15.co.za | Rugby News, Live Scores, Results, Fixtures 2017-01-20T11:35:07Z http://www.rugby15.co.za/feed/atom/ Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Eddie Jones Announces RBS 6 Nations Squad]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59658 2017-01-20T11:35:07Z 2017-01-20T11:35:07Z Eddie Jones has announced his England squad ahead of the 2017 RBS 6 Nations.

The 34-man squad will train in Portugal between 22 – 27 January before assembling at Pennyhill Park to prepare for their opening match against France at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 4 February (kick-off 4.50pm, live on ITV).

Jones has named three uncapped players in a squad made up of 20 forwards and 14 backs. Back-row forward Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers) is included alongside prop Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby) and back Alex Lozowski (Saracens)

There are also returns for James Haskell (Wasps), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Jack Clifford (Harlequins) and Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs) who were unavailable for selection during the autumn.

England Head Coach Jones said: “This time last year I said that the long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby. Obviously, I’ve been pleased with how the team’s progressing, but there’s still plenty to improve on. We always want to get better, every training session, every game.

“I’ve been impressed with the three uncapped players named in the squad. They’re all guys who have great physical capabilities and they all have a desire to improve. With a number of injuries to some key players, it’s a great opportunity for them.

“It’s good to welcome back a number of players who weren’t with us during the autumn. Maro Itoje has done well for his club as has Jack Nowell. James Haskell was magnificent for England last year and is a fierce player. Anthony Watson has been a fine player for England and is one the most prolific try scorers for the number of Tests he has played. We are looking forward to those guys coming in and challenging for a spot and adding strength.

“At the start of last year’s Six Nations I probably didn’t realise the enormity of the tournament and how intense the rivalry is between the countries, so this year we’ll be better prepared for it and we are looking forward to being daring in our game against France on 4 February.
Joining Jones’ backroom team will be visual awareness coach Dr Sherylle Calder, who will work with the team on a consultancy basis.

Dr Calder, who helps improve players’ peripheral vision, their reaction times and coordination, has been involved with two Rugby World Cup winning teams and has worked with a number of high-profile athletes across a multitude of different sports.

“2017 for us is about building really strong foundations for the team and making sure our fundamental skills are improving,” said Jones.

“Part of that is hand-eye co-ordination and our ability to handle the ball adroitly – Dr Sherylle Calder is an expert in that field.

“She has won two gold medals, 2003 with England and 2007 with South Africa, I used her extensively when I coached in Japan and had success with her then. I think she is really going to add an edge to the players’ preparation.”

England Senior 34–man squad for RBS 6 Nations

Forwards

Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby)
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Teimana Harrison (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Wasps)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Joe Marler (Harlequins)
Matt Mullan (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Tommy Taylor (Wasps)
Mike Williams (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)

Backs

Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens)
George Ford (Bath Rugby)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Alex Lozowski (Saracens)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)
Marland Yarde (Harlequins)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Four new caps in All Blacks Sevens squad for Wellington]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59656 2017-01-20T11:27:07Z 2017-01-20T11:27:07Z Selectors have named four new caps in the 14-strong All Blacks Sevens squad for the HSBC Wellington Sevens tournament, to be held next weekend.

The selectors have rewarded standout performances at the Bayleys National Sevens tournament last weekend with selection to a new-look national squad that contains a mix of youth and experience.

The squad is (* indicates new caps):
Scott Curry – Captain – Bay of Plenty
Dylan Collier – Southland
DJ Forbes – Counties Manukau
Iopu Iopu-Aso – Taranaki
Trael Joass* – Tasman
Rocky Khan – Auckland
Andrew Knewstubb* – Tasman
Vilimoni Koroi* – Otago
Tim Mikkelson – Waikato
Sione Molia – Counties Manukau
Tone Ng Shiu* – Tasman
Sherwin Stowers – Counties Manukau
Isaac Te Tamaki – Waikato
Regan Ware – Bay of Plenty

Interim All Blacks Sevens Head Coach Scott Waldrom said selections were based on performance at the recent National Sevens tournament.

“We said that the guys performing well would be the ones rewarded with selection. We are confident that this squad contains the best sevens rugby players in the country at the moment.

“This is a team based on form, and it shows that exciting talent coming through can put their hand up and be successful with national selection.

“It’s exciting to put Trael, Andrew, Vilimoni and Tone into the All Blacks Sevens environment in Wellington. Our focus when we go into camp next Monday is to bring the new guys up to speed with our structures and the team culture.

“There is also a lot of experience in the squad. DJ Forbes will play his 82nd World Series Tournament in Wellington, and a number of the other players have been part of successful campaigns over the years. It is good to have a mix of experience and new talent to keep us fresh.

“We are feeling confident heading into the Wellington tournament. There were big improvements in the team between the Dubai and Cape Town tournaments as the squad got to spend more time together. Since then we have had the Nationals and a four-day camp together in Rotorua, so we enter the build-up this week match-fit and gelling as a group.

“Wellington is always the highlight of the series for the boys. There is nothing like having a big crowd at Westpac Stadium cheering the team on. It’s also special to be able to play in front of our family and friends.

“We enter the tournament defending champions and we will be giving it our all to hold onto the Wellington trophy and make it four wins in a row.”

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Key players commit to WP Rugby]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59654 2017-01-20T06:47:04Z 2017-01-20T06:47:04Z Western Province Rugby Group CEO, Paul Zacks, has confirmed that Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi is amongst a host of key players that have committed their future to WP Rugby, by signing long-term contracts.

Mbonambi made his Test debut in 2016 following an impressive Vodacom Super Rugby campaign with the DHL Stormers and has signed a new three-year contract with the Union.

He is joined by the likes of backs Jean-Luc du Plessis, Dan du Plessis, EW Viljoen, Grant Hermanus, Justin Phillips and Brandon Thomson, and fellow forwards Chad Solomon, JD Schickerling and Kobus van Dyk, in signing long-term contracts.

Zacks said that it is encouraging to see such talented players show confidence in the long-term vision of Western Province Rugby, joining the likes of senior players Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Frans Malherbe who are all contracted until 2019.

“It is vital to retain talented players such as these who have signed new contracts if we are to move forward and evolve.

“Of course there are many others who are on existing contracts that will also play a big role in what we have planned for the future,” he said.

DHL Western Province captain Chris van Zyl, DHL Western Province U21 captain Luke Stringer, utility forward Jurie van Vuuren, centre Ryan Oosthuizen and flyhalf Ernst Stapelberg, all signed contract extensions with the union.

In addition to this, there are a number of players in last year’s table-topping DHL Western Province U21 and DHL Western Province U19 teams that have also signed on.

Junior Springboks Eduard Zandberg, Cobus Wiese, Reuben de Villiers and Edwill van der Merwe along with David Brits have all signed five-year contracts, committing their long-term future to Western Province Rugby.

They are joined by the likes of Zain Davids, Percy Mngadi, Jaco Coetzee, Herschel Jantjies, Carlu Sadie,Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Nama Xaba, Jordan Sesink-Clee, Jordan Chait, Ricky Nwagbara, Reuben Terblanche, Matt Wiseman, Saud Abrahams, Paul de Wet, Daniel Maree, Cornel Smit, Nico Leonard, Eduan Keyter, Thumi Mogoje, Ryan Muller, Juarno Augustus and Tristan Leyds who have all extended their contracts.

Director of Rugby Gert Smal said that by retaining these players, the coaching staff have a strong core to build on in the years to come.

“Depth and continuity are vital for any team, so to have players of this calibre commit to the Union is a major boost for us.

“This helps immeasurably in the planning that the coaches and management do,” he said.

President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, Mr Thelo Wakefield, said that these signings fit in with the vision of becoming the leading rugby union in the world, as well as the rallying call ‘We Stand Together’.

“The fact that these players have decided to commit their futures to our union shows that they stand together with us and our strategic Vision 2020.

“I look forward to watching them make all of us proud over the coming years at DHL Newlands,” he said.

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Scotland Women name 2017 Six Nations squad]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59652 2017-01-20T06:37:07Z 2017-01-20T06:37:07Z Head Coach Shade Munro has announced a 32-player squad for the 2017 Women’s Six Nations Championship, which will see Scotland play three home games at Broadwood Stadium.

Scotland Women will open their campaign against Ireland Women on Friday 3 February (kick-off 6.35pm). It is the first of three home games to be played in Cumbernauld as double-headers alongside Scotland U20.

As part of their preparations, Scotland Women will convene for a three-day training camp in London on Sunday 22 January which will culminate in a match against English Premiership side Aylesford Bulls.

Munro said: “The Women’s Six Nations is a great platform to develop the squad and benchmark progress as we work towards closing the gap with world-class nations.

“We’ve added more training camps and competitive games this season to better prepare both the new and experienced players for the task ahead.

“The structures Scottish Rugby has put in place to support players and release their full potential are also making a difference and we took huge positives from our two matches against Spain in autumn.

“We competed for the whole 80 minutes in both games and developed our defence and attack. The players took confidence from that because they can see the improvement.

“In this tournament, our focus is really on us. There’s no doubt we have progressed in a number of areas, but there is a lot more we can do to improve.”

Four players who made their debut in the Rugby World Cup qualifiers against Spain in November remain in contention; flanker Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), forwards Sarah Bonar and Rachel Malcolm (both Lichfield) and front-row Lucy Park (Murrayfield Wanderers).

Centres Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers) and Lisa Thomson (Edinburgh University) return to the mix following their debuts in last year’s Six Nations, alongside wing Rhona Lloyd (Edinburgh University).

Scottish Rugby’s first full-time female player Jade Konkel (Hillhead Jordanhill) is back from injury and is one of 13 BT Sports Scottish Rugby Academy players selected.

Captain Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers) is among the more experienced players including Tracy Balmer (Worcester), Heather Lockhart and Lindsey Smith (both Hillhead Jordanhill).

Following their opening game against Ireland, Scotland will play two further matches at Broadwood, which they adopted as their base last year, hosting Wales on Friday 24 February (kick-off 6.30pm) and Italy on Friday 17 March (kick-off 6.30pm).

They will face France on Saturday 11 February in La Rochelle (kick-off 8 pm GMT) and England on Saturday 11 March at The Twickenham Stoop (kick-off 1 pm).

All 15 Women’s Six Nations games will be broadcast live on TV or online to help raise the profile of the Championship, with highlights also available on BBC. New, dedicated social media channels have also been launched to assist in creating its own identity.

Tickets to the Scotland Women and Scotland U20 double-headers at Broadwood Stadium are available HERE. Adult tickets £10 (valid for both matches), with free entry for senior citizens, U18 and Scotland season pass holders.

Scotland Women squad for the 2017 Women’s Six Nations

Forwards
Tracy Balmer (Worcester)
Sarah Bonar (Lichfield)
Rachel Cook* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Katie Dougan (Edinburgh University)
Karen Dunbar* (RHC Cougars)
Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Jade Konkel** (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Rachel Malcolm (Lichfield)
Deborah McCormack (Aylesford Bulls)
Louise McMillan* (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Siobhan McMillan (Cartha Queens Park)
Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester)
Lucy Park* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lisa Robertson (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lana Skeldon (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Anna Stodter (Saracens)
Emma Wassell* (Murrayfield Wanderers)

Backs
Caroline Collie (Bletchley Ladies)
Abi Evans (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh University)
Lauren Harris (Melrose)
Gillian Inglis (RHC Cougars)
Sarah Law* (Murrayfield Wanderers/Edinburgh University)
Rhona Lloyd* (Edinburgh University)
Lisa Martin* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Jenny Maxwell (Lichfield)
Helen Nelson* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Chloe Rollie* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Eilidh Sinclair* (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lisa Thomson* (Edinburgh University)

* BT Sports Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 2 player 2016/17
** BT Sports Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 player 2016/17

Scotland Women 2017 Six Nations Fixtures

Friday 3 February
Scotland Women v Ireland Women, Broadwood Stadium (kick-off 6.35pm)

Saturday 11 February
France Women v Scotland Women, Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle (kick-off 9 pm local/8pm GMT)

Friday 24 February
Scotland Women v Wales Women, Broadwood Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm)

Saturday 11 March
England Women v Scotland Women, TheTwickenham Stoop (kick-off 1 pm)

Friday 17 March
Scotland Women v Italy Women, Broadwood Stadium (kick-off 6.30pm)

Tickets to Scotland Women’s home games are available HERE.

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Country NSW born lock, Ned Hanigan re-signs to the NSW Waratahs for two seasons]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59648 2017-01-19T09:45:09Z 2017-01-19T09:45:09Z The NSW Waratahs are pleased to announce the re-signing of NSW country-born lock, Ned Hanigan for the 2017 and 2018 seasons today.

The 21-year-old made his debut for the Tahs last season in round 11 against the Cheetahs after being promoted from the extended to the core playing squad due to his impressive work rate during the 2016 pre-season.

Born in Dubbo, NSW Hanigan said he didn’t want to go anywhere else having come all the way through the NSW Rugby pathways.

“It means a great deal to me. I’m very thankful that I have the opportunity and am looking forward to staying,” Hanigan said.

“It’s a surreal experience to be able to pull on the NSW jersey. We’ve been talking about the heritage that the jersey holds and, with the new energy coming through and the leaders that we’ve got in the team, I’m really looking forward to it, it means a great deal to me.

“I came into the squad, into a professional environment, for the first time last year so I really want to just keep on learning from the guys who are here and have done it before.

“I learnt a great deal off Dave Dennis last year. He was a real mentor for me, showing me what it’s like to be a professional footballer and having a long career.

“So my goals are much the same this year. I just want to try and pull the boots on a bit more and stay injury free.”

One of nine players within the NSW Waratahs born and bred in country NSW, Hanigan backed up his three Super Rugby caps in 2016 with a set of outstanding performances for the NSW Country Eagles in last year’s Buildcorp NRC. The 110 kilogramme, 194-centimetre lock crossed for four tries in six games for the Eagles.

Growing up in Coonamble in the state’s central west, Hanigan left there at the age of 12 to attend Sydney’ rugby nursery, St. Joseph’s College before being selected to represent his country with the Australian Schoolboys on their 2013 Grand Slam European tour.

Coming through the NSW Rugby pathways, Hanigan played in Randwick’s Premiership-winning Colts side and NSW Under the 20s in 2014.

He represented the NSW Under the 20s again in 2015, before making the cut once more for the Australian Under 20s where he was considered one of the team’s best.

Ned Hanigan
Position: Lock
Date of birth: 11/04/1995
Height: 194cm
Weight: 110kg
Junior Club: Coonamble Rams
Senior Club: Randwick
Super Rugby debut: Round 11, 2016 v Cheetahs – Sydney
Super Rugby caps: 3

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Blacks Ferns Sevens squad of 20 contracted players named]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59646 2017-01-19T06:47:06Z 2017-01-19T06:45:43Z Selectors have announced a squad of 20 contracted players for 2017 for the Olympic Silver medal winning Black Ferns Sevens, made up of 18 fully-contracted players and two training contracts, leaving a further spot to filled later in the year.

The squad to contest the remainder of the 2016-2017 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series sees the addition of eight new contracted players into the Black Ferns Sevens environment.

The contracted squad is (* indicates a new contracted player):
•    Sarah Goss (Captain) – Manawatu
•    Shakira Baker – Waikato
•    Michaela Blyde – Bay of Plenty
•    Kelly Brazier – Bay of Plenty
•    Gayle Broughton – Taranaki
•    Rebekah Cordero-Tufuga – Manawatu*
•    Lyric Faleafaga – Wellington (Training Contract)*
•    Theresa Fitzpatrick – Auckland*
•    Crystal Mayes – Manawatu (Training Contract)*
•    Tyla Nathan-Wong – Auckland
•    Cheyelle Robins-Reti – Waikato*
•    Alena Saili – Otago*
•    Terina Te Tamaki – Waikato
•    Ruby Tui – Canterbury
•    Stacey Waaka – Waikato
•    Katarina Whata-Simpkins – Wellington
•    Renee Wickliffe – Counties Manukau*
•    Niall Williams – Auckland
•    Tenika Willison – Waikato*
•    Portia Woodman – Counties Manukau

Black Ferns Sevens Head Coach Allan Bunting said he was excited about the mix of talent in the team.

“There is a lot of potential in this team. The high level of performance at the National Sevens tournament on the weekend made selections very hard. The higher standard of coaching at Provincial Union level is really making our job difficult which is great, but we are lucky because they are delivering quality rugby players which will make coaching the squad easier.

“There is already a lot of experience in the squad, but it is youthful experience. Every player can go through to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and most of them could still be going for gold in the two games after that.

“One player, Lyric Faleafaga, is in her last year of school and Alena Saili has just finished school last year. It’s great to see amazing talent coming through at such a young age which is exciting for the future of the team. Now that sevens is an Olympic sport more  teenage athletes are seeing it as a path to competing on the international stage at the highest level.

“When selecting the squad we were looking for a mix of play-maker ability in the middle and power, speed and skill on the outside. I’m very happy that we have real potential in all these positions and that we have gained some size, height and have speed throughout the squad.

“Because we have two training contracts that means we have a space for potential other training contracts and also we have left one full contract that we can fill later. We will be looking to see who comes through the Go For Gold programme, which is aimed at attracting new athletes into sevens rugby.

“The focus for the next couple of weeks, heading into Sydney, will be continuing on from what we started in Dubai which is building our foundations and bringing the new members up to speed on what we have learnt.”

The full Black Ferns Sevens squad will go into camp in Wellington from Monday January 23. There will be media opportunities during the week with the squad. The squad will be attending the Wellington Sevens tournament on Saturday January 28 before a travelling team of 14 will leave for the Sydney tournament on Sunday January 29.

HSBC 2016-2017 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series
Sydney, Australia: 3-4 February 2017
Las Vegas, USA: 3-5 March 2017
Kitakyushu, Japan: 23-24 April 2017
Langford, Canada: 27-28 April 2017
Clermont-Ferrand, France: 24-25 June 2017

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Women’s draw confirmed for HSBC Sydney 7s]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59644 2017-01-19T06:32:52Z 2017-01-19T06:32:52Z Australia’s Golden Girls will shine for the first time on home soil with the HSBC Sydney 7s draw released today ahead of the World Series event at Allianz Stadium in Sydney on Friday, February 3.

Fans will get a chance to see the Olympic Gold Medallists take centre stage on the first day of competition, with Australia having never before hosted a women’s World Series tournament.

It will be a big day of action on day one with the Australian women taking on Brazil and Ireland first up, before a mouthwatering clash with rising power Fijian at 7 pm AEDT on Friday night, in time for those finishing work to join the carnival-like atmosphere.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head coach, Tim Walsh said: “After not performing to our ability in Dubai we are looking forward a much-improved tournament on home soil.”

“The battle lines have been drawn and the stage is set for a huge opening night at Allianz Stadium. We hope to see plenty of Sydneysiders knock off work early and head out to see the Gold medal-winning Australian women’s sevens team in action.

“All of the Oceania nations have plenty of support coming to Sydney so we’ll need the Aussie fans to come out in force for both the Friday as well as the Saturday.”

The 12-team women’s tournament will be the main event on Friday before the action doubles on Saturday for the first day of men’s competition.

For the full women’s draw, please visit http://www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series

The men’s draw will be announced next weekend following the HSBC World Series Sevens event in Wellington.

Tickets for the 2017 HSBC Sydney 7s are available at Ticketek. For further information visit the HSBC Sydney 7s website www.sydney7s.com.au

Great Hospitality Packages are still available. Email hospitality@rugby.com.au for more information.

Pool A                             Pool B                       Pool C
New Zealand                    Australia                     Russia
Canada                            Fiji                              England
France                             Ireland                        Spain
Papua New Guinea           Brazil                          USA

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens fixtures:
1.36pm AEDT: Australia v Brazil
4.18pm AEDT: Australia v Ireland
7.00pm AEDT: Australia v Fiji

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[Force sign Country Eagles Star Alex Newsome]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59641 2017-01-19T06:28:43Z 2017-01-19T06:28:43Z The Western Force have added to their backline depth with the signing of NSW Country Eagles outside back Alex Newsome to the club’s wider training squad.

The 21-year-old originally joined the Western Force on trial at the start of pre-season following an outstanding Buildcorp National Rugby Championship (NRC) campaign with the Eagles and has been rewarded with a contract.

The announcement continues the former Australian Under 20s representative’s rapid rise – after being selected in NSW Country’s wider training squad following a stellar season with Eastern Suburbs in Sydney’s Shute Shield competition in 2016.

Newsome says earning a contract was his goal when he made the trip West for his pre-season trial.

“I’m pretty stoked right now,” he said. “Coming out of club rugby and the NRC last year I suppose it was always a goal to pick something up. To get the trial opportunity in the first place was great and to come through and get signed at the end is awesome.”

“The training has definitely been a step up in terms of intensity from what I have been used to. Coming through the Australian Under 20’s and the NRC I’ve had exposure to those professional environments but I’ve never done a full pre-season with a Super Rugby team.

“It’s been awesome for my game to learn about the intensity needed to make it at Super Rugby level and what to do in order to get to that point.”

“There are so many quality players in the squad and to see the way the Wallabies guys like Dane (Haylett-Petty) and ‘Moz’ (Luke Morahan) go about their work shows you just how high the standards are.”

The talented youngster scored three spectacular intercept tries playing on the wing in the 2016 Buildcorp NRC and also has the ability to also play at centre and fullback.

“I’ve played most of my footy at 13 but playing on the wing in the NRC has given me a bit of versatility to hopefully contribute to the group.”

Born and raised in Glen Innes in northern New South Wales the humble youngster says he is excited to begin his next chapter in Perth and has set his sights on a Super Rugby debut.

“To get signed was my first goal and now my focus shifts to Round One against the Waratahs and making it into that 23. For me right now I’m just going to push hard at training and try to get as much game time as I can this season.”

Western Force Attack Coach Shaun Berne says Newsome is a fantastic addition to the Force’s backline.

“Alex deserves his spot in the squad with the way he has performed all pre-season, he’s been very impressive and all the coaches are excited to see him play.”

“He’s has got really good feet. His game awareness is strong and from what we have seen so far he is a very intelligent guy and an intelligent rugby player.”

Profile

Name: Alex Newsome

Date of Birth: 20/01/1995

Place of Birth: Glen Innes, NSW

Position: Outside Back

Height: 189cm

Weight: 93kg

Representative Rugby: NSW U20 (2015), Australian U20 (2015), NSW Country Eagles (2016)

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[England unchanged for Wellington Sevens]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59639 2017-01-19T06:19:00Z 2017-01-19T06:19:00Z England has named an unchanged squad for next week’s Wellington Sevens (28-29 January) after winning the last leg in Cape Town.

Following a third-place finish in Dubai and victory the subsequent weekend, England is second in the world rankings and have been drawn alongside Papua New Guinea, Argentina and Kenya for the next round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Head Coach Simon Amor said:  “We have a fully fit squad and after a decent outcome from the first two tournaments, we are in a positive place.

“There is only a short turnaround between the remaining tournaments and jet lag becomes a significant factor at this stage in the season.   We’ve had the last block where there was a chance to go hard on fitness so it was great to see so many of the guys getting personal bests in their scores over the Christmas period.  Those foundations are now in place, not just for the upcoming tournaments, but hopefully to carry us through the series.”

England finished fourth in Wellington last year, and were runners up in 2015, contributing to an eight-year track record of consistently finishing in the event’s top four.

Amor added: “We have traditionally done well in this tournament and have good momentum from December but everyone understands there are big improvements that we must make in certain areas.  The rest of the world will also have learned a lot from Dubai and Cape Town so we need to keep taking steps forward and be increasingly smarter with our decision making and how we play the game.”

Charlton Kerr will be the 13th man for Wellington and Sydney having benefited from the experience of travelling with the squad to Cape Town.  The 19-year-old was part of the England Sevens’ Academy side that won both the Singapore Cricket Club Sevens and Dubai International Invitational at the start of the season.

“The young guys are really knocking on the door and looking to prove that they deserve a place on the series,” said Amor.  “With depth in the squad, it is exciting that we could have some new caps earned later in the season.”

England Sevens squad for Wellington:

Dan Bibby
Tom Bowen
Phil Burgess
Alex Davis
Richard de Carpentier
Ollie Lindsay-Hague
Charlie Hayter
Ruaridh McConnochie
Tom Mitchell ©
Dan Norton
James Rodwell
Ethan Waddleton

England’s Pool A fixtures, all live on Sky Sports 2:

v Papua New Guinea (Friday 27 January, 11.55pm GMT)
v Argentina (Saturday 28 January, 3.19am GMT)
v Kenya (Saturday 28 January, 7.10am GMT)

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Mpho Moipolai <![CDATA[GROOTRugby 12 Jan 2017]]> http://www.rugby15.co.za/?p=59636 2017-01-18T12:59:59Z 2017-01-18T12:59:59Z

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