Daily Round Up – 21/07/2021 – First Test Lions 23
Lions Team For The First Test
British and Irish Lions: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Ali Price; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Maro Itoje, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Tom Curry, 8 Jack Conan.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Liam Williams.
“We couldn’t have asked for more from the players so far; they’ve all put their hands up and made picking a starting XV incredibly difficult. In truth, we would have been happy with any number of different combinations across the 23, however, we’re very pleased with the side we’ve settled on.
“We know what we’re coming up against on Saturday. It’s going to be an arm wrestle, there’s no doubt about it. We’ll need to front up physically and be ready to go from the first whistle.
“When we played SA ‘A’ last week we probably took a bit too long to get into the game, something we can’t afford to do that again this weekend.”
Tuipulotu Signs Long Contract With The Blues
Blues Captain and Second Row Patrick Tuipulotu has signed a new deal with the Blues, after leading them to the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby Title. The 28 year old just keeps getting better and has grown as a leader for his club and a valued member of the All Blacks Squad. The new deal will take him through to the 2025 season and Tuipulotu has stated that he has big ambitions for both club and country. As a part of the new deal, Tuipulotu will skip the next Super Rugby Season 2022 and spend a season in Japan, with an as yet unannounced team. This sabbatical has been included in his deal with NZR, similarly to the recent move by Beauden Barrett. It allows Tuipulotu to experience rugby and living overseas but keeps him in the plans of New Zealand Rugby. Tuipulotu himself has said that he wants to experience playing overseas, but his life and long term future is back in Auckland. This deal allows the best of both worlds for the player. New Zealand Rugby are also very well stocked on Locks, so although his loss will be felt, they have adequate cover.
“In some ways winning the Super Rugby Trans-Tasman title has made my decision easier, because we have got that monkey off our backs at the Blues. It was a hard decision because the Blues as a group have developed so well.
“I am excited for the new experience overseas and will be doing my best. Equally, I will be looking forward to returning to the Blues and my home in Auckland.
“I have big goals that I want to achieve both for my country and the Blues in the future.
“I am honoured that New Zealand Rugby and the Blues have shown so much faith in me, and this provides security for my family over the next few years to the likely end of my career.”
Champions Cup Draw 2021/22
Defending Champions Toulouse will face Cardiff and Wasps in the Pool Stages of the 2021/22 Champions Cup. The 24 clubs from the Premiership, United Rugby Championship and France’s Top 14 were drawn into two pools of 12 and will play two teams from the same pool home and away. The draw took place in Switzerland this morning.
Pool A: La Rochelle, Exeter, Leinster, Montpellier, Bath, Glasgow, Racing 92, Sale, Ulster, Clermont Auvergne, Northampton, Ospreys.
Pool B: Toulouse, Harlequins, Munster, Castres, Wasps, Cardiff, Bordeaux-Begles, Bristol, Connacht, Stade Français, Leicester, Scarlets.
Jesse Mogg Returns To The Brumbies
32 year old Full Back Jess Mogg has returned to his former club the Plus500 Brumbies, for the next two Super Rugby seasons. Wallaby International Mogg has spent the six years playing in France, for both Montpellier and Pau. Prior to his stint in France, Mogg made 60 appearances for the Brumbies. His form for the side, along with his booming kicking skills earned him a call up to the Wallabies. He made his national debut in 2013 against the British & Irish Lions.
“I’m delighted to be returning home to Australia with the Brumbies.”
“I’ve obviously kept an eye on how the team has been going since I’ve been away and I’ve been impressed with how they’ve continued to grow a strong culture and success on the field and I’m excited to be a part of the Brumbies again.
“Having a few familiar faces still at the club like Dan, Laurie and Whitey of course, will make it easier for me to transition back and I’m just really excited to rip into preseason.”
Naholo Returns To NZ With Canterbury
Waisake Naholo has returned from his spell in the English Premiership with London Irish and will join Bunnings NPC Side Canterbury. The 30 year old spent eight years with Taranaki, but has opted to switch it up and join Canterbury for the upcoming campaign. The 27 cap All Black and former Highlanders star joined London Irish in 2019, but only went on to make four appearances for the club. Injury and various other reasons meant that Naholo’s game time was limited. If he returns fresh and good to go this year, then he could rip it up for Canterbury. Naholo is physicall gifted and a superb finisher. Naholo is one of nine new players in the squad announced this afternoon with Irish prop Conan O’Donnell, NZ Under-20s star Zac Gallagher, and Manu Samoa’s Henry Stowers all joining as well. The squad also features six current All Blacks in George Bridge, Braydon Ennor, Joe Moody, Richie Mo’unga, Codie Taylor, and Sam Whitelock.
A Busy Day For The Bristol Bears
Bristol have confirmed that Hooker Jake Kerr has been signed on a Full Time basis. The Scotland International had joined last season on a temporary contract when Bristol were short in the Number 2 position. They have also confirmed that former Bath Scrum Half Chris Cook has left the club by mutual consent. Finally, Bristol announced that two players would be joining on a trial basis for 2021. Bristol born Hooker Joe Cotton has arrived from the NSW Waratahs and Scrum Half Theo Strang joins after making four appearances for the Melbourne Rebels.
Scottish Teams Reveal Academy Intake
Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby have both confirmed their groups of players that will be joining their academy set ups.
Ben Evans (back-three) – Heriot’s Rugby
Matt Russell (stand-off) – Heriot’s Rugby
Michael Jones (loosehead prop) – Heriot’s Rugby
Dan Gamble (tighthead prop) – Heriot’s Rugby
Jamie Campbell (lock) – Heriot’s Rugby
Nathan Sweeney (back-three) – Southern Knights
Jacob Henry (back-three) – Southern Knights
Cameron Scott (stand-off) – Southern Knights
Patrick Harrison (hooker) – Southern Knights
Harri Morris (back-row) – Southern Knights
Harry Paterson (back-three) – Watsonians Rugby
Cole Lamberton – Watsonians Rugby
Rudi Brown – Watsonians Rugby
Matt Currie – Watsonians Rugby
Roan Frostwick – Watsonians Rugby
Jamie Drummond (Ayrshire Bulls)**
Alex Samuel (Ayrshire Bulls)*
Rory Jackson (Ayrshire Bulls)*
Christian Townsend (Ayrshire Bulls)**
Finlay Callaghan (Ayrshire Bulls)*
Robbie McCallum (Boroughmuir Bears)*
Gregor Brown (Boroughmuir Bears)*
Michael Gray (Boroughmuir Bears)*
Rhys Tait (Boroughmuir Bears)**
Euan Ferrie (Boroughmuir Bears)**
Murphy Walker (Stirling County)*
Angus Fraser (Stirling County)*
Max Williamson (Stirling County)*
Euan Cunningham (Stirling County)*
Ross McKnight (Stirling County)**