News in Brief
Ulster and Ospreys clash postponed
Welington boss Jamie Joseph will take charge of New Zealand Maori this year
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- Celtic Rugby have been forced to postpone the Magners League clash between Ulster and Ospreys.
The Round 11 match, scheduled for March 19, will not be able to go ahead because the Ospreys are unable to supply suitably experienced front row players in their match squad as is required under the Magners League rules and IRB rules. This rule was introduced for health and safety reasons and Celtic Rugby could not sanction a match in these circumstances.
In a statement released on Friday, Celtic Rugby acknowledged the great inconvenience this will have on Ulster and their supporters as well as Celtic Rugby's commercial partners, particularly BBC Wales who were due to broadcast the match live.
Meanwhile, the Ospreys have been dealt a further blow with the news that fullback Barry Davies requires further surgery on a groin injury. The former Scarlets and Brive player aggravated the injury in last weekend's league defeat to Edinburgh at Murrayfield.
- Scotland No.8 Johnnie Beattie has signed a new two-year contract with Glasgow. The 24-year-old, who will make his Calcutta Cup debut in Saturday's Six Nations game against England, penned an extended deal 24 hours after Warriors team-mates Dougie Hall and Calum Forrester.
Beattie, who joined the club in 2004, said,: "I think the direction that the club has been headed towards the past few years is really taking a head-on course now. I'm really happy with the way things are going and I just want to continue my development and keep pushing my way to start for Glasgow.
Head coach Lineen added, "Johnnie is a quality player. I've been working with him for a few years now and you can see the talent he's got. He has the X-Factor - especially on the ball, in the way he can play and get over the gain line - he just makes it look so easy."
- Wellington's Jamie Joseph will coach New Zealand Maori with Daryl Gibson assisting him, the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) announced on Friday.
Joseph, 40, said he was thrilled by the challenge of coaching NZ Maori in their centenary year. "It's a real honour to again be involved in coaching the New Zealand Maori team. All players that pull on the Maori jersey trace their whakapapa (genealogy) back to the Maori canoes that first arrived in New Zealand, and to the history of our people, so it means they embrace the huge responsibility of going out and playing as Maori rugby players," he added.
It is a step up for Joseph, who was assistant coach of the side in 2006. Joseph, head coach of Wellington in the national championships, played 20 tests for the All Blacks from 1992-1995 and 10 matches for New Zealand Maori from 1991-1994.
Gibson played 12 matches for New Zealand Maori from 1996-2001 and was Maori player of the year in 2000. He played 19 tests for the All Blacks from 1999-2002 and has been assistant coach of the Crusaders since 2009. The New Zealand Maori team will be announced at the end of the Super 14 championship in May.
- Samoa will host the four-nation Pacific Nations Cup in June. The tournament, from June 12-26, features the national teams from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Japan.
- All Blacks utility back Tamati Ellison will reportedly head to Japan later this year.
The Dominion Post newspaper reported today that Ellison, 26, had put his family's future ahead of his chances of playing for the All Blacks in next year's World Cup. Ellison would activate his out-clause in his New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) contract before this year's national provincial championship, his agent Bruce Sharrock told the paper.
Sharrock would not say which Japanese company had signed. Ellison made his All Blacks debut last year against Italy in Milan, and played against the Barbarians at Twickenham.