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Rugby Australia Looking Into New Competition

Rugby Australia have confirmed that they are looking into the possibility of developing a new competition

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(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia have announced that they are looking at creating a new national club competition.

However, nothing will be set in stone until after the organisation have agreed terms on a new broadcasting rights deal. 

“Rugby Australia wishes to confirm that it has investigated the establishment of a national club competition ahead of its media rights negotiation. However the final competition format will not be determined until further consultation with the successful broadcaster, the state and territory member unions, and the clubs,” Rugby Australia said in a statement earlier today. 

Rugby Australia are set to take their broadcasting rights to the market next month in what is a historic move that could pave a new way forward for the game. 

It was reported previously that long-term broadcaster Fox Sport had left Rugby Australia following an inability to agree on a deal running from 2021-2025. 

However, CEO Raelene Castle stated yesterday that the media broadcaster hasn’t yet walked away and believes that they will be in the frame come next month. 

The introduction of a new format to the national league would add to the overall pull of a package for the broadcaster that wants to agree a deal as they will also have coverage of the Rugby Championship and Super Rugby competitions. 

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Former England Ace Signs New Contract

One of England’s former star men is set to stay with the Newcastle Falcons for another couple of seasons

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Former England international Toby Flood has signed a new contract extension with the Newcastle Falcons as they look to be promoted to the Premiership once again.

The 34-year-old has agreed a new two-year deal and appears set to lead the Falcons back into the Premiership next season as they are currently top of the Championship table, 12-points clear of second-placed Ealing with only nine games remaining. 

The 60-cap international admitted that he had to think about resigning due to his age, but wants to bring the club back to the top table of English Rugby. 

“It’s not a decision that has been taken lightly. A lot of thought has gone into how my body is, and where I’m at in terms of being able to go again. After what happened last season with our relegation I feel a duty to set the record straight and put a few things right with regards to us competing well again in the Premiership, and I still feel I can make a positive contribution. We’re not in the Premiership yet and of course nothing is being taken for granted about our promotion, but I’m as keen as ever to keep on playing,” he said. 

Having made 129 appearances over two stints with the club and having previously played for Leicester Tigers and Toulouse the back-liner is keen to help the next generation of youngsters come through at the Falcons. 

“It’s also a club that I have a huge amount of love for after coming through the academy here and being from the region, the opportunity to spend another couple of seasons as a Newcastle Falcons player really does mean a lot to me. Everyone has seen this season how much quality we have coming through at the club in terms of the younger players, which really bodes well for our longer-term future. But I think guys like myself, Will Welch and some of the other players who have been around for a little while – we can help those guys to progress and get the most out of their ability,” he added. 

His new deal is a big boost for the club as they bid to not only get back into the Premiership but stay there and they will need experience to do so which is exactly what the three-time Premiership champion has to offer.

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Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich Launch New Pilot Programme

Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich have launched the Tackle Your Feelings Schools mental wellbeing pilot programme today

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(Photo Credit; Darren Kidd, Press Eye)

Earlier today Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich launched the Tackle Your Feelings Schools mental wellbeing pilot programme and App.

The launched was the second phase of the #ImTakingControl campaign. The campaign is aiming to create a proactive attitude around mental health and provide people with tools to help with their mental health by using principles from both sport and psychology. 

The pilot programme is classroom-based and is aimed at students around the age of 15, with these students around the age of when they head into the second-half of their cycle in secondary school. 

Research done by Zurich and Rugby Players Ireland and conducted by iReach has revealed several things including that one in five parents don’t understand the importance of mental wellbeing despite one in four children missing school due to issues surrounding their mental wellbeing. 

However, 84% of parents agree that seeing role models like rugby players ‘taking control’ of their mental wellbeing empowers their child to start talking. 

Speaking at the launch Ireland and Ulster centre and campaign ambassador Stuart McCloskey is happy to be working on the programme and believes talking about your feelings is a key is helping you excel in life. 

“I’m delighted to be an ambassador for the Tackle Your Feelings Schools pilot programme and App. When I reflect on my own school experiences I can really see how students in school now would benefit from a programme like Tackle Your Feelings. It is important for students to acknowledge when they’re feeling down and not let those feelings consume them. I firmly believe that talking to friends and family is not a weakness, it just makes them aware of how you’re feeling and being in a good place mentally and emotionally enables you to excel in all aspects of life!” he said. 

The programme itself will be run in the last term of the 2020 academic year with the hope that it can be of use to youngsters in years to come. 

Since the Take Your Feelings initiative was launched in 2016 it has impacted on people all over the world and the campaign content has been viewed over 23 million times, with the hope to motivate people to be more proactive when it comes to their mental health. 

To Find Out More on the Programme Check Out the Link Below or Check Out the App:

www.tackleyourfeelings.com

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Leinster Make it 11 PRO14 Wins in a Row

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(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have made it 11 wins on the bounce in the PRO14 this season with a comfortable 36-12 victory over the Cheetahs in the RDS this afternoon.

Two tries from Will Connors and further five-pointers from Michael Bent, Ronan Kelleher and Rhys Ruddock saw Leinster wrap up yet another bonus-point win to extend their lead at the top of Conference A.

The game was hindered by the horrendous conditions with the rain pelting down in the RDS and caused a scrappy opening, with Leinster dominating but unable to take advantage on the scoreboard. 

However, the home side eventually got the breakthrough just after the 20 minute mark as Connors powered over from close range as the Cheetahs gave away several penalty advantages. Ciaran Frawley knocked over the conversion to make it 7-0. 

Leinster continued to play the better of the two and with the Cheetahs under pressure and conceding several penalties the away side went down to 14-men as Charles Marias was sent to the bin for a no-arms tackle. 

Frawley slotted over the resulting penalty to stretch the host’s lead. 

With four minutes left in the half Leinster took the most of their man advantage and got their second try of the game as Bent barrelled over the line after a few phases within the opposition 22. Frawley was perfect with the kick again to make it 17-0. 

They weren’t done there as they punished the Cheetahs indiscipline by barging over from a line-out maul through Kelleher with the clock in red. Frawley couldn’t convert this time around but it left them 22-0 up come the half-time whistle. 

It took the conference toppers only four minutes of the second-half to secure the bonus-point with another close-range score from Ruddock after a brilliant break through the Cheetahs defence by Luke McGrath. Frawley pushed them further ahead with from the kicking tee to make it 29-0. 

With just under half an hour remaining Leinster were over for try number five as Connors got in for his second of the match from another line-out maul which he tore away from to dart across the line. Frawley notched over another two-points with the kick. 

Over the next ten minutes the Cheetahs camped in the Leinster 22 and won several penalties leading to Leinster’s Sean Cronin being sent to the sin-bin. 

The away side failed time and time again to make their territory count, but eventually they scored their try through Luan de Bruin, who dotted down on the line. Ruan Pienaar kicked the extras to get them onto the scoreboard. 

Leinster started to dominate once again and as Cronin returned to play the Cheetahs lost a man of their own as Benhard Janse van Rensburg was shown a yellow-card for a reckless challenge. 

The Cheetahs managed to get their second try of the game in the final minute, but the conversion was missed leaving the final score at 36-12.

The win makes it 17-wins in a row for the Irish province so far this season across all competitions and extends their lead at the top of Conference A, while the Cheetahs remain in third. Next up for Leinster is a visit to the Ospreys next Friday as they will look to maintain their 100% record, with the Cheetahs heading to Ulster the following day. 

Player Ratings

Starting XV: 

Rob Kearney (6), Fergus McFadden (6), Jimmy O’Brien (6), Joe Tomane (7), Dave Kearney (5), Ciaran Frawley (8), Luke McGrath (7); Peter Dooley (7), Ronan Kelleher (8), Michael Bent (8), Ross Molony (7), Scott Fardy (7), Rhys Ruddock (7), Will Connors (9), Max Deegan (8)

Replacements (7)

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