News in Brief
Carter to see out contract in France
All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter is recovering from an Achille injury with his Catalan club Perpignan
© Getty Images
- Injured All Blacks fly-half will see out his contract with French club Perpignan, meaning he won't return to New Zealand until June. Carter ruptured his Achilles tendon while playing for the club eight weeks ago and has decided to continue his rehabilitation in France. His father, Neville, told the Press that Carter planned to remain in Europe for three more months, having recently removed his left foot from a moon boot.
"I think it's a case of him just starting to put a wee bit of weight on it, but it's still miles away from being able to do anything strenuous yet," Neville Carter said. All Blacks team doctor Deb Robinson recently said she is satisfied with the day-to-day care Carter is receiving from Perpignan medical staff.
- The Irish Rugby Football Union have signed an £37m (US$53m) deal with Puma that will see the company manufacture the Ireland kit for the next eight years. The IRFU's current deal with Canterbury runs out at the end of the season.
- Springboks heavyweights Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana will return from injury for the Bulls in their Super 14 clash against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Friday.
"(Matfield and Habana) bring a massive amount of experience to the side and they are highly respected by the opposition," coach Frans Ludeke told South African reporters. "Victor is a key member of our decision-making axis and his leadership is as vital as his playing contribution. "Bryan has been great for the vibe of the team since he's arrived. He remains a special player in my view and I expect him to play a big role for us in this campaign."
Habana will play for the first time in a month after breaking his hand against the Lions.
- Wasps' Dave Walder is set to be sidelined for eight weeks following surgery on a knee injury.
- The British & Irish Lions have secured the fourth and final official sponsor for their upcoming tour of South Africa. Oil, metals and minerals commodities trader Trafigura has joined British Airways, Guinness and First Cape Wines as an official sponsor. The tour also sees HSBC serve as title sponsor and Adidas as kit sponsor.
- Newcastle fly-half Jonny Wilkinson has been added to the Falcons' squad for their European Challenge Cup quarter-final clash with Saracens on April 12. The England No.10 is in line to make his latest comeback from injury in this weekend's Premiership clash with Wasps.
- Sharks winger JP Pietersen, who leads the Super 14 tryscoring list with seven from six matches, will miss this weekend's clash with the Hurricanes with a twisted ankle suffered in their victory over the Brumbies last Saturday.
- The Hurricanes' Hosea Gear and Scott Waldrom will return home from South Africa this week to recover from injuries. Winger Gear suffered a posterior cruciate ligament injury to his left knee during the 38-32 win over the Lions on the weekend and flanker Waldrom suffered an abdominal muscle strain in training.
- Newcastle Falcons flanker Will Welch has signed a new one-year deal with the Premiership club.
- Northampton Saints have announced that lock Matt Lord will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
- Bristol have added to their his forward options for next season with the signings of hooker Ross Johnson from the Cardiff Blues and No.8 Dan Montagu from National League One side Nottingham.