Rugby Football Union or RFU Championship club Moseley have suffered a huge blow after their leading try scorer Mat Williams swapped the club for a lucrative deal with fellow RFU Championship side the London Welsh.
Williams was offered a pay package that smashes all previous contracts in the recent history of the club, but that wasn’t enough to hold on to the free scoring winger as he has decided to join the Exiles for full time rugby.
And this decision from Williams comes as a huge blow for club boss Kevin Maggs who is on the brink of guiding the club to its best ever league position since 2000. Williams has been a key part for Moseley during this current campaign, scoring thirteen tries on the way in a season he has been rehabilitated as a player in the RFU Championship.
However, according to the 25 year old winger, the lure of returning home to London, where his girlfriend and family still live as well as the opportunity to go professional with the Exiles was too good an opportunity to turn down.
The winger has also thanked the club and its boss for giving him the opportunity to establish himself as one of the most prolific players outside of the English top flight.
He said that he had a great time during his spell with Moseley – the whole club and his teammates had been fantastic since he joined from Bristol Rugby where he hardly had any chance to prove his worth in his injury ravaged spell.
Williams went on to add that it was a very difficult decision for him to leave the club but in the end, the decision was more than just based on the rugby side of things and he is looking forward to start his career with the Exiles.
Heeding a request from the management of the national side, Scotland Rugby side Edinburgh Rugby has agreed to rest star man Greg Laidlaw in a move that will see the player miss up to five weeks of action for the Pro 12 side.
The veteran will move from Edinburgh to link up with the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club Gloucester Rugby in England at the end of the current season and the Scottish rugby bosses have asked for the club to give the legendary half back some time out as they prepare for an assault on the Rugby World Cup which will be held in England next summer.
Scotland Director of Rugby Scott Johnson spoke to the media after Edinburgh Rugby announced their decision to rest Laidlaw where he stated that the player has been involved in plenty of games for both the Scotland Rugby national team as well as his club team but looking at the schedule over the next sixteen to eighteen months and how packed it is, they had made the request to the club to give him some time off in order to avoid burn out.
He added that the national team management is pleased with the gesture of the club as well and knowing the feeling the player has for it, they will also give him the opportunity to turn out for them before the season is over as well.
According to the club management, the important thing at this moment is the future of Scotland Rugby and the performance of the national team will be pivotal to the success and sustenance of the clubs in the country and they had no other option but supporting the move for the betterment of the game in the country and for the benefit of the player concerned.
Scott Johnson, the head coach of the Scotland Rugby team has admitted that his team is far from being the finished article, but he is confident that progression is going according to plan and his side is capable enough of causing one or two upsets as the team prepares for the RBS Six Nations Championship.
Scotland have had to endure some of the worst performances in their recent history in the Six Nations Championship but there have been signs of improvement as the team showed enough grit and determination to push the Australians all the way in a narrow defeat in the autumn internationals.
Ryan Grant, Stuart Hogg, Richie Gray as well as Sean Maitland, all those who starred for the British and Irish Lions team during their summer tour of Australia last year have been named in the Scotland Rugby squad for the upcoming RBS Six Nations Championship and Johnson has also continued his policy of promoting exciting young talents in the form of Chris Fusaro and Dougie Fife as well.
According to the Aussie coach of the Scotland team, score board pressure as well as consistency will hold the key to his side’s performances but he has blatantly admitted that the team is still a long way from where he initially wanted to be at this stage ahead of the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015.
But he has insisted that although the progression has been slow, it has been steady and that is what that matters.
The Scotland Rugby team boss stated that consistency is the key to any good side and he thinks if his team can get some consistency going, then they are good enough to beat any side on any given day, adding that they are willing to take more risks as well.
Four Scotland Rugby players will be making their appearances before a court in Glasgow at the end of this month over an alleged case of assault, it has been reported.
According to several reports, the players in question are Ryan Wilson, Sean Maitland, Rory Hughes and Ryan Grant. Both Grant and Maitland were a part of the British and Irish Lions team that toured Australia in the summer and came away with a 2-1 result earlier in 2013.
The charges relate to a case of assault back in the end of October when a 29 year old man was seriously injured, which reportedly took place outside a takeaway shop in the west end of Glasgow.
Moreover, both Maitland as well as Grant is a part of the Scotland Rugby team’s squad which will take on South Africa this Sunday at home.
Wilson, on the other hand, is recovering from an injury and has four caps for the national team while Hughes is a part of the Scotland Sevens squad.
According to a police source, three players from the national team were reported against on charges of assault and serious assault at the end of October. It has also been reported that Wilson’s name was added to the list of offenders later when the police got reports about his involvement.
All four players are currently under contract with the Glasgow Warriors and according to a spokesman for the club, it is always a part of the procedure of the club to institute an internal enquiry to find if the players are indeed guilty as charged and report it to Scotland Rugby about any observation that they make.
The spokesman also mention that the internal enquiry is going on at the moment and it won’t be right to comment any further on the matter.
Four of Scotland’s biggest rugby stars visited Montrose Rugby Club, where they interacted with the children there, and tried to motivate them to follow in their footsteps.
Scotland rugby star record holder Chris Paterson, along with big guns Matt Scott, Michael Fedo and Chris Dean visited the club, as part of a program which ensures that supports local rugby clubs, and helps them to advance with great progress in to the future.
Apart from these four from the Scotland rugby scene, there were some more players, who participated in the welfare event. They played games, gave signatures, and there were photo sessions with the players, where the youngsters got a chance to click pictures with the players. And what is more, apart from the players being there, there was the Six Nations Trophy as well. So this generated a huge amount of excitement with the youngsters at the club, who, needless to say, will be aspiring high for themselves in the future.
Being chosen as one of the RBS RugbyForce clubs, Montrose has really grown in the past years, and this inclusion in the RugbyForce has really helped the progress of the rugby scenario in the Montrose region a great deal. And the best part about the Montrose club is that, there will be many junior divisions for both boys and girls, and they will be starting from primary till under-18. So this is indeed a very promising factor for Scotland rugby, as many great future players might just be trained from here.
And coupled with these programs, young players can interact with the greats, enjoy with them, and most importantly, learn from them how to make it big in the Scotland rugby circuit, and make a name for themselves, and become a great rugby player one day in the future.
Rugby Football Union Championship club the Bedford Blues are gearing up for the RFU Championship play-off final first leg match against the Newcastle Falcons and the chairman of the club Geoff Irvine is enjoying each and every moment of the build-up.
The Blues have reached the play-off finals for the first time in their history and the club’s chairman is pleased that the club’s players and the coaching staff are finally getting the plaudits that were due to them.
He mentioned that everything is going extremely well, adding that the main stand was sold out the day after the tickets went on sale, mentioning the club has not seen so much excitement for a long time. He admitted that the way things are shaping up, it can only mean that the club will have a bumper support cheering them on come the final. He also stated that he is extremely pleased with Mike Rayer, the club’s head coach, his entire coaching team and the players who have taken the club to this stage.
Irvine went on to state that a lot of people don’t really appreciate how hard the club works, mentioning the fact that the squad that the club has is mainly full of a part time players who have other jobs as well. These players come in to the club at six in the morning, hit the gym and then go to their full time jobs.
Irvine was part of consortium that took over the club back in 1999 and he is extremely pleased to see the club now reaping the rewards, adding that the one thing that has led to this kind of success is its stability. The Blues are under dogs for the match against Newcastle but Irvine is pleased nonetheless considering the magnitude of this achievement.
The Scottish Rugby Union has announced the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal for the Scotland Rugby Team after agreeing a long term multimillion dollar contract with Italian kit manufacturers Macron, who will be supplying all the representative teams of the Scottish Rugby Union with their playing apparel.
Apart from agreeing a deal with the Scottish Rugby Union, Macron has also signed lucrative kit sponsorship deals with Scottish Pro 12 teams Edinburgh Rugby as well as the Glasgow Warriors. The new deal means that Scotland will be the first full test playing nation to be completely kitted by the Italian sportswear giants.
And the chiefs of the Scottish Rugby Union have also hailed the importance of the inputs of the fans of the Scotland Rugby Team when it comes to designing the final kit before big matches with a contest for fans already launched where they will be able to send their designs and the winning design will be manufactured by Macron and worn by the Scottish rugby players in all forms of the sport. According to Mark Dodson, this new deal is groundbreaking for Scottish Rugby and it is a deal that benefits both the parties involved.
Dodson also extended his gratitude towards Canterbury, the kit manufacturers from New Zealand that had supplied kits to the Scotland Rugby Team for so long and thanked them for their long association with the sport in the country. Dodson also stated that the jersey actually belongs to the nation, citing how Chris Paterson, the record cap holder for Scotland with 109 stated that he was only borrowing the jersey from the fans and that was the main reason behind involving the fans in the designing process of the new kits.
The deal with Macron will come into effect on July 1 when the deal with Canterbury expires.
Although Scotland rugby team has been currently ranked 12th in the world after they lost to Tonga, and just a month ago Andy Robinson resigned as head coach last month, their back player 31-year-old Sean Lamont has high hopes of winning against England at Twickenham in the Calcutta Cup dated Feb 2 on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.
The claim is certainly close to day-dreaming because England is now in its topmost form after their record win against New Zealand. Last February, England had Lancaster as their stand-by coach and the team won gracefully at Murrayfield and also won four matches in the Six Nations and walked away with the runners-up title.
The Scotland Rugby Union are not hasting up the announcement of the appointment of Scott Johnson as their provisional head coach because they are taking time to find the right replacement for Robinson. But according to the 71 cap holder Lamont, Johnson can be just fine. After their loss against Tonga, Andy Robinson had to resign as he concurred that the performance was a ‘coach-killing’ one.
Lamont said, “We crossed the line three times and didn’t get a score, which is criminal. That should have been at least 15 points.” Visser has shown particular disappointment because it was Robinson who first handed him his first cap in June after he had qualified through residency. He feels that the former coach had been made a scapegoat. All the players deply regretted his decision to quite as a coach.
But now it is time for the Scotland Rugby team to look forward to the upcoming matches. The opinions of the two players Viser and Lamont were taken during the official announcement of Caledonia Best as the official beer of Scottish rugby.
Ben Foden, the full back for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Union side the Northampton Saints has stated that his team has more than a decent chance of success this season. The Saints reached the playoff semi finals of the Aviva Premiership last year and the 27 year old full back was one of the key performers in the team’s 24-19 win against Gloucester Rugby in the opening round of the new season of the Premiership.
And speaking to BBC Northampton about his team’s chance, Foden stated that he feels a whole lot better about the current squad of players in the team than he has done in his stint at the club, and pointed out that the strength in depth of the squad will be a key factor in sustaining a winning run. Foden also commented that although the critics don’t give the team a chance and have written them off with only a game played into the new season, he believes that the Northampton Saints can rise up to the challenge and succeed.
He admitted that the new players that have been recruited by the club have pretty large shoes to fill, but he has also stated that in spite of that, the mentality as well as the attitude of the team is the same as it was. And the man who has 30 caps for England knows that the youngsters in the team will be looking at him for inspiration and knowledge.
Foden made it clear that it feels like an extra responsibility for him but he is ready to lead them to greater things. And Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder also agrees with his star player that the Northampton Saints are in transition but admitted that the team still has a decent chance of upsetting the odds and succeeding.
Mitchell Todd, who was being hailed as a future star for the Scotland Rugby Team has, sadly been killed in a car crash at the youthful age of 21 years.
The youngster, who has represented his country in the international stage, succumbed to his injuries sustained in the crash near Nottinghamshire, England last Wednesday. According to the police, he was found crushed inside a Citroen C3 just before 6 in the morning and medics were rushed on to the scene immediately. However, the youngster was pronounced dead on the scene itself.
The 21 year old was a youth product of the Scottish Exiles, a training program that is aimed at developing youngsters of Scottish descent outside the borders of the country, run by the Scottish Rugby Union. Although Todd was born in England, he qualified to play for the Scotland Rugby Team by virtue of his father being born and raised in the Scottish city of Edinburgh and played for The Exiles at the age levels from Under-17 through to Under-20.
He garnered a lot of positive responses with his performances and was even being monitored as a future prospect for the senior national team. In 2011 itself, Todd played 10 matches for the Under-20 national team, starting in as many as 8 of those games and was even a part of the playing squad at the IRB Junior World Championship. And speaking about his untimely death, Rob Brierley, the performance manager for the Scottish players based in England stated that Todd was an extremely quiet and sensitive lad, but had a lot of determination and courage on the pitch.
Since his death, a lot of tribute has poured in for the player who was being seen as a bright start of the future for the Scotland Rugby Team that has seen its players fail to live up to the expectations in recent years.