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Scarlets confirm long list of departures



Photo by Luke Walker/Getty Images

Scarlets can confirm that the following players will be leaving the club at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Normally, there would be a presentation in front of the fans on the final home match of the campaign, but unfortunately due to ongoing Covid restrictions that can’t take place.

Instead, the players had their own farewell ceremony following Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup match against Cardiff Blues.

Scarlets executive chairman Simon Muderack said: “Unfortunately, every year we have to say goodbye to players who have contributed so much to the Scarlets during their time here and I know our supporters would love to be here at Parc y Scarlets to say their own farewells and thanks in person.

“We have Werner, who is retiring after a wonderful career; Jake, Ed and Paul are heading back to Australia, while others are taking up new opportunities and we wish them all well and thank them for what they have done as Scarlets.

“Diolch yn fawr i chi gyd.” 

Jake Ball

After 134 appearances in the second row for the Scarlets over nine seasons, the 50-cap Wales international is heading home to his family in Australia.

Werner Kruger

The Springbok tight-head prop is hanging up his boots after racking up more than a century of appearances for the Scarlets to add to the same milestone he achieved in Super Rugby and in the Currie Cup. Werner joined the Scarlets in 2016.

Paul Asquith

Paul is returning to Australia after four years with the Scarlets. The former Australia sevens player has played 79 matches, scoring 17 tries.

Uzair Cassiem

The Springbok No. 8 has spent three years in Llanelli, making 56 appearances for the club and endearing himself as a big fans favourite during his time in West Wales.

Dylan Evans

The Welsh-qualified Australian born prop has played 56 matches since his arrival in 2015. Dylan has been on loan with Glasgow Warriors in recent months.

Ed Kennedy

The Australian-born Welsh-qualified back-rower has played 40 matches over three seasons at Parc y Scarlets. Like Paul, the 26-year-old is heading home to Australia at the end of the season.

Tom Phillips

Tom, a former Wales U20s captain, has played 27 matches for the Scarlets since making his senior debut in 2015.

Jac Morgan

The back-rower has signed a contract with the Ospreys. Jac has played 20 matches since making his debut in a European Challenge Cup tie against London Irish in 2019.

Osian Knott

Osian, capped by Wales U20s at centre, has signed a contract with the Ospreys ahead of next season.

Pieter Scholtz

Signed in November as injury cover, the South African tight-head prop has played eight matches in Scarlets colours

Joe Miles

The back-rower has made two senior appearances since joining the Scarlets in 2019.

Will Homer

Signed from Jersey at the start of the season, Will has made 10 appearances during the 2020-21 campaign.

As well as the 12 players, strength and rehabilitation coach Sam Handy is also saying his farewell at the end of the season.

Source – Scarlets 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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