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Springbok fails drug test

3rd Test Failed.

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Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images

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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Rugby

Six Nations Fantasy Rugby Guide; Round 5

The last round of fixtures is here and with the championship up for grabs still so is the title of this year’s fantasy rugby

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The final round of Six Nations fixtures is upon us and with it the conclusion of this year’s fantasy rugby.

Here are the players you might want to consider for a final charge in your respective leagues and hopefully you can improve your current standings.

The first game on Saturday sees Italy host France in a game that could go anyway. The Azzurri showed signs of improvement in the opening three rounds only to collapse against a rampant English side.

However, this could be their best chance at ending their record losing streak. If they are to end the tournament on a high their half-back partnership of Tomasso Allan, 10.7 stars, and Tito Tebaldi, 8.5 stars, will be crucial.

On the wing Edoardo Padovani, 10.4 stars, could be a low-cost option to consider. In the pack Braam Steyn, 9.7 stars, has been impressive in all his matches and not only makes lots of tackles but gains a huge amount of metres.

Another man to watch out for is captain Sergio Parisse, 10.3 stars, who always puts in a shift and it could be his last Six Nations match meaning he will want to end with a rare win in blue.

On the French side, it is a hard call of who to pick after they put in such mixed performances against Scotland and Ireland in the last two rounds.

Romain Ntamack, 13.1 stars, continues at 10 and will be looking to seal his place in the team in Rome ahead of the World Cup later this year. Also, in the back-line is Wesley Fofana, 12 stars, who has been handed the chance to impress, and with such natural talent, he could tear the Italian defence up.

In the pack Yacoba Camara is a cheap option at only 8.6 stars, and usually puts in a good showing. Alongside him are Greg Alldritt, 12 stars, and Louis Picamoles, 14.3 stars, both of which have played well throughout the tournament despite the team’s poor performances.

The second game of the day could be the clash of the competition as Grand Slam chasing Wales welcome a revived Ireland to Cardiff.

The Welsh defence will need to be at the top of their game as Ireland will look to score tries in an attempt to boost their slim title hopes.

With that in mind, captain Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, both 15.7 stars, and Justin Tipuric, 15 stars, are all certain to rack up points for their defensive displays and all are prone to pop up with a try when needed.

In the back-line Jonathan Davies, 16 stars, has had a brilliant tournament both in defence and attack, while George North, 17.1 stars, will offer the Welsh a threat going forward as always.

Ireland will need their big men to stand up once more, with CJ Stander, 15 stars, and James Ryan, 14.4 stars, hoping to lead from the front as they did last weekend with their tackle counts and carries.

Johnny Sexton, 15.9 stars, hit form again against Les Blues and will need to be at the top of his game again for the visitors. Garry Ringrose, 14.9 stars, offered the Irish a spark they had been missing and is always a man that gains a team points with his overall skill-set.

Jacob Stockdale, 17.5 stars, has been a lot quieter this year than last, but has showed signs that he could explode onto the scene once more and could be worth a gamble.

The final showdown of the competition takes place at Twickenham, where England will know by then if they can still win the title or not against the Scots. Either way, Eddie Jones will want his men to put in another solid display as they did when they hosted Italy.

Jonny May, 18.5 stars, is the most expensive player in the game but could pop up with a couple of tries to ensure he finishes this year’s top try scorer.

Helping him in the back-line will be Manu Tuilagi, 16.8 stars, captain Owen Farrell, 17.4 stars, and the recalled Jack Nowell, 14.1 stars, who will all want to lay down markers against a weakened Scotland team.

Mark Wilson, 13.8 stars, is a cheaper option in the English pack and is improving with every game in a Red Roses shirt.

Scotland have been very unfortunate throughout the tournament but still pushed Wales all the way last weekend. That was partially down to Hamish Watson’s, 14 stars, incredible display off the bench, although this week he starts, and young Darcy Graham’s, 11.1 stars, crucial try.

Other men to consider are the ever-dangerous, Finn Russell, 13.7 stars, Sam Johnson, 11.5 stars, and Sean Maitland, 11.8 stars, who comes in at full-back this weekend.

In the super-sub department, England’s George Ford, 15.7 stars, and Scotland’s Jonny Gray, 12.1 stars, will have massive impacts from the replacements.

While Camille Chat of France, 12.4 stars, and Alessandro Zanni of Italy, 9.4 stars, will hope to do the same.

In the big game, Wales’ Dan Biggar, 16 stars, is pricy but could be the key weapon off the bench if they are to secure victory, while Jack Conan, 13.6 stars, has been a constant threat to team’s when used and will surely be unleashed when the home side start to tire.

So, that’s it, the end is here for another year, who will be crowned Six Nations champions 2019? Will Italy end their losing streak? All will be revealed tomorrow and hopefully whatever happens your fantasy team will benefit when it’s all over.

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Rugby

6 Nations Fantasy Rugby Guide Round 3

Here’s a guide on who to consider keeping or adding to your team as we reach the halfway point of the 6 Nations

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We are at the halfway mark in this year’s 6 Nations and fantasy rugby is heating up as players rise or fall in stock, here’s who to keep an eye on this week.

First up is the clash of France and a depleted Scotland team, who have a massive injury list at the moment.

France have named a much-changed team to the one that lost to England two weeks ago and it may be worth investing a bit in some of their player’s who need to bounce back to winning ways.

Romain Ntamack has been called in at number 10 and at only 11.5 stars may be worth a punt in any team, alongside him is Antoine Dupont who costs 12.8 stars.

Other players to consider are the likes of Gael Fickou, 13.7 stars, Yoann Huget, 13.2 stars, and Louis Picamoles, 14 stars, who are all hoping to carry France to a first win in this season’s competition.

Although the Scotland team is missing some big hitters, there are still some standout performers that would be good on any team.

Greig Laidlaw, 14.3 stars, is always putting in a shift and will most likely be kicking any penalties that could come the Scots way and with France’s indiscipline he could rack up the points.

With Stuarts Hogg missing out, Blair Kinghorn, 14.3 stars, has got a huge opportunity and scored a hat-trick on the opening weekend so would be well worth splashing the cash on.

Sam Johnson, 12.2 stars, has been in fine form for the boys in Blue, as well as the warrior that is Jonny Gray, 12.5 stars, who will be sure to make a number of tackles against the French.

The big clash of the weekend is Wales vs England, with the three most expensive players in the game amongst the two rivals.

For England Jonny May, 18.7 stars, has been in incredible form, and if you have the cash go for him. While Owen Farrell, 17.6 stars, never really has a poor game so would be a good man to have on your side.

Other men to think of would be Jack Nowell, 14.4 stars, who is back in the team following Chris Ashton’s injury and will be looking to make his mark. Billy Vunipola, 16.1 stars, has announced that he will be hoping to get back to his best against the Welsh, so could be one to watch.

Courtney Lawes, 15.8 stars, and Henry Slade, 16 stars, are another couple to add to the wish list. The problem with the English players is that they cost so much due to their impressive start to the campaign.

Wales’ George North is the third most expensive player at 17 stars, and is always one to keep an eye on, while inside him Jonathan Davies, 15.2 stars, is another who is sure to put in a huge shift against the men in white.

In the pack, the likes of Josh Navidi, 15 stars, Justin Tipuric, 13.4 stars, and captain Alun Wyn Jones, 15.7 stars, will all be putting in a mammoth amount of work and could gain a lot of point for their hard work.

Last up is Italy vs Ireland on Sunday, in a game many expect to be a walkover for the visitors.

People may be reluctant to have many Italians on their team but if they are going to cause an upset here are the men they need to be firing on all cylinders.

Michele Campagnaro, 11.9 stars, even in the defeats they have had he has been outstanding, as has Abraham Steyn, 10.7 stars.

While captain Leonardo Ghiraldini, 11.8 stars, and fly-half Tomasso Allan, 11 stars, will need to lead their backs and forwards respectively if they are to have any hope of getting a result against the reigning champions.

As for the Irish they have a few outstanding players available such as Jacob Stockdale, 16.4 stars, Peter O’Mahony, 15.2 stars, Johnny Sexton, 15.1 stars, Sean O’Brien, 13.7 stars.

An outside shout is Ultan Dillane who has been outstanding over the past couple of weeks and is a steal at 9 stars.

In terms of the bench, Joe Cokanasiga, 10.6 stars, Ali Price, 11.3 stars, Maxime Medard, 13.4 stars, Dan Bigger, 15.8 stars, Ian McKinley, 9.5 stars, and Josh Van Der Flier, 11.1 stars, are the top picks of each team’s benches.

We will have to wait and see what this round brings but for now here’s your guide.

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Champions Cup

Toulon boss unloads on Savea AGAIN

He’s said more…

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Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images

We didn’t think the situation surrounding Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal could get any more ridiculous after the comments made by Mourad Boudjellal following his side’s defeat to Agen on the weekend.

If you’ve missed the original comments (were you living under a rock?) were Savea was effectively ‘released’ and suffered a major verbal spray, you need to get up to speed and read them (Click here)

Boudjellal hasn’t stopped there though. After Julian Savea publicly responded to his bosses comments on Twitter, the Toulon owner has unleashed yet another spray directed at Savea to French Newspaper Le Parisien.

“I find his behaviour unacceptable. I went through the quarter-finals of the 2015 France-New Zealand World Cup and I always wonder if it’s the same player, the same man,”

“What I do not admit is that we pay him dearly. The negotiations have been very difficult, he has been very demanding and since he has been here, he is no longer. I can not think it’s normal for a player paid more than 1 million euros per year to go on holiday to Fiji for a month in December…he just had to attend his brother’s wedding, not take long leave,”

Boudjellal says he has spoken to Savea after the initial criticism.

“Oh yes. He is very nice, polite. They are very strong, with his wife, to complain about social networks. When he was in Fiji, he did not look unhappy. He tweeted that he was going to train hard. He will not be disappointed. He has a little more than a year of contract, it will be very long for him. Beyond what he thinks. I will not complain. You think he gave a little of his salary to the young Simon Moretti, who is 18, touches 500 euros a month and defended the club while he returned quietly vacation? No.”

Savea’s teammates and other high profile players have rallied around Savea, but the Toulon owner had a stern rebuke. You can see their responses on this link.

“Well, let them make a kitty to free him from his contract! That way, he can take the money and say shit to his president. It’s easy to post messages, but if they had to give some of their money, they would be fewer. I want it to serve as an example.”

“We do not come to Toulon as a tourist. There is enough in the region. And when you’re paid a lot of money, the least you can do is give yourself.

Savea hasn’t been the only one in the firing line. Rhys Webb also has made the headlines with some interesting comments coming from both parties.

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