Daily Round Up – 16/02/2021 – New Edinburgh Stadium Unveiled
Blues V Crusaders Called Off
The preseason fixture between the Blues and the Crusaders has been cancelled, due to a breakout of Coronavirus cases in Auckland.
After careful consideration of all the options, the Blues have decided, for the safety of their fans, to cancel the planned Blues Footy Fest event at Eden Park this Saturday.
The Footy Fest was to feature the pre-season match between the Blues and Crusaders. The match came about after the final game of the 2020 Super season between the two sides at a sold-out Eden Park was also cancelled after Auckland moved to a Level 3 alert.
MLR Build Up
Major League Rugby have provided everyone with a run through of all the teams, heading into the upcoming 2021 MLR season.
Check Out The Article HERE.
James Hansen Returns To The Rebels
Gloucester Rugby Hooker James Hansen has returned to Australia and will re-join the Melbourne Rebels. Hanson has 111 Super Rugby caps, including twenty-nine with the Melbourne Rebels. He has also been capped twelve times for the Wallabies. The mobile and hard working Hooker, impressed during his spell in the Premiership and will be a valuable addition to this Rebels side. He has the potential to force himself into Wallabies contention, if he plays the way he has been.
“I always knew I wanted to return to Australia and play rugby, I’m excited to join the Rebels and be back home. I loved playing in front of the loyal Rebels fans and can’t wait to return to the Stockade,”
Simon Hickey & Jermaine Ainsley Ruled Out For The Season
Hurricanes first five-eighth Simon Hickey’s Super Rugby season is over before he’s even taken the field for his new franchise. The 27-year-old Auckland pivot, who was signed by the Hurricanes last year for 2021 on return from Europe, confirmed a season-ending knee injury on Tuesday after he sat out their first pre-season match last Saturday.
Highlanders new signing Jermaine Ainsley sustained a right ankle injury during training prior to the preseason game against the Crusaders last Friday. The injury will unfortunately require an operation to repair and his return to play will be in 4-6 months ruling him out of the entire Super Rugby Aotearoa 2021. It’s a cruel blow for the tighthead prop who exhibited promising signs during the preseason training and had hoped to get his NZ career underway after playing all his professional rugby in Australia up until last season.
Munster Rugby Job Vacancies
Richmond Rugby Announce Squad
Richmond Rugby has confirmed its squad for the upcoming Greene King IPA Championship season due to kick-off on 6th March. New recruits include props Jonny Harris (London Scottish), Jake Byrne (Coventry) and Ben Christie (London Scottish), locks Sam Collingridge (London Irish) and Fred Hosking (Old Elthamians), back-rows George Oram (Coventry) and Hamish Barton (Old Elthamians), scrum-halves Luc Jones (Jersey) and Callum Watson (Chinnor), fly-half Ted Landray (Old Elthamians), centre Chris Elder (Chinnor), wings Max Trimble (Coventry) and Alex Goble (Old Elthamians) and fullback Will Kaye (Loughborough Students).
Director of Rugby Steve Hill:
“After more than 34 weeks of unpaid preseason training it’s fantastic to announce our playing squad for what should be a very competitive season. The players have trained exceptionally hard during difficult circumstances and deserve the opportunity to represent our club and the entire Richmond community.”
Kiwi Duo Depart Bedford Blues
Bedford Blues have announced that Scrum Half Grayson Hart and Flanker Dan Temm have decided to terminate their contracts at Goldington Road with immediate effect. Due to the cancellation of last season and the delayed start to the forthcoming Championship campaign, the pair have focussed their time on life outside rugby, pursuing successful business interests off the park.
Dragons Sign Two Players
Dragons have signed Argentina Scrum Half Gonzalo Betranou and Full Back Ioan Davies. Bertranou, 27, was part of the Argentina side that stunned New Zealand in the Rugby Championship in November and last featured for Jaguares in Super Rugby. The talented number nine has made the move to Wales and joins Dean Ryan’s men with immediate effect.
Full back Ioan Davies has joined Dragons on loan from Cardiff Blues. The 21-year-old links up with the region after a loan agreement was agreed between the regions until then end of the current season. Wales Under-20s international Davies made his professional debut against Edinburgh last February and has made two further appearances for Cardiff Blues.
Director of Dragons Rugby Dean Ryan: “We’re pleased Gonzalo joins us and we’re excited to see the impact he can make at the region.
“Gonzalo brings real quality to our set-up that will increase competition, while his international experiences will help the wider squad to grow.”
French Six Nations Covid Scare
France’s Six Nations players were forced to go into self-isolation on Tuesday after one of the coaching staff tested positive for coronavirus and coach Fabien Galthie returned a suspect PCR test result. The entire camp will undergo an additional round of tests on Wednesday, with two further testing controls scheduled for Friday and Sunday.
Edinburgh Unveil Home Stadium
Edinburgh Rugby have unveiled their new home stadium. The £5.7 million ground is adjacent to BT Murrayfield and will hold around 7,800 supporters (around 5,800 seated and around 2,000 safe-standing), close to the action and under covered stands on all four sides. The stadium is now officially in the hands of the capital club and is the team’s first permanent home since its inception as a professional side in 1996 and as an amateur district select dating back to 1872.
Edinburgh Rugby Managing Director, Douglas Struth:
“We are absolutely thrilled to reach the point of project completion and are delighted with the finished product. The stadium looks and feels fantastic.
Ireland Release Players For Game Time
Ireland have released a number of players from their bubble, in order to get them some much needed game time.
Twelve players are returning to their provincial bubbles to avail of game time in the Guinness PRO14 this weekend – Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane, Dave Heffernan (Connacht), Ryan Baird, Ross Byrne, Jack Conan (Leinster), Craig Casey, Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, Chris Farrell (Munster) and Stuart McCloskey, Tom O’Toole (Ulster).
The three players who provided specialist cover at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday – Harry Byrne, John Cooney and Eric O’Sullivan– have also returned to their respective provinces.