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Edinburgh 2020/21 leavers confirmed



(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Edinburgh Rugby today confirmed ten senior players will leave the club at the end of the season.

The leavers join the five players who departed the club earlier this year, as Head Coach Richard Cockerill and his coaching team continue their preparations for the new campaign.

Scotland international prop Murray McCallum departs the club following five years in the Scottish capital. The former Dunfermline RFC and Strathallan School prop – who made his Edinburgh Rugby debut in 2016 – has made 63 appearances, scoring four tries, since graduating from the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy.

Fijian winger Eroni Sau will also leave the club following the conclusion of the 2020/21 season. Sau joined Edinburgh Rugby in 2019 and scored six tries in 26 appearances.

Jamie Farndale leaves the club to pursue the Olympic dream with GB Rugby Sevens. The winger – who initially made his Edinburgh Rugby debut in 2012 – re-joined his hometown team from the Sevens programme in 2019 and has scored four tries in 15 appearances.

Having joined the club on a short-term deal in 2020, Andries Ferreira will also move on at the end of the season. The South African lock has made nine appearances since making the move from Blue Bulls.

Scrum-half Dan Nutton will also depart Edinburgh Rugby following the conclusion of the current campaign. Nutton – who penned a short-term deal earlier this year – leaves having made two appearances for his hometown team.

With his move to Glasgow Warriors announced earlier this year, Scotland international prop Simon Berghan moves on, having made 90 appearances in seven years in the Scottish capital. Berghan – capped 31 times for Scotland – joined the club in 2014 and made his debut against Cardiff Blues that same season.

Ally Miller will join Berghan at Scotstoun next season and leaves the club having made 24 appearances. The back-row initially joined the club in 2017 having graduated from the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy.

Scotland international winger Duhan van der Merwe – who played his final game for the club against Ulster last weekend – makes the move to Worcester Warriors this summer and leaves the Scottish capital having scored 32 tries in 67 appearances.

Mike Willemse will join Van der Merwe in the English Premiership next season as he joins London Irish. The South African hooker joined the club in 2019 and has made 39 appearances in a two-year spell.

Andrew Davidson – whose move to Gloucester was also confirmed earlier this year – leaves the Scottish capital having made 13 appearances since joining from Glasgow Warriors in 2020.

On the departing players, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We’d like to thank all of our leavers for their hard work and commitment to the club during the course of their Edinburgh Rugby careers.

“Every player leaves having worn the jersey with pride and that’s all we can ever ask. It’s been a pleasure to coach them and we wish them the very best in their future ambitions.”

2020/21 Leavers (appearances in brackets)

Murray McCallum (63)
Eroni Sau (26)
Jamie Farndale (15)
Andries Ferreira (9)
Duhan van der Merwe (67)
Mike Willemse (39)
Simon Berghan (90)
Ally Miller (24)
Dan Nutton (2)
Andrew Davidson (13)

Departed/retired earlier this season

Nic Groom (22)
Rory Darge (1)
Korie Winters (0)
Fraser Mackenzie (119)
Matt Gordon (1)

Source – Edinburgh Rugby


Ulster make changes for Ospreys clash



Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Craig Gilroy is set to become the eighth Ulster man to make 200 appearances for the province if called upon on Saturday, as he is named among the replacements in the match-day squad to face Ospreys on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Mike Lowry has been selected at full-back, with Ethan McIlroy on the left wing and Robert Baloucoune on the right. Stuart McCloskey and Angus Curtis will form the midfield pairing. John Cooney and Billy Burns have been named scrum-half and out-half respectively.

Brad Roberts will come in to start at hooker, with Eric O’Sullivan and Tom O’Toole either side of him in the front row. Alan O’Connor will captain the team and is named in the second row with Kieran Treadwell. Sean Reidy comes in to start at blindside, with Nick Timoney at openside and David McCann completing the base of the pack.

Jack McGrath makes his return to the Ulster side after recovering from injury and is named among the replacements. Although named on the bench last week versus Leinster, Tom Stewart wasn’t called upon, so could make his senior debut on Saturday as he is selected again in the replacements with fellow forwards, Marty Moore, Mick Kearney and Marcus Rea. Nathan Doak, Stewart Moore and potential double-centurion, Craig Gilroy will provide the back line cover.

Ulster team to play Ospreys, United Rugby Championship Round 7, Saturday 4 December at Stadium, 3pm kick-off, live Premier Sports and URC TV:

(15-9) Mike Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, Angus Curtis, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Eric O’Sullivan, Brad Roberts, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Nick Timoney, David McCann.

Replacements: Tom Stewart, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Mick Kearney, Marcus Rea, Nathan Doak, Stewart Moore, Craig Gilroy.

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Du Preez to join Glasgow Warriors



(Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

South African second-rower JP du Preez has become the first new signing announced by Glasgow Warriors ahead of the 2022/23 season, after agreeing to make the move north from Sale Sharks at the end of the current campaign subject to visa.

Standing at 6’10”, the du Preez became the tallest player to have ever played a Super Rugby match when he made his competitive debut for the Emirates Lions back in 2015.

The man from Roodeport joined Sale Sharks in November 2020, making 18 appearances for the English Premiership side to date.

A physical presence with ball in hand, he has also proven a menace for Premiership lineouts; currently the second-rower sits joint-fourth in the table for lineout steals, as well as providing Sale with a platform from which to launch their attack.

Prior to his switch to Sale, du Preez made 31 appearances for the Cheetahs in the Guinness PRO14 between 2018 and 2020.

Indeed, the newest Warrior has previous experience of playing in front of the Scotstoun faithful, having come off the bench for the final five minutes of Glasgow’s 35-17 victory over the Cheetahs in 2019.

Source – Glasgow Rugby

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Munster Rugby Travel Update



Munster - Pixabay

In a hugely positive development the wider Munster touring party departed Cape Town tonight after a group of 34 players and staff received negative results on completing a fourth round of PCR testing in six days.

Team management worked tirelessly on securing scheduled flights at short notice and the group are expected to land in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

Another four positive cases were identified in Tuesday’s round of PCR testing and a total group of 14 will see out their respective isolation periods at the designated quarantine hotel in Cape Town.

This is a difficult time for all players and staff involved and we are very mindful of their wellbeing and the understandable concern from family and friends at home. The group will be well looked after with team liaisons Warren Morris and Kubaan Lorens remaining on site with medical support provided daily.

As outlined by the government earlier this week, on arrival from South Africa the returning players and staff will follow mandatory self-isolation at their own locations.

Munster Rugby would like to say a huge thank you to the management and staff at Southern Sun The Cullinan Hotel for all their help and efforts over the last few days, especially at a time when last-minute support and requirements were needed for a large group.  The contribution Warren and Kubaan made during this time cannot be overstated and we are indebted to the duo for their professionalism and support.

Again, we wish to take this opportunity to thank the Irish government, the IRFU, South Africa Rugby, URC, and the health authorities for their assistance in particular with regards to facilitating the safe return of our staff and players.

Source – Munster Rugby

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