News in Brief
Toulon play down Habana link
July 10, 2009
South Africa's Bryan Habana takes on the Lions' defence, South Africa v British & Irish Lions, Kings Park, Durban, South Africa, June 20, 2009
Springboks speedster Bryan Habana takes on the Lions' defence during their recent Test series © Getty Images

  • South Africa winger Bryan Habana is unlikely to be joining Toulon, according to the club's president Mourad Boudjellal.

    Habana, who is approaching the end of his contract with the Super 14 side the Bulls, is currently on holiday in Toulon and met up with Boudjellal and Les Varois' director of rugby Philippe Saint-Andre on Thursday.

    "We haven't got a bottomless pit of money," Boudjellal told radio station RMC. "There is nothing concrete. Interest is one thing, reality is another. He is a very expensive player. We will not go beyond our limits. With our salary mass, we don't figure among the richest clubs. Others have a lot more than us. We are anything but favourites (to sign Habana)."

    Habana, the IRB player of the year in 2007, spoke of his desire to play in the Top 14 following the Springboks' recent victory over the British & Irish Lions.

    "Bayonne, Toulouse and Stade Francais have approached me but I am giving myself two weeks to reflect," he is quoted as telling L'Equipe. "Staying in South Africa is also tempting me. Whatever happens, I will not go to England or Wales because of the weather."

  • New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew is confident the All Blacks' fixture against Wales will go ahead despite a row brewing between the Welsh Rugby Union and their four regions regarding the release of players.

    The match on November 7 in Cardiff sits outside the International Rugby Board's international window and Regional Rugby Wales (RRW), the regions' umbrella group, looks set to take the WRU to the High Court, claiming they have not been granted permission to have the players for that fixture.

    However, the WRU are adamant that the release of players for the additional fixture is covered by a renewed Participation Agreement they have with the regions. It is familiar ground for the WRU who won a similar legal battle over player-release last year for the first November Test against world champions South Africa in Cardiff.

    "We've seen the same situation dealt with by the Welsh before so we're confident that they will get it resolved," said NZRU chief executive Steve Tew. "We think it's an issue for the Welsh. We're not worried about it at all. It's their domestic issue they've got to deal with and I'm confident they will sort it out."

    The game at Millennium Stadium follows the All Blacks' Bledisloe Cup clash with Australia in Tokyo and precedes Tests against Italy, England and France and a match against the Barbarians.

  • Saracens fly-half Glen Jackson is to join New Zealand's professional referee ranks.

    The New Zealander is contracted for another year at the English Premiership club but has been granted special leave to attend a New Zealand Referees training camp in Auckland this week. He will undergo the NZRU Referee Academy Training programme with a view to officiating in the 2010 Heartland Championship - the second tier provincial competition.

    The 33-year-old started refereeing age-grade rugby in Tauranga while playing for the Chiefs Super 14 franchise and has continued to develop his skills since moving to Britain in 2004. He has completed his English RFU referee exams and is a member of the Hertfordshire Referees Society.

    "I've enjoyed refereeing age grade rugby back home in Tauranga and in London," said Saracens all-time Premiership top-scorer. "This is a great opportunity to continue living rugby at the top level. I am keen to create the right environment for working towards earning an opportunity to referee at Test level. I'll bring something different to the game, and I think players will recognise this."

  • The Rugby Football Union have given the administrators of National League One side London Welsh, Tenon Recovery, until 5pm on Friday, July 17 to complete the acquisition of the club by one of the interested consortia with a series of conditions attached to the deal.

    Any new investor must prove it has the funds to support the club for at least 2 years, they must also provide all information required by the RFU to satisfy them before they can become involved with London Welsh, any creditors of London Welsh, excepting shareholders and directors, must be paid and the amateur and community components of London Welsh must continue to be supported

    In addition, as a result of the club going into administration and because contrary to RFU Regulation 3.6, London Welsh did not inform the RFU of their intended administration when they became aware it was likely to happen, the club, if it competes in the new-look Championship next season, will be immediately deducted 5 Championship points. The maximum penalty is 15 points but the RFU has reduced this on the basis that all creditors (except for shareholders and directors) will be paid.

    If the acquisition is not completed by the deadline then Esher RFC will be offered the opportunity to enter the Championship following their relegation from National League One in the season just ended.

  • Former South Africa prop Os du Randt has re-joined his former provincial employers, the Cheetahs, as scrum coach.

    The two-time World Cup winner, who is considered one of the best Springbok front-rowers in the history of the game will work alongside one of his ex-team-mates in coach Naka Drotske.

    "It's great to be able to give something back to the game. I don't want to prove anything to anyone," De Randt told Volksblad. "The Cheetahs have excellent props but in the Super 14 they really struggled. I think there is a lot of talent and potential here and I only want them to do better."

  • Wales' clash with New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on November 7 sold out within an hour of going on public sale on Friday.


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