News in Brief
Kahui blow for All Blacks
Chiefs centre Richard Kahui will require at least three more weeks of rehabilitation
© Getty Images
- Chiefs centre Richard Kahui has been ruled out of the All Blacks' first squad selection of the year with injury.
Kahui, 24, had a chest injury assessed by All Blacks team doctor Deb Robinson, who said he is likely to spend a further three weeks recovering. Robinson confirmed the Chiefs centre had suffered a cartilage tear by his first rib on the left hand side of his chest. He has been rehabilitating since the injury occurred during the Chiefs' Super 14 home loss to the Waratahs three weeks ago.
The midfield is becoming a cursed area for the All Blacks, with Ma'a Nonu having suffered a knee injury which rules him out of Tests next month against Ireland and Wales. Kahui had been touted as a possible stop-gap replacement in the No.12 jersey ahead of Sunday's naming of a 26-man All Blacks squad but coach Graham Henry will now be forced to look elsewhere.
The unlucky Kahui has played just eight Tests since debut on the wing against England in 2008. He spent the second half of 2009 recovering from a shoulder injury which ruled him out of the test equation. Meanwhile, in other news related to the Chiefs' All Blacks hopefuls, hooker Aled de Malmanche is still rehabilitating from a blow to his shoulder which he injured in the final-round Super 14 match against the Blues. Fullback Mils Muliaina has had the cast removed from his thumb which he broke in the first half of the competition.
- The Guinness Premiership Final has been delcared a sell-out after the last tickets were sold on Thursday meaning the Twickenham showpiece will be an 81,600 sell out for the third consecutive season. The capacity crowd will take attendances in the Premiership past the 1.8 million mark this season, the highest ever total for the league, with an average match attendance of 13,500.
- New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) acting chairman Mike Eagle will remain in the role in the absence of Jock Hobbs who has stood aside due to health issues.
At its latest meeting in Wellington, the NZRU board agreed to give Hobbs as much time as possible while he undergoes treatment for leukaemia and to consider his future, and that Eagle would continue as acting chairman in the meantime.
"Jock remains a director of the NZRU and the board wants to give him time to consider the implications of his illness for his roles within New Zealand rugby," Eagle said in a statement.
Brian Roche will remain in the role of acting chairman of Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd. Eagle will deputise for Hobbs, as required, on the board of Rugby New Zealand 2011 Ltd. NZRU chief executive Steve Tew and former NZRU chief executive Chris Moller are the other two NZRU appointees to the RNZ 2011 board. Eagle will continue in his other NZRU board-appointed roles as chairman of Sanzar and as the NZRU representative on the Highlanders board.
- The Crusaders have angrily denied claims by former All Blacks captain Andy Haden that it limits squad recruitment to three non-white players. Haden made the explosive claims during a panel discussion on Sky TV's Deaker on Sport programme, suggesting the Crusaders selected their squad along racial lines.
"Once they've recruited three, that's it. That's their ceiling. Three darkies... no more," Haden said. "In the Crusaders manual, there it is, it's enshrined in their articles, and they've stuck by that. And they know damn well that that's the case. And it's worked."
Haden, who played 117 matches for the All Blacks between 1972-85 including 41 Tests, didn't back down when approached about his claims, saying it was a policy that had been very successful for the seven-time Super Rugby champions.
Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach was stunned when asked for his reaction, and challenged Haden to back up his claims. "The whole damn thing is a fiction. It's completely untrue. I don't know what he is referring to. It's utterly untrue. It makes no sense to me," Riach told Radio Sport.
- Wasps have confirmed the signing of Stade Francais' England U20 scrum-half Charlie Davies on a one-year deal. The Guinness Premiership side have also secured the services of fly-half Seb Jewell, who will be dual registered with Championship side Esher for next season.
- Northampton Saints have announced the signing of Exeter Chiefs centre Matt Cornwell ahead of the 2010/11 season.
- Newcastle Falcons have signed 21-year-old Bristol centre Luke Eves on a a two-year deal.
- ESPN have launched a brand new Kit-a-Club deal that offers 50 rugby clubs nationwide the chance to kit out their senior, junior and mini rugby sides in the latest Nike rugby kit - at a third of the normal cost. Move fast and your club could be one of them.