News In Brief
McGeechan rules out return to Lions hotseat
October 5, 2009

  • Ian McGeechan has ruled out a return to coaching the British & Irish Lions in 2013. The former Wasps director of rugby took the reins for the 2009 tour of South Africa but does not want to be 'greedy' and coach on his sixth Lions expedition, having also toured twice as a player in 1974 and 1977.

    McGeechan still has a desire to be involved however, signalling his intention to help ensure the best possible preparation for the squad.

    "I cannot have such an involvement again," McGeechan told the Daily Express. "Generally you coach the Lions only once and that makes it a great opportunity for coaches as well as players. But I've been head coach four times already, plus the other tours.

    "If I were to go for an eighth time I think I would be pretty greedy. I'd like to have an involvement using my experience to try to make the preparation as good as it could possibly be so that the head coach, whoever that may be, has something to build on.

    "But it won't be me. There is no way that I have become too important at all or that I am the only one who can make it work. In 2009 we had a management group of whom 50% or more could easily be involved in four years' time. They already know exactly what it takes to make a Lions tour."

  • London Irish scrum-half Peter Richards has been banned for one week after being sent-off for elbowing Sale's Neil Briggs during their Guinness Premiership game at Edgeley Park on Friday. Richards is free to play again on October 13, meaning that he will miss the Exiles' Heineken Cup opener against Leinster on Friday.

  • Magners League strugglers Cardiff Blues have been handed a timely boost ahead of their opening Heineken Cup game against Harlequins on Saturday, with centre Jamie Roberts passed fit to return to training.

    The British & Irish Lions star had been suffering with a neck injury picked up during a league win over the Scarlets, but has been given the all clear to resume contact work this week.

    "I've had a couple of scans on my neck and the spinal surgeon has thankfully given me the all-clear," Roberts told The Western Mail. "He advised me not to play this weekend [against Glasgow] but I will start contact work early this week and I hope to be fit for Harlequins."

  • Springbok winger Bryan Habana is a doubt for the Blue Bulls' final Currie Cup round robin game against the Leopards on Friday after injuring his gluteus muscle against the Griquas.

    A decision on his involvement will be made after scans, while his fellow internationals Bakkies Botha and Fourie du Preez look set to play some part this weekend after recovering from injuries.

  • Former Waratahs backs coach Todd Louden is out of the running for the vacant Queensland Reds coaching role after being turned down for an interview.

    John Connolly and Ewen McKenzie are currently heading the betting to succeed Phil Mooney, while Louden is set to sign a new deal with Japanese side Ricoh Black Rams.

  • Munster prop John Hayes will appear before an Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) disciplinary panel in Belfast on Tuesday after being sent off for a stamp on Leinster's Cian Healy in their Magners League showdown last weekend.

  • London Irish wing Adam Thompstone is set to undergo surgery on a fracture-dislocation of his left ankle on Monday.

    Thompstone picked up the serious injury in the first-half of his side's Guinness Premiership win over Sale at Edgeley Park on Friday and will now be on the sidelines for four months.

  • Leicester hooker Mefin Davies has been added to their growing injury list after sustaining a shoulder injury during their victory over Worcester.

    Davies will be hopeful of recovering in time to face the Ospreys in their Heineken Cup opener on Sunday, with scrum-half Harry Ellis and centre Aaron Mauger also likely to return.

  • Air New Zealand Cup leaders Canterbury have been boosted by the return of their All Blacks for the Ranfurly Shield defence against Manawatu on Friday.

    Props Wyatt Crockett and Owen Franks, lock Brad Thorn and blindside flanker Kieran Read will start for Canterbury in Christchurch, with flanker Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter named on the replacements bench. Lock Isaac Ross is unavailable due to illness. It will be Franks' first game for Canterbury this season and the second for Thorn and McCaw.


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