Top Stories of the Week

Top Stories of the Week

Rugby Australia & New Zealand Rugby CEOs Respond To World League Reports

Rugby Australia Chief Executive Raelene Castle and New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew have both responded to World Rugby’s proposed annual international calendar model.

Reports in New Zealand suggested a deal for the league could be signed next month with the competition kicking off in 2020.

The reports caused the likes of Jonny Sexton, Kieran Read and other top stars to voice their concerns with World Rugby releasing their own statement.

New Zealand (NZR) Chief Executive Steve Tew said no decisions have been made about the future format for international rugby, with the most recent proposals less than 24 hours old when it was made publicFull story

Sale Sharks Snap Up Springbok Hooker

Sale Sharks have confirmed the signing of yet another Springbok following the news of Rob du Preez's signature with his fellow Shark's teammate Akker van der Merwe penning a deal that will see him join the side until 2022.

The lively hooker will make the switch to the AJ Bell Stadium after the conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition. Full story

Latest World Rankings: Wales On The Up As England Fall

Wales’ 21-13 victory in Cardiff on Saturday has seen them leapfrog England in the latest World Rugby Rankings, landing on the third spot after beating England and securing a record 12th consecutive Test match win.

England drop to fourth, with New Zealand and Ireland unchanged in first and second place respectively.

France’s bonus-point win over Scotland in Paris moves them up two places in the rankings to eighth in the world, overtaking Argentina and Fiji. Full story

Mathew Tait retires due to injury

Former England centre Mathew Tait has retired from rugby after failing to recover from an Achilles injury.

The 33-year-old's final game was against former club Sale at the end of last season. 

Tait won 36 England caps between 2005 and 2010 and played 280 club matches, also winning the 2012 Premiership title and the 2017 Anglo-Welsh Cup with Leicester. Full story

Reports: Georgia in talks to join the Pro 14

Georgian rugby is in talks to join the Pro14 in a bid to break into the top tier of the international game, reports BBC.

Following the PRO14’s expansion that saw the inclusion of the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings two years ago, Georgia head coach Milton Haig is now hopeful that some sort of Georgian franchise could be involved in the competition. 

Despite Georgia being 12th in the World Rugby rankings, the Six Nations chief executive Ben Morel recently ruled out any changes to the structure of the championship in an interview with BBC Sport. Full story

Tempers Flying: England's Training Sessions Marred By Brawl With Georgia

England and Georgia players had to be pulled apart during a training session in Oxford on Wednesday. The training session was watched by dozens of young pupils who were told to keep their phones away and not take photographs as a fight broke out.

England coach Eddie Jones invited Georgia to provide opposition for his squad in preparation for their clash with Italy on March 9.

The two packs engaged in live scrummaging when trouble flared when the packs bound together for the first scrum. As the front rows broke apart, there was pushing and shoving, then punches were thrown by players on both sides.  Full story

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