News in brief
Ruddock rules out Dublin move
May 20, 2010

  • Former Wales Grand Slam winning coach Mike Ruddock will not be moving to Dublin to take up a coaching position with Blackrock College RFC who compete in Division 1A of the All Ireland League.

    The ex-Worcester coach had been expected to move to the Irish capital where his two sons, Ciaran and Rhys are in the Leinster Academy. Ruddock coached Bective Rangers and Leinster in the 1990s, his wife his Irish and both his sons have played for Ireland's U20s with Rhys captaining the Six Nations winning team this year.

    But speaking to The Irish Independent, Ruddock said the move would not now go ahead. "I have decided to postpone my intended work option in Dublin and am looking around in Wales and England for other possible options," he said.

  • A legal row is brewing between South African franchises the Sharks and the Cheetahs over the transfer of Lionel Mapoe between the sides.

    The 21-year old Springbok Sevens flyer has joined the Sharks and will start training with them next week, but the Bloemfontein side believe he is contracted to them for another two years and are ready to fight their corner.

    Speaking to News 24, Free State Rugby Union (FSRU) president Harold Verster maintain that they have a "watertight and valid contract with Mapoe. We got senior legal advice about his contract and are convinced that it is valid," he said.

    "We won't issue a clearance certificate for Lionel to play or train elsewhere. If that happens, the FRU will take steps against the people involved. Mapoe is a talented player that we identified at schools level and offered a contract as a junior. He chose to accept our three-year contract offer."

  • London Irish have confirmed the signing of Leinster hooker Brian Blaney for next season.

    The Ireland 'A' hooker has had a frustrating time recently at the Irish province and has found his options limited with the arrival of John Fogarty and Richardt Strauss as well as the established Bernard Jackman. Exiles coach Toby Booth welcomed the arrival of the 28 year old.

    "We are very pleased that Brian will soon be a London Irish player," he said. "He is a very experienced and tenacious hooker who will complement our current squad perfectly. Competition for places is paramount in our squad to sustain levels of performance, and Brian will continue our strength and competitiveness in the hooker position."

    • Dewald Potgieter has agreed to extend his contract with Super 14 champions the Bulls.

      The 23-year-old forward, who made his South Africa debut at the end of the last season, has been instrumental for the franchise in this season's Super 14 and is again likely to be a key figure when the defending champions face the Crusaders in the semi-finals on Saturday. He has been with the Pretoria based franchise since 2006 and had planned to go overseas in 2011, but this contract keeps him in South Africa until 2013.

      "I am very happy where I am," he said. "In terms of the bigger picture, I gave myself until 2011 to make the Springboks side, after which I was planning to go overseas and play. After making the Springboks in 2009, I have adjusted my goals and am now looking forward to the challenge to try and establish myself at national level and by staying with the Bulls, it will give me the opportunity to try and do that."

    • A letter from Munster flanker Alan Quinlan was crucial in the clearing of Stan Wright for the Magners League final

      Wright was alleged to have punched the Tipperary man, who wrote to the discipliniary committee and they cleared the Cook Islander and Munster backrow Nick Williams of their citings. The hearing was subsequently criticised by Munster Rugby. A statement read, "For some reason best known to themselves, Celtic Rugby had Williams, team manager Shaun Payne and their legal representative travel to Belfast for a hearing and outcome that lasted less than an hour."

      Munster have also confirmed the departure of Williams, Jean de Villiers, Ciaran O'Boyle, Jeremy Manning and Danny Riordan after the squad's final training session in Charleville.

    • The Ospreys have confirmed that two of their players will undergo surgery this week.

      Wales Sevens star Tom Isaacs suffered a knee injury preparing for the final two IRB World Sevens events of the season, while Barry Davies faces a second operation on a groin injury that has limited him to 20 minutes of rugby since October. Isaacs only returned to rugby last month after a six month absence with a shoulder injury.

      The Magners League finallists have meanwhile named Marty Holah as their Coaches Player of the Year, while fellow All Black Jerry Collins received the Players' Player gong at their end of season awards.

    • Leeds have secured the futures of academy graduates Phil Nilsen and Luther Burrell.

      Hooker Nilsen and 22-year-old centre Burrell have both signed new one-year deals with the Headingley club. Both players made 13 first-team appearances last season as the Yorkshire side beat the odds to avoid relegation back to the Championship.

    • Edinburgh have completed the signing of Melrose centre James King and Zimbabwe-born back rower David Denton.

      King is a former Scotland underage international who began his professional career with the now defunct Borders. He spent a year in Italy before returning to Melrose where he has impressed. Denton has impressed in the SRU's national academy and has been handed a two year deal.

      The region have also re-signed Andrew Kelly and Fraser McKenzie, the hooker for two years and flanker/lock McKenzie a one-year contract.


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