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Super Rugby

WATCH: Meakes ‘guilty’ but not punished. Big.Hit.

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Picture from Sky Sports Twitter

Melbourne Rebels centre Billy Meakes has avoided suspension for foul play in the Rebels’ Super Rugby win over the Sunwolves last Saturday night.

Meakes had to answer via video conference to the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee following a tackle made on Sunwolves centre Jason Emery.

Meakes who has could be in line for a Wallabies call up after an excellent start to the Super Rugby campaign wasn’t penalised for the 66th-minute tackle at the time but was cited due to having allegedly contravened Law 9.13: “A player must not tackle an opponent early, late or dangerously.”

But, despite upholding the charge, the three-man panel of De Wet Barry, Chris Smith and chairman Michael Heron QC deemed a warning as sufficient punishment for Meakes.

“Having conducted a detailed review of the available evidence, in particular additional footage showing a close up of the incident, and hearing from the player and considering submissions from his legal representative, Tim North QC, the Judicial Committee upheld the citing of an act of foul play under Law 9.13,” Heron said.

“The Judicial Committee however found that the act of foul play did not meet the red Card threshold.

“On review of footage not available to the citing commissioner, it was clear the initial point of contact was below the shoulder line with use of the arms in an attempted wrap.

“The player’s shoulder rose up post the initial contact and may have contacted the neck of the tackled player although footage was inconclusive.

“There was no evidence of contact with the head of the tackled player.”

“The action of the player in tackling a vulnerable opponent at the shoulder line and rising up was dangerous and as a result a warning would be issued.”

The reprieve frees up Meakes to play against the Stormers on Friday night. They sit pretty at the top of the Australian conference and another win this weekend in AAMI Park would keep the Rebels charge to the play-offs on track.

Super Rugby

Hurricanes Sign Two Scrum-Halves from Rivals

The Hurricanes have confirmed the arrival of not one but two scrum-halves from Super Rugby rival sides

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The Hurricanes have announced the signings of scrum-halves Jamie Booth and Jonathan Taumateine ahead of the 2020 Super Rugby season.

Both have agreed two-year contracts with the franchise as they look to replace Richard Judd and Finlay Christie, who have left for Japan and the Blues respectively.

Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree is delighted to have both in the squad ahead of next season and believes they will both add quality to the side.

“We’ve seen Jamie continue to develop his game while he has been in Japan and he performed really well under some trying circumstances at times. Jonathan is a player who we think has real potential to develop at a fast pace. He’s a young player who has already shown considerable talent,” he said.

Booth joins from the Sunwolves however, he is no stranger to the Hurricanes set-up having previously been a member of their wider training squad in 2016 and making eight appearances for them in 2018.

The 24-year-old has returned to New Zealand and is currently playing for Manawatu in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Meanwhile Taumateine comes in have previously represented fellow New Zealand based franchise the Chiefs before going on to impress in the Counties Manukau team.

He has also represented both Samoa and New Zealand at U20’s level and at only 22 his rise will surely continue.

Both signings are made all the more impressive by the fact that they have taken them from other Super Rugby franchises meaning they have not only strengthened their team but weakened others.

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Super Rugby

Brumbies Sign Pocock Replacement

The Brumbies are preparing for life after David Pocock and have announced a man they hope can replace him

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Australian Super Rugby side the Brumbies have confirmed the signing of flanker Will Miller from the NSW Waratahs on a two-year contract.

The 26-year-old made his Super Rugby debut in 2017 for the Melbourne Rebels before a switch to the Waratahs and now the Brumbies and is looking forward to joining his new club.

“I’m really excited to get down to Canberra and rip in. The Brumbies have had a spectacular year in 2019 and I look forward to helping build on that moving forward,” he said.

Brumbies loose forward David Pocock confirmed his retirement from Australian Rugby near the end of this years’ Super Rugby season and is currently trying to prove his fitness ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan next month.

His departure was hard on the Canberra side however, head coach Dan McKellar believes that Miller will provide a good fit for the void Pocock has left.

“With the departure of David Pocock, we wanted to bring in a backrower who has an on-ball presence and Will certainly will bring that. He is a very skilful player and a good link between the backs and forwards. He has the ability to play on an edge and he can be very creative in attack. Will has played a lot of rugby over the past few years and he’s played a significant role in the development of his club side Norths, helping them to a Premiership in the Shute Shield in 2016. He’s a good country boy who’s worked hard at club rugby to get his opportunity at Super Rugby level and has proven that he belongs at this level,” he said.

Miller will be hoping to continue his rise at the top level where he has impressed but has been stuck behind the likes of Michael Hooper in the Waratahs line for two years and this could be his chance to show what he’s got.

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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Highlanders Sign All Blacks Youngster

The Highlanders have confirmed their first signing for the 2020 Super Rugby season

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(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

The Highlanders have announced their first signing ahead of the 2020 Super Rugby season with All Blacks Sevens and New Zealand U20 star Scott Gregory.

The 20-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the franchise and is so far only one of two confirmed outside backs in the squad for next season along with Josh McKay.

He has been a part of the New Zealand U20 World Championship squad for the past two years and played a vital role in the nations Sevens team during the 2018/19 World Series.

Having debuted for in the Mitre 10 Cup in 2018 for Northland and has become known for his speed and will be a welcome addition to the Highlanders following the mass exodus of players at the end of last season.

Come the end of the season the franchise confirmed that a total of 12 players would be departing them including All Blacks Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock and Jackson Hemopo.

As well as them there is a huge loss of Super Rugby experience in Matt Faddes who is set to join Ulster for the 2019/20 season.

Most of the players are heading overseas in order to receive improved contracts in what is becoming an increasing problem for Southern Hemisphere nations.

The Highlanders finished the 2019 season with a quarter-final loss to eventual winners the Crusaders and with all the departures it is expected that Gregory will be the first of many new faces through the door.

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