He led the province to a first ever trophy and that will be something that will live long in the memory. While there is a lot of rugby yet to be played this season, we wish Pat, Steph and their family the very best in the next chapter of their lives.
“As a club, we will immediately engage with our Professional Games Board and the IRFU with respect to starting the process of recruiting our next head coach.”