Weekly Round Up

Weekly Round Up

Francois Louw 2-week ban dismissed

Francois Louw, who received a two-week ban for a dangerous tackle, will be free to play again on Tuesday 7 March after the appeal against the ban imposed was dismissed.

The RFU Disciplinary appeal panel said: “The appeal panel considered detailed submissions from Bath’s representative, however we are satisfied that the decision arrived at, by the initial panel, was a decision that a reasonable body could have come to.'' 

The incident occurred in the first half of the Premiership match between Bath and Harlequins on Saturday 18 February. 

Etienne Oosthuizen cited foul play

Etienne Oosthuizen of the Sharks has been cited for striking another player during the match between the Reds and Sharks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. 

Upon review of the match footage, the Citing Commissioner deemed in his opinion the incident had met the red card threshold for foul play. 

A statement from SANZAAR read: "The citing is to be considered in the first instance by the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee. 

"All SANZAAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to the Foul Play Review Committee to provide the option of expediting the judicial process.

"For a matter to be dispensed with at this stage, the person cited must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the Foul Play Review Committee."

Tasman Makos sign former Canterbury schoolboy star Will Jordan

The Tasman Makos have signed former Christchurch Boys' High School First XV star Will Jordan for the upcoming Mitre 10 Cup season on a two-year contract.

"We've worked together to ensure this guy is not lost to the region and he's going to be playing rugby at the highest level as soon as he's capable,"said Tasman chief executive Tony Lewis on the signing.  

Jordan was a standout performer for the Christchurch Boys' High School First XV in 2015, scoring 19 tries in 11 games to finish the UC Championship as the competition's leading try-scorer.

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.

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. 

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.


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.

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.


Haylett-Petty signs two-year extension 

Australian full back Dane Haylett-Petty has signed a two-year extension with the Western Force and Australian Rugby Union. 

He started his test career late as he represented French side Biarrittz and Japanese side Tokyo Shokki Shuttles before returning to the Western Force. Now an established Wallaby Haylett- Petty has scored 4 tries in 17 Tests for Australia.

Jean-Charles Orioli signs for La Rochelle

Toulon hooker Jean-Charles Orioli has signed with La Rochelle on  three-year deal starting next season, the club has confirmed. 

The news follow after the hooker suffered ruptured cruciate ligaments at the weekend, ruling him out for the rest of the season. 

He has played 125 matches in the Top 14 and 31 in the European Cup since 2009 with Toulon.

Bristol bring Solomons in as coaching consultant 

Bristol Rugby have confirmed that Alan Solomons will be joining the club with immediate effect.  

The South African has coached at international level with South Africa and the Barbarians. He has also worked with Northampton Saints, Ulster, the Southern Kings and Edinburgh.

Steve Gorvett to step down as Bristol Rugby CEO

Steve Gorvett has decided to step down as Chief-Executive of Bristol Rugby at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

“I took the decision to step down at the end of the season after twelve enjoyable years at Bristol Rugby," said Steve. 

"It’s been a period of huge transition for the Club ... At the end of the season we aim to still be in the Premiership with a world-class head coach already committed." 

Mark Tainton – currently serving as interim Head Coach – will assume the new position in the summer at the time of Pat Lam’s arrival.

Chiefs sign new deals with front-row trio 

Exeter Chiefs have confirmed that Ben Moon, Carl Rimmer and Shaun Malton have all signed contract extensions at the Premiership side. 

Baxter commented on the signings:

“Ben has been a remarkably good and consistent performer for us for a number of years. He’s come up through our academy system, spent all of his career with Exeter and been one of those guys who have been a core part of our time in the Premiership and in Europe."  

"As for Malton, now into his second season with the Chiefs following a move from Nottingham, he is starting to show the qualities that brought him to the attentions of Baxter and made him such a force within the Championship.

 “Again, Carl is someone who is seeing plenty of game time, playing well and who we believe is improving all the time. There are things that Carl can do that other props can’t do, but with that he’s also adding real consistency to his


Glasgow Warriors sign Callum Gibbins

Glasgow Warriors have signed New Zealand-born flanker Callum Gibbins ahead of the 2017/18 season, subject to visa and medical. 

Gibbins will join the side following the conclusion of the Super Rugby. 

"I’m excited about the opportunity to start a new journey with Glasgow Warriors in Scotland" Gibbins said.  

He has scored 3 tries in 25 appearances for the Hurricanes, the 28-year-old, who plays for the Hurricanes, was a Super Rugby winner with the Wellington side last year. 

He was the captain of Manawatu Turbos, where he played under incoming Warriors coaches Dave Rennie and Jason O’Halloran, and he has scored 19 tries in 60 appearances for the Mitre 10 Cup side.

Warriors sign Jersey Reds tighthead prop Simon Kerrod

Warriors have captured the signing of Jersey Reds tighthead prop Simon Kerrod.

Kerrod made his Vodacom Cup debut for the Sharks in 2013 after excelling at junior level and soon signed with Eastern Province Kings and NMMU ahead of the 2014 season.

Siya Kolisi to lead Stormers in Super Rugby 2017

Stormers Head Coach, Robbie Fleck has appointed Springbok flanker Siya Kolisi as his captain heading into the 2017 Super Rugby season. 

Kolisi has earned 75 Caps for the Cape Town based side since making his debut in 2012, he will be assisted by his good friend and Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth.

Kolisi felt it was a honour to lead his team commented:

“There have been some great players who have led the Stormers out at Newlands, so for me to be amongst them is both a great privilege and a great responsibility.

Conor McPhillips to leave Connacht Rugby at end of the season 

Connacht Rugby have today confirmed that Backs Coach Conor McPhillips will finish in his role with the club at the end of the current season.

“I’d like to thank Conor for all the work he’s done with Connacht over the last number of years and wish him and his family the very best in their move to England during the summer," commented Connacht CEO Willie Ruane. 

“As a club, we hope to be in a position to make some announcements with respect to next season’s backroom team in the coming days.” 

The former Connacht back, who played with the province from 2003 – 2008, will take up a role as Assistant Coach with Bristol Rugby.

Tom Arscott signs for Yorkshire Carnegie

Yorkshire Carnegie have signed winger Tom Arscott for the remainder of the 2016-17 Championship season.

He left Sale Sharks last month having previously played at London Welsh, Bristol and Plymouth Albion. 

He has joined up with his new team mates this week and is set to feature this Friday in the clash with Jersey Reds.

Darren Allinson to re-join Bath Rugby on a two-year deal

Bath Rugby have announce that scrum-half Darren Allinson has agreed a deal to re-join the Club on a two-year contract from the start of the 2017/18 season.

“We are delighted to have secured the services of a number of first team players recently and to add Darren to that list is really pleasing," commented Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder.

 “He is an experienced player and a calming influence on and off the field, which will be invaluable over the next few seasons.”

 The 29-year-old joined Bath from London Irish in November on a short-term loan and will return to his parent club until the end of the season, before heading back to the West Country for pre-season training.

 Smith and Evans sign Cardiff deals 

Cardiff Blues have confirmed the contract extensions of Garyn Smith and Jarrod Evans. The two youngester have played together for more than a decade at Cardiff and will be looking forward to further their careers at the club. 

Head coach Danny Wilson added: “They are both young and exciting players who have big futures at Cardiff Blues.

“They are both very hard-working, diligent and dedicated players. Jarrod brings an exciting attacking game and good distribution and Garyn is very strong and an effective defender."

Edinburgh announce Richard Cockerill as Head Coach

Richard Cockerill has been appointed the new Head Coach of Edinburgh Rugby with effect from the start of next season, on a two-year deal.  

Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby Chief Executive said: “I am very pleased to have secured Richard’s services given how highly sought after he was from leading clubs across Europe.

"As a highly experienced, winning coach we targeted him and worked hard to ensure his talents could be secured for the benefit of Edinburgh Rugby.

Tony Hewitt to step down as Saints non-executive chairman

Northampton Saints has today announced that Tony Hewitt will be stepping down as the Club’s non-executive chairman at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Hewitt has been a part of the management of the Saints for nearly 30 years, having first become involved in 1988. He joined the board of directors in 1995 when the game went professional, stepping up to be deputy chairman in 2011 and then to be chairman in June 2013 following Leon Barwell’s untimely passing.

Kieran Keane  confirmed as Connacht's new Head Coach

Connacht Rugby confirmed today that Kieran Keane will join the province as Head Coach ahead of the 2017/18 season, having signed a three-year contract.

 Keane commented on his appointment:
“During my recent trip to the West of Ireland, I had the chance to meet many people within Connacht Rugby and I was immediately taken by the genuine passion they have for the people they represent and the ambition they have to achieve so much more.

Keane joins from Chiefs he is currently works as Assistant Coach to Dave Rennie. He also has past experience with Jamie Joseph at the Highlanders and New Zealand youth sides. 

Cory Allen signs for Ospreys

Ospreys have announced the signing of Cardiff Blues centre Cory Allen. He has signed a two-year contract and will link up with his teammates this season.  

Allen is a represented Wales U18 and U20, as well as impressing on the 7's curcuit when he scored a fantastic try in the Hong Kong 7's.

Allen has represented Wales senior side on 4 occasions including the 2015 World Cup match where he scored a hatrick against Uruguay. 

Newcastle sign Matavesi brothers

Newcastle Falcons’ ambitious recruitment plans for the 2017-18 season have advanced with the news that Fijian international Josh Matavesi and younger brother Joel Matavesi have both signed for the club.
Josh, 26, is a 17-times-capped centre who was born and raised in Cornwall, where his father Sireli came to live after visiting with the Fiji Barbarians on a tour to the UK in the 1980s. Part of the Ospreys side which defeated Newcastle Falcons in the European Challenge Cup last month, Josh will move to the North East following the end of the current season.
Joel, 21, is a fly-half who has also spent time with the Ospreys, the English-qualified former Exeter Chiefs academy player currently representing Redruth in National Two South ahead of his summer switch.

Super Rugby Recap

Rebels vs Blues

Final Score: 18-56

The opening half saw the Rebels playing a better quality of rugby but seemed to fall off heavily in the 2nd half gifting the Blues some easy tries and seemingly switching off allowing the deadly backline to tear them apart.

Rieko Ioane bagged a hat trick of tries as the visitors ran in 7 tries in total.

Highlanders vs Chiefs

Final Score: 15-24

The Highlanders fell at home to the Chiefs after 2 intercept tries by James Low, in the first half gave the visitors the lead they needed and built on to close out the game. The Chiefs were incredible on defence and that set the foundation to open the 2017 season with a win.

Red vs Sharks:

Final Score: 28-26

The Reds opened up their 2017 Super Rugby campaign with a hard fought victory over Sharks. The home side trailed for most of the match before a brace from Samu Kerevi tipped the game in their favour, as they beat the Sharks by 2 points. 

Six Nations this weekend 

Scotland vs Wales 

Head Coach Vern Cotter confirmed back-row John Barclay will captain Scotland against Wales this Saturday in the RBS 6 Nations at BT Murrayfield.

The absence of Laidlaw prompts one of three changes to the side, with Glasgow Warriors’ Ali Price set to make his first start for the national team.

Back-row Ryan Wilson has recovered from the elbow infection and replaces the injured Josh Strauss (kidney), while Harlequins wing Tim Visser gets his first opportunity of the championship as a straight swap for Sean Maitland, who has failed to recover from the rib injury sustained representing Saracens last weekend. 

Gordon Reid and John Hardie get their first start of the campaign, trading places with Allan Dell and Hamish Watson, who have been named on the bench after starting the opening two games.

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.

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.

Line Ups: 


Ireland vs France 

Joe Schmidt has restored fit-again Johnny Sexton to the Ireland team to face France in Saturday's clash at the Aviva Stadium in one of three team changes. 

Sexton has recovered from a calf injury, while captain Rory Best and Jack McGrath come into the front row.

Guy Novès has made three changes in the starting XV that will face Ireland.

 Virimi Vakatawa will not play against Ireland, the Fijian winger will be replaced by Yoann Huget. Baptiste Serin and Camille Lopez are called in for the third consecutive time. 

Line ups :


Enland vs Italy:

Eddie Jones has made four changes to the starting XV that beat Wales at Principality Stadium in round two of the Championship. 

In the back line Ben Te’o gets his first start in an England shirt at outside-centre. Danny Care is named at scrum-half and Jonny May returns to the right wing. In the scrum James Haskell is named at flanker.

On the bench Mako Vunipola returns to an England match-day 23 for the first time this year having recovered from a knee injury.

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.

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