News in Brief
Williams set for lengthy lay-off
Shane Williams scored two tries n the Lions' third Test victory over South Africa earlier this month
© Getty Images
- Wales and Ospreys winger Shane Williams is set to be sidelined for the next six weeks after undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury.
The Western Mail reports that IRB World Player of the Year hopes to return to action in time for the start of the Ospreys' Heineken Cup campaign and also Wales' November internationals.
Williams is the seventh member of Warren Gatland's Wales squad to undergo surgery for a shoulder problem and as a result he is set to be without the services of some key personnel for the end of year clashes with New Zealand, Argentina, Samoa and Australia.
Williams' fellow Lions casualties Martyn Williams, Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones have already been ruled out of the four-match autumn campaign with shoulder problems. Winger Tom James is also likely to miss the autumn programme with a similar problem, while it will be touch and go whether another shoulder victim, centre Tom Shanklin, makes it. Lock Ian Evans is recovering from a knee reconstruction, while there are worries about the fitness of Lee Byrne, Lee Halfpenny and Gavin Henson.
In addition, centre Jamie Roberts (writst/shoulder), hooker Huw Bennett (shoulder), lock Bradley Davies (necK) and back-row Jonathan Thomas are battling to be ready for next season.
- Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of All Blacks international centre Casey Laulala from New Zealand Super 14 side The Crusaders and former Wales and British & Irish Lions outside back Dafydd James.
Laulala, 27, made his debut for New Zealand against Wales in Cardiff in November 2004 and went on to play for the All Blacks against Ireland in 2006. He also scored the Crusaders' only try in their 2006 Super 14 Final victory over the Hurricanes.
The 33-year-old James joins the Blues on a 10-month deal following his conroversial exit from Welsh rivals the Scarlets. The former Bridgend player recently initiated High Court proceedings against the Scarlets for loss of earnings after having his contract terminated by the struggling region because he had allegedly been unfit to play for more than 26 weeks in the last year.
- Wallabies centre Timana Tahu has reportedly agreed a three-year contract with his former NRL club Parramatta.
AAP reports that the 29-year-old, capped four times by Australia, failed to attend Wallabies training in Sydney on Wednesday, just hours before reports revealed he wanted out of his lucrative four-year contract with the Austrlian Rugby Union.
Tahu quit the Eels in 2007 to sign with the Australian Rugby Union and New South Wales Waratahs but now seems set to return to the club for the start of the 2010 season.
- Northampton Saints have announced that England international hooker Dylan Hartley will be the club's captain for the coming season.
- Former Ireland and Munster hooker Frankie Sheahan has been forced into retirement. The 32-year-old, capped 32 times by his country, was set to link up with Brive in France's Top 14 but a troublesome pectoral injury has now ended his career.
- Western Force have signed powerful former Waratahs back Sam Harris on a one-year contract. The 29-year-old joins the WA side after steering Japanese outfit Honda Heat into the top division for the first time in the club's 10-year history with a standout campaign from fly-half.
- Edinburgh have confirmed that long-serving centre Matt Dey has retired from rugby at the age of 28 due to a chronic shoulder injury.