Having only just been recalled to the England Rugby Union Squad, Chris Ashton suffered the ultimate disappointment, when World Rugby banned him for 12 weeks, which rules him out of England’s entire Six Nation’s campaign.
Ashton had worked hard to play his way into the thoughts of new England coach Eddie Jones, having previously been left on the sidelines by Stuart Lancaster after a public fall-out that cost Ashton any chance of getting into the World Cup team.
His form for Saracens, where he had put the finishing touches to countless tries over the last season, had played him into the team, but unfortunatley it was his conduct when playing for the Saracens that ruled him out. Whilst playing in a European Champions Cup game against Ulster, he was adjudged to have made contact with opponent Luke Marshall’s eyes, a red card offence.
Whilst the offence is at the lower end of the scale in terms of seriousness, it carries an automatic sentence, and because World Rugby want to use bans as a deterent to ensure that players play as safely as possible, he was stuck with a 12 week ban, shortened to 10 weeks because of Ashton’s previous exemplarary conduct.
England’s Six Nations campaign begins on February 6th against Scotland, with some tickets still available on the LiveRugbyTickets website – it promises to be a cracking game! They then face Italy, Wales, ireland over the course of 7 weeks, finishing off with France on March 19th.
Coach Eddie Jones hopes that Ashton can win his appeal against the ban, and acknowledged that it was disappointing for both the team and the player. “He’s been playing well this season. Everyone has set-backs and it’s about how hard he fights back now. He has to serve his time, come back, make sure he is looking after his fitness, his speed and his skills and make sure he comes back in good fettle.
Rugby Football Union Championship club the Worcester Warriors hope to tie up a new deal to keep wing sensation Cooper Vuna at the club beyond the current season.
The hard running winger has already scored one try in three appearances for the RFU Championship side and has taken to the club like a duck to water. Even the fans have taken to him and want the club to keep hold of him for as long as possible. Carl Hogg, the club’s head coach recently revealed that they have been in discussions with the Australian international that has been capped twice by the Wallabies about staying at the club beyond the current campaign.
Vuna arrived at the club from Japanese side Toshiba Brave Lupus last month. Asked whether they plan to keep the player next season, Hogg stated that it is something that is under discussion at the moment and they are hopeful of it. He added that the player has been a great acquisition for the team and he has proved to be a great asset.
Hogg said that Vuna brings a lot of pace and power to the team and he makes their back line look menacing. He mentioned that the player has been marvellous over the short term and he hopes that will be case in the long run as well.
The Warriors are currently lying in second place and are looking good for a final assault during the playoff rounds and have already started to strengthen the team, bringing in New Zealand Sevens star Bryce Heem for the new season the Super Rugby side the Chiefs.
Hogg said that they have got some real power and pace now and keeping Vuna and the arrival of the Kiwi star will add the X-factor that the team has wanted.
Brian O’Driscoll added another piece of silver in an already considerable collection, and the man with whom he partook the Irish leadership for much of the past ten years left Murrayfield for the very last time on a Six Nations evening with the championship title, a winner’s medal across his neck as well as the extolments of his coach ringing in his ears.
For Paul O’Connell, it was his 101st cap while his 51st cap in Six Nations tournament. He has a contract with the Irish board till 2016’s June but has hinted that a celebrated Test career could finish after this autumn’s World Cup. It is certain that he has said he anticipated any appearance in autumn at Twickenham to be his very last.
When it was asked by titanbet, O’Connell said that he does not know if this it. It has been great 8 weeks. It is great to win a championship in any era. He added that if it does finish then it is a good way to finish and if it doesn’t finish it will be a great memory to have.
He told that he has spent a lot of years in close calls, and they would be very proud of what they have done in the past 8 weeks, in terms of how they have addressed certain things in their performance, in defense, attack and their resolve to come out and produce a good performance like that after losing last week.
Steve Hansen, the famous coach from All Blacks, has reportedly expressed concerns about rugby’s future, fearing that the sport is getting boring lately.
The coach is this worried that he is even calling up important personalities from the rugby community to alter the gameline to make the sport more interesting. He spent the previous weekend on Rugby Worlds fact-finding mission as he watched Wales winning over France in the French capital & Ireland emerging triumphant against England at the Irish capital in Six Nations championship. And the game that he saw in these two matches made him tensed about the future of this sport.
Hansen believes that at its highest level, rugby has become much concentrated on the defence part, it’s all about too much of kicking & there isn’t enough running or enough tries these days. According to the rugby veteran, the fans might get turned off by this sport soon.
“I have actually got huge concerns regarding about this game at this very moment as not sufficient tries are being scored & that’s turning our fans away. What I feel is that both coaches and players have some responsibility towards the game. We’re always getting defensive very quickly but what I feel is that we have most probably got extreme with it. We should be responsible towards the game & if we are not that conscious, then we won’t have running rugby any more”, remarked Hansen.
“There’re just 3 tries in 2 games that I went for a watch last weekend. Nobody is eager to go for the risk since they’re going to belted behind advantage line in case they went to move ball”, he continued.
“If we have to pull in our fans to watch our games, then we should look to score more tries as this is what which pleases the fans.”
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.
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.
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, 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 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.
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.