Connect with us
//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Rugby World Cup

Another Ireland star looking doubtful for World Cup following surgery.

Published

on

Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Last week Dan Leavy was officially ruled out the Rugby World Cup after sustaining a horror injury against Ulster in the Champions Cup Quarter Final.

Ulster Rugby, today released their weekly ‘squad update’ this morning that contained more worrying news regarding one of Joe Schmidt’s hopefuls ahead of the World Cup in Japan later this year.

The update reads:

“Stuart McCloskey sustained a concussion in the game versus Glasgow Warriors and will follow the return to play protocols.

Will Addison has had recent back surgery. It is hoped that he will return to full fitness for pre-season.”

While Stuart McCloskey has been one of Ulster’s stand out players this season he remains on the outskirts of the squad in a highly competitive position. Will Addison, however, was capped in the Autumn Series by Schmidt and many close to the camp believe that Addison is a big favourite of Schmidt and very likely to make the squad to Japan (if fit).

Addison, who made the move to Ulster at the start of the season from Sale Sharks has been in fine form for Ulster when not struggling with back issues. He got his chance in the Autumn Series and proved more than capable of cutting it at Test Level.

It has been confirmed now by Ulster Rugby that the star has had surgery to hopefully resolve the problem and they are hoping he will return to fitness for pre-season.

Typically, pre-season kicks off in late June. Will this be enough time for Will Addison to stake his claim for a spot on the plane to Japan. Time will tell.

6 Nations

Rory Best to retire.

Published

on

Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ulster and Ireland captain Rory Best has confirmed that he will retire from professional rugby when his current contract expires after the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Best will bow out with a hugely impressive list of honours and will go down as a legend of the modern game, having spent 15 seasons at the top level.

Rory began his rugby development at Banbridge RFC, with whom he is still involved, while he also played at Portadown College and Belfast Harlequins RFC on route to the professional game.

He made his competitive debut for Ulster in 2004 and has amassed 219 appearances to date, scoring 23 tries. He was a key member of the squad which won the Celtic League title in 2005/06.

Best is Ulster’s most-capped international with 116 appearances (10 tries) and has helped Ireland win the Six Nations Championship on four occasions, including two Grand Slam successes (one as captain).

Best’s leadership of Ireland is record-breaking; he captained Ireland to its first ever win against New Zealand in 2016 and has steered the country to second in the world rankings.

He was a member of the British & Irish Lions squad for the 2013 and 2017 tours to Australia and New Zealand respectively.

Best was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to rugby.

“It is with mixed feelings that I announce my retirement from Ulster Rugby as of the end of this season,” said Best.

“This feels like the right time for me to go out on my terms, a luxury for which I feel very privileged.

“I am very excited for the end of the season with Ulster Rugby and for the upcoming World Cup with Ireland, both of which I hope to finish with a massive high, playing at the top of my game.

“In my 15 years at this brilliant club, I have been lucky to have met, played alongside, been coached by and supported by many great people, and I would like to thank every individual for the time they have invested in me since 2004.

“I grew up supporting Ulster Rugby, have been fortunate to play and captain Ulster Rugby, and now look forward to supporting Ulster Rugby in the future with my family.”

Paying tribute to Best, Ulster’s Operations Director, Bryn Cunningham said:

“No player representing Ulster Rugby has had a more profound impact in the professional era than Rory.

“When Rory enters the room, everyone waits for his words. On the training pitch, he demands high standards at all times. During a match, players turn to Rory for leadership and direction. He has been our all-encompassing talismanic figure for more than a decade.

“Rory’s ability to not only stay at the top, but also fight his way through adversity, shows the strength of character he possesses.

“The ever-present support of the Best family on the side-lines, in particular Jodie, Ben, Penny and Richie, encapsulates Rory as the ultimate family man. We know that they will continue to follow Ulster Rugby for many years to come.

“Rory will justifiably go down as one of the greatest legends of Ulster and Irish Rugby.”

Continue Reading

International

All Blacks star ruled out of World Cup with ACL injury.

Huge loss for not just the All Blacks but for the Rugby World to miss out in seeing his talent being showcased.

Published

on

Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

All Blacks and Chiefs utility Damian McKenzie has been ruled out of the 2019 Rugby World Cup with a knee injury.

Coach Steve Hansen, spoke to the media at the All Blacks first “foundation day” in Wellington. He confirmed that the 23-year-old ruptured his ACL in his right-knee playing for the Chiefs against the Blues on Saturday night.

“Yeah he’s he’s done an ACL so [it] looks like he could be out for eight to nine months, which is a real shame for him,”

“His World Cup opportunity is gone [but] he’ll still be young enough to make probably the next two.

“It’s just important that he gets his knee right and takes his time to come back and achieve the dreams that he wants to achieve.”

Hansen said it was sad for McKenzie, “but it creates another opportunity for somebody else we’ve got to expect injuries and there will be more than just him when we finally name the team to go to the World Cup

“Our task is finding someone else to fill his role and his task is getting the knee right to be able to play the game.”

Hansen said the All Blacks are not short of options as they still had Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga as first five-eighths options while Ben Smith and Jordie Barrett have the ability to cover fullback.

McKenzie left the pitch on the 41st minute in Hamilton after clashing with Blues Fly-Half, Otere Black.

A scan confirmed the extent of the injury that will see McKenzie out of action for around 6-9 months.

With the World Cup just shy of 5 months away, the door has been opened for another Out-Half to join Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga in the All Blacks squad.

Losing McKenzie is a huge blow for the All Blacks, having earned 23 caps to date he provides Hansen with an option at 10 & 15 and also give him another reliable goal-kicking option.

Hansen did deliver some better news regarding injured All Blacks midfielder Sonny Bill Williams and flanker Sam Cane.

He said Williams “had his knee trimmed up” and Hansen was confident he would come back.

“Many people come back from cartilage injuries so that’s not a concern but if he gets back and plays four or five games, bingo, he’s going to play some good footy we saw the other night he played well.

Cane has resumed light contact training with the Chiefs after breaking in his neck in the All Blacks’ test against South Africa in Pretoria last October.

“He’s back into contact which is wonderful news and he’s just got to take his time there. I’m sure Coops [Chiefs coach Colin Cooper] and his team will bring him back when they think he’s ready.

“What is important is he comes back when he is ready and he is confident. Coming off an injury like that there is a lot of confidence and mind [issues] that you have to come through as well as the injury side.”

Embed from Getty Images
Continue Reading

Rugby Championship

Pocock to be Eased Back Following Injury

David Pocock will have his “load managed” when he returns from injury

Published

on

Photo by Matt King/Getty Images

Brumbies and Australian international player David Pocock is to be carefully managed once he returns from injury this weekend against the Lions.

The flanker has been unavailable since his Brumbies side lost to the Rebels on March 8th when he sustained a calf injury.

Speaking ahead of the weekend’s clash Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has confirmed that Pocock will not be rushed back and will be managed carefully.

“You have to manage him. Calf injuries … they can be tricky and hang around a while, so we have to manage his load well. He’s not going to play 80 minutes. That would be silly from our end. We’re just going to manage him wisely and make sure he can string some games together,” he said.

The coach also spoke of Pocock’s vital influence for both his team and the Wallabies heading into the World Cup later this year and would like to get him to build some momentum to get back to his best.

“It would be nice for him to get some consistency week in week out and build his performance. Even if you’re a world class player, if you’re in one week then out for a few more it’s hard to get momentum in your own individual performance,” he added.

Pocock has been somewhat injury prone over the past year with neck injuries and concussion being the most common factors in keeping him side-lined.

However, with Israel Folau’s future in Australia up in the air, a return to full health and form for the 30-year-old leader would be a timely boost to Aussie coach Michael Cheika as Japan approaches quickly.

Continue Reading

Trending