McCaw rubbishes claims of Super Rugby being afterthought for All Blacks

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw has blasted suggestions that domestic rugby is an afterthought for many New Zealand players and that they are just going through the motions just for the sake of it.

Richie McGaw

The Kiwi has admitted that he has not been able to get back to performing at his best, having played 503 minutes in nine games for the Crusaders, who currently sit at fourth in the New Zealand conference. However, he added that it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about the Super Rugby anymore.

He sat down for an interview recently where he said that he knows he has not been playing up to the high standards he has set for himself and that is the same for a number of players in the squad, but mentioned that it is difficult to have an impact going backwards and for the last few weeks, he hasn’t had the impact he hoped he would have.

And denying claims that Super Rugby is not important for the All Blacks players anymore, McCaw said that if anyone went ahead and asked the players or just saw them in training, they would know how much the players are hurting and how much effort they are putting in to rectify the situation. He mentioned that these payers are proud men, proud of what they have achieved in the game and they don’t just want to go through the motions.

According to Richie McCaw, all of them want to go out there and give it their best week in and week out but in a sport as rugby, it becomes difficult to do. Playing 12 months at the peak of one’s game is difficult and once in a while, everyone has to realise that and McCaw hopes the player will perform soon as well.

Argentina Rugby Team A Great Addition In Rugby Championship- But Lacks Glamour

The Argentina Rugby squad have been quite a great addition in Rugby Championship. The great Pumas have been doing incredibly well with win in one match, draw in another & are moving closer to plenty of fantastic performances in near future.

However, according to experts, albeit the Argentine team is gathering kudos for honest graft & endeavor, yet they are not a sexy squad. It’s unfortunate they fare miserably when it comes to the glamour quotient. In case, Samoa were there, they possibly won’t be as competitive yet that would have been largely easier for getting the Kiwis interested.

It’s the especially the language issue which is creating barrier between the New Zealanders and Argentina and it seems that the Argentine team’s language does not interest the Kiwis.

Looking at the rugby perspective, the lion’s share of the Argentine squad is based in the European continent. They are working fine. However, according to latest reports, in 2016, players aspiring to play at Pumas would have to have their base in Argentina.

The UAR (Argentina Rugby Union) are about to run & fund Super Rugby squad that would effectively be Pumas in camouflage in between February & August & then Pumas not-in-camouflage for the remaining time.

That is a big risk. A great share of Pumas who are settled in Europe are really well paid. There’re reports that UAR came up with a surplus value of US$17 mn in 2014 that would be really lucrative to attract talent. However, there is this concern that no matter whatever camouflage the Pumas take to the coming year, they have high chances to get outclassed from both tournaments.

The scene is not anyhow encouraging in Nippon, or Singapore, where Nippon squad have forwarded their desire to play matches.

Bristol Rugby sign former England flanker

Rugby Football Union Championship club Bristol Rugby have announced the signing of former England flanker Tom Varndell on a two year deal from the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club Wasps RUFC ahead of the new season.

The 29 year old spent six years at the Premiership giants and was one of their star players as they went from mediocrity following success in the early 2000s to stabilising again when Dai Young took over as the new head coach.

Varndell has also played for the Leicester Tigers and he has scored 81 tries in 166 appearances in the Aviva Premiership for the two clubs.

He joined the Wasps RUFC in 2009 and during his stint with the club, has scored 70 tries in just 125 games for the club in what is a very decent record for a wing player.

Varndell also has three tries for the England team, the last of which came in 2008.

Varndell will link up with his new side ahead of the new season following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup and Andy Robinson, the Director of Rugby at Bristol Rugby, has hailed the signing of the speedy back as a huge transfer coup.

He said that the club is delighted to have been able to sign for the new season, adding that he has proven his mettle as a try scorer in the Premiership and he thinks he will thrive for his new club.

Robinson went on to add that he is one of the quickest players in world rugby at this time and the style that they are developing at Bristol Rugby will suit him perfectly.

Speaking about his move, Varndell said that he is an ambitious man and he thinks the new vision of Bristol Rugby will be worth the risk.

Argentina Rugby Team To Play Barbarians At Twickenham

Argentina rugby team would be reportedly playing the Barbarians in 2015 November. The match would be hosted at Twickenham.

The match is going to be a significant one for the Barbarians as it would mark their successful 125th anniversary. Baabaas had quite a tough time last year but then they managed to bounce back with great vigor this year fighting against some of the elite most squads of the rugby world. They came up with 49-39 to youthful English squad and had narrow loss to Australia with a score of 40-36 last month.

After 2 barren years featuring poor results & weal line-ups, the Barbarians have rose up with the strong effort to power up their very fixture roster for the grand anniversary the coming year. They would be playing the Irish rugby team at Limerick located Thomond Park in May & England in Twickenham.

“Argentina rugby team have got an extremely proud record which they have to maintain & I am pretty sure that they would come up with significant power play at the World Cup next year”, stated Micky Steele-Bodger, the President for Barbarians rugby team.

“We have got strong ties with rugby in the Argentine side & a great lot of Argentine players have played for the club with great distinction & it would be really splendid to play the Pumas. The Killik Cup match at Twickenham would definitely be quite an entertaining occasion with world-class rugby stars with their stellar power play on display.”

“We are foraying into an exciting and new phase of the Argentine rugby history & to finish the year with match against the legendary Barbarians at Twickenham would be undoubtedly a grand honor & something really prestigious for the Argentine rugby”, remarked Carlos Araujo, the President of Argentine Rugby Union.

Stuart Lancaster To Coach The English Rugby Team For Six More Years, Contract Renewed

Stuart Lancaster has renewed his contract for six more years as the coach of the English Rugby team. He will be able to see England through the rugby world cup of 2009 which will be held in Japan
His coaching team comprising of coaches Graham Rountree, Andy Farrell and Mike Catt he also each signed a deal that will be in effect till the end of the season of 2019-2020.
Lancaster had to fight for the post of permanent head coach of England Rugby Team in the March of 2012, but this contract shows that RFU has much faith in him.
Lancaster said that it was great to see that RFU has so much faith in him and the coaching group, and this faith has been a major contributing factor in whatever they have achieved till date.
He has said that their prime focus as of yet is on winning the QBE int’l in New Zealand. He also considers 2015 World cup that will be held in England to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and he intends to make the most of it. He also wants to retain the 2015 English rugby team that will be able to play in the 2019 championship in Japan.
He said that they believe that the English rugby is headed in the right direction. Their coaching and management teams have excellent expertise in their field which will help them immensely in competing in the challenges they have ahead.
Lancaster who was formerly a schoolteacher is trying to include rugby in England’s cultural set up and he is often greatly praised for letting the players realize international rugby’s heritage and significance.
In the 2012’s Six Nations competition England was able to secure the second place for itself. Following this, the RFU gave Lancaster his permanent job of coaching the English rugby team. This decision was followed by England’s 38-21 win against New Zealand, the win is considered to be an impressive one.

Rugby World Cup Sevens gaining momentum from all corners

In today’s world people have little time to sit and watch sports for long periods of time. As a result of this there have been quite a few innovations in the format of the sports like cricket and rugby. Much like the twenty-twenty format that had been introduced in cricket and received great popularity within a very short span of time, the Rugby Sevens is also coming of age. It was a huge success in the Commonwealth Games and the crowds absolutely loved it. This has greatly increased the interest in the World Club Sevens that is going to be held at Twickenham. The Premiership Sevens has also gained popularity in Great Britain. The people associated with Sevens have clearly stated that there will be specialists for the game yet the situation is dicey because the best players remain so in each and every format of the game. The Rugby Sevens will be featuring in the Olympics for the first time in Rio and this will act as the major litmus test for this format. However there might be several confusions with the flexibility brought in the rule that allows a person to represent a country of his choice if he owns a valid passport for the same.
Nevertheless the clubs are gearing up for the World Club Sevens that is going to be held recently. The squads have named their players and respective captains. Gloucester Rugby coach Olly Morgan has announced his squad which includes Charlie Norman, Sam Showering and Ed Tellwright to name a few. Their rivals in Pool B Cardiff Blues have named Jevon Groves as their captain along with exciting players like Lloyd Williams and Luke Morgan. USA national Rugby Sevens champion Seattle will be lead by Waisale Serevi during their campaign against the likes of Waratahs and Auckland.

New Coaching Set-up for London Irish

London Irish Rugby Club Director Brian Smith has welcomed Mark Tainton as their new skills and kicking coach for the new season of 2013-14. Smith sounded hopeful as he showed his confidence in Smith saying that his experience shall come in handy for the kickers in the team as well as improve the core skills of each and every player in their squad. Brian Smith is a former Bristol fly-half who has previously worked with the English national team before coaching Ireland for ten years as the technical kicking coach with Ronan O’Gara and Johnny Sexton. Mark Tainton sounded positive on his assignment at London Irish expressing delight at the occasion.
Earlier in the month Steve Walsh, Andre Quinn and Brian O’Leary were added as the Backroom staff for the upcoming season. Quinn took up as the strength and conditioning coach along with Walsh, who is hugely experienced in the Premiership as a coach. Brian O’Leary joined as the head of medical sciences from his former club Ospreys. London Irish executive chairman David Fitzgerald was optimistic about the huge wealth of experience that these new recruitments are going to bring to his club
The team is clearly aiming for higher success and it is quite clear from their strategies that they are paying equal attention to the people in the dressing room as towards the players who are going to be playing on the ground. The fans shall be hopeful of a repeat if not better performance of their club than the last season. The Exiles have also confirmed the signing of Tom Gallagher as the physiotherapist and Jonathan Shelbourne as the senior analyst of the club. Each of these signings might prove crucial in the long season where each team are required to be at their best physically, mentally and strategically.

James Hanks retires due to injury

James Hanks, the forward for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Exeter Chiefs, has been forced to hang up his boots following his failure to recover from a serious neck injury.

The 29 year old suffered the injury during the club’s win against Bath Rugby in the semi final of the LV=Cup last month and following several visits to specialists, he has been told to end his ten year long career.

With Hanks retiring, he becomes the third Chiefs player to call time on his career this season due to injury, following the likes of hooker Chris Whitehead and skipper Tom Hayes.

Hanks was a part of the Exeter Chiefs side that won the RFU Championship back in 2010 to earn promotion to the top flight, and according to the player, he has had lots of great memories as a player but if he had to pick one, the Championship winning night at Bristol would be it.

He added that it was the night that changed the club – the players, the fans and everyone associated with the Chiefs. Hanks admitted that he couldn’t have asked for more from his time with the club, having spent ten glorious years with them, but it was unfortunate to have his career finished a little earlier than anticipated.

James Hanks also said that the injury was serious but he is now on the mend and once he is fully fit, he will consider his options now that he has hung up his boots.

The forward made his debut for the Exeter Chiefs in a National League One match against the Cornish Pirates back in 2005 and since then; he has been a regular in the side and was a key player during the club’s promotion campaign in the RFU Championship in 2010.

James Hanks retires due to injury

James Hanks, the forward for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Exeter Chiefs, has been forced to hang up his boots following his failure to recover from a serious neck injury.

The 29 year old suffered the injury during the club’s win against Bath Rugby in the semi final of the LV=Cup last month and following several visits to specialists, he has been told to end his ten year long career.

With Hanks retiring, he becomes the third Chiefs player to call time on his career this season due to injury, following the likes of hooker Chris Whitehead and skipper Tom Hayes.

Hanks was a part of the Exeter Chiefs side that won the RFU Championship back in 2010 to earn promotion to the top flight, and according to the player, he has had lots of great memories as a player but if he had to pick one, the Championship winning night at Bristol would be it.

He added that it was the night that changed the club – the players, the fans and everyone associated with the Chiefs. Hanks admitted that he couldn’t have asked for more from his time with the club, having spent ten glorious years with them, but it was unfortunate to have his career finished a little earlier than anticipated.

James Hanks also said that the injury was serious but he is now on the mend and once he is fully fit, he will consider his options now that he has hung up his boots.

The forward made his debut for the Exeter Chiefs in a National League One match against the Cornish Pirates back in 2005 and since then; he has been a regular in the side and was a key player during the club’s promotion campaign in the RFU Championship in 2010.

Argentina Rugby gets Super Rugby team

Starting from the 2016 season and onwards, Argentina Rugby is set to get its first franchise in the Super Rugby competition which will also mean a tighter bond will be forged with some of the heavyweights of the sport in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sanzar, he organization that is responsible for running the Rugby Championship as well as the Super Rugby, has recently announced its plans to expand the competition from 15 to 17 teams from the 2016 season and this means not only will Argentina will gets its first ever franchise in the competition but also one more team for South Africa.

That team is most likely to be the Southern Kings, which was a part of the competition in 2013 but lost out narrowly to the Lions for a permanent place this season.
With Sanzar expanding into Argentina Rugby, it is just a testament to the strong ties the Pumas now have with some of the major organizations that run the biggest competitions in the world and this follows the admittance of the national side in the Tri Nations competition in 2012, which has since been renamed the Rugby Championship.

There have been several former Argentina Rugby players who were the driving force behind getting the national side into the Rugby Championship and some of those same faces were involved in getting the organization to sanction a new franchise for the country which has seen the popularity of the sport rise manifolds since the turn of the century.

Greg Peters, the chief of Sanzar stated that it was only logical and a natural extension of their participation in the Rugby Championship that Argentina get a franchise in Super Rugby and they are happy that everything expect the name of the franchise already formalized by this time and they can’t wait for 2016.