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Rugby News

Thursday 20th September 2018

Danny Cipriani left out of England's 36-man squad for Bristol training camp

Gloucester fly-half Danny Cipriani has been left out of England's 36-man squad for a training camp next week.

Cipriani has excelled for his club in the early stages of the season, but has been overlooked by head coach Eddie Jones.

Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi is included for the camp in Bristol, having last played for England in 2016.

Sale winger Chris Ashton, who is serving a seven-week ban and suspended until mid-October, is also included.

Jones will name his squad for the November internationals on 18 October, before a training camp in Portugal. England face South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia in consecutive weekends at Twickenham.

Cipriani started England's last match, a 25-10 win over South Africa in Cape Town, but was fined both by magistrates and Gloucester after pleading guilty to common assault and resisting arrest in Jersey in August.

Jones said last month the matter had been dealt with and Cipriani would be "judged on his rugby". The Australian reaffirmed that point following the announcement, saying Cipriani's omission is "100%" on rugby grounds.


Challenge Cup final: Catalans beat Warrington 20-14 to win first trophy

Catalans Dragons pulled off one of Wembley's biggest upsets as the unfancied French side beat Warrington to win their first Challenge Cup.

No team from outside England had ever won the trophy in its 122-year history.

But from the moment that Lewis Tierney went over in the second minute, the Dragons looked capable of defying the odds.

Ben Garcia and Brayden Wiliame got their other tries, while Josh Drinkwater kicked four goals.

Warrington crossed twice, through Ben Murdoch-Masila and George King, who both began the game on the bench, while Tyrone Roberts kicked three goals.

But in front of 50,672 - Wembley's lowest Challenge Cup final crowd since World War Two - former England coach Steve McNamara's Dragons were deserved winners.


Lions captain Warburton retires from rugby

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has retired from rugby at the age of 29 after winning 79 Test caps.

The former Wales captain has not played since leading the 2017 Lions to a drawn series against New Zealand.

The back-rower recently returned to Cardiff Blues training after being sidelined for 2017-18 by knee and neck surgery.


Rugby World Cup 2019: Russia qualify after Spain, Belgium and Romania sanctioned

Russia have qualified for next year's Rugby World Cup after Spain, Belgium and Romania were sanctioned for fielding ineligible players.

Spain had hoped for a reprieve after an investigation into their defeat by Belgium, which meant Romania qualified.

But the panel ruled that all three countries broke eligibility rules and have been deducted points.

Russia therefore join Ireland, Scotland and hosts Japan in Pool A, while Germany meet Portugal in a play-off.

The winners of that go into a Europe/Oceania play-off against Samoa for the chance to complete Pool A at next year's global showpiece.

Romania have now appealed against the ruling, and claim they took all the appropriate steps to determine the availability of Sione Faka'osilea, who has been deemed ineligible after previously representing the Tongan 7s team.

The unions of Spain, Belgium and Romania have a 14-day window in which to appeal against the panel's decision.


Six Nations: Ireland beat England to win Grand Slam

Ireland thumped England on St Patrick's Day to win only the third Grand Slam in their history in thrilling fashion.

First-half tries from Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale lit up a snowy Twickenham as Joe Schmidt's men opened up a 21-5 lead despite having Peter O'Mahony in the sin bin.

A double from Elliot Daly and Jonny May's try with the clock in the red at the end of the game brought only faint consolation for the home side on another chastening afternoon for Eddie Jones.

Clinical with their chances, composed on an afternoon of immense pressure, Ireland were fully deserving of their triumph.

This team now joins the heroes of 1948 and 2009, their thrilling blend of experience and youth a class above their northern hemisphere rivals.

England had won 14 matches on the bounce at Twickenham but their poor Six Nations went from disappointing to disastrous under a green-shirted onslaught.

Not since the dark days of 2006 have they lost three matches in a single Six Nations campaign, and with Scotland beating Italy and Wales beating France in the late kick-off, they eventually finished fifth in the table for the first time.


2023 Rugby World Cup: South Africa recommended to host tournament

South Africa has been recommended to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup ahead of Ireland and France, the tournament's organising board has announced.

The World Rugby Council will meet on 15 November in London for a final vote.

South Africa, who won the 1995 cup as hosts after returning to international sport, were endorsed after reviews of each host candidate evaluation.


Six Nations unchanged in international rugby calendar shake-up

Rugby administrators worldwide are nearing an agreement on a new rugby union calendar, which will come into effect after the World Cup in 2019.

The Six Nations will not move from its traditional February to March slot.

The British and Irish Lions series and the World Cup will retain their places in the calendar.

The Lions are set to tour in July and August in 2021.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont and vice-chairman Agustin Pichot have been leading negotiations, with the changes expected to be ratified at the next council meeting at the end of November.

While a full-on global season is not feasible, there is confidence the new calendar will see a greater alignment between the two hemispheres.

Under the proposals, the Premiership and Pro12 leagues would start later and then would finish at the end of June, with the Super Rugby competition in the southern hemisphere ending at a similar time.

There is also a determination to have less overlap between international rugby and domestic tournaments, which is currently a point of consternation among clubs in Europe.