Tompkins set for loan, Tigers trio injured, Haouas banned, Super Rugby line ups and more news

Tompkins set for loan, Tigers trio injured, Haouas banned, Super Rugby line ups and more news

From Rhun Williams premature retirement to James Slipper signing a new deal with Rugby Australia to the latest teamsheets, here is a round up of the latest news.

Cardiff Blues' Rhun Williams has been forced to retire aged 22

Cardiff Blues full-back Rhun Williams has been forced to retire after failing to recover from the neck injury he sustained against Zebre two years ago.

The former Wales Under-20s ace suffered left sided peripheral nerve damage as he made a try-saving tackle in February 2018. Williams has undertaken extensive rehabilitation at Cardiff Blues with regular expert assessments, however the 22-year-old has now been advised that this is a career ending injury at this time.

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Nick Tompkins nears loan move

The Cardiff Blues have emerged as the leading contenders to sign new Wales centre Nick Tompkins on loan from Saracens for next season.

Tompkins has two years remaining on his current Saracens contract but their impending relegation to the Championship means Mark McCall is forced into letting some high earners leave the club.

All four of Wales’ regions – Dragons, Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets – expressed an interest in signing the explosive midfielder but the Rugby Paper has reported that the Blues lead the way.

Leicester's Jonny May, Sione Kalamafoni & Johnny McPhillips out for 'extended period'

Leicester Tigers winger Jonny May faces an "extended period" out after fracturing a cheekbone in England's Six Nations win over Wales on Saturday.

Back row Sione Kalamafoni, 31, and fly-half Johnny McPhillips, 22, will also be long-term absentees through injury.

Kalamafoni will miss three months after suffering concussion symptoms, while McPhillips is out for a similar time with a ligament tear in his right knee.

James Slipper pens a new two-year contract

Veteran prop James Slipper has signed a new two-year extension with Rugby Australia and the Brumbies, to remain in the nation’s capital until at least the end of 2022.

The 96-Test star moved to Canberra at the end of 2018 and has since featured in every Super Rugby game for the Brumbies over his two seasons at the club.

Slipper made his debut for the Wallabies in 2010 against England in Perth and is now just four Tests shy of becoming Australia’s 11th Test centurion.

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James O'Connor returns from injury

The Queensland Reds have made six changes to their starting XV for Saturday’s Super Rugby Double Header against the Bulls at Suncorp Stadium.

James O’Connor will resume his role at flyhalf for the Round 7 clash after recovering from a minor ankle injury while Chris Feauai-Sautia shifts to outside centre to cover the loss of Hunter Paisami who has been ruled out with a knee injury.

Bryce Hegarty has been brought into the starting side and will fill the void on the right wing left by Feauai-Sautia’s positional switch. Following standout performances in Queensland’s first three games of the season, Norths prop Dane Zander has earned his maiden Super Rugby start.

Bulls v Reds Line Ups

Patrick Tuipulotu & Ofa Tu’ungafasi to sit out Blues clash with Lions

Patrick Tuipulotu to sit out his All Black rest, along with Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 46-game veteran Gerard Cowley-Tuioti gets his first start of the season after coming off the bench in his first game back from an injury in the Mitre-10 Cup.

There’s a strong look to the pack with in-form Karl Tu’inukuafe joining 110-cap hooker James Parsons and Sione Mafileo, playing his 49th time for the Blues, forming the front row, while All Black Dalton Papalii returns from his break to join Blake Gibson and Hoskins Sotutu in the loose forwards.


The backline is virtually unchanged with Matt Duffie, like his North Harbour mate Mafileo, playing his 49th game to give Joe Marchant his first rest of the season with TJ Faiane to take over the captaincy.

Blues line up

Bryn Hall to Captain the Crusaders in the absence of Scott Barrett

Head Coach Scott Robertson confirmed that All Blacks Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Scott Barrett, Richie Mo'unga and Jack Goodhue will all be rested for this match, with Bryn Hall to Captain the side at halfback. 

It is an all-new starting front row this week, while Luke Romano (lock) and Sione Havili (blindside) both earn starts, and Cullen Grace makes the switch to No. 8 for this game. A further three changes in the backs sees Hall, Brett Cameron and Braydon Ennor all start this week.

20-year-old Fergus Burke will get his first taste of Super Rugby against the Sunwolves, providing cover at first five-eighth, while experienced Super Rugby hooker and Tasman representative, Hugh Roach, joins the side as cover for McAlister.

Full line ups

England's Japanese tour in doubt

The spin off following the Coronavirus outbreak could mean the cancelation of Englands tour to Japan according to reports. Besides the obvious threat of player and fan safety as a direct threat, the spin off is player welfare due to a congested calendar.

With a number of Six Nations games being postponed and likely to be played in October, Player's union chief executive Damian Hopley has urged rugby authorities to apply 'common sense' when it comes to the reschedule of games and tours.

Rob Simmons (ankle), Jake Gordon (knee), Mark Nawaqnaitawase (back) and Tom Robertson (back) have all been omitted from the Round 6 squad - however, their injures are not considered serious.

Full line ups

Jack McGrath Signs Two-Year Contract Extension With Ulster

Ulster Rugby has confirmed that Jack McGrath has signed a two-year contract extension with the province, which will keep him at Kingspan Stadium until at least summer 2022.

Three-week ban for Haouas

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The prop landed a punch on Jamie Ritchie on the 37th minute at Murrayfield as the French went down to a 28-17 defeat.

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Mohamed Haouas has been banned for three weeks for his punch on Scotland’s Jamie Ritchie.

Scotland international Gordon Reid joins Saints until end of the season

Scotland international Gordon Reid has signed for Northampton Saints until the end of the 2019/20 Premiership season.

Rhys Davies joins Ospreys

Lock Rhys Davies has signed a two-year deal to join the Ospreys from next season.

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