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Hundreds flood to Mackay funeral
Scrum.com
April 15, 2009
Morgan Turinui and Matt Mackay embrace at the funeral of Brumbies lock Shawn Mackay, Waverley, Sydney, April 15, 2009
Morgan Turinui and Matt Mackay embrace at the funeral of Shawn Mackay © Getty Images
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  • Nearly a thousand mourners have packed the Mary Immaculate Church in Sydney's eastern suburbs to pay their respects to former Brumbies lock Shawn Mackay, who died last week from a blood infection arising from surgery. Mackay had been hit by a car outside a Durban nightclub following the Brumbies' Super 14 loss to the Sharks.

    Mourners included Mackay's Brumbies team-mates, his former team-mates from NSW Waratahs and Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neill, while Reds centre Morgan Turinui, a lifelong friend, delivered a eulogy alongside Mackay's brother Matt.

  • Australia coach Robbie Deans has not given up hope that Leinster flanker Rocky Elsom will return to play for the Wallabies at the end of this season. Elsom was granted an early release from his Australia contract last autumn in order to sign for the Irish province on the understanding he would be back in time for this year's Tri-Nations.

    "We had a conversation and it was pretty straightforward, it was good to catch up with him," said Deans. "He was looking in good shape, he's obviously playing some good rugby and I just said to him 'when you make your mind up let me know - but don't leave it too late'."

  • Leicester have suspended winger Alesana Tuilagi for a week ahead of his disciplinary hearing relating to a late tackle on Bath's Nick Abendanon during Saturday's Heineken Cup quarter-final at the Walkers Stadium.

  • Northampton Saints have confirmed the signing of Newcastle and England Saxons back-row Phil Dowson. Dowson joins the Saints on a two-year deal and has ambitions of bringing silverware to Franklin's Gardens.

    "I'd worked with Jim and Dorian with the Saxons and they have put together a solid foundation at Franklin's Gardens for a bright future," he said. "This season Saints have had good cup runs and achieved positive results in the league. The coaches are making the club stronger all the time and over the next few years they I want to help the Saints push up the Guinness Premiership and hopefully yield some silverware."

  • Long-time Saracens servant Kris Chesney will make his final home appearance for the club against Leicester on Saturday after announcing that he would be joining French Top 14 side Toulon next season. Chesney's 337 appearances for Saracens is the most by one of their players during the professional era.

  • Blues scrum-half Taniela Moa has been fined and warned by the New Zealand Rugby Union after an incident at an Auckland rugby club. Moa has been ordered to pay a fine of NZ$1,200, attend alcohol management classes and community rugby service after a bottle he threw hit a woman at Marist rugby club on March 28.

  • Fenwick Allison, a member of England's Grand Slam-winning side of 1957, has died in hospital in Leeds after a short illness. He was 77.

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