News in Brief
Gatland reaffirms Wales commitment
Wales coach Warren Gatland has emphasised his commitment to his post
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- Wales coach Warren Gatland has reiterated his commitment to the job, despite the latest wrangling between the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and regions over player release for the autumn internationals.
Speculation that Gatland would walk out on the job in a similar manner to Graham Henry in 2002 has been rife since the WRU was taken to court by Regional Rugby Wales, the umbrella organisation representing the Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets.
"I am absolutely committed to seeing this job through and I'm excited about doing so," Gatland told Wales on Sunday. "I get frustrated at times when people bring up what has happened in the past as if it is bound to happen again. Coaches have left Wales early for one reason or another but that is historical now.
"In particular people made a big deal about me going to work with the Lions because of what happened to Graham Henry in 2001. But I don't know why they thought that the same thing was going to happen with me. Look, anyone who thinks I won't be here in 2011 is wrong - and I may be here longer."
- Hooker Keven Mealamu is in doubt for the All Blacks' next Tri-Nations Test, against Australia in Sydney in three weeks. Mealamu suffered damage to the pectoral muscle in his chest minutes before the end of their 31-19 loss to South Africa on Saturday.
He will require a scan upon return to Auckland, and assistant coach Steve Hansen is unsure if the 71-Test veteran will recuperate in time for the Wallabies test on August 22.
"Until we get the results for that we are not going to know how severe it is but it looks like he won't be available for a couple of weeks at the very least," Hansen said. "We don't know, it could be longer than that. He's got limited movement in his pec."
- Australia skipper Stirling Mortlock has reinforced the belief that coach Robbie Deans' absence from their South African training camp will not damage their preparations for next Saturday's Test against South Africa.
Deans has returned to New Zealand following the death of his father and will likely join the
Wallabies in South Africa on Wednesday.
"The positive is we had an opportunity to have a good look at them last week to develop a mindset as to what we will try to do next weekend," Mortlock told AAP. "So we had a bit of an understanding and this week was more about making sure we are really clear and precise in what we're trying to achieve. That involves senior players working really hard with the coaching staff, which isn't too dissimilar to other Test-match weeks. Not having Robbie for the early part of the week just reinforces that."
- Wasps wing Paul Sackey is predicting that he may miss the start of the Guinness Premiership season as he continues his recovery from a broken leg.
"I flew to Poland last Monday to join the club's pre-season training and continue my rehab with sessions in the pool and in the special cryotherapy chamber they have out there," said Sackey. "My leg was broken in two places last season but it is healing well. I haven't started running yet and it may be that I miss one or two games at the start of the season, which is next month. But that's better than rushing back too quickly and maybe suffering another injury as a result."
- Former Dragons lock Peter Sidoli is training with Principality Premiership side Neath after Calvisano's withdrawal from the Italian Super 10 championship. Financial difficulties caused the decision, with Sidoli yet to decide on his future considering the introduction of two Italian sides in to the Magners League in 2010-11.