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Springbok fails drug test

3rd Test Failed.




Sharks hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance for the 3rd time in his career.

Ralepelle, who is yet to feature in this years Super Rugby campaign for the Sharks, allegedly tested positive for a prohibited substance on 17 January when the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) carried out random drug tests.

Urine tests are divided in two samples, A and B. Ralepelle’s A-sample tested positive, but he has a right to ask that his B-sample be tested.

According to Saids CEO Khalid Galant, neither the player nor the substance can be named until both samples test positive, but he says SA Rugby and the Sharks have been informed of the player’s failed A-sample test.

According to Netwerk24, SA Rugby and the Sharks declined to comment, while Ralepelle couldn’t be reached.

This is the 3rd time Chilliboy has been tested postive. Back in 2010, Ralepelle tested positive for methylhexanamine while on the Springboks’ end-of-year tour. Four years later, while playing for Toulouse, he tested positive for anabolic steroid drostanolone and was handed a two-year ban.

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Champions Cup

Saracens’ Star Duo to Miss End of Season

Two Saracens players are set to miss the remainder of the season and there is no set date for their return



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Saracens props Mako Vunipola and Titi Lamositele will miss the end of the season due to injury.

Both picked up injuries during Sarries 20-10 Champions Cup clinching win over Leinster and the club have confirmed that neither will be available as they attempt to retain their Premiership title.

Vunipola, who has been plagued by injury this year, has picked up a significant hamstring injury but Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall is certain he will be available for England’s World Cup campaign.

“Mako has a torn hamstring. We’re waiting to see exactly what happens with that, but I very much doubt he’ll play again this season. Nether will Titi. Mako won’t be out of the World Cup, but he’ll be out for a while. It’s quite a significant injury. It’s disappointing to lose two players of that quality and it makes us a little bit vulnerable,” he said.

Many of the 23 that took part in the final are expected to be rested in the final regular season game of the campaign against Worcester this Saturday. However, Saracens face a semi-final a week later and a potential final to retain their crown a week after that and this is a huge blow.

Despite the losses McCall is confident that his side have the firepower to get the job done.

“Juan Figallo is just coming back from injury, which is good timing. We were really impressed with Richard Barrington and Vincent Koch did when they came on, and Christian Judge has had a really good season. So we’ve got some guys who are ready to step up,” he added.

Although McCall has said that Vunipola will be ready for the World Cup, England head coach Eddie Jones will be sweating on the match-fitness of one of his star men, who has only played twice in the past three months.

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Champions Cup

Munster’s Coaching Quest Continues

After the surprise departure of coaching duo Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones, Munster have been searching for new blood and have found another candidate



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Former Australia fly-half Stephen Larkham appears to be in with a chance of becoming Munster’s new backs and attack coach come next season.

Following the departure of Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones last week, fans have been left wondering how the province will replace them and it seems as though Larkham may be the answer to the Jones vacancy.

Munster have also spoken to current Wales attack coach Rob Howley as competition for the spot starts to heat up.

If the men in red were to pick Larkham they would be gaining a man with a vast amount of experience in the game both on and off the pitch.

The 44-year-old worked with the Brumbies before moving on to work with Michael Cheika and the Australian national side up until earlier this year, when he was let go by the head coach.

Since then he has been positioned as the national high-performance coach advisor as well as working with the Aussies U-20s squad which are set to face Ireland at the Junior World Cup in early June.

He was part of the backroom staff during his country’s march to the World Cup final in 2015 and has previously worked closely with the IRFU’s performance director David Nucifora, as he was coached by Nucifora at the Brumbies during 2002 and 2004.

With 102 international caps and having a wealth of experience since his 2007 retirement, Larkham could be just the man that Munster head coach Johann van Graan needs.

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Mitre 10

Ulster Add New Zealand Star to Their Ranks

Ulster have confirmed another massive signing with the latest one coming in from New Zealand



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Ulster have announced the signing of utility back Matt Faddes from New Zealand side the Highlanders for next season.

The Super Rugby back, who can play in the centre, on the wing or at full-back, will join the club for the start of the 2019/20 Pro 14 season.

Faddes, who represented the Barbarians against Fiji at the Kingspan Stadium in 2016 has admitted that his visit three years ago had a part to play in his decision.

“Both Georgie (his wife) and I are looking forward to the experience of living and working in a new environment and the challenge that will provide. It’s exciting to consider the next chapter of my rugby career. When I visited in 2016, I was struck by the family, community feel to the club,” he said.

Although he has never been capped by the All Blacks he has represented the New Zealand Sevens team as well as the Barbarians.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland is excited by his sides latest signing and can’t wait to see what he brings to the ever-improving side.

“Matt is a quality player who will bring a lot of experience, skill and creativity to our backline. He’s quick and has shown throughout his career the ability to beat defenders with his footwork and acceleration. His versatility will also be very important for us, meaning he is able to play various positions alongside our talented young backs. Matt is excited about moving over to Ireland and with his undoubted ability and strong worth ethic, I’m sure he’ll add a significant amount to our squad,” he said.

Faddes’ arrival is the fourth ‘big name’ signing of the summer already for the northern outfit who have already confirmed that Leinster prop Jack McGrath, Brumbies lock Sam Carter and Worcester prop Gareth Milasinovich will all be wearing white and red next season.

McFarland is delighted that the club is attracting such high-quality players and believes that with the mixture of them along with the younger players in the squad the future looks bright for Ulster.

“Jonny [Petrie], Bryn [Cunningham] and I feel that this year’s recruitment process has been very productive and it’s encouraging that we are able to continue to attract players of this calibre to Ulster. The new arrivals will bolster our squad depth for next season and increase competition for places in key areas. This, coupled with the experience gained by so many of our young players this season, bodes well for us moving forward,” he added.

The New Zealander has been playing for his native Otago in the Mitre 10 Cup since 2010 and representing the Highlanders also, scoring an impressive 19 tries in 43 appearances for the Dunedin-based side. Ulster are having an incredible summer so far in the transfer department and having reached the Pro 14 semi-finals already this season it will be interesting to see if they can push on even further next year.

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