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Pro14

Scarlets to Pay Player to Leave

The Scarlets have decided to pay one of their players out of their contract only a year after signing him

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(Photo by Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Scarlets have released back-liner Clayton Blommetjies ahead of the 2019/20 season, having only signed him last summer. 

The 28-year-old has only featured six times for the Welsh side after failing to impress and was even sent on loan to Premiership side Leicester Tigers for the second half of the season.

It is believed that his fitness levels were a real concern for the club, with former head coach Wayne Pivac giving Blommetjies a hint to get fitter last season.

“We do things a bit differently from the Cheetahs and expectation on the players is to be in a certain shape and Clayton has a bit of work to do in that area,” he said.

However, the full-back, who was signed following an impressive season with the Cheetahs in the PRO14 clearly never took the advice and was given limited game time due to this.

Although his release has not been officially announced by the Scarlets yet, Blommetjies told South African news outlet Network24 that he was actively seeking a new club after being told the news by the Scarlets.

“I did my job, I did what they asked of me. They are going to pay out the year of my contract and my agent is looking for me elsewhere. I was sad when I heard the bad news a few days ago. It hurt, but I am patiently waiting for my agent to try something for me. My wife and child enjoyed it there, so it is just so sad to hear that we won’t go back,” he said.

A return to South Africa may be on the cards for the full-back, however, his potential lack of fitness and his apparent lack of willingness to change will be a concern for any potential suitors.

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Pro14

Ulster Rugby star suffers pre-season ACL tear

9 months out.

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Not the news that any Ulster fans want.

Another new signing struck down by injury before the season has even started.

Gareth Milasinovich who joined the province from Worcester Warriors was struck down in the last couple of weeks with an ACL tear that will see him on the sidelines for approximately 9 months.

Ulster Rugby fans have become accustomed to similar situations over the last number of seasons with many new exciting signings being struck down very early into their Ulster careers with ‘big’ injuries’.

Jared Payne ruptured an achilles tendon very early in his Ulster career and other big-name casualties include Marcel Coetzee and Jean Dysell who also suffered ACL injuries in their opening seasons with Ulster Rugby.

We wish Gareth a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him and the other new recruits at Ulster on the field really soon.

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Pro14

Cheetahs Make Four More Signings

After announcing the arrival of Ruan Pienaar last week the Cheetahs have added a further four players to their squad for next season

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(Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The Free State Cheetahs have confirmed the signings of four more players ahead of the 2019/20 PRO14 season. 

Only last week they announced the signing of veteran scrum-half Ruan Pienaar but he will be joined at the club by Rhyno Smith, Chris Massyn, Chris Smit and Wilmar Arnoldi.

Smith currently plays for the Sharks and is a utility back who was on loan with the Cheetahs last season but has now made his switch permanent with a three-year contract.

Massyn on the other hand is a loose forward most frequently used as a flanker. The 25-year-old led the University of Stellenbosch Maties to the 2019 Varsity Cup and has signed a two-year deal.

Smit also claimed victory in the 2019 Varsity Cup and was named player of the tournament before signing for Griquas. He plays as a centre usually but can also play at fly-half if needed and joins on a two-year contract.

Hooker Arnoldi is also coming in from Griquas on another two-year contract.

All four will join up with the squad after finishing the Currie Cup campaign with their respective provinces, but things are certainly looking on the up heading into the new season for the Cheetahs.

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Premiership

Worcester Coach on the Move

Worcester Warriors head coach Rory Duncan could be set to leave the club very soon according to reports

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(Photo by Ashley Crowden - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Worcester Warriors head coach Rory Duncan has been given permission to speak to other clubs according to reports in the Worcester News. 

The news outlet claim that they have been informed by the club that they do not see Duncan as a part of their future plans.

“The club has put in place a strategic plan for the future of Warriors. We do not envisage Rory Duncan being part of those plans and, therefore, we have given Rory permission to seek opportunities elsewhere,” a club spokesperson said

Duncan has impressed with stints at the Cheetahs and the Warriors, and a return to the Cheetahs looked to be on the cards until the club announced Hawies Fourie as their new coach.

However, the Southern Kings are currently looking for a new head coach and Duncan is among a four-man list of coaches being considered for the position, with Steve Jackson, Corniel van Zyl and Pieter de Villiers being the others.

Duncan has experience with the Kings having played two Currie Cup seasons with them before his retirement from playing.

Both the Warriors and the Kings open up their respective campaigns for the 2019/20 season in September and one would imagine they will want a quick resolution if he is to depart for South Africa once again.

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