News in Brief
Whitelock named Canterbury skipper
George Whitelock will lead Canterbury in the Air New Zealand Cup
© Getty Images
- Young flanker George Whitelock has been named as captain of Canterbury's Air New Zealand Cup team. Whitelock, who came on for the All Blacks as a replacement in their recent Test against Italy, was one of three brothers to be named in the Canterbury squad last week, including centre Adam, 22, and lock Samuel, 20.
Whitelock steps in with both Kieran Read and All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw on Tri-Nations duty. He has 14 caps for Canterbury and 11 for the Crusaders. Canterbury coach Rob Penney said Whitelock's character and presence - both on and off the field - suited him to the role.
"George is a very mature guy and a great influence among any group. He has all the attributes required to be a fine leader. He is also an outstanding player," he said.
Canterbury begin their domestic campaign away against North Harbour on August 1.
- Queensland Reds have appointed a trio of former players in roles designed to help develop their players further. Daniel Herbert has been appointed general manager, while Tim Horan and Dan Crowley have both taken on consultancy roles to aid the union in retaining their best players.
- Sky Sports have signed on to broadcast the Anglo-Welsh Cup for the next five years, with tournament organisers now committed to finding a new title sponsor for the revamped competition.
"We are delighted that together with Premier Rugby Ltd and the Welsh Rugby Union we have come up with this structure," said the Rugby Football Union's tournaments director Terry Burwell. "It will not only help players, coaches and officials develop but also provide more revenue potential for the Premiership clubs and the Welsh regions.
"We have a committed broadcaster in Sky Sports for the next five years and, together with PRL and the WRU, are actively seeking a title sponsor."
- The Scarlets have named Wales winger Mark Jones as their captain for the forthcoming season. Jones takes the reins from former Ireland international Simon Easterby, and will be joined by former Australia international David Lyons as vice-captain.
"We've been through a challenging time and last season was plagued by injuries, but this season brings a fresh start and there's an upbeat mood in the camp since we returned for pre-season, with a number of new faces joining us," said Jones.
- Western Province will be able to field Springbok scrum-half Ricky Januarie and All Blacks lock Chris Jack for their opening Currie Cup game against the Sharks on Saturday. Province will be without Jean de Villiers and Andries Bekker however, and will face a host of internationals after Odwa Ndungane, Johann Muller, Deon Carstens and Steven Sykes were released from the Springbok squad for the Sharks.
- Newport Gwent Dragons have signed former Scarlets and Wales flanker Gavin Thomas on a one-year deal.
- Newcastle Falcons have signed Bath prop Laurence Ovens on a two-year deal.