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Current and Former Munster Men are Making Plans

Two Munster men have signed contract extensions while a former club legend is leaving his role at his current club

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Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Munster are making all the headlines today with Joey Carbery and Alby Mathewson signing contract extensions while former player Paul O’Connell is set to leave Stade Francais.

Carbery, who joined from Leinster at the end of last season has extended his current contract with the IRFU and Munster by a further two years until 2022.

The out-half has been in tremendous form since joining the Reds with a chart-topping 68 points in the Champions Cup so far and leading the way for the golden boot in the Pro 14 with 87% kicking accuracy so far.

There had been talk of the 23-year-old Athy native heading back to Leinster when his contract ran out down south, but that talk has now been put to bed. It will put a smile on the face of Leinster No 10 Ross Bryne who has also been in impressive form since Carbery’s departure.

Fellow half-back Mathewson has also signed a contract extension with the province until after the World Cup, to help Johann van Graan’s men get through the tough period.

He originally joined as cover for Conor Murray while he was out injured but has gone on to become a key asset to the team and has two tries in 16 appearances so far.

Elsewhere, Munster and Ireland legend Paul O’Connell has confirmed he will be leaving Stade Francias at the end of the season. However, having been linked with a role at Toulan, O’Connell has announced he does not plan to join another club for next season.

“I have decided not to stay beyond my contract year with the club and do not plan to join another club next season either. I had a great adventure at the Stade Français Paris. I am grateful to the club for the opportunity they gave me to live and work in Paris. I was delighted to be able to work alongside Heyneke Meyer, the staff and all the club’s players. Finally, I am looking forward to the end of the season and I hope to be able to help the club during the eventual finals of the Top 14,” he said.

With players like Carbery committing to his former club, could O’Connell be planning a move back home soon or could he join Ronan O’Gara in a possible French national team role?

Rugby

New Japanese League to be Set Up

A new Japanese rugby league is in the pipeline which could cause major problems for the Southern Hemisphere’s power countries

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Japanese Rugby Football Union vice-president Katsuyuki Kiyomiya has confirmed that plans are being put in place for a new domestic league in the country to continue the rise of the sport in Japan.

Kiyomiya spoke to Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei and explained how the national team’s rise in the sport, which has seen them reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup, has aided them with their decision to put together a new league come 2021. 

“This World Cup is a big event Japanese rugby has not experienced before and we are tested on how we take the excitement and enthusiasm created by this event to the next level. Now is the chance to start a professional league, which enables Japanese spectators to see star players in the World Cup 2019 playing at first hand, right in front of their eyes,” he said. 

The vice-president confirmed that they would hold a press conference on November the 18th where they will discuss the plans and ambitions for the new competition which they say will run from August to January each year. 

This schedule could cause tensions between the clubs in Japan and the Southern Hemisphere nations as their players could sign on for the season in Japan while also playing Super Rugby but that would mean that they could miss their international games. 

Kiyomiya believes that this new league would bring in annual revenues of around 50 billions yen which would allow the league and its teams to compete with the financial power of European leagues such as the Top 14 in France

The fear for the likes of countries like New Zealand would be that their players may use their contracts, which allow for a move to Japan before returning home, to go play in the new league while missing the international season. 

Worries will be there for the likes of Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick signing new contracts this year will provide for a sabbatical in Japan which could cause major problems.

The new league would replace the current Top League which contains 16 teams with the proposed new league reducing to 12 teams. 

All of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand have already faced struggles when it comes to keeping their star names and this would add further complications to that big problem. 

We will have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of months but not only could we see countries finding it hard to get players to play internationally if the league goes ahead but for Super Rugby players it could lead to them becoming burned out as they try to play all year round between the two leagues. However, it would allow the Japanese players to continue to improve as they mix among the world’s best.

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All You Need to Know About RugbyX

The inaugural RugbyX tournament is fast approaching and here’s everything we know so far

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The first ever RugbyX tournament takes place on October 29th at the O2 in London and things are heating up ahead of the competition.

Earlier this week TRM confirmed the final team line-up and the draw as to who will play who.

In the men’s draw hosts England will face Ireland and the Barbarians in Group A while France, the USA and Argentina make up Group B.

While in the women’s event there are only four nations involved so there will be two semi-finals which see England take on France and the USA face Ireland.

The day will be split into two sessions, the afternoon session between 4pm and 6pm, and the evening session between 8.30pm and 10.30pm.

In the opening session the men’s group stage will take place along with the women’s semi-finals, with the men’s quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, along with the women’s 3rd/4th place play-off and final taking place in the evening.

The sport has selected teams that are among the leading Sevens Nations in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and there are a number of stars already confirmed for the tournament.

Among them are England’s Dan Norton, who is the all-time leading try-scorer in the sevens game, USA’s double world player of the year Perry Baker and France’s Terry Bouhraoua.

While England’s women’s captain Abbie Brown will be among the women stars on show.

Speaking on RugbyX World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper believes that this will help grow rugby as a sport.

“The sanctioning of RugbyX marks an exciting step on World Rugby’s journey towards making the sport more accessible, providing an important entry point for new audiences to experience the joy, speed and skill of rugby in an indoor arena environment. Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any sport and RugbyX presents a great opportunity to capitalise on increasing global interest in the days immediately preceding the Rugby World Cup final in Japan,” he said.

The new sport has the core fundamentals of full contact rugby with variations on certain laws to make the game faster in a five vs five match.

For example, there are quick-tap restarts on the goal-line, with no conversions. While there no line-outs as they are replaced by quick throw-ins from the team in possession during the 10 minute games that feature no half-time.

Tickets are available for both sessions on Ticketmaster and AXS. If you haven’t already, sign up to our newsletter to receive a 20% Off discount code on RugbyX Tickets!

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Six to be Added to Hall of Fame

Six legends of the game will be entering the World Rugby Hall of Fame later this year

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(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

World Rugby have confirmed that there will be a total of six new faces added to the World Rugby Hall of Fame on November 3rd this year.

Among them are two former All Blacks in Richie McCaw and Graham Henry. While they are joined by Japan’s Shiggy Konno, Springbok Os du Randt, Samoa’s Peter Fatialofa and Uruguay’s Diego Ormaechea.

World Rugby Chairman and Hall of Fame inductee Sir Bill Beaumont has congratulated all of the newcomers and has recognised them as key figures in the game.

“Our beloved game of rugby would not be what it is today without the contributions of remarkable trailblazers, men and women, who form the World Rugby Hall of Fame. They are players and coaches, true legends of the game that have embodied our values and will continue to inspire generations to come. On behalf of the rugby family, I would like to recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of this year’s six new inductees, Richie McCaw, Shiggy Konno, Os du Randt, Peter Fatialofa, Graham Henry and Diego Ormaechea for their outstanding career and thank them for their immense footprint on our game. We look forward to honouring them in November at what promises to be a very special night,” he said.

The players have been chosen due to their outstanding contribution to the sport throughout their careers, while they have also shown the key characteristics of the sport in passion, integrity, solidarity, discipline and respect.

All will be added to the Hall of Fame at the World Rugby Awards which take place on November the 3rd, following the final of the Rugby World Cup the day previous. The ceremony will be held in The Prince Park Tower in Tokyo with McCaw, Henry and Ormaechea expected to attend the event.

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