News in Brief
Wales hit by Thomas suspension
October 29, 2009

  • Wales will have to do without versatile forward Jonathan Thomas for their opening November Test against New Zealand on November 7. Thomas has been handed a two week ban for striking during the Ospreys' Magners League loss to Cardiff Blues last weekend.

    Thomas will be free to play again on November 12 and was a likely option in the back-row or at lock for the visit of the All Blacks.

  • England manager Martin Johnson has released three further players for domestic duty this weekend. Gloucester centre Mike Tindall will face Sale Sharks on Friday night, while Joe Worsley slot in to the Wasps squad to face Leeds Carnegie on Sunday.

    Bath prop David Barnes bolsters a depleted set of forwards for his side's Saturday Recreation Ground showdown against Premiership leaders Saracens.

  • Sale centre Andy Tuilagi has been cited for a dangerous tackle during his side's Guinness Premiership loss to Northampton and will appear before a disciplinary panel on November 3.

  • The increased number of Test matches at Twickenham has boosted the RFU's net profit to £6.2m. The results for the year ending June 30 are encouraging and will be further bolstered by the opening of a health club and extra event space at the ground. The results are a turnaround from an £800,000 loss last year off the back of two extra fixtures at Twickenham.

  • Toulouse's former All Black scrum-half Byron Kelleher has been handed a two-month suspended prison sentence and fined 3,500 euros following a drunken scuffle after a car accident on September 11.

    "The punishment delivered appears to me to be justified and corresponds to the seriousness with which I took this incident," he told AFP. "I would like to reiterate my sincere apologies to those who would have found my behaviour shocking and now wish to draw a close to the matter, turn the page and to go back to my career."

  • Former All Black Anthony Tuitavake will leave New Zealand rugby after next year's Super 14 to play in Japan. The North Harbour Rugby Union (NHRU) announced that the versatile back had signed a two-year contract with the NEC club. Tuitavake made his All Black debut on the wing in June 2008 against Ireland. He played five tests, scoring a try.

  • All Blacks great Jonah Lomu says he has never been fitter or stronger as he prepares to make his comeback as early as November with French amateur side Marseille-Vitrolles.

    "I'm stronger than I've ever been," Lomu told Reuters on Wednesday after being unveiled by Japanese rugby officials as an ambassador for the 2019 World Cup.

    "I'm running the 100 metres in 10.9 but I'm even more surprised by what I'm doing in weights. I can dead-lift 300 kilos with my eyes closed. I am beating my previous by a country mile. I'm in the best physical condition ever."

  • The Japanese and New Zealand governing bodies have formed an unlikely alliance to help promote each other's World Cups. A giant ball-shaped pavillion, which hosted guests who watched a presentation projected onto the inside walls, was erected next to Tokyo Tower to promote tourism to New Zealand during the 2011 tournament.

    Meanwhile, Lomu became an ambassador for Japan's 2019 World Cup. Japan has been struck with rugby fever as New Zealand and Australia prepare to play a Bledisloe Cup Test on Saturday in Tokyo.

  • Insurance group LV= have been announced as the new title sponsor of this season's Anglo-Welsh Cup. The LV= Cup kicks off tomorrow week, a 16-team competition featuring all 12 Guinness Premiership clubs and four Welsh regional sides.


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