Thursday Afternoon Round Up

Thursday Afternoon Round Up

Pollard to captain Bulls in Super Rugby

Pretoria based Super Rugby franchise the Bulls have named Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard as their team captain for the start of the 2017 Super Rugby season.


Pollard will lead the Bulls while regular captain Adriaan Strauss is still recovering from surgery and expected to miss the first few games of the competition. 

Appiah joins Edinburgh on loan


Derrick Appiah has left Worcester Warriors for Edinburgh on a short-term loan deal.

The 22-year-old, ex Italian under-20 prop has made five appearances for the Warriors, four of which occuring this season. 


Cardiff extend front row duo contracts

Young Welsh front rowers Ethan Lewis and Dillon Lewis have both extended their current contracts at Cardiff Blues.

Tight-head Ethan, made his regional debut in the LV=Cup in 2015 on the back of stellar Under-20 Wales performances. He is also considered to be one of the country's best young props and has appeared 18 times so far for Cardiff.

Hooker Dillon is a product of Cardiff's academy made his senior debut in 2015, as well and went on to represent Cardiff 14 times last season and has recently returned from a shoulder surgery.

Ireland announce their team to face Scotland

Joe Schmidt has named his Ireland side for the Six Nations opener this weekend.

Schmidt is without the likes of Johnny Sexton and Peter O’Mahony for the clash, but still has a strong pool of players to choose from, with Ulster’s Paddy Jackson filling in at ten for Sexton as he did in their win over the Wallabies in November.

Andrew Trimble is ruled out with Zebo and Earls on the wings, while Ian Keatley will act as cover to Jackson on the bench.

France team to face England

At the front, alongside Louis Picamoles and Kévin Gourdon, Damien Chouly will complete the back row. Sébastien Vahaamahina will pack down with Yoann Maestri at lock.

In the front row, tighthead prop Uini Atonio and loosehead Cyril Baille, convincing in November, will assist hooker and Captain Guilhem Guirado.

Scotland name side to face Ireland

Vern Cotter has announced his starting line up to face Ireland at Murrayfield. 

The back row consists of Josh Strauss at 8, while Wilson starts on 6 and Watson on 7. 

Brothers Jonny and Ritchie Gray are at lock, while Ford makes way at Hooker for Frasier Brown, who is partnered with Allan Dell and Zander Fagerson.

Laidlow continues to lead the side from scrum-half and will looking to link up well with Finn Russel at flyhalf. 

Huw Jone has recovered from his injury and partners up with Alex Dunbar in the centres.

The team is finished off with Hogg at 15 as he is joined by Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour on the wings.

Wales announce team to face Italy

“I’m delighted to name an experienced team for the game against Italy and to welcome back five players who missed out on the opportunity against South Africa in the autumn," commented Rob Howley.

“The Six Nations is a special tournament and we feel this is the best side selected to start the campaign, we want to get off to a good start and we feel experience will be vital in that.

“We know we are going to Rome to face a hugely motivated and very competitive Italian side.”

WALES TEAM TO PLAY ITALY:

Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon) (66 Caps)
George North (Northampton Saints) (65 Caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (59 Caps)
Scott Williams (Scarlets) (41 Caps)
Liam Williams (Scarlets) (38 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (51 Caps)
Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (23 Caps)

Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (7 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (45 Caps)
Samson Lee (Scarlets) (29 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (21 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)(105 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (69 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (46 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) (12 Caps)
 
Replacements:

Scott Baldwin (Ospreys) (28 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (12 Caps)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (17 Caps)
Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons) (3 Caps)
James King (Ospreys) (10 Caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (21 Caps)
Sam Davies (Ospreys) (3 Caps)
Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) (86 Caps)

With three wins, one draw and one loss, Wales ended the 2016 Six Nations Championship as runners-up.

They are hoping to start their 2017 Six Nations campaign with a win when they go against Italy on Sunday at Stadio Olimpico.

The Welsh will play two home matches (vs England and Ireland) and three away matches (vs Italy, Scotland and France) in the 2017 Six Nations Championship.

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