News in Brief
PRL chief calls for world final
April 2, 2010
The Bulls celebrate winning the 2009 Super 14, Bulls v Chiefs, Super 14 Final, Loftus Versfeld, May 30, 2009
The proposed clash would see the current Super 14 champions the Bulls take on Leinster © Getty Images

  • A clash between the winners of the Heineken Cup and the Super 15 is on the cards according to the chief executive of Premier Rugby Ltd, Mark McCafferty.

    The "clash of the hemispheres" could take place in a neutral venue, as McCafferty told The Guardian that clubs are being approached by different venues to host what would be an eagerly anticipated clash. Australian Rugby Union chief executive John O'Neill called for the idea in November during the Wallabies November tour.

    And McCafferty said the only sticking point to a deal is fitting an appropriate date into the calendar, although he believes the match should take place in a rugby heartland.

    "Our clubs, as well as those in Europe and the southern hemisphere, have had approaches from Monaco, Abu Dhabi and, most recently, from South Africa," McCafferty said. "If the stakeholders within rugby don't create this, somebody else will and we'll find an outsider coming in.

    "It's us who have been pushing it. The only issue we're trying to crack is the date. The sticking points at the moment are the dates of the new domestic competitions in the southern hemisphere, but we're still working on it. I think it's got to be around the autumn time, either pre or post the autumn internationals.

    "That's the only time when the southern hemisphere teams are still playing and the majority of their players are in Europe. You've got to do it in a rugby heartland. I don't think going to play in an empty stadium somewhere would be beneficial."

  • The Scarlets have dismissed speculation that their star fly-half, Stephen Jones, is set for a move to Guinness Premiership champions Leicester.

    "We know that journalists have a job to do and contrary to popular belief it's not an easy one because there is a huge pressure to deliver big stories 24/7 and of course timing is everything - so it's no surprise that this has landed on a big derby day for us," chief executive Paul Sergeant said.

    "Before Christmas we announced the re-signing of four players - prior to which there was speculation and rumour about their future at the Scarlets. Nonetheless, we went quietly about our business.This approach will not change, even in light of this morning's newspaper article. We shall continue to respect the privacy and confidentiality of the arrangements we have with our players.

    "So I would politely urge our supporters and other media to treat the region's position and that of Stephen Jones with some respect and focus on rugby and tonight's big match against the Ospreys."

  • Joe Worsley has signed a new two-year deal with Wasps. The England flanker is set to play his 200th Premiership game for the club this weekend.

    "It's a great credit to Joe and the way he's looked after himself that someone can play with the physicality which he does and still have longevity in the game," director of rugby Tony Hanks said. "He is another player who represents the core values of this club and he is a vital member of this squad, so it is a boost for all that follow black and gold."

  • Tom Shanklin is likely miss Wales' summer tour of South Africa and New Zealand after he was ruled out of the rest of the Cardiff Blues' season with a knee injury.

    The experienced centre will definitely not take part in any of his club side's remaining games as they chase a place in next season's Heineken Cup. The Blues will also be without Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper for a number of weeks after he suffered a groin injury.

    "Tom won't play a part for the rest of the season and I would say he is doubtful for the summer tour," Blues coach David Young told the Western Mail. "The injury is nothing huge to worry about. It is not the knee he has had problems with in the past, but he is going to need something done."

    "He (Cooper) is another one we're not expecting to see much of over the next few weeks. They are two huge players and it's obviously a blow for us but we've got to deal with it, juggle the squad around and make sure everyone's fresh."

  • Nick Williams is believed to be close to a deal with Welsh region The Ospreys according to The Irish Independent. The New Zealander has failed to nail down a starting place at Munster since joining at the beginning of last season and now looks to be on the move after just nine appearances for the Irish province.


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