Melbourne Rebels (@MelbourneRebels) March 30, 2019
This was Cooper’s first match against the Reds’ since his departure and along with the win he contributed 12 points from the boot and two try assists for Jack Maddocks.
However, with the Reds struggling at the moment some fans took the opportunity to support a former fan favourite and point out Thorn’s flawed decision of not taking Cooper back when he had the chance.
Although there might be some bad blood between the player and coach, Cooper confirmed after the match that he is still a Reds fan and hopes they get out of their poor situation.
“There was a few people that sort of feel that I must have left them. But it wasn’t the boys that didn’t want me. The boys were the ones that we were playing against and I love those boys. For me, I don’t want to see them go down, I want to win when we play against them but I’m always supporting them. I want this franchise to do well. It’s a little bit sad to see when they’re struggling a little bit, on and off the field,” he told Fox Sports post-game.
Thorn was forced to admit that Cooper and Will Genia, another former Red, played well in what must have been a hard game to watch.
“He’s on the winning side and he contributed to a really good win for them. So well done to him and Will,” he said.
Cooper is one of the Reds most decorated players, having won the Super Rugby title with the franchise in 2011 and is now delivering success down south with the Rebels now top of the Australian Conference following the win.
Highlanders Confirm Trio of Signings
The Highlanders have announced the arrival of three new players following the departure of a host of key men at the end of last season
Collins, who was the Otago captain, and Misiloi have penned one-year contracts with the New Zealand based franchise.
However, Koroi, has signed a three-year deal which will see him miss the majority of next season so to allow him to be in selection contention for the All Blacks Sevens at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
Koroi is probably the most exciting of the three to have arrived as he can cover fly-half, wing and full-back and at only 21 will continue to grow as a player.
The other exciting prospect for the Highlanders is that they have already signed another All Blacks youngster in Scott Gregory, who is a blossoming full-back that has lit up the stage at underage levels.
The thought of Gregory and Koroi linking up is great but both are trying to get into that Sevens team and will be out of selection contention next season.
As well as that trio and Gregory the Highlanders have also signed Connor Garden-Bachop, Mitch Hunt, Jona Nakeri and Ngane Punivai in what has been an eventful transfer period so far.
However, the signings were vital following the departure of 12 key players including the likes of Jackson Hemopo, Matt Faddes, Ben Smith, Liam Squire and Luke Whitelock.
Although it might take a bit of time to get the squad together the new signings are promising for the franchise’s future.
Sharks Add Lions Star to Squad
The Sharks have seen a number of players leave this summer, but now they have started to add some promising stars ahead of the new season
The Sharks have confirmed the signing of from the Lions ahead of the 2020 season.
The 22-year-old also joins back-rower James Venter who linked up with the squad yesterday.
RugbyPass are also reporting that the Sharks are looking at bringing in Ox Nche and Sikhumbuzo Notshe, while Rugby365 also claim that the Durban-based franchise are hoping to sign Werner Kok and Henco Venter.
The side are looking to rebuild following the departure of a number of players which includes the three du Preez brothers, Coenie Oosthuizen and Akker van der Merwe, who have all headed to Sale Sharks in the Premiership.
Despite the leaving players the Sharks still have the likes of S’bu Nkosi, Makazole Mapimpi and Aphelele Fassi on their roster in what is an exciting prospect ahead of the new season.
Dyantyi’s B-Sample Test Results Come Back
Aphiwe Dyantyi has been accused of doping and after asking for his B-sample tests to be checked, he has learned his fate
Springboks winger Aphiwe Dyantyi has failed in his B-sample doping test after prohibited substances were found his A-sample previously.
The 25-year-old has been formally charged with having multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites in both samples that were provided to the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).
SAIDS have now informed SA Rugby and Dyantyi’s Super Rugby franchise the Lions of the situation as they now decide what to do.
“SA Rugby, the Lions Rugby Company and Dyantyi are working with SAIDS, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and all other relevant authorities on the matter and no further comment can be made at this stage,” a statement read.
Last weekend the Lions player issued his own statement in which he plead his innocence before his B-sample was tested.
“I want to deny ever taking any prohibited substance, intentionally or negligently, to enhance my performance on the field. I believe in hard work and fair play. I have never cheated and never will. The presence of this prohibited substance in my body has come as a massive shock to me and together with my management team and experts appointed by them, we are doing everything we can to get to the source of this and to prove my innocence,” he added.
He went on to say that he would never have taken any substances and that the next sample would prove that he hadn’t.
“As a professional sportsman on the national and international level, we get tested on a regular basis. I have been tested before and again since this test. It is part of the job and we all know that each and every player is bound to get tested at least two to four times a year. Taking any prohibited substance would not only be irresponsible and something that I would never intentionally do. It would also be senseless and stupid. I underwent a drug test on June 15 (only two weeks prior to the July 2 test) which did not return any adverse finding,” he added.
Dyantyi is now facing the prospect of a four-year ban from rugby after being capped by the Springboks 13 times, however, failing to make the Rugby World Cup squad. He will have his chance prove his innocence, but he will need a seriously could case behind him to reverse the decision.
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