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Full Match Highlights:
Australian Flanker May Have Played His Final Super Rugby Game
One of Australia’s star players could have possibly played his final Super Rugby game for the Brumbies
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has had to leave Pocock out of his squad for this Friday’s match against the Bulls and has admitted that he may not feature again this season.
Pocock hasn’t played in 10 weeks since sustaining a calf injury and McKellar has confirmed that the Australian and Brumbies medical staff will decide what to do with the flanker in the next couple of weeks.
“The Wallabies medical staff and Brumbies medical staff will have a chat over the next few days and we’ll come to some sort of clarity there as to where he heads over the next two weeks. There’s things we’ve got to look at to see whether he plays Super Rugby or whether we now put his attention towards the World Cup,” he said.
With that in mind and with Pocock’s contract due to expire at the end of the Super Rugby season, it is expected that he will sign for an overseas team which means he may not feature in the competition again.
The 31-year-old would be a huge loss for the Brumbies, however, the team has performed well without him and are in control of their own destiny in the Australian conference.
The return of Wallabies lock Rory Arnold and back-rower Lachlan McCaffery will be a big boost to the side while Pocock’s future is decided.
South African Star Heading for Japan
Another big South African name is going to Japan next season
South African back Jesse Kriel is set to join the Canon Eagles in the Top League next season.
Speaking ahead of the move Kriel, who had a spell in Japan with the NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes, is delighted to be returning.
“I am extremely excited and privileged to be joining Canon Eagles. I have played in Japan before and it was an amazing experience. I am very excited to be returning to the Top League. I hope to make many more great memories on and off the field in Japan. I am very grateful to the Bulls and Springboks for their continued support and backing,” he said to International Player Management.
The 25-year-old is the latest departure for the Bulls, who currently sit second in the Super Rugby South African conference.
It was confirmed yesterday that Handre Pollard will be leaving the side to move to Montpellier next season.
As well as those two, Jason Jenkins, RG Snyman and Lood de Jager have all already confirmed their departures from the club who have signed deals over shores.
The nation and its clubs will have to figure out a way of competing with the lucrative deals and salaries that the likes of England, France and Japan are offering players or face losing more star names.
Ulster Add New Zealand Star to Their Ranks
Ulster have confirmed another massive signing with the latest one coming in from New Zealand
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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