News in Brief
Gloucester confirm Wallabies clash
September 28, 2009
Gloucester's Kingsholm ground will play host to the Wallabies later this year
© Getty Images
- Gloucester have confirmed a fixture against Australia at Kingsholm on November 3.
It will launch the Wallabies' United Kingdom leg of their upcoming tour, which also includes appointments with England and Wales. Gloucester managing director Ken Nottage said, "I am absolutely delighted to be able to announce the visit of the Australian national team to Kingsholm. Everyone at Gloucester is working hard to establish Kingsholm as one of the premier rugby venues in Europe.
"We have been fortunate enough to stage Under-20 internationals, a European Challenge Cup final, the Barbarians versus Ireland and are among the proposed venues for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Welcoming a team of the stature of Australia to Kingsholm further boosts our credentials in this respect, and we are all looking forward to this fixture hugely."
- Harlequins have agreed to release hooker Gary Botha from his contract early. The 12-times-capped Springbok secured the release in order to return to his family in South Africa.
Botha joined Harlequins from the Bulls following South Africa's 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph, during which he played in the group game against Tonga.
"I have clearly enjoyed my time at Quins and it is with a heavy heart that I will be leaving. I would like to place on record my gratitude to Quins for agreeing to my situation and allowing an early release from my contract," he said.
- Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts has been ruled out for up to 10 days with soft tissue damage to his neck. Roberts was one of a long list of players injured during the Blues' first win of the season against the Scarlets on Saturday.
No.8 Xavier Rush and wing Richard Mustoe are both doubts for next weekend's game against Glasgow, while hooker Rhys Thomas will definitely miss the game with a hand injury. Flanker Maama Molitika is out for two to three weeks with a pectoral injury, with props John Yapp and Taufa'au Filise struggling to be fit for next weekend due to a dead leg and ankle injury respectively.
- Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) chiefs have delivered a positive message at their Annual General Meeting in Port Talbot.
Chief Executive Roger Lewis hailed the recent participation agreement between the union and the four regions, Cardiff Blues, Dragons, Ospreys and Scarlets, as the basis from which success can be found at domestic and international level.
"Now we know we have a very strong foundation to build from and we are working together with common aims," he said. "It has been a great year for Welsh rugby and it has been very pleasing to be able to explain to the AGM that we have such a positive message to deliver."
Chairman David Pickering was also quick to praise, highlighting the importance of the fourth November Test match that has been safeguarded by the player-release agreement.
"The fourth international is not just important to WRU finances, it is essential, but it is also essential that our international team plays the very best standard of opposition on a regular basis," he said.
- Legendary Wallabies wing David Campese will help coach the Tonga Sevens side during the 2010 IRB Sevens World Series.
Campese, who ended his career with 101 Australia caps, will pitch in at the Wellington, Hong Kong and Adelaide legs of the tournament as part of a new association with Tongan rugby. Campese will also travel to Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, to help launch a national Sevens competition in Tonga.
"A new dawn in Sevens has come to Tonga and the experience and reputation of David Campese in both fifteens and Sevens will help rebuild the game locally in Tonga," Tonga Rugby Football Union Chairman Sione Taumoepeau said. "This is a long-term investment for Tonga and Campese's involvement will be a major boost for local rugby and rugby as a whole."
- North Harbour centre Andrew Mailei and Bay of Plenty flanker Luke Braid will appear before New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) judiciary hearings on Tuesday following incidents during the ninth of round of Air NZ Cup matches.
Mailei was sent off in the first half of his side's defeat of Counties-Manukau in Albany on Friday for an alleged dangerous tackle on opposite number Dean Cummins. Under NZRU rules, any player who receives a red card faces an automatic judicial hearing.
Braid also faces an automatic appearance after being sinbinned during the loss to Otago in Dunedin on Saturday. It was Braid's third yellow card of the season, meaning he must face the judiciary.
- Connacht prop Robbie Morris has been cited for striking Ulster's TJ Anderson during Friday's Magner's League game at the Sportsground. Morris will appear before a disciplinary panel on Tuesday, September 29.