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6 Nations

Bastareaud Opens Up About New York Move

Mathieu Bastareaud has explained why he is leaving France after the World Cup

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Mathieu Bastareaud has discussed his post-World Cup move to Rugby United New York and confirmed his family were the main reason to head abroad.

Bastareaud’s move to the American side was confirmed on Monday after he had opted to turn down South African side the Sharks.

“My first idea was South Africa, with the Sharks. We talked for a long time, but there was nothing concrete. But with my new family situation, I needed something safe. In the end, we entered into discussions with [RUNY chief executive] Pierre Arnald,” he said to L’Equipe.

Following discussion with both teams he chose to head over to the Big Apple.

“New York, ultimately, was the best compromise between the experience of living and seeing something else with the family. I have to think for three now, not just for me,” he said.

It had been reported that the Toulon and France centre would go on a year-long loan, but he has confirmed that this is a permanent move.

“It’s not a loan at all. I am under contract with RCT until November, then paid by the New York club until June,” he added.

Once the year is up Bastareaud would like to continue playing however, he has said that nothing is set in stone.

“For the rest, there are discussions. Will anyone want me again? It’s not clear. It’s an experience to come back better. It’s just a goodbye and see you soon. I hope [to come back] but nothing is fixed,” he finished.

Bastareaud will join former England international, Ben Foden, in New York, and after that we will have to wait and see where the French powerhouse ends up.

6 Nations

England name squad for Guinness Six Nations & Autumn Nations Cup

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Issued by Rugby Football Union

Eddie Jones has named a 36-player squad for his England side’s autumn tournament fixtures.
 
England will play their final match of the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday 31 October (4.45pm GMT KO), knowing a bonus point win could see them lift the trophy.
 
They will then return to begin their Autumn Nations Cup campaign at Twickenham Stadium where they will play three Quilter Internationals.  England will play Georgia (Saturday 14 November, 3pm KO) and Ireland (Saturday 21 November, 3pm KO).
 
England will then face Wales away (Saturday 28 November, 4pm KO) before a placing match at home to determine final position in the competition (Sunday 6 December, 2pm KO).
 
England have been in training for the fixtures during October at The Lensbury in Teddington.  The squad includes seven Gallagher Premiership Finalists – Exeter Chiefs trio Jonny Hill, Henry Slade and Harry Williams, along with Wasps’ Joe Launchbury, Dan Robson, Jacob Umaga and Jack Willis.

Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ali Crossdale, Courtney Lawes, Jack Nowell, Manu Tuilagi and Mark Wilson are unavailable due to injury. 
 
Elliot Daly, George Ford and Joe Marler will join up with the squad for reconditioning.
 
Jones said: “We have to put our best foot forward if we want to win the Six Nations.  We need to set the tone of the game and we want to put a smile on fans’ faces, a lot of people are enduring hardships and we are grateful for the opportunity to represent England in these difficult times.
 
“We were obviously disappointed with the postponement of the Barbarians game but we moved to plan B, had a highly competitive training session instead of the match and now we are fully focused on the Italy game and the goal of winning the Six Nations.
 
“It was a tough squad to pick and I know there are a number of disappointed players that have just missed out.  We’ve got a good balance between experience and inexperience.

With nine players out injured, it does create some opportunities for the younger guys to show what they can do.  We’re very happy with what we’ve seen in the mini-camps and the Barbarians training week, it’s been really competitive.”
 
Recently appointed skills coach Jason Ryles will join up with the team for the start of the Autumn Nations Cup, after finishing the season and winning the NRL Grand Final with Melbourne Storm, where he was assistant coach.
 
Italy v England is live on ITV 1 and all Autumn Nations Cup games will be live on Amazon Prime.

FULL SQUAD
Backs

Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 83 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 13 caps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 50 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears, uncapped)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 3 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 56 caps)
Dan Robson (Wasps, 2 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 43 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 99 caps)
 
Forwards
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 23 caps)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 49 caps)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 38 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 65 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 8 caps)
Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Jack Singleton (Gloucester Rugby, 3 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 35 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps)

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 59 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
Jack Willis (Wasps, uncapped)

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6 Nations

Wales & France name side for 6 Nations restart

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Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named his first squad in seven months as Wales kick off their Autumn campaign in Paris against France on Saturday (KO 21.10 local, ITV4 & S4C).

Captain Alun Wyn Jones will level the world record of test appearances when he makes his 148th international appearance (including 9 British & Irish Lions test caps). Jones will pack down alongside Cory Hill who makes his first start for his country since February 2019.
Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias and Samson Lee comprise the front-row with Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau featuring in the back-row.

Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are named at half-back with Nick Tompkins partnering the returning Jonathan Davies in midfield. Josh Adams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny make up the back-three.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said:


“The players are excited, it has been a long time, we can’t wait for Saturday.
“We have six matches this autumn and the game against France helps us get back into our stride international rugby-wise. We have picked an experienced side and are up against a good French team so we want to start this autumn well and get on the front foot for the Guinness Six Nations fixture against Scotland.


“We have talked already about how fortunate we are to be going about our work on a daily basis. A lot of people can’t do that and certainly within our organisation there are a lot of people not back at work.

From our point of view this Saturday is an opportunity to prepare for this tournament and for Scotland, but two, to put some smiles on faces and put on a good performance and make the nation proud.
On Alun Wyn Jones equalling the world record for test caps, Pivac said:

“It is a fabulous achievement. He epitomises what a great rugby player is all about. He is a true professional on and off the field and a gentleman of the game. On the field he leads by example and you can’t ask more of your captain and we are very privileged here in Wales to have him.

”Uncapped duo Sam Parry and Louis Rees-Zammit are both named on the bench for the test at Stade de France. Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and James Davies complete the forward replacements with Gareth Davies and Rhys Patchell joining Rees-Zammit as the back-line cover.

France have also named their team.

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6 Nations

Scarlets provide updates on Williams & Owens

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(Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Liam Williams has recovered from a foot injury that has prevented him playing for the Scarlets so far this season. He has been released from the Wales squad to train with the Scarlets ahead of Friday’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Benetton.

Ken Owens has undergone surgery on the shoulder injury he sustained against Glasgow and it is expected he will be unavailable for three to four months.

Josh Macleod has started his rehabilitation for a hamstring injury sustained against Glasgow. He will be targeting a return to play in December.

Scarlets also confirmed that Sam Lousi has been banned for a period of four weeks as a result of his red card in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Glasgow Warriors.

Lousi was shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy (IRFU) under Law 9.13 – a Player must not tackle an opponent early, late, or dangerously. Dangerous tackling includes, but is not limited to, tackling, or attempting to tackle an opponent above the line of the shoulder even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

The disciplinary hearing was handled by Roddy Dunlop (Scotland) and it was accepted that the player’s actions warranted a red card for foul play. The incident was deemed a mid-range offence, which carries a six-week suspension.

Due to the player’s previous disciplinary record (red card for punching incident, February 2020) the judicial officer could not offer full mitigation therefore, resulting in a four-week suspension.

Lousi is free to resume playing from midnight on November 9, 2020

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