News in Brief
Contepomi upbeat despite injury blow
Argentina and Leinster fly-half Felipe Contepomi is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines
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- Argentina and Leinster fly-half Felipe Contepomi is trying to look on the bright side after suffering a knee injury during yesterday's Heineken Cup semi-final win over Munster which will sideline him for six months.
The 31-year-old tore cruciate ligaments in his left knee in the first half of the the 25-6 victory semi-final win over Munster, meaning he will miss not only the May 23 final at Murrayfield but also several international matches for the Pumas including two Tests against England next month.
Contepomi, who will play at Toulon next season, told La Nacion newspaper, "I am sad, but I want to face this as positively as possible. I only want to be calm to plan what to do, how to sort out the surgery. I know I will not be the first or the last player to suffer this injury.
"To miss the (Heineken Cup) final and what was coming at the Pumas is painful, but I know I cannot help this. The aim is to do everything to get over this and be stronger when I return. I will miss important matches, but I will be back in October, so it will not be so bad considering the time of the year this injury comes."
- All Blacks and Blues lock Ali Williams has re-signed with the New Zealand Rugby Union through to end of 2011 and reportedly been granted a sabbatical as part of the deal.
The Sunday News reports that the 28-year-old will be granted a temporary release from his contract following this year's All Blacks European tour in November through to the beginning of March when he will rejoin the Blues. However, it is understood that he has no desire to play rugby during this time, opting instead for a complete break from the game.
A similar sabbatical awarded to All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter last year backfired with the player suffering an achilles tendon injury.
All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock has also put pen to paper on a new contract that will see him remain with the Auckland-based Super 14 franchise until 2012.
- The European Challenge Cup Final between Northampton Saints and Bourgoin will be played on Friday, May 22 at Kingsholm, Gloucester. Kick off will be 7.45pm.
- Romania scored two late tries to come from behind to beat USA 25-13 and be crowned IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2009 champions at the RFUEA Grounds in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Sunday.
The final had been locked at 13-13 entering the final 10 minutes of an end to end encounter, but with the USA pushing hard for the winning score it was two errors they made which saw Romania claim the title.
Marian Pirvu and Stefan Patrascu, the tournament's leading point scorer, scored the decisive tries for the European champions as they completed the recovery from 13-6 down at half-time.
- Dallas clinched a spot in the Rugby Super League Play-offs with a 29-15 win over Potomac Athletic Club in their Blue Conference clash on Saturday. Old Blue clinched third place in the Blue Conference with a 32-14 home win over Charlotte, ending Charlotte's season. Last year's RSL champions New York Athletic Club warmed up for this season's play-offs with a comfortable 31-5 win over the Boston Irish Wolfhounds. And Life University finished the regular season without a loss thanks to a 54-14 hammering of Boston, knocking the Boston boys out of the title race in the process.
San Francisco clinched top spot in the Red Conference and relegated the Chicago Lions to fourth with a 44-20 win in San Francisco. Belmont Shore clinched a home final with an impressive 53-3 disposal of the Chicago Griffins and Denver confined OPSB to last place in the Conference and leapfrogged the Chicago Lions into third place with a 49-10 win in Seattle.
The play-off fixtures are as follows: San Francisco Golden Gate v Dallas Harlequins, Life University v Chicago Lions, New York Athletic Club v Denver Barbarians, Belmont Short v Old Blue New York