Ireland Six Nations Squad

TeamsheetsIreland head coach Joe Schmidt has named a 34-man squad for the opening two games of the Six Nations against Scotland and Wales.
The selected squad includes three uncapped players, who all featured for the Ireland Wolfhounds at the weekend.

The uncapped Robin Copeland, Jordi Murphy and Martin Moore are amongst 18 forwards who have been named for the games against Scotland and Wales.

Craig Gilroy and Simon Zebo, who were called up to the extended squad after Keith Earls sustained an injury, both missed the cut.

Ireland squad:

Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster), Robin Copeland (Cardiff Blues), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Chris Henry (Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Leinster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), Martin Moore (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Tommy O’Donnell (Munster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Rhys Ruddock (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Dan Tuohy (Ulster).

Backs: Darren Cave (Ulster), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Felix Jones (Munster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), David Kearney (Leinster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro), Andrew Trimble (Ulster).

Advertisements

English clubs allowed salary cap increase

English Premiership clubs will have an additional £500 000 to spend on players next season after agreeing an increase in the salary cap.

Premiership Rugby’s board voted to increase the salary cap from £4.26 million to £4.76 million but officials insisted the move had nothing to do with trying to prevent players leaving England for offers from wealthy French clubs in particular.

And with academy credit ‘add-ons’, clubs will be able to spend up to £5 million without breaching the salary cap.

The first £30 000 of any club academy graduate, up to a limit of eight players, can be added on to the £4.76million ‘limit’.

Meanwhile Premiership clubs will still have the option of signing an “excluded player”, allowing them to spend an unlimited amount on one star name whose pay falls outside the salary cap structure.

Recently, Leicester and England flyhalf Toby Flood announced he would be playing in France next season, following a lucrative path already trodden by England great Jonny Wilkinson and several other players.

Japanese clubs have also been keen to ‘splash the cash’ on marquee foreign players in a bid to raise the standard of their game ahead of the country’s staging of the 2019 World Cup.

But the Premiership’s director of rugby, Phil Winstanley, insisted the salary cap rise was not a defensive measure but a response to rising broadcast and sponsorship income from satellite channel BT and their sponsors.

“A lot of people will reach their own conclusions that we’re trying to combat the French or Japanese market,” Winstanley said. “And that’s very much not the case.

“At the end of the day the economic landscape between ourselves and the French clubs is extremely different, so it’s not for us to try to keep up with them.

“We have commercial success through our programmes and as the revenues increase we think it’s right to allow clubs to spend some of that through the salary cap.”

However, he added: “There has to be pressure on club spends because we want the clubs to be viable businesses and the tournament to continue to be competitive.”

The future of elite European club competition remains uncertain, with Premiership sides determined to break away from the existing European Cup next season.

But Winstanley insisted the salary cap increase would take place regardless of the European situation.

“We’ve been working on and growing these revenues for a number of years, and as those increase it’s only right that the salary cap increases,” he said.

“But that is not reliant on the European position.”

Premiership Rugby also said they were strengthening their salary cap monitoring system, with fines and points deductions possible punishments, amidst complaints some clubs were flouting the rules on players’ pay.

Sharks select 12 Boks to face Sarries (team sheet)

Bismarck du Plessis is among 12 Springboks named in the Cell C Sharks squad to play Saracens at Allianz Park in Hendon, London, on Saturday, January 25.

The reigning Currie Cup champions will play the current Premiership leaders for the Sanlam Private Investments Shield, a unique clash between north and south, between the European Cup and Super Rugby.

“It’s a special challenge for us,” Du Plessis said.

“Saracens have developed into a really strong team, and their recent success has been keenly followed in South Africa. They will present very tough opposition as we prepare for Super Rugby, and we’re excited to play on the artificial turf pitch at Allianz Park.”

SHARKS SQUAD TO PLAY SARACENS

Lourens Adriaanse, Willem Alberts, Dale Chadwick, Marcell Coetzee, Kyle Cooper, Jean Deysel, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter Stephanus du Toit, Adriaan Esterhuizen, Tyler Fisher, Paul Jordaan, Ryan Kankowski, Peet Marais, Charl McLeod, Tendai Mtawarira, Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndugane, Etienne Oosthuizen, Jacobus Reinach, Francois Steyn, Timothy Swiel, Jaco van Tonder, Heimar Williams, Frederik Zeilinga

Saracens beef up for Sharks match (team sheet)

Saracens have named a powerful 23-man squad for the historic north-south clash against the Sharks of South Africa at Allianz Park on Saturday, January 25.

The squad – to be captained by Steve Borthwick – includes several South Africans, including former Sharks centre Brad Barritt and Sharks lock Alistair Hargreaves.

Other players from South Africa include Neil de Kock, Schalk Brits, Jacques Burger, Nick Fenton-Wells, Justin Melck and Ernst Joubert.

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall described the Sharks “one of the strongest teams” in Super Rugby.

“We’re really looking forward to the challenge,” McCall said.

“Our match against the Springboks four years ago was one of the greatest occasions in the club’s history, and this will be a similar kind of one-off event… the Premiership leaders against South Africa’s Currie Cup champions.

“We will field our strongest possible side.”

The game is the first pre-season outing for the Sharks, ahead of their Super Rugby campaign.

They see it as “an ideal opportunity to fine tune our preparation for the big season ahead”, when they take on the current pace-setters in the English Premiership.

“We are very excited to again take our team to the United Kingdom and build on the incredible support we get there from our ex-pats and locals alike,” Sharks CEO John Smit said in a recent media release.

“Saracens are a good fit for us as an English club with a strong South African flavour.”

Saracens squad:

Backs: Chris Wyles, David Strettle, Michael Tagicakibau, Marcelo Bosch, Brad Barritt, Duncan Taylor, Sam Stanley, Charlie Hodgson, Neil de Kock, Richard Wigglesworth.

Forwards: Richard Barrington, Nick Auterac, Schalk Brits, Jamie George, Matt Stevens, Petrus Du Plessis, Steve Borthwick (captain), Alistair Hargreaves, Mouritz Botha, Jacques Burger, Nick Fenton-Wells, Justin Melck, Ernst Joubert.

London-Irish prop set to sign for Rebels’ 2014/15 seasons

It has been reported that London Irish prop Max Lahiff will move to Super Rugby side the Melbourne Rebels next season.RW Stamp

Lahiff qualifies to play for Australia and has been playing well as a stand-in for English international Alex Corbisiero (who is out through injury) int he Aviva English premiere league.

There is also a possibility that he could go to Brisbane-based Reds, but for now the money is on the Rebels. With a lack of powerful front-rower in Australia, Lahiff could play a prominent role in the future, as his experience in the tough scrummaging conditions of the Northern Hemisphere could put him ahead of the pack.

SGR

Chiliboy cleared of citing charges

*Courtesy of Rugby365.comCitations

Springbok hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle  was cleared to tour with the Bulls to Australasia, after a citing against him was dismissed.

A SANZAR judicial hearing on Monday found Ralepelle “not guilty” of contravening Law 10.4 (h) and 10.4 (k), after he was cited over an incident in a Super Rugby match at the weekend.

He was cited by Cape Town-based citing officer Freek Burger, following an incident in the 11th minute of the Bulls’ 36-26 win over the Western Force at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria last Saturday.

The judicial hearing, held via video conference on Monday, was heard by Jannie Lubbe.
In terms of the SANZAR rules, Shaun Payne, a former professional Rugby player in an advisory capacity assisted Lubbe.

Ralepelle was represented by legal representative Gerrie Swart.

Video evidence of the incident was viewed and the evidence of the Referee, Jason Jaftha and the citing commissioner, Burger, was presented during the hearing.

Lubbe ruled as follows: * That Ralepelle executed a legal tackle on the Force player. * On the available video evidence it is clear that Ralepelle did not join a maul or ruck situation. * The video evidence supports the player’s account of the incident. * In conclusion the finding is that the citing has not been proven on the balance of probabilities.

*Courtesy of Rugby365.com

http://www.rugby365.com/article/52413-ralapelle-beats-off-burger-s-citing