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Declan Kidney’s post-Northampton Saints analysis



London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney has said that there are collective things that his side can improve upon having analysed the Exiles’ loss to Northampton Saints.

The Round 2 Gallagher Premiership fixture at the cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens saw the home side collect five points in a 38-22 win, leaving the west Londoners seventh in the table trailing an opening day win over Worcester Warriors.

Irish went into the break 10-0 down and three men light after a trio of temporary dismissals, leaving Kidney’s men up against it which they nonetheless only conceded a four-point aggregate.

Kidney believes there are plenty of learnings for his side to take from the encounter against Phil Dowson’s men ahead of a first double gameweek of the campaign.

 “There were a lot of things there in our control that we can do better, I think there were a couple of momentum swings in the game too,” Kidney stated.

“The two of those things combined probably cost us as the game went on, so it’s well within our grasp to be that much better and fairplay to Northampton, we knew they would be well up for it.

“There are little things that are learnings for us to take, both individually and collectively, and if we can get those right, we’ll be better for it.”

The Boys in Green managed a positive opening 40 minutes, with Henry Arundell’s potential try in the first half ruled out for an earlier infringement that saw a flurry of yellow cards inflicted upon Irish before the half’s end.

With a change in the match’s flow thereafter, Irish’s Director of Rugby explains the effort required from his men to attempt to grasp something from the affair thereafter.

He continued: “It does take the energy out of the boys on the pitch, you could say there was a four-point swing in those nine minutes which isn’t the worst with three men out.

“We got a penalty and they got a bit more momentum then, only scoring right at the end then when our three men came back on.

“The minute preceding that and moments like that we can control better, all the good work wasn’t necessarily undone but we can do a lot better.”

“When you get a yellow, everyone looks at the time when the players are off but everyone has to focus in and use extra energy, and there is a responsibility for everyone then to try and stay on the pitch.

“One of our yellows was unlucky, one was a learning and one was an opinion- what we have to learn that when they all come together it can be a challenge to deal with.

“The more time he and Henry get, the better they will become,” Kidney said of the Club’s England internationals.

“They’re young players, and it will take a while to build up that experience.”

Will Joseph, who scored for the second consecutive week, was one of many positives for Irish on the day and the DoR affirms that contributions from the wider squad will be necessary for the next fortnight and beyond.

“It was an expensive day for us in terms of bangs and knocks but we’ve never been a side to complain, there are loads of guys in our team looking to take their place.

“Like every Club now we have a full-on schedule, there are midweek games for the next two weeks in between league games.

“It will have to be a full squad effort over these next few gameweeks.”

Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby





Sale Sharks have agreed a deal to sign Fiji captain Waisea Nayacalevu from French Top14 side Toulon. 

The explosive centre, who starred for his country during the recent World Cup, has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further year. 

He will join up with Alex Sanderson’s Sharks squad ahead of the start of the 2024/25 Gallagher Premiership season. 

Waisea, 33, said: “I’ve watched the Premiership for a long time and it’s always been in the back of my mind that I would love to play there one day and experience rugby in England. 

“Now that opportunity has arrived and I’m really, really happy and grateful. I’m so excited to get over there and join the boys and see how I can contribute to the team. 

“I have spoken to Telusa Veainu and he only has positive things to say about the club and about Manchester. 

“I’m looking forward to playing with some of the guys I’ve played against, like Tom Curry and George Ford. But I also know there are a lot of really talented young players in the Sale Sharks squad and I’m excited to share my experience and help them develop as much as I can.  

“I told Alex that it’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years of my career and it’s something I’m passionate about.” 

Nayacalevu, who stands at 6’4” and weighs in at 16st 7lb, spent ten years at Top14 side Stade Français before making the switch to Toulon in 2022.  

He has won 34 caps for Fiji, slotting in at both centre and on the wing, and captained his country at last year’s World Cup, where the Pacific Islanders made the quarter-finals, losing 30-24 to England in Marseille. 

He also famously scored for Fiji in their memorable pre-World Cup win against England at Twickenham. 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Falcons star to join Saracens



Phil Brantingham to join Saracens

Tuesday 05 March 2024 Written by: Tom Grisedale

Prop-forward Phil Brantingham will leave Newcastle Falcons in the summer to join Saracens.

The 22-year-old has played 25 games for his home town club, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of everyone at the Falcons.

Chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “Phil has done well for us and we made him a good offer to stay here.

“We respect his decision and wish him all the best for his move in the summer, but between now and then he will be fully committed to finishing the season strongly for Newcastle Falcons.”

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby

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Sale Sharks can confirm that forward Cobus Wiese will leave the club at the end of the season to return to South Africa. 

The 26-year-old lock has played almost 80 games for the club and scored five tries since joining from the DHL Stormers ahead of the 2020/21 season. 

He played a key role last year as Sale reached the Premiership final, and this season he has featured a further 13 times for Alex Sanderson’s side. 

Alex said: “Cobus will be missed by all of us on so many levels. He’s the most polite and courteous of people off the field, but the most wildly excitable man on the field, and on a night out. 

“To say Cobus wears his heart on his sleeve is to do him a disservice with regards to his emotional commitment for which his body has paid the price on occasion.  

“He leads by example and has earnt the respect and adoration of the group both on a professional and a personal level. We wish him every success and happiness with his move back home.” 

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Cobus for his contribution to the club and the team during his time here and we wish him all the very best for the future.  

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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