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Former Ulster star, Peter Nelson signs for French Club

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Getty Images - AFPCHRISTOPHE SIMON

Canada international and former Ulster player, Peter Nelson has signed with French PRO D2 side, Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne on a 3-year deal.

Nelson spent 8 seasons with Ulster making 64 PRO14 appearances. In June 2019 Nelson joined up with the Canadian national team qualifying through his Grandmother who was born in Vancouver.

Nelson was part of the Canadian World Cup Squad making 3 appearance in RWC 2019 in Japan against Italy, New Zealand and South Africa.

In 2020, he signed with MRL side, Seawolwes in the USA to compete in the Major League of Rugby championship but unfortunately COVID-19 prevented any involvement.

Comfortable playing across the back 3 or at 10 or 12 he’s an astute signing for the PRO D2 Club. Nelson makes the move from French 3rd Division team Bourg en Bresse where he was brought in as a medical joker in September 2020.

Aurrilac has a long association with Ulster with with former Ulster Legend, Jeremy Davidson coaching the side for several years. Andre Bester former, Ballymena & Belfast Harlequins coach also had a stint with the Cantal Based Club.

Aurillac have had several Ulster-born players on their roster over the years including former Ulster Prop, Paddy McAllister, former Ulster winger, Conor Gaston and Ulster Underage Representatives, Charlie Simpson & Tim Small.

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International

Minor law adjustments confirmed by World Rugby

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World Rugby has approved minor adjustments in law relating to Law 5 (time) and Law 18 (touch) following consideration of unintended consequences of current law in specific circumstances.

The following adjustments, which deal with specific scenarios, will come into effect immediately across the game globally. 

Law 5.7c (exceptions to the end of a half when the ball becomes dead)

Law 5.7c has been adjusted to align three aspects of law that deal with the scenario where time has elapsed and a team, having been awarded a penalty, kicks the ball into touch and the ball bounces before crossing the plane of touch without touching another player or the referee.

The principle of the law recognises that the lineout, like a scrum option, can be a penalty option in a  different form. Therefore, even if the ball bounces into touch, the kicking team should maintain possession. 

The revised law 5.7c will now read: A half ends when the ball becomes dead after time has expired unless a penalty is kicked directly into touch without the ball first being tapped and without the ball touching another player.

In practice this will mean: Ball is kicked from a penalty – A player kicks the ball into touch (either directly or first bouncing in the field of play or touching  a player or the referee). Location of mark: Where the ball reaches the touchline. Who: Kicking team.

Law 18.8c (Lineout)

The principle behind the kicking team throwing into a lineout that results from a kick to touch following a penalty is that the non-offending team benefits from possession following a successfully executed kick for touch.

However, if the kicking team decides to compete for possession during that kick and a player from that team chases the kick and touches the ball on its way to touch, then they should forfeit their right to throw the ball into the resultant lineout. As the law is currently worded, the kicking team would still throw into the lineout, even if the ball hits one of their players before reaching touch, which is not in line with the intended principle.

Therefore, law 18.8c has been amended to address this unintentional anomaly: Event: Ball is kicked from a penalty – A player kicks the ball into touch (either directly or first bouncing in the field of play or hitting a player an opponent or the referee). Location of mark: Where the ball reaches the touchline. Who: Kicking team.

World Rugby will also be surveying the rugby family – players, coaches, referees and fans – on the package of closed law trials currently operating around the globe. With the Laws Review Group set to make recommendations in June as to which are progressed to global trial status, views of the rugby family will be taken into consideration as part of the decision-making process.

Click here to visit the World Rugby Laws website and download the Laws App >>

Source – World Rugby

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Rugby

Unexpected Rugby MatchesThat Have Gone Down In History!

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Rugby was established in the UK. It is difficult to establish the exact year. However, we know it was in the early 1800s. Most of us accept the year assigned by The Football Association which is 1862 as the first organized and actual football game. But, there are records of townspeople playing a game that seems to be rugby as early as the 1500s.

Rugby

Rugby got its start at Rugby School in Warwickshire, England in 1823. They were playing the UK version of Football when William Webb Ellis decided to pick up the ball and run with it. Some folks take issue with this historical account, but since the Rugby World Cup Trophy is now named “The Webb Ellis Cup” that seems to be enough for most people to agree.

The Rugby game is a cross between the UK football game and the Canadian Football Game. The ball is the oblong football rather than the round UK football and the match is 80 minutes, 2 halves of 40-minutes each with a 10-minute half-time break. You can click here to compare the two sports.

Rugby Wins That Nobody Expected!

We just cannot talk about unexpected rugby events without mentioning the recent Leicester City Premier League Championship. Leicester City, with odds of 5,000/1 was crowned Premier League champions after Tottenham failed to beat Chelsea. Leicester’s win has caught the country off-guard and has been described as the “most unlikely triumph in the history of team sports”. No one was more surprised than the bookies! With odds like that they were not expecting the people who were willing to lay down their money on their favorite team. This ended up costing the bookies millions!

Who doesn’t want to see the “little guy” take their place in the spotlight sometimes? We all get excited when we hear of an “underdog” who beat the odds and came out a winner.

The experts and our friends at Lottoland know a thing or two about odds. They are the UK’s largest offshore and online betting company. They have more than 6,000 clients who come to them to bet on lotteries, sports, races, and play casino-type games. This story caught their attention. For more odds, here is an article by Lottoland that you are sure to enjoy.

2015 Rugby World Cup

Japan vs South Africa

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This was not expected to be a close match. Japan was competing with the mighty, South Africa. This match went down in history as one of the greatest rugby upsets of all time. Japan was expected to do well. They were expected to maybe win a trophy and perhaps to win third place if they were lucky. However, South Africa was the clear favorite.

Experienced South Africa seemed to overlook the “fight back” that was rising during the second half. Karne Hesketh took action and he was luckier than a lottery winner.  He executed the winning play and that sent fans of Japan into orbit! The team that had won only a single World Cup game before this game, left Springboks licking their wounds. Japan won the game over South Africa, 34-32, and won the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

1991

Samoa takes on Wales

Millennium Stadium

Everyone expected a good game, and everyone expected Wales to be victorious. Wales had been through some minor setbacks recently, but nothing that would be of concern for this match. Nothing had prepared the fans or the team for what was coming.

October 6, 1991, the proud nation of Wales was taken totally off guard by the “underdog”,  the Western Samoan team. It was a World Cup pool match at Cardiff Arms Park, which Wales had fully expected to win. The result meant that they failed to make it out of their group.

In 1999, Wales once again went down to the South Sea Islands, which were then competing solely as Samoa. It was the World Cup again, and Wales were the hosts, so after the last two failures, they were determined to do better. Graham Henry was the coach and Rob Howley captain. Sadly, they were defeated with a score of 31-38.

2007

Argentina Defeats France

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Paris, France

France was happy to entertain the thought of winning over Argentina on the home turf in 2007, but that was not how things were going to turn out. Argentina took the lead early. Ignacio Corleto scored the only try in the 27th minute. However, Contepomi missed the conversion and hit the post. At half-time, the score was Argentina – 17, France – 9 with all of France’s points coming from penalties scored by David Skrela.

France did better in the second half, but Argentina held a strong defense. They were not able to close the lead enough when Skrela scored his fourth penalty of the match in the 60th minute. Skrela and Frederick Michalak (his replacement) both missed penalties and that destroyed the chances for France to create a comeback. It is the first time that the French has lost in the pool stages of the World Cup.

The 2023 Rugby World Cup Pools

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Fans have been waiting to find out when the 2023 Rugby World Cup Pools will begin, Well, wait no more, we have that information right here.

Below you will find the full 2023 Rugby World Cup Pools. The 2023 RC will take place from 8, September to 21, October. They will take place at nine venues.

Pool A:  New Zealand, France, Italy, Americas 1, and Africa 1.

Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Asia / Pacific 1, and Europe 2.

Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Europe 1, and Final Qualifier Winner.

Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Oceania 1 and America 2.

The All Blacks have won the Rugby World Cup three times: the inaugural competition in 1987 and both titles in 2011 and 2015.

Rugby is an exciting sport and millions of fans all over the world follow their favorite teams. One of the reasons fans are so drawn to rugby is because it takes everything a player has. You can never predict what will happen in a match because you never know when a player will pull out a new skill or a burst of energy that will change everything. This promises to be an exciting year for the sport, so whatever you do, don’t look away. In a moment’s time, you can miss everything.

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6 Nations

British & Irish Lions issue Tour Update

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Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

The British & Irish Lions and SA Rugby have confirmed they are aligned on delivering the Castle Lager Lions Series in South Africa in the scheduled playing window.

The Lions Board confirmed its preference to SA Rugby on Monday evening, prior to follow-up meetings earlier today (Tuesday).

“After reviewing information relating to the various contingency scenarios being considered, I can confirm that the Board’s intended position is for the Tour to go ahead as scheduled in South Africa in 2021,” said Jason Leonard, chairman of The British & Irish Lions.

“We acknowledge that there is a significant amount of work still to be undertaken to deliver a robust COVID-19 countermeasure plan to ensure a successful, safe and uninterrupted Tour. SA Rugby will have our full support to help implement this plan.”

Mark Alexander, president of the SA Rugby, said he would inform the Executive Council of the South African Rugby Union of the alignment.

“We appreciate the Lions’ faith and share their desire to see a safe and successful tour,” said Alexander.

“We have been in regular contact with our government to make that a reality against the backdrop of the pandemic and its predicted progression over the coming months.

“There are serious financial implications for SA Rugby, should the event take place without any supporters in attendance, and we cannot ignore that in our considerations. But we are determined that the eventual outcome will deliver the best occasion and experience for players, supporters and our commercial partners.”

Alexander said the original tour schedule was subject to review because of those considerations. Should any changes be required they will be communicated as soon as possible.

Leonard added: “Every British and Irish player dreams of wearing the famous red jersey, and players from the southern hemisphere aspire to be part of a Lions series. We owe it to the current players vying for a place in both squads to ensure they can become part of Lions history.

“We are very much looking forward to taking on South Africa for what promises to be a highly-competitive Series against the reigning World Champions.”

Alexander thanked the Castle Lager Lions Series’ commercial partners as well as the British & Irish Lions and ticket holders for their patience during the extended period of uncertainty.

“As hosts and ‘owners’ of the Castle Lager Lions Series no one has been more affected or more challenged by the current circumstances than SA Rugby,” said Alexander. “However, with the support of our government and good planning we can navigate the pandemic to nonetheless create a most memorable event for players, fans and partners.”

It is not yet known whether international or cross-border travel for supporters will be possible into the country in July. Supporters who have purchased ticket-inclusive packages through Lions Rugby Travel will be notified directly via email with information on the options available.

The Lions remind supporters that all packages purchased through Lions Rugby Travel are protected by the Covid-19 guarantee*. Supporters who have booked packages with official sub agents should contact them directly. For the latest guidance on travelling to South Africa please visit the UK Foreign Office website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa or the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs website: https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/a-z-list-of-countries/south-africa/

At this time, it also remains unclear whether spectators will be permitted into stadia in July and August. SA Rugby and the Lions continue to work with relevant South African Government departments to ascertain the latest guidance on COVID-19 countermeasure planning for major sporting events and will communicate any updates as soon as it is possible to do so.

In the event that spectators are not permitted to gain access to the Test matches, Lions supporters who had successfully purchased Test match tickets via the Lions ticket ballot will be refunded.

The British & Irish Lions Test match against Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday 26 June 2021 for the Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup will continue as scheduled. However, a decision on crowd size will be made nearer the time of the event and in line with the latest UK Government guidance. For more information, including ticketing enquiries, please visit:
https://www.lionsrugby.com/1888-cup-faqs/

The British & Irish Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, with the first Tour taking place in 1891. In that time, the Lions have won four Test series, lost eight with one drawn. Their overall record against the Springboks is played 46, won 17, lost 23 and drawn six.

*For more information please visit www.lionstour.com

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