News in Brief
Montgomery to join Boks coaching team
Percy Montgomery kicked the Springboks to victory over England in the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final
© Getty Images
- South Africa's most-capped Springbok, Percy Montgomery, is set to join South Africa coaching team as kicking consultant.
Montgomery, who earned 102 Springboks caps in an international career spanning 13 seasons, will take up the position at the end of May when the squad assembles to begin its preparations for the test series against the British & Irish Lions.
"Aside from his obvious rugby ability, Percy is one of the greatest kickers to ever grace the game and it would be silly for us not to make use of the wealth of experience he has to offer," said De Villiers.
Mongomery, currently under contract with the Stormers, is thrilled at the appointment. "I was privileged to wear the jersey as a player and now have the opportunity to continue my association with the team in a different capacity. As a player I was passionate and committed to the Springbok cause and will follow the same approach in my new role."
- Martin Corry would love one last hurrah to help Leicester clinch a momentous rugby double in the space of just nine days.
But the former England captain and World Cup-winner does not want any favours from Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill after confirming his retirement at the end of the season moments after Leicester had reached the Guinness Premiership final by beating Bath 24-10 yesterday.
Corry, whose chronic pelvic and back problems forced his decision to quit at 35, said, "If somebody is more injured than I am then I'd be in the mix. But there's a time when you have to say not what's best for me but what is best for the club. And what is best for the club is that they have the best 15 on the field.
"If I can get on, great, but the most important thing is that the team keep playing like they did in the first half against Bath which I thought was sensational. I don't think Cockers (Cockerill) and sentimental go hand in hand and I don't want that either. I don't want a bit of charity at the end. I only want it if if I deserve it. We are playing some tremendous rugby. I'll be coming on with water bottles and doing whatever I can to make this side successful."
- The Millennium Stadium opened its doors to the most exclusive club in Wales at the weekend as it welcomed 'home' more than 100 players who had won a Welsh cap.
"The history and heritage of our national game needs to be celebrated. Most of these great players are very modest people and we need to properly recognise them," said WRU chief executive Roger Lewis. "There was a fantastic range of players, from 90-year-old Gwyn Evans to current Cardiff Blues professional Chris Czekaj.
"It was an honour for me to say hello to the great Lewis Jones and it was marvellous having him and other former rugby league converts like Garfield Owen and Glyn Shaw at the event to show once and for all that all the old prejudices are very much a thing of the past."
Former Cardiff backrow Gwyn Evans made his international debut in the first official international after the Second World War in 1947 and was the oldest surviving player at the event that also played host to 26 British & Irish Lions and 19 former captains.
- Wallabies coach Robbie Deans is confident that the forthcoming clashes with Italy and France will provide stern Tests for Australia ahead of the Tri-Nations.
"June will be a good work out - a seriously good work-out," Deans told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Italy are building and they're part of our pool at the World Cup, so they want to maximise what they can derive from this series. They are a more than competitive nation now. They got close to everyone in the Six Nations and they got close to us last year.
"They pushed us hard … they're very physical and they're more than capable. It'll sharpen us up for what's coming later in the year. I have no doubt they'll send their strongest team over. And the French, the last Test in June, have committed to bringing a top line-up and they will achieve that because it's on June 27 and their finals are [in early] June."
"With Bernard Lapasset being the president of the IRB, it'll ensure that they do because it's protocol. June's going to be a good work-out ahead of the big series."
- Dean Richards fears London Irish could be flattened by the Leicester juggernaut in Saturday's Guinness Premiership final.
Richards saw his Harlequins side demolished 17-0 in a disappointing play-off as the Exiles booked their place in the Twickenham showpiece for the first time. The former Leicester director of rugby admires Irish's swashbuckling style but believes they may lack the muscle to contain the Tigers up front.
"I don't think they have a front row to compete with the Leicester front row but their back row and threequarters are extremely good," said Richards. "The pace and power they have in the back line has the measure of any team in the Premiership.
"If they get 40-45% of the ball then they could be quite dangerous and it would be an interesting game if they manage to do that. But I think Leicester's power game will make things difficult for them."