News in Brief
Contepomi set for Toulon switch
March 12, 2009
Leinster's Felipe Contepomi lines up a kick during his side's Heineken Cup clash against London Wasps at the RDS Ground in Dublin, Ireland on October 18, 2008.
Pumas fly-half Felipe Contepomi will grace the Top 14 in France next season © Getty Images
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  • Leinster fly-half Felipe Contepomi will join French Top 14 side Toulon at the end of the season. Argentina international Contepomi has signed a four-year deal with the French side after scoring over 1,000 points for Leinster in 111 appearances, helping them to the Magners League title in 2008.

    "This is one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make in my career," he said. "I spoke with my family about it at length, but I feel that the end of this season is the best time to make a new start. I have played some of the best years of my career with Leinster. They are the team that I have also played with the longest in my career."

  • Saracens coaching co-ordinator Richard Graham is to return home to Australia at the end of the season where he will join the Wallabies as Skills Coach. He will work alongside Australia coach Robbie Deans and will focus on the skill development of the national team - a post he will start in June.

    "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time with Saracens over the past three seasons and my wife and I have made a lot of friends at the club," said Graham. "But the chance to return home and work with the national team in the build-up to the World Cup in two years time was too good to turn down and I'm really excited by the challenge."

  • Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of Wales scrum-half Gareth Cooper from Gloucester, and also that fly-half Nick Robinson will be trading the Arms Park for Kingsholm and Gloucester at the end of the season.

    Robinson will leave the club that he has served for his entire career, and will follow his brother Jamie who is joining French side Toulon at the end of the season.

    "To decide to leave my hometown club; somewhere where I dreamt of playing, and spent a large part of my career was always going to be hard," said Robinson. "However, it's something I felt I needed to do. I wanted to experience playing in a different environment and a different league. I also wanted to test myself and try to improve as a rugby player and as a person, and Gloucester will give me that opportunity."

  • Newcastle Falcons prop Carl Hayman has moved to assuage rumours that he will be leaving the club. Former All Black Hayman has been linked with a return to New Zealand but insists he will be a Falcons player next season.

    "I'll be floating around here next season," said Hayman. "I haven't had any more phone calls at three in the morning, so thankfully that rumour seems to have died a natural death."

    Newcaslte fullback Alex Tait has also signed a one-year contract extension with the club. Tait, 21, has been a fixture of a resurgent Falcons side in recent weeks after missing the early exchanges of the Guinness Premiership season with an ankle injury.

  • The 2009 Rugby Super League (RSL) season kicks off this weekend with a new streamlined format. The competition includes 16 premier level teams grouped among two conferences and the RSL has also decided to implement a promotion-relegation system between the RSL and Division I Men's Club competitions, with the DI Champions being given the option to move up to the Super League and the last place RSL finisher facing demotion to Division I.


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