Wednesday Afternoon Round Up

Wednesday Afternoon Round Up

Newcastle Falcons sign DTH van der Merwe

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH van der Merwe is moving to Kingston Park Stadium for the 2017-18 season once his Scarlets deal expires.


"DTH is a top-class finisher who has been doing it on a consistent basis for club and country over a number of years now," said Newcastle’s director of rugby Dean Richards.

“We are a team who create plenty of try-scoring opportunities but have not always had that ability to finish them off. DTH definitely gives us that, and we look forward to working with him when he joins us ahead of next season.”

A Pro 12 title winner with Glasgow in 2015, Van der Merwe has plundered 45 tries in his 98 outings in the competition as well as a further 12 in 30 European Champions Cup games.


Jack Wilson extends Bath Rugby stay


Jack Wilson has extended his stay with Bath Rugby until at least 2019, the Club has confirmed.

"It’s great news to have Jack on board for next season," said Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder.

"He’s been a real positive influence on the squad and I know he has a lot more to offer in the last few months of the season and looking ahead to the future.

“His experience in the Southern Hemisphere and in Sevens brings that different dimension to the squad, which will be invaluable during his time with Bath Rugby.” 

The 27 year-old winger joined Bath in October, making the move from New Zealand provincial side Otago, and has made eight appearances so far, scoring three tries in the process.

Hanno Dirksen commits to Ospreys

Newcastle Falcons have added another proven top-level try-scorer to their squad with the news that Canada and Scarlets wing DTH van der Merwe is moving to Kingston Park Stadium for the 2017-18 season once his Scarlets deal expires.

"DTH is a top-class finisher who has been doing it on a consistent basis for club and country over a number of years now," said Newcastle’s director of rugby Dean Richards.

“We are a team who create plenty of try-scoring opportunities but have not always had that ability to finish them off. DTH definitely gives us that, and we look forward to working with him when he joins us ahead of next season.”

A Pro 12 title winner with Glasgow in 2015, Van der Merwe has plundered 45 tries in his 98 outings in the competition as well as a further 12 in 30 European Champions Cup games.

Cornish Pirates hooker Rob Elloway retires

Rob Elloway has announced his retirement from professional rugby to spend more time with his growing family.

Elloway has been an integral part of the Pirates since signing with them in 2007, 10 years later and he has played 229 games for the club.

Speaking of his retirement, Rob said:

"Involved in playing professional rugby for 15 years, I have been lucky enough to play for Gloucester, Cornish Pirates, Barbarians and Germany all of which have been memorable."

"10 of those years have been with the Cornish Pirates, and I have many great memories. In particular, winning the British & Irish Cup against Munster, beating Nottingham in the mud a few days after the passing of a great clubman, Dave 'Bezzy' Berryman, and scoring two tries to beat Bristol at home in 2015."

Jaguares trio sign contract extensions

The Jaguares and UAR have confirmed the contract extensions of Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Javier Ortega Desio and Enrique Pieretto until 2019. 

Head Coach of the Jaguars, Raúl Pérez, commented on trio signing:

"It is great to know that we will be able to count on these players in the future, not only for the Jaguars, but also For the rest of the National Team.

Watson, Ben Harris and TJ Harris sign for Wasps

Wasps today confirm the signings of winger Marcus Watson and prop Ben Harris, who will arrive at the club from Newcastle Falcons ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

25-year-old Watson, helped Great Britain Sevens win a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and has also represented England in the World Rugby U20s Championship.

Ben Harris will return to Wasps next season, having impressed during his short-term loan stint with the club. The England Counties prop previously represented Yorkshire Carnegie and Rotherham Titans before joining Falcons.

In addition, Wasps will also be joined by hooker Antonio ‘TJ’ Harris, who is currently playing his rugby in the Championship with Nottingham Rugby.

Wasps’ Director of Rugby, Dai Young said:

“We’re pleased to bolster our front row options for next season, with the addition of Ben Harris and TJ Harris. We already know a lot about Ben and believe he has real potential at this level. TJ Harris has also impressed us in the Championship and we think he still has lots of growth in him. At only 22, he will only get better and we’re sure they will both become valuable members of our squad."

Cecil Afrika returns to Blitzbok's squad

Blitzbok coach Neil Powell has announced his squad that will take part in the North American part of the World 7's Series.

The squad is without Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith who are playing Super Rugby for the Stormers and Lions respectively.

The welcome return of Cecil Afrika is accompanied by the addition of Stefan Dippenaar and a possible debut for reserve player Stedman Gans. 

“The fact that we have two proven players to slot in is indeed a bonus. Cecil has scored over a 1000 points in the series and Stephan has been part of squads that won the Las Vegas tournament in the past, so I am pretty pleased.” Powell said 

He continued: “We have to build some depth and experience in the group and Stedman has proved in training that he is ready to play at this level. Zain Davids showed in Wellington and Sydney that our systems are in place and this will be a good learning curve for Stedman, no doubt,” 

The Springbok Sevens team for the HSBC Las Vegas Sevens (with caps and points) is:

  1. Chris Dry (56, 405)
  2. Philip Snyman (captain, 41, 246)
  3. Dylan Sage (11, 50)
  4. Zain Davids (2, 0)
  5. Werner Kok (23, 275)
  6. Siviwe Soyizwapi (7, 50)
  7. Branco du Preez (49, 963)
  8. Stephan Dippenaar (30, 210)
  9. Justin Geduld (29, 659)
  10. Cecil Afrika (47, 1167)
  11. Rosko Specman (17, 203)
  12. Ruhan Nel (15, 140)
  13. Stedman Gans* (0, 0)

*Reserve Player

Wales announce team to face Scotland

Wales have made one change to their side to face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday with George North returning from injury to take his place in the starting XV.

Wales have named an unchanged pack for the trip to Edinburgh Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis resume front-row duties, while Jake Ball & Alun-Wyn Jones resume their partnership in the second-row. The hotly contest back-row also remains unchanged as Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty join forces once again. Taulupe Faletau is available to be called upon off the substitutes bench.

Scarlets centre duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies continue their partnership as do Ospreys pair Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar at half-back.

George North comes back into the side and lines-up in the back-three alongside Liam Williams and full-back Leigh Halfpenny. Alex Cuthbert drops out of the 23.

“We have been able to select from a position of strength which is a huge positive and it is good to welcome George (North) back into the starting XV and Luke (Charteris) on to the bench,” said Wales Head Coach Rob Howley

WALES TEAM TO PLAY SCOTLAND:


15. Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon) (68 Caps)
14. George North (Northampton Saints) (66 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (61 Caps)
12. Scott Williams (Scarlets) (43 Caps)
11. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (40 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (53 Caps)
9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (25 Caps)

1. Rob Evans (Scarlets) (14 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (47 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (19 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (23 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)(107 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
6. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (71 Caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (48 Caps)
8. Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) (14 Caps)

Replacements:


16. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys) (30 Caps)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (9 Caps)
18. Samson Lee (Scarlets) (31 Caps)
19. Luke Charteris (Bath) (71 Caps)
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (63 Caps)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (23 Caps)
22. Sam Davies (Ospreys) (4 Caps)
23. Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) (88 Caps)

Italy team to face England

Italy head coach Conor O'Shea has named Michele Campagnaro and Tommaso Allan in his backline that will take on England on Sunday.

They are two of three changes in the backs as Giulio Bisegni also comes in on the wing, with Tommaso Benvenuti and Carlo Canna dropping to bench duty due to Campagnaro and Allan's promotion to the starting team.

Italy:
15 Edoardo Padovani
14 Giulio Bisegni
13 Michele Campagnaro
12 Luke McLean
11 Giovanbattista Venditti
10 Tommaso Allan
9 Edoardo Gori

8 Sergio Parisse
7 Simone Favaro
6 Abraham Steyn
5 Andries Van Schalkwyk
4 Marco Fuser
3 Lorenzo Cittadini
2 Leonardo Ghiraldini
1 Andrea Lovotti

Replacements:
16 Ornel Gega, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 George Biagi, 20 Maxime Mata Mbanda’, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti

England U20's make changes 8 to face Italy

England have made 8 changes to their starting line-up to face Italy on Friday. Jamie Blamire, Josh Caulfield, Ben Curry, Ciaran Knight and Alex Mitchell all start for the first time in the match.

Harlequins wing Sam Aspland-Robinson and Saracens’ Jack Nay return after missing the match against Wales in Colwyn Bay.

Zach Mercer will captain the team following Ben Earl’s knee injury which ruled him out of the tournament.

On the bench there are potential debuts for Rory Brand, Max Davies, Marcus Smith, Marcus Street and Henry Walker. 

Harlequins fly-half Smith and Exeter Chiefs front row forward Street have been promoted from the England Under 18 squad, following impressive performances in last week’s Premiership Rugby Under 18 Academy Finals Day.

England U20 team to face Italy U20:

15. Tom Parton (London Irish)
14. Sam Aspland-Robinson (Harlequins)
13. Dominic Morris (Saracens)
12. Max Wright (Yorkshire Carnegie)
11. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins)
10. Jacob Umaga (Wasps)
9. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints)
1. Ollie Dawe (Bristol Rugby)
2. Jamie Blamire (Newcastle Falcons)
3. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby)
4. Josh Caulfield (Exeter Chiefs)
5. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens)
6. Jack Nay (Saracens)
7. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks)
8. Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby) captain

Replacements:

16. Henry Walker (Gloucester Rugby)
17. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby)
18. Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Max Davies (Newcastle Falcons)
20. Josh Bayliss (Bath Rugby)
21. Rory Brand (London Irish)
22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
23. Joe Cokanasiga (London Irish)

Ireland U20 Side to play France U20

Ireland U20 Head Coach, Nigel Carolan has named the Ireland U20 side to face France this Friday night in Donnybrook.

Ulster and Queen's Rob Lyttle comes into the team at full-back and will win his first U20 cap on Fridaynight. He will be partnered in the back-field by Jordan Larmour and Calvin Nash. Nash will captain the side in the absence of the injured Jack Kelly and Cillian Gallagher.

At half-back, Munster and Garryowen out-half Bill Johnston makes his first appearance for the Ireland U20s since last June, when Ireland faced New Zealand in the U20 World Championships. He is partnered by Queen's University and Ulster scrum-half Johnny Stewart.

Ireland U20 vs France U20, Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin, 8.00pm

15. Rob Lyttle (Queen's University Belfast / Ulster)
14. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary's College / Leinster)
13. Tommy O'Brien (UCD RFC / Leinster)
12. Ciaran Frawley (UCD RFC / Leinster)
11. Calvin Nash (Young Munster / Munster) Captain
10. Bill Johnston (Garryowen / Munster)
9. Johnny Stewart (Queen's University Belfast / Ulster)

1. Joey Conway (UL Bohemians / Munster)
2. Tadgh McElroy (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
3. Charlie Connolly (Dublin University / Leinster)
4. Jack Regan (UCD RFC / Leinster)
5. Oisin Dowling (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
6.  Marcus Rea (Queen's University Belfast / Ulster)
7. Paul Boyle (Lansdowne FC / Leinster)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary's College / Leinster)
 
Replacements
16. Ronan Kelleher (UCD RFC / Leinster)
17. Rory Mulvihill (UCD RFC / Leinster)
18. Peter Cooper (Belfast Harlequins / Ulster)
19. Gavin Coombes (Young Munster / Munster)
20. Sean Masterson (Corinthians / Connacht)
21. Jack Lyons (Young Munster / Munster)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (Shannon RFC / Munster)
23. Alex McHenry (Cork Constitution / Munster)
 
Not considered due to injury:
Jack Kelly – shoulder - hoping to be available for selection for Wales
Johnny McPhillips – (groin) – hoping to be available for selection for Wales
Gavin Mullin – (hamstring) – hoping to be available for selection for Wales
Cillian Gallagher - (shoulder) – awaiting additional results
Rory Butler – (concussion) – unavailable for the remainder of the Six Nations
 
Unavailable for Selection:
Fineen Wycherley – drafted into Munster squad for their Guinness Pro12 match this weekend.

France Women name side to face Ireland

Starting Line-up:

1. ARRICASTRE Lise RC Lons Rugby féminin Béarn Pyrénées

2. MIGNOT Gaëlle Montpellier RC

3. DUVAL Julie Ovalie Caennaise

4. CORSON Lenaïg Stade Rennais Rugby

5. FORLANI Audrey Blagnac - Saint-Orens Rugby féminin

6. MAYANS Marjorie Blagnac – Saint Orens Rugby féminin

7. MENAGER Romane Lille Métropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois

8. N’DIAYE Safi Montpellier RC

9. LE PESQ Jade Stade Rennais Rugby

10. CABALOU Camille AS Bayonne

11. IZAR Shannon Lille Métropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois

12. POUBLAN Elodie Montpellier RC

13. LADAGNOUS Caroline AC Bobigny 93

14. GRASSINEAU Camille FFR

15. TREMOULIERE Jessy ASM Romagnat Rugby

Replacements:

16. THOMAS Caroline ASM Romagnat Rugby

17. DESHAYE Annaëlle Ovalie Caennaise

18. FERER Céline AS Bayonne

19. GRAND Laëtitia RC Lons Rugby féminin Béarn Pyrénées

20. RIVOALEN Yanna Lille Métropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois

21. GODIVEAU Lucille AC Bobigny 93

22. MENAGER Marine Lille Métropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois

23. CARRICABURU Patricia RC Lons Rugby féminin Béarn Pyrénées

Scotland Women make one change for Wales

Scotland Women Head Coach Shade Munro has made one change to the starting XV for this Friday's match against Wales.

Flanker Jemma Forsyth moves from the bench into the number 6 jersey to replace Karen Dunbar, who has been ruled out of the remainder of the Women's Six Nations after sustaining a knee injury against France.

Worcester back-row Lyndsay O'Donnell is called up to fill the gap among the replacements having last featured for Scotland Women in the second-leg of the World Cup qualifier against Spain in autumn.

Scotland Women team to play Wales Women at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld.

 
15. Chloe Rollie* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 14 caps
 
14. Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh University) – 22 caps
13. Lisa Thomson* (Edinburgh University) – 9 caps
12. Lisa Martin* CAPTAIN (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 34 caps
11. Rhona Lloyd* (Edinburgh University) – 9 caps
 
10. Helen Nelson* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 6 caps
9.  Sarah Law* (Murrayfield Wanderers/Edinburgh University) – 27 caps
 
1. Tracy Balmer (Worcester) – 40 caps
2. Lana Skeldon (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 18 caps
3. Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 34 caps
4. Emma Wassell* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 20 caps
5. Deborah McCormack (Aylesford Bulls) – 20 caps
6. Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 18 caps
7. Louise McMillan* (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 4 caps
8. Jade Konkel** (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 25 caps
 
Replacements

16. Lucy Park* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 3 cap
17. Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 86 caps
18. Katie Dougan (Edinburgh University) – 6 caps
19. Sarah Bonar (Lichfield) - 4 caps
20. Lyndsay O'Donnell (Worcester) – 11 caps
21. Jenny Maxwell  (Lichfield) – 12 caps
22. Eilidh Sinclair* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 14 caps
23. Lauren Harris (Melrose) – 18 caps

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