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Champions Cup

Savea and Twitter responds to Toulon Boss comments.

Several pro’s have come out in support of Savea.

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In the strange world we live in, somehow the news that Dan Carter is returning to European Rugby was dwarfed by the comments made by Toulon Boss after his side lost to Agen.

The Toulon boss went on a tirade picking out players for public criticism in an astonishing rant that has to be seen to be believed. You can read all the comments here.

The brunt of the abuse was directed in Julian Savea’s direction.

“I am going to ask for a DNA test,” “Saveaapas not recruited but Savéapas, who had to change him on the plane. I would apologize and I would go home and when you get to that level of play, you have to apologize and leave, maybe it’s just a matter of self-esteem. Is it me who feeds my family or is it the club? “

“I told him he was released, and he was no longer welcome at Toulon! He has got a year left on his contract. He can do what he wants. A year can be long for the club but especially for the player… for me he is released,”

Savea who was talked up as one of the World’s Best Winger over the last few years due to his stunning try scoring ratio with the All Blacks (46 Tries in 54 Tests) has not enjoyed the best of starts to his Toulon career and if the Toulon Boss is serious with his comments, it’s over.

Julian Savea addressed the situation this morning via his Twitter:

Several professional players of past and present have publicly supported Savea via Twitter.

Former Toulon start Drew Mitchell was quick off the mark with his support and included the club and boss in his comments:

Well said my uce just keep on doing what you can control with that positive attitude and you will go along way.— Joe Rokocoko (@J_Rokocoko) February 18, 2019

#onwardsandupwards brother 👊🏽👊🏽👊🏽— Bryan Habana (@BryanHabana) February 18, 2019

The man dox ❤️— NGANI LAUMAPE (@NLaumape) February 18, 2019

Shot uce🔥🔥— Bundee Aki (@bundeeaki12) February 18, 2019

I doubt we’ve heard the last of this situation!

Savea wasn’t the only player targeted, you can read the rest of his comments here.

Champions Cup

Leinster Stars Set to Miss Champions Cup Quarter-Final

Leinster look set to be without a key member of their team when they host Ulster in the Champions Cup quarter-finals

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Robbie Henshaw is looking increasingly likely to be unavailable for Leinster’s Champions Cup quarter-final against Ulster on March 30th.

The centre has suffered a couple of injuries already this season and has been recovering from a dead leg. It had been hoped that he would be fully fit before the match, but Stuart Lancaster is not convinced he will be ready.

“Very frustrating for Robbie, I feel sorry for him. He’s had two different injuries that have had different lengths out and he’s so frustrated himself. We’ll see, he’s not on field with us yet so obviously the clock is ticking towards Ulster,”

Lancaster hasn’t completely ruled him out, however he is not in any way certain on Henshaw’s return date.

“We’ll have a better idea come Monday/Tuesday next week but again you get to the point in a week where you can’t wait. He’s making progress, he’s not far off but as to make he’ll Ulster we’ll see,”

He also revealed that Josh van der Flier is set to undergo a scan on his groin.

“He’s gone for a scan today and seeing the specialist tomorrow, so we’ll find out a bit more. I don’t think he’ll be available for the next week or two, but as to how many weeks, it’ll depend on tomorrow,” he said with regards to the flanker.

Lock Devin Toner will miss the last eight clash but is ahead of schedule in his recovery from injury.

“His timeline for return to play has actually come forward a bit, he’s made great progress which is positive for us,” he said.

In more positive news, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Joe Tomane, and Nick McCarthy are all set to feature against Edinburgh in the Pro14 this Friday and will gain some vital game-time before next week’s big match.

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Champions Cup

Irish Provinces Add Firepower to Their European Squads

The Irish provinces have added players to their European squads ahead of the quarter-finals

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All four Irish provinces have added players to their squads before their respective European quarter-finals.

Under the European Cup rules the teams that have qualified for the knock-out stages are entitled to add up to three players to their respective squads.

Leinster, Munster and Ulster have taken full advantage adding three each to their Champions Cup sides while Connacht have brought two into their Challenge Cup squad.

Leinster, who face Ulster in the last eight in the Aviva on March 30th, have chosen to include a fit-again Joe Tomane, who was released earlier in the competition to receive surgery on his hamstring, winger Barry Daly and prop Vakh Abdaladze.

On the other side, Ulster have included Luke Marshall, who had been missing through injury, James Hume and Tommy O’Hagan, as they hope to dethrone the reigning champions.

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Munster have brought in James Cronin, Bill Johnston and Jack O’Donoghue for their match away to Edinburgh. The latter could be vital as they are currently without Tommy O’Donnell who is out with a shoulder issue.

In the Challenge Cup, Connacht have registered Tom Daly and Stephen Fitzgerald, on loan from Leinster and Munster respectively, for their clash with Sale in two weeks’ time.

The additions are great to have, and we will have to wait and see if any of them play a pivotal role in getting their side through to the final four.

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Champions Cup

Pat Lambie opens up on battle with concussion

“deliberately avoided an HIA assessment”

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Former South African flyhalf Pat Lambie has spoken about his concussion. Lambie was forced to retire in January of this year due to his injuries at the age of just 28.

Lambie has also added that he deliberately avoided an HIA assessment in order to avoid having to be taken out of the game and possibly miss a European final.

He was just a quarter of a way into Racing 92’s Champions Cup semifinal against Munster when he suffered an unfortunate head knock. The concussion which Lambie suffered was the fifth of his career.

“It was from a scrum, I made a tackle; it was a big collision. I stayed at the bottom of the ruck, feeling dizzy, everything was spinning, tried to get up, sort of wobbled a bit, went back down for the rest of the passage of play, had some ice on my head, sprayed myself with some water, shook it off, said I was fine and carried on,” he told The Times.

“In the back of my mind, I was concerned that if I put my hand up and said, ‘I need an HIA [head injury assessment],’ I wouldn’t be allowed back on the field and, worse, if we made it to the final, I wouldn’t be allowed to play in that.”

Lambie was forced to prematurely bring an end to his 56-test Springbok career. Discussing his injuries, he revealed that it is like a ‘hangover without the fun from the night before’ with pounding headaches.

“I still wake up with a throbbing head. It’s like waking up with a hangover but you haven’t had any fun the night before.

“Or it’s like someone’s whacked you on the head with a baseball bat. It’s a pounding headache. Then I get this stinging sensation in my eyes, which comes and goes throughout the day and it is worse with some things like a weights session in the gym.”

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