News In Brief
New Quins deal for Monye
February 26, 2010
Ugo Monye has committed himself to Harlequins for a further two seasons
© Getty Images
- England's Ugo Monye has put pen to paper on a new two-year contract with Harlequins.
The 26-year-old winger, who starred for the British & Irish Lions on last summer's tour of South Africa, is a product of the club's Academy and was only too happy to extend his stay at the Stoop.
"I'm thrilled to have committed my future to Harlequins for at least the next two years," he said. "Harlequins has always been a place I've loved, made very special by everyone who has supported me throughout my career as well as all the supporters who have cheered for me week in week out and will hopefully continue to do so. I look forward to working with Conor O'Shea and being a big part of what I believe is a great rugby club."
Harlequins also announced that England U20 centre Tom Casson has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the club.
- Doug Howlett has committed himself to Munster for a further season, with the option of extending his deal beyond the end of the 2010/2011 season.
There had been speculation that the former All Blacks winger might return home at the end of the current season in an attempt to secure a recall to the New Zealand squad ahead of next year's World Cup. However, Howlett explained that both he and his family are settled in Ireland and was only too keen to extend his contract with the two-time Heineken Cup champions.
"Obviously I'm delighted to be remaining on here with Munster," the Kiwi said. "Professionally, it's been a good move for me and on the personal side my family are enjoying our time here and are very happy to remain for the immediate future. With the contract side of things now settled I'm looking forward to what I believe will be a very exciting second part of the season and hoping to play my part in helping Munster achieve success on the field."
- Clermont Auvergne captain Aurelien Rougerie has signed a new deal with the club, committing himself to Les Jaunards until 2013.
"The captain's contract renewal is a significant vote of confidence in the club's ambition," Clermont's sporting director Jean Marc Lhermet said. "Aurélien is more than just one player within the group. He is a driving force within the team and a player of paramount importance within the dressing room. He is a product of our academy and his re-signing was a priority of ours as a part of our long-term strategy for the club.
"For the past few seasons we have tried to set up a policy of recruitment based on continuity and an ambitious sporting project. The extension of Aurélien's contract fits perfectly within that plan by ensuring us the continued presence of a true leader."
- Australian Rugby League outfit Wests Rugby have revealed that they are trying to persuade Leicester Tigers to grant Lote Tuqiri an early release from his contract with the Guinness Premiership club.
It was announced earlier this month that Tuqiri would be leaving Welford Road when his short-term deal with Leicester expires at the end of March. However, Wests' chief executive officer Stephen Humphreys is now hoping to have the former Wallaby wing available for the franchise's opening NRL fixture, against the Manly Sea Eagles on March 15.
"Lote, as we've said, will be here by the end of March and we're in discussion with Leicester about the possibility of bringing that forward," Humphreys said. "I'm hopeful, but it's not yet confirmed. They're a very professional club but they have some processes to go through and I'm respectful of that, but hopefully we'll have something in place that sees Lote here a little earlier than we would have thought which would be a nice bonus."
- Jean de Villiers has confirmed that he would like to rejoin the Stormers when he leaves Munster in the summer.
It was announced last week that the 28-year-old centre would be returning to South Africa at the end of the season in order to ensure his eligibility for selection the Springboks' 2011 World Cup campaign. Western Province Rugby immediately declared their interest in re-signing the player and de Villiers has now admitted that he has his heart set on a return to the Cape.
"It will be difficult for me to pull on any other jersey than that of Western Province and the Stormers," De Villiers told www.sport.24.com. "I will see where I'm needed. But Province is where I always played before."
- New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew is cautiously optimistic that Leicester Tigers centre Aaron Mauger will decide to return home in time for the 2011 World Cup.
Mauger's contract with Leicester expires at the end of the season and he is, according to Tew, on the verge of re-signing with the NZRU. However, there are two stumbling blocks: his persistent injury problems and his interest in a full-time coaching job with Leicester.
"We have formalised an offer for Aaron to consider," NZRU chief executive Steve Tew told the Dominion Post. "But he wants to ensure his fitness was going to be such that he could come back and contribute. He has been very honest about it (his fitness worries)... that's where it has been left at this stage as far as I'm aware.
"He may well change his mind. He is very highly thought of in Leicester. He has got coaching aspirations that they have already involved him with in that role. I have no doubt that Aaron Mauger will come back to New Zealand at some point in time and play a significant role in New Zealand rugby in a coaching capacity. Whether he plays any more footy for us is yet to be seen."
- Glasgow Warriors have confirmed that Scotland international Thom Evans has been discharged from hospital in Wales and allowed to return home to continue his recovery from the serious neck injury he sustained in Cardiff last Saturday week.
Evans suffered a serious neck injury during the first half of his country's Six Nations defeat by Scotland at the Millennium Stadium and was immediately taken to University Hospital Wales. The winger subsequently underwent two operations on his spine, both of which were successful, and on Thursday he was been given the all-clear to complete his rehabilitation in Glasgow.
"The care I received in Cardiff was outstanding and I owe a great debt of gratitude to my main surgeon Sashin Ahuja and neuro surgeon John Martin, who accompanied me in the ambulance and who was present during my first operation," Evans said. "I cannot thank enough the Scotland team doctor, James Robson, physiotherapist Lisa Casey and WRU doctor Mike Fardy for their extreme professionalism whilst on the Millennium Stadium pitch. I have been amazed and moved by the many many messages of support from well-wishers inside and outside the rugby world who have taken the time to send me and my family their best wishes."
- The Bulls have confirmed that Jaco van der Westhuyzen has been given the green light to take a seat on the bench for Saturday's Super 14 clash with the Waratahs in Pretoria. The franchise had been waiting on the player's release papers following his switch from Japanese outfit NEC Green Rockets but they arrived on Friday and van der Westhuyzen is now free to make his first appearance for the Bulls since 2007.
- Bath fly-half Nicky Little will join Bristol for the 2010-11 season. Bristol are currently top of the Championship and are eyeing a return to the Guinness Premiership.