News in Brief
Hamilton agrees new Tigers deal
Scott Hamilton has signed a new contract with Leicester
© PA Photos
- Former All Black Scott Hamilton has signed a new contract with Leicester Tigers. A wing or fullback, Hamilton joined the Guinness Premiership side from the Crusaders in 2008 and is currently leading their try-scoring charts for this season.
"Scott has slotted into the Leicester environment very well and he has made a big impression with the club," Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill said. "He is an outstanding player at wing or fullback, as his record shows, and we're delighted that he has decided to extend his contract."
- Cardiff Blues will have to do without centre Tom Shanklin for the remainder of the season after he picked up a knee injury in their Magners League victory over Ulster last weekend. Shanklin is also now a doubt for Wales' summer Test schedule, which will see them take on South Africa in Cardiff before a two-Test tour of New Zealand.
"Tom won't really play a part for the rest of the season and I would say he is a doubt for the summer tour," Blues boss Dai Young said. "The injury is not a huge worry, it is not the knee he has had problems with in the past, but he is going to need something done."
- Former England centre Ollie Smith will return to the Premiership with Harlequins following a spell in France with Montpellier. Smith is joined in signing with Quins by Northampton hooker Joe Gray and Argentina utility back Benjamin Urdapilleta. Smith, who toured with the British & Irish Lions in 2005, has already signalled his intention to fight for a place in England's 2011 Rugby World Cup squad.
"I will be joining Quins a year before the World Cup, and I am not afraid to say that one of the reasons I have returned to England is so I can push for a position in next year's World Cup squad, and I believe Quins, with the players and coaching structure that they have in place, will allow me to achieve that aspiration," he said.
Quins have also announced that Mark Mapletoft will join the club as an assistant coach next season. Mapletoft joins the club after several seasons working with the National Academy and England U20
- The Highlanders' hopes of resurrecting their Super 14 season have been hit by the news that vice captain Jamie Mackintosh has been ruled out for at least six weeks with a foot injury. Mackintosh left the field during Friday night's 39-29 victory over the Lions at Carisbrook in Dunedin with a toe problem caused by scrummaging.
- Ulster have released fullback Clinton Schifcofske from the final year of his contract in order for the former NRL star to return to rugby league with the Crusaders, where he will link up with former Wales skipper Gareth Thomas.