Daily Round Up – 12/01/2021 – Premiership Rugby Break
Premiership Rugby To Take Two Week Break
The Premiership will take a two week mid season break, to counteract the recent surge in Coronavirus cases. It will also be an opportunity for teams to take a rest and rejuvenate their squads. It has not gone down well with some players and clubs, who feel that it is not necessary and will be detrimental to the league and clubs. The news follows that of the European season being postponed and now leave a large period of no rugby fixtures for English sides. The Premiership is set to return on the 29th of January, with Bristol Bear set to play Bath.
Two Japanese Top League Games Cancelled
Two fixtures from the opening weekend of the Japanese Top League have been cancelled, due to a number of positive Covid-19 cases. The two games in question are Suntory Sungoliath versus Toyota Verblitz and Canon Eagles versus Ricoh Black Rams. This is a real blow for the league, as those teams contain some of the best players in the world, such as Beauden Barrett and Michael Hooper. There were 24 positive cases at the Canon Eagles, 13 at Toyota Verblitz and 7 at Suntory Sungoliath.
US Firm In Talks To Buy Stake In The All Blacks
A US private equity Firm, Silver Lake, are reportedly in talks to purchase a 15% stake in the New Zealand All Blacks. The New Zealand Rugby Union, like the majority of unions, has taken a big hit due to the worldwide pandemic. They have now begun to look into other sources of funding and this could be one route to go down. Silver Lake already have similar ventures in sporting clubs and teams around the globe. The All Blacks are reportedly worth roughly $2 Billion and Silver Lake are worth around $75 Billion.
Crusaders Sign Two Players As Injury Cover
The Crusaders have announced the signings of Backs Rene Ranger, 34, and Josh McKay, 23. They have been brought in to the Super Rugby Aotearoa squad, as cover for Braydon Ennor, George Bridge and Manasa Mataele. They still have some serious talent in their outside backs, like Will Jordan and Sevu Reece, but these are two interesting options. Ranger made over 70 appearances for the Blues in Super Rugby and had a strong season for Northland in the recent Mitre 10 competition. He will also cover the midfield, where the Crusaders are slightly short. Josh McKay was tipped for big things in his youth; he hasn’t quite kicked on, but he certainly has the talent and ability to succeed. He was deemed surplus to requirements at the Highlanders for this season, but a strong showing for Canterbury (Mitre 10) has led to a Super Rugby call up.
Quins Duo Join Edinburgh
Scottish International James Lang and Harlequins teammate Glen Young have joined PRO 14 side Edinburgh. Both have looked in good form for Quins this year, with Young in particular producing some stellar stats. They are Edinburgh’s first signings of the season and will be big boosts to their squads. Both will arrive with ambitions to further their international careers, as well as club level ambitions. 25 year old Lang, made his Scotland debut in 2018 and has been in and out of the set-up. He will be looking to lock down a spot in the Scotland 23 and his ability to play both Centre positions, as well as Fly Half, will help his cause and be very useful for Edinburgh. Borders born Young, has spent his entire career playing in England, after joining the Newcastle Falcons Academy in 2012. He will be eager to return to Scotland and push his case for an international call up, having previously played for the Scotland Under 20 side.
Tomas Francis Finally Makes The Move To Wales
In order to keep his International career going, Exeter Chiefs Prop Tomas Francis has signed a three year deal with the Ospreys. The 52 cap Wales International has long been rumoured to make the move to a Welsh Province, as he does not meet the 60 cap requirement to play overseas. The York born Tighthead has been a fixture of the Chiefs Scrum, since joining in 2014. He played major roles in their Premiership and European triumphs and his form for the side, has made him a regular for his country. The 28 year is a big signing for the Ospreys and fans will no doubt be delighted.
Bristol Bears Sign Saracens Scrum Half Tom Whiteley
Bristol Bears have announced the signing of Saracens Scrum Half Tom Whiteley. The 25 year old has impressed when given the opportunity for Saracens and scored 91 point in 49 appearances. He will now bolster the Bears’ Scrum Half stocks, that already boast the likes of Harry Randall and Andy Uren. Another impressive signing by the Bears, as they continue to cement themselves as one of the best teams in England.
Worcester Warriors Full Back Out For The Season
Worcester Warriors Full Back Melani Nanai could be out for the rest of the season, after sustaining a hamstring injury in training. The injury will require surgery and is the second major injury for the Samoan, since joining in 2019. The 27 year old has really impressed when he has been fit, so this will be a real blow, to both the player and the team.