News in Brief
Springboks set to take on the Tigers
July 24, 2009
Leicester Tigers Geordan Murphy, Dan Hipkiss and Johne Murphy at their kit launch ahead of the 2009-10 season, July 24, 2009
Leicester Tigers have unveiled their new kit and also confirmed that they're to play against the Springboks © Leicester Tigers

  • The Springboks have added a midweek match against the Leicester Tigers to their end-of-year tour schedule.

    They will take on the Guinness Premiership champions at Welford Road on Thursday November 5, preceding Test matches against France (November 14), Italy (November 21) and Ireland (November 28).

    "The match will be an ideal preparation for three very tricky Test matches and give the Springboks the chance to have a taste of northern hemisphere conditions once again," said Andy Marinos, acting manager director of SA Rugby. "It will also give us an opportunity to test out new combinations as we look towards the 2011 World Cup.

    "Leicester are a powerhouse of European club rugby and can field a host of England and overseas internationals and we'll have our work cut out against them - we couldn't have asked for a more challenging warm-up for the Test matches."

    The Springboks will arrive in England the day before the match, having begun their preparations in Johannesburg. Following the match they will depart for France to prepare for the Test in Toulouse.

    Marinos said he was in discussions to add a second mid-week match to the tour schedule, although details had yet to be finalised.

    The Springbok match will mark the opening of a new stand at Welford Road to take the ground's capacity to 24, 000, making it the 'biggest and best purpose-built club rugby stadium in Europe', according to Leicester chief PeterTom.

    The Tigers also launched a new-look home kit for the coming season and unveiled new signings Geoff Parling and Anthony Allen. The team will defend their Guinness Premiership title in a kit showing a return to red, white and green hooped shirts and green shorts.

  • The Worcester Warriors have confirmed that centre Hal Luscombe is to retire from the game with immediate effect. The 28 year-old former Wales international joined Worcester from Harlequins in March 2008.

    Born in South Africa, Luscombe could play either centre or wing and made his Wales senior debut coming on as a replacement against Scotland in a pre-2003 Rugby World Cup international.

    His move to Warriors saw him once again work with Mike Ruddock who included him in the Grand Slam winning side of 2005.

    "It is with great regret that I have to confirm that Hal Luscombe has decided to retire from professional rugby," said Director of Rugby, Ruddock. "Hal has been released from his contract in order for him to pursue different ambitions. Hal is a terrific guy who has been a fantastic player for a number of years with Newport Gwent Dragons, Harlequins, Worcester and Wales."

  • Timana Tahu has confirmed he is seeking a release from his rugby union contract to return to rugby league.

    Tahu is set to meet with the ARU this week in a bid to broker an early escape from the 15-man game and his Waratahs skipper Phil Waugh sees it as a big loss to the franchise.

    "It's not ideal is it?" Waugh said of Tahu's decision to leave the Waratahs. "I obviously came out publicly when Lote (Tuqiri) went and he's a huge loss to us. Throw in the experience of Timana, not so much in rugby but just big games in rugby league and just his experience and presence he has within the squad - it's a big loss."

  • Bath back Olly Barkley has suffered a fractured leg while on the club's pre-season tour of Portugal. Barkley sustained a spiral fracture to his left fibula during a tackling drill and will undergo a review on Monday to assess the extent of the damage.

    "Obviously it has had an impact upon Olly's pre-season, which is a real shame because he has been training so well, but from a team point of view we have every confidence that we will still have a strong start to the season," said Bath boss Steve Meehan. "We have the likes of Shontayne Hape, Nicky Little, Ryan Davis, Tom Cheeseman and Matt Carraro who are all very capable in those positions, so there is no major drama. It is only a short-term injury."

  • Championship side Nottingham are facing the prospect of starting the new season homeless after being told by football club Notts County that they were no longer allowed to play at Meadow Lane.

    The football club's new owners believe that their current ground-share is not financially advantageous and their decision could spell serious trouble for professional rugby in the city.


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