Today’s rugby news as dazzling Welsh ace being offered to clubs with English Premiership giants set to swoop
These are your rugby headlines on Wednesday, June 1.
Grace offered to union clubs
St Helens star Regan Grace is being offered around to union clubs as speculation over his future continues.
According to our colleagues in the north of England, Grace, who is from Port Talbot, has been offered to various clubs in the 15-man code of the game.
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Grace, 25, is out of contract at the end of the season with the league giants, with talks over an extension still on the table according to reports.
YorkshireLive report Grace is understood to be open to a move to union rather than making a move to another Super League club. Last week WalesOnline reported that Welsh rugby was in danger of missing out on the services of Grace amid dithering over a potential move for the free-scoring wing. You can read more about that here.
Sale Sharks are believed to be one of the teams interested in the electric Welshman, with other major English Premiership clubs also monitoring the situation closely.
Bryn Gatland ‘most improved player in New Zealand’
Warren Gatland’s son Bryn has been branded the “most improved player in New Zealand” after a stellar season with the Chiefs.
Journalist Paul Cully picked his Super Rugby Pacific team of the season and Gatland gets the nod at fly-half.
“Forget all the bigger names, Gatland is the most improved player in New Zealand,” wrote Cully for Stuff. “He has taken the ball hard at the line and has recorded more try assists than anyone in the competition. Also, he’s the only goalkicker whose success rate is higher than 80 per cent. You can’t argue with those numbers.”
The Chiefs, coached by Gatland Senior, have secured a home Super Rugby Pacific quarter-final after they saw off a spirited Fijian Drua in Lautoka at the weekend.
Deans fires off warning to Jones
Former Australia coach Robbie Deans has fired a warning to England chief Eddie Jones as he prepares to take his team Down Under for a three-Test series in his homeland this summer.
Jones is under pressure following yet another disappointing Six Nations campaign, where the Red Rose won just two matches for the second consecutive year.
Things don’t get much easier in July when Jones heads home to face a Wallabies side who will be really up for the challenge,
Asked if Jones will need something extra planned to beat the Aussies, Deans replied : “I hope so – he’ll need them. I just think to beat Australia in Australia is going to be tough. The French failed last year.
“You could say that was down to them fielding their second or even third combination but it was still a good combination. This Australian team is lifting their ambitions.
“They are getting better around the contact area and they’re not going to roll over.”
Earls signs new deal until World Cup
Ireland and British Lion winger Keith Earls has signed a new deal which will go until the end of the World Cup next year.
The back will have played 100 games for his country should he remain fit by the time the finals in France come around. Earls missed the latest Six Nations through injury. He has 96 caps for Ireland and has scored 34 international tries
The Munster man said: “Really happy to extend my contract with Irish Rugby and Munster until the end of the Rugby World Cup in France.
“This Ireland squad haven’t shied away from stating their ambition for the World Cup and I want to continue to be a part of that journey.
“Munster’s squad is developing quality depth with lots of talent coming through the Academy and province’s clubs and schools and the new coaching group will be looking to drive the province on again to the next level.”