News in Brief
Olivier drafted in by Springboks
Blue Bulls centre Wynand Olivier has been called up to the Springboks' squad ahead of the clash with the All Blacks
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- Centre Wynand Olivier has been called into the Springboks squad as injury cover ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations clash against the All Blacks in Bloemfontein.
Olivier, who had an outstanding Super 14 campaign for the champion Bulls, is on standby as injuries to centres Jaque Fourie and Adrian Jacobs are assessed. A groin strain to Jacobs is causing most concern while Fourie has a niggling quad injury.
The squad's third midfield back, Jean de Villiers, also suffered a shoulder injury during last month's series defeat of the British and Irish Lions but he is available for selection.
- Former Scotland captain Tom Smith has been unveiled as the new forwards coach of Edinburgh Rugby.
Smith, the 61-times capped Scotland prop, who also played in six successive Test matches for the British and Irish Lions in 1997 and 2001 and who only retired from playing at the end of last season, has been appointed by Edinburgh's new head coach Rob Moffat.
"People will be well aware of Tom's pedigree as a world-class prop, who, at the age of 37, was still playing regularly last season in the top flight of English rugby," said Moffat. "What they may be less familiar with is that Tom has been involved in a coaching capacity, both as a scrummaging specialist and a mentor for young players at Northampton Saints for the last three years, having embarked on formal coaching qualifications with a view to pursuing a career in coaching when he retired from playing."
- Canterbury coach Rob Penney is unimpressed by suggestions from New Zealand coach Graham Henry that two of his players would boost their international hopes by leaving the province.
With Daniel Carter on the comeback from a ruptured Achilles tendon, Henry hinted in the build-up to New Zealand's Test against Australia that Stephen Brett and Colin Slade's All Blacks hopes could improve if they cast aside provincial loyalty and got out of the shadow of the star fly-half.
"(Brett and Slade) are Canterbury men and they want to play for red and black and forcing people to be in environments where they may not necessarily want to go is not fair," said Penney. "If they want to go, that's different. But if they're forced to go, I don't think that does anybody any good."
Penney believes training alongside someone of the calibre of Carter and playing in other positions in the backline could benefit the pair more than shifting provinces.
"If one of them has to spend a bit of time at 15, or they both do, that's got to be good for their long-term development," Penney told The Press. "Carter played 12 and 15 himself before settling into 10 and all their needs can be met in this environment without them having to move. The All Black selectors are still picking them for the Juniors and so forth so I can't see the need to change it."
- Waikato coach Chris Gibbes has announced a 28-strong Air New Zealand Cup squad.
Newcomers to the squad include props Ben May, Kieran Ramage, Jack Lam (loose forward), Ray Allen (openside flanker) and Dominiko Waqaniburotu (loose forward). May and Lam have both transferred to Waikato from Tasman this season while Allen is a former Manawatu representative.
Liam Messam, who has played 61 games for Waikato, will captain the side for the second year. Prop Nathan White, absent from rugby in 2008 while recovering from back surgery, is another to return to the Waikato squad.
Aled de Malmanche, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Mils Muliaina, Brendon Leonard and Stephen Donald are unavaible due to All Blacks commitments while prop Toby Smith and centre Richard Kahui are both recovering from shoulder surgery and are not available .
Forwards: Ole Avei, Vern Kamo, Hikairo Forbes, Ben May, Kieran Ramage, Nathan White, Kent Fife, Romana Graham, Toby Lynn, Kevin O'Neill, Ray Allen, Jack Lam, Sione Lauaki, Liam Messam (captain), Jordan Smiler, Dominiko Waqaniburotu.
Backs: David Bason, Josh Sutherland, Sam Christie, Trent Renata, Callum Bruce, Roimata Hansell-Pune, Jackson Willison, Tim Mikkelson, Henry Speight, Dwayne Sweeney, Savenaca Tokula, Sosene Anesi.
- London Irish have secured the services of lock Andy Perry from Newcastle Falcons on a one-year contract.