London Irish sign Scotland Rugby star Maitland

Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish has confirmed Scotland Rugby star Sean Maitland will join the club at the end of the season from Scottish Rugby giants the Glasgow Warriors.

The 26 year old, who is a full international for Scotland, has agreed a multi-year contract with the Exiles as the team looks to rebuild following the departure of long time Director of Rugby Brian Smith and the arrival of Tom Coventry as the club’s new boss.

He can play both at wing and full back. Born in New Zealand, Maitland has 15 caps for the Scotland national team and was part of the Scotland Rugby contingent that toured Australia in 2013 with the British and Irish Lions.

Speaking upon signing a contract at the club, Maitland said that the club was doing all it can to return to the top of European rugby and he feels excited to be a part of that project and is hopeful that he will be able to play a major role in their revival.

Earlier this week, the Exiles announced that Ben Franks, the All Blacks prop has signed a contract with the club and will make the move to England at the end of the season.
Bob Casey, who is currently the operations director at the London club said that Sean Maitland has proven his quality as an international with Scotland and his exploits with the Glasgow Warriors and Scotland Rugby have not gone unnoticed south of the border.

Casey added that he is at the right age, has a great character and wants to be a part of the long term planning for the Exiles and that made the move for him a lot easier. Casey added that his signing indicates the club is serious about challenging for titles again.

Dan Carter To Play For French Team Racing Metro Next Year

No rugby player will earn as much as Dan Carter Will after he starts playing for the French team Racing Metro next year. He will play for the team for three years according to the contract signed between Carter and the team. He made the announcement on Thursday, 18th December.

Carter played for the New Zealand national rugby union team 102 times. He is 32 years old now. Carter will move to France after the next year’s Rugby World Cup. Regarding playing for the French team, Carter said that it would be an adventure for him as well as his family. He said that the culture of the French and also their rugby culture are known to him and he further added that he likes it. Carter didn’t speak about how much he would be paid but reports indicate that he would be paid 1.5 million Euros annually. Carter said that he is emotional about not being able to play for New Zealand but he took this decision because of financial reasons.

Carter playing for the French team would mean that he would not be able to continue his test career because of the fact that the New Zealand National team does not include players in the team who are playing in foreign countries. Carter became the best rugby player in the world two times. Carter is no longer the only choice for the New Zealand number 10 jersey after Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden came to the limelight. Steve Hansen, the coach of the New Zealand National Rugby Union Team considers that Carter can still perform well in the international matches. He said that he’d very much like to see him play for the New Zealand Team in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Hansen also said that Carter is not done playing for New Zealand just yet.

Sergio Parisse fails to mend his ways, penalized yet again

These days rugby players challenging the decision of referee in a loud and offensive manner is becoming a common phenomenon. Sergio Parisse has done such a thing before and still continues to commit such offences. Last year he was banned for insulting an official but that hasn’t taught him the lesson apparently. He got a penalty which gave Stade Francais the advantage last weekend, all because of misbehaving with the referee. Challenging the referee in a rugby match is something the fans don’t like to see.
However the players who challenge the referee off field are often stigmatized as “trouble makers”.
It was seen when the English and French clubs were questioning if the European competitions were really exhibiting their best potential.
Even individuals of the likes of Bruce Craig and Nigel Wray who have invested a large amount of their money in Bath and Saracens were also identified as villains by some.
Seemingly Mourad Boudjellal’s words are almost all the times considered nonsensical.
It is beyond doubt that the president of the Toulon club is exuberant by nature, but he is in the end, owner of the club and hence his complaint of having to pay his internationals while the team is playing Tests.
It is common perception that the unions are good and the benefactors are bad when the benefactors are contributing to a large extent to keep the professional rugby up and running and consequently deserves to have their say.
English Rugby team has been criticized for introducing a new jersey for the next competition, yet another jersey will be made for the following competition. And it is pretty clear that there is not much difference in the style of the jersey.
Not only the RFU but also the Newport Gwent Dragons are doing the same thing, introducing new kits for each new season.

Sergio Parisse

Sergio Parisse, an Italian rugby union player, currently plies his trade in the French rugby union club Stade Francais. The current captain of the Italy national rugby union team is the first Italian to be nominated for the IRB International Player of the Year.
Parisse, born in Argentina played for La Plata in his early career. Later he moved to Italy and signed for Treviso in 2002 where he played for four seasons. After that he decided to join the French giants Stade Francais in 2005 and has stayed there till date.
He being a number 8 has great handling ability with exceptional positional sense in the lineout and flair for getting across the gainline which made him a special player in an often struggling Italian team.
Sergio Parisse got his first International cap against New Zealand in a 64–10 defeat at Hamilton in June 2002. He scored his first try against Canada in the 2003 Rugby World Cup where he shined as an individual though his team performed poorly. Parisse was nominated for IRB International Player of the Year alongside Dan Carter, Ryan Jones, Shane Williams and Mike Blair in 2008.
Parisse was given the captain’s armband for Italy in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and ended the tournament with a score of two tries. He has since then captained Italy in the 2012 Six Nations Championship and also in the 2013 Six Nations Championship.
Sergio Parisse got married to Miss Europe 2006 Alexandra Rossenfeld in early 2010 at Herault. He is also a keen skier but has hardly done it after Sylvain Marconnet broke his leg in 2007. His ability to pass accurately without looking is the most notable quality. He is also a powerful ball-carrier, good catcher of the high ball and has impressive footwork. Parisse is considered to be one of the greatest no.8 of modern rugby.

Worcester look to rebuild and improve

Worcester Warriors had quite a disappointing season in the Rugby Premiership ending up second from the bottom. A number of poor performances and failure to capitalize on the crucial situations led to their downfall in the standings. Even though they are relegated to the Championship, the Director of Rugby Dean Ryan sounded optimistic about the attitude of their fans, saying that they were still full of support for the club. In order to ensure an all round development of the club the officials are concentrating on the infrastructural facilities especially the youth academy. Spreading the academy across the West Midlands is on the cards for the club. They are planning to set up six centers of excellence at Shropshire, Herefordshire, Warwickshire and Great Birmingham along with satellite academies at Broadstreet Rugby Club, Hereford Cathedral School, Luctonians Rugby Club, Telford College of Art and Technology, Warwick School and an undecided Birmingham location. Worcester is also planning to rope in some additional strength and conditioning coaches, physiotherapists and nutritionists.
Worcester is now in the same league as Moseley owing to their relegation and this has left the latter club in much retrospective. Although the youth and development manager Simon Bartlett has recognized the threat imposed on them by their rivals yet he believes that his own club shall be ready to face up to the challenge. Both the clubs boast of their youth development program and the number of players those have come through from the same and are determined to maintain their reputation. The greatest impetus to the Warriors has been the decision of their talisman Chris Pennel who was determined to lead his club out of relegation in the next season as a result of which he refused to represent any other club on loan. The club shall be banking on his experience and their elaborate plans to fetch better results.

Gregor Hopeful For Scottish Team

Colin Gregor is hopeful the Scotland Rugby Sevens team can use home advantage to the full as he looks to kick on after one of the most disappointing seasons in the HSBC Sevens World Series.

The Scotland skipper has admitted his frustration at the way the side has performed, which has seen the side languishing at twelfth in the World Series standings with just two rounds left to go. The Scots had targeted a mid-table finish this season but they are still 16 points and four places off that target.

Gregor has stated that it has been a very frustrating season for the team, adding that the team has created opportunities but has not been able to take them. He went on to add that they have also put themselves in winning positions but it hasn’t been able to kick on from there.

The Scottish Rugby Sevens skipper has also claimed that the team has lost matches that they would ideally have loved to won and let teams off the hook by not taking advantage of the position that they have put themselves in.

Colin Gregor also claimed that the team has played well in parts or in particular halves of the game, but the lapses that they have suffered have been expensive and the team is now trying to cut those mistakes out and make amends for their earlier lapses.

The Scottish Rugby Sevens team did, however, lift the Bowl in the last round that took place in Hong Kong as they beat three teams en route to finishing above them as they also defeated France.

Gregor did admit that the team has the Commonwealth Games at the back of its mind and with the event just around the corner, it has been difficult to concentrate on the World Series.

WAUGH TO RETIRE

Australian back-row legend Phil Waugh has said that he will be retiring from professional rugby. Waugh previously confirmed that he would quit his Super Rugby side the Waratahs at the end of the season and now says he is looking to go out on a high as part of the Wallabies’ World Cup squad for this year’s tournament in New Zealand (incidentally, Australia are well worth sticking some free rugby bets on!)

The 31-year-old will lead the ‘Tahs against the Blues in the Super 15 play-off semi-finals in what could be the last club game of his illustrious career.

Waugh made his debut for Australia in 2000 and has gone on to make 79 appearances for his country, including playing a star role in their World Cup final defeat to England in 2003.
However, injuries have caught up with the flanker over the last few years and he now believes it’s the right time to bow out, stating he is proud of his achievements in the game.

CRUSADERS DEFEATED BY THE REDS

Crusaders have been beaten by the Reds in the final series 17-16. Reds first five-eighths Quade Cooper kicked the match-winning penalty, awarded after whistle-happy Australian referee Stu Dickinson contentiously pinged Crusaders captain Richie McCaw for hands in the ruck in the 80th minute, to seal the Queenslanders’ 11th win from 13 matches.

With 58 points the Reds have bolted four points clear of the Blues, who had a bye this week, at the top of the standings with three rounds remaining, while the Stormers are third on 52 points and the Crusaders fourth, a further three points adrift after suffering their fourth loss of the campaign.

McCaw’s men would have been aggrieved at the general standard of Dickinson’s officiating, but the captain refused to point the finger at the referee after the Reds scored two tries to one in the tightest of tussles.

SOUTH AFRICAN RUGBY STARS TRAIN

The South African Rugby stars got to train in a resort in Queensland. Springboks including locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, flanker Pierre Spies, halfback Fourie du Preez and first-five Morne Steyn are in town with the South African Bulls side.

The Bulls, who won the last two Super rugby competitions, flew to Queenstown on Sunday from Napier, where they beat the Hurricanes 26-14.

They’re in town till Friday, when they travel to Timaru for a much-anticipated clash against the Crusaders.

Much was made of the fact that the team’s Rugby Boots somehow got lost en route to Queensland, but such a stunning win sets them off on the right foot anyway!

SA RUGBY UNION VERDICT TO BE ANNOUNCED

South African Rugby Union is set to announce its verdict on the doping case on Friday. SARU said on Thursday its chief executive officer, Jurie Roux, and medical manager, Clint Redhead, would appear at a press conference in Cape Town to reveal the verdict of a three-man SARU-appointed judicial committee, which heard the cases of the pair on Tuesday.

Ralepelle, 24, and Basson, 23, who both play for Super Rugby champions the Bulls, tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine on the Springboks’ tour of Britain and Ireland late last year.

They face bans of up to two years, which would rule them out of the Bulls’ title defence in the expanded Super 15, as well as the Tri-Nations and the World Cup in New Zealand later this year.

The SARU are also set to rule on the use of Artificial Grass Products for Rugby – they have been tried and tested by the South African U-20 academy with some success, and could help expand the game into new regions of the country.