News In Brief
Quartet commit to Scarlets
December 22, 2009
The Scarlets front row of Deacon Manu, Matthew Rees and Iestyn Thomas prepare to lock down, London Irish v Scarlets, Heineken Cup, Madjeski Stadium, Reading, England, October 17, 2009
Matthew Rees (centre) and Iestyn Thomas (right) have both signed new deals with the Scarlets © Getty Images

  • British & Irish Lions and Wales hooker Matthew Rees is one of four players to have signed new contracts with the Scarlets.

    Rees has committed himself to the club for another three years, as has prop Ken Owens. Another front-row, Iestyn Thomas, and 21-year-old fullback Daniel Evans have both agreed two-year contact extensions with the region.

    "I am delighted to see these four important players continue their great service of this region as part of the squad that we are building up here over the next three years," Scarlets head coach Nigel Davies commented.

    "All four of these players are true Scarlets in terms of their passion for the region and commitment to the shirt - and I am particularly pleased that we have young guys like Ken and Dan continuing their commitment to us as we bring through and support emerging talent from within our region to play at the top levels of Welsh rugby.

    "Ken and Dan are shining examples of the success of our region's academy and development system in identifying and bringing through talented young players onto the regional and international stage and we look forward to seeing their future careers with the Scarlets and we'd expect - the national squad, to continue pushing forward at a pace."

  • Perpignan's Jerome Schuster has been cited for striking an opponent during Sunday's Heineken Cup defeat by Munster at the Stade Aime Giral.

    The loose-head prop appeared to aim a headbutt at Munster flanker Denis Leamy in the 46th minute of the game in Catalonia and was immediately yellow carded by referee David Pearson.

    Schuster has now been summoned to appear before an independent disciplinary hearing on Wednesday, January 13 , four days before Perpignan are scheduled to play Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens.

  • Cardiff Blues duo Deiniol Jones and Gareth Williams have both penned new deals with the region.

    Lock Jones has committed himself until the Blues until 2013, while hooker Williams has signed for a further two years. Cardiff boss Dai Young is delighted that the pair have decided to extend their stays in the Welsh capital.

    "Deiniol has been one of our most consistent players over recent seasons and the type of guy you don't really appreciate until he's not playing," he said. "He does all the unseen donkey work around the field and always gives you 100 per cent.

    "And to me, Gareth has been the form hooker in Wales over the last year. He's proven to be a real leader both on and off the filed for the Blues and is a great guy to have around - he's very industrious and seems to be everywhere around the pitch.

    "It's a real boost to the squad that both Gareth and Deiniol have signed new contracts with the region. It shows that the region is certainly heading in the right direction."

  • Leinster will be without CJ van der Linde for Saturday's Magners League derby against Ulster at the RDS.

    The South African prop was forced off after just 28 minutes of last weekend's Heineken Cup victory over the Scarlets in Dublin with a calf problem and has been left out of head coach Michael Cheika's squad for the visit of the Ulstermen.

    Nathan Hines has been included, though, despite the fact that the Scotland lock had be replaced three minutes into the second half of the Scarlets clash because of an injury.

    However, Jonathan Sexton remains sidelined with the broken fingers he sustained in Ireland's win over South Africa last month. The fly-half is now expected to make his Leinster return in the January 2 clash with Connacht.

  • The ERC has confirmed the dates and kick-off times for the two remaining rounds of the pool stages of this season's Heineken Cup.

    The likely Pool Six decider between London Irish and Leinster at the Madejski Stadium will take place on Saturday, January 23 at 18:00. The two sides are currently locked together on 15 points at the top of the group.

    Automatic qualification is also likely to be on the line when current Pool One leaders Munster host second-placed Northampton Saints the night before. Other potentially decisive games included Ospreys' clash with Pool Three rivals Leicester Tigers in Swansea on Saturday afternoon and Sale Sharks' meeting with Toulouse at Edgeley Park in the pick of the Sunday action.

    ROUND 5:

    January 15: Glasgow v Newport Gwent Dragons (1930); Ulster v Edinburgh (2000)

    January 16: Treviso v Munster (1330); Gloucester v Biarritz (1500); Leicester v Viadana (1400); Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys (1545); Stade Francais v Bath (1335); Cardiff Blues v Sale Sharks (1545); Leinster v Brive (1800)

    January 17: Northampton v Perpignan (1500); Toulouse v Harlequins (1500); Scarlets v London Irish (1245)

    ROUND 6:

    January 22: Munster v Northampton (2000); Perpignan v Treviso (2000)

    January 23: Viadana v Clermont Auvergne (1335); Ospreys v Leicester (1335); Bath v Ulster (1545); Edinburgh v Stade Francais (1545); Brive v Scarlets (1800); London Irish v Leinster (1800)

    January 24: Biarritz v Glasgow (1245); Newport Gwent Dragons v Gloucester (1245); Harlequins v Cardiff Blues (1500); Sale Sharks v Toulouse (1500)

  • Harlequins have confirmed the re-signing of youngsters George Robson, Mark Lambert and Joe Marler.

    Second-row Robson has become a regular in the Quins starting line-up over the past two seasons, while prop Lambert has seen plenty of time off the bench. Marler, meanwhile, made his first team debut earlier this season and is considered one of the most promising front-rows in England.

  • Newcastle Falcons have made a public appeal to supporters to come to Kingston Park from 1.30pm on Wednesday to help clear the pitch of snow ahead of Sunday's Guinness Premiership clash with Leeds.

    The Falcons had originally planned to enlist the help of fans on the day of the game but have now decided to bring the snow shoveling forward "in light of specialist advice and revised weather forecasts".

    The club is hoping that at least 50 supporters will turn up and has asked that those who do arrive come armed with shovels and/or wheelbarrows.

  • Richie Gray has expressed his delight at putting pen to paper on a new two-year contract with Glasgow Warriors. The 20-year-old lock is a product of the club's youth system and was only too pleased to extend his stay at Firhill.

    "I'm Glasgow born-and-bred and have watched the Warriors since I was a little boy," he told "It's been an ambition of mine to be involved with the club for a long time so I'm delighted to have extended my contract. I feel Glasgow have the ability to win the Magners League and do well in the Heineken Cup in the coming years and I want to be part of the team that sees Glasgow flourish."

    Glasgow head coach Sean Lineen has been impressed with the way in which Gray has developed since being added to the first team squad and believes the player has a great future ahead of him.

    "The guy's attitude is outstanding and the guy is going to be a real star and I'm glad he's going to achieve that with Glasgow," he said. "He's a real talent, and with the way Glasgow are going at the moment, it's fantastic to have young, hungry players who just want to play rugby."


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