Carlo Festuccia to re-join Wasps for remainder of season
Former Italy, Wasps and Zebre hooker, Carlo Festuccia, has re-joined Wasps on a short-term contract until the end of the 2016/17.
Festuccia, who previously made over 60 appearances for Wasps during his three seasons with the club, returns to provide cover after injuries to Tom Cruse and Wasps’ Senior Academy hooker George Edgson, with Tommy Taylor named in England’s 34-man-squad for the RBS 6 Nations.
Xavier Chiocci replaces injured Eddy Ben Arous in France squad
France have suffered another setback as loosehead prop Eddy Ben Arous has been ruled out of their squad.
The 26-year-old Racing 92 forward, who has 14 international appearances to his name, is replaced by Toulon prop Xavier Chiocci in the group.
Meanwhile, Henry Chavancy has been replaced in the squad by Mathieu Bastareaud.
Brendan Venter to assist Italy until 2019 RWC
Brendan Venter has re-signed as Italy's defence coach until the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Italy Rugby Union confirms.
"I played and worked with Brendan to London Irish in the past and I believe that this agreement is the best it can be, for us and for him," Italy coach Conor O'Shea commented.
"We are excited to be working with him for years to come. He's a coach respected by the whole international rugby scene and we are proud that he wants to join our project with Italy until the next Rugby World Cup. "
Venter, who earned 17 caps for the Springboks, worked with the Azzurri for last year's autumn internationals and was part of the coaching team that led Italy to their historic win over South Africa.
Ireland name a 40-man squad for the 6 Nations
The Ireland Coaching Group have named a 40-man squad that includes three uncapped players for the opening two rounds of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Niall Scannell is named in the forwards and is one of the three uncapped players in the squad. Scannell captained the Ireland U-20s at the Junior World Championship in 2012 leading them to the semi final.
That U-20 squad also included the likes of Tadgh Furlong, Iain Henderson, Jack Conan and Luke McGrath who are all named in the Ireland squad today.
Andrew Conway, who featured for the Ireland Wolfhounds in 2015 and Rory Scannell, brother of Niall, are the uncapped players named amongst the 18 backs in the squad.
See full squad here