Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish have announced that they have reached a deal with the Rugby Football Union Championship club the Rotherham Titans for the signing of hooker Tom Cruse for the new season and the player will join up with his new teammates in the summer.
The 26 year old has been playing in the Championship for the last two seasons after a previous spell with the Sale Sharks. The forward was given his first stint as a professional with Stockport and he has also represented Cheshire. Speaking about his proposed move to the top tier of English rugby, Cruse said that he has worked long and hard for a chance to play in the Aviva Premiership with one of the top teams and when the chance presented itself, it was an easy decision for him.
He went on add that with a new manager coming in at the start of the new season, there is a lot excitement about the London Irish and he just cannot wait to link up with his new team. However, for the time being, he is fully focussed on the Rotherham Titans and he wants to leave them on a high.
The RFU Championship has been a good breeding ground for talent acquired by the Exiles in recent seasons and the addition of Cruse to the squad is expected to continue that long tradition. The team has a good scouting network that spots talents in the RFU Championship which the club develops into stars.
Bob Casey, the director of operations at the London Irish was very happy with the signing of Cruse and referred to him as an emerging talent from the Championship. He added that his strong set piece play and dynamism around the park will add to the Exiles game.
Sale Sharks will meet Leicester Tigers to qualify for the top four positions as intensification of Aviva Premiership rises.
It is on 43 points that both the teams are levelled at. If either side win, that will make them strong contenders for being in the second position during the weekend.
On a winning for game streak are the Tigers who are going to make six changes in their side as they had a strong tussle with London Irish the previous weekend.
In the second row it is Geoff Parling who returns as he is coming after a knee injury and he is also partnering with Brad Thorn, who is an ex international from New Zealand. Neil Briggs along with Laurence Pearce is going to replace the duo from England- Tom Croft and Tom Youngs.
Beginning after being on the bench is Seremaia Bai in the midfield together with Vereneki Goneva and on the wing it is Scully who comes along. It was defeat by the last gasp for Sale by 32-30 to Leicester which was at home and in the team three changes were made by which in the previous meeting Saracens won superbly.
For Danny Cipriani it is Nick Macleod who comes in for half fly and is also the replacement for the clash on Sunday for England. Will Addison is replaced by Tom Arscott. There are replacements for both the team where Magnus Lund is opted for the flanker at the open side. In the Sale Sharks, there are 8 replacements and for Leicester Tigers there are 8 replacements as well. Dan Braid is the captain for Sale Sharks and for Leicester Tigers, Jordan Crane is the captain. It is going to be interesting to see how both the teams fare in the neck to neck fight for the fourth spot.
Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish have confirmed the appointment of Tom Coventry as the new man in charge at the club starting from the 2015/16 season, replacing the departed Brian Smith.
The 48 year old is currently serving as the assistant coach at New Zealand Super Rugby side the Chiefs and will resign from his position before taking charge of the Exiles.
The London based outfit are currently lying at 11th in the standings of the Aviva Premiership after managing to secure just four wins all season. Coventry said that the owners of the club have a clear vision about the club and they have made it clear to him how they want the club to perform in the next few years.
Coventry went on to add that it is an exciting challenge for him and he just cannot wait to get stuck in once he takes charge at the club. He mentioned that he has immensely enjoyed the time he spent with the Chiefs but said in order to remain fresh as a coach, one needs a regular change of environment and that was the main reason behind him taking the job with the London Irish.
Bob Casey, the director at the club said that they had conducted a long and extensive search internationally for a replacement for Brian Smith and in Coventry; they have found a coach of exceptional calibre, who they feel, will take the club forward in the next few years.
The London Irish boss went on to add that Coventry has been a part of the best environment for rugby in the world and has learnt his trade from some of the most respected and experienced coaches in New Zealand and that will serve him well when he takes over at the club.
London Irish have moved up ahead against the Cardiff Blues. The first try was scored by Cory Allen but it was Andrew Fenby, the Irish Winger was there in the half of each and simultaneously Shane Geraghaty scored down the post. Irish were clearly showing improvement. Irish got the lead when Tom Homer got the penalty. It was Fenby all around who was putting Irish on the top by side tracking all.
Cardiff had also got momentum in the fly half but Geraghaty showed it down which was a clever attempt from the Irish side. Some were up with their second attempts. It did give Irish side lot of positives from the team as a whole. Despite the result both sides have a lot to cherish but the larger picture remains as to what about the Cardiff Blues? Well, they have won in the group and that is where it has left them at. They looked to remain in the box seat as they defeated the Irish at the Arms Park with 24-14. In Pool One they got three victories out of three which is a clean wash but 33- 23 loss at Madjeski shifted the balance in the group.
Now the tables have turned and the tide is higher on the side of Irish as they are dominating. It is due to the narrow margins which s enabling them to make it to the top. When both sides have same points in the Euro pool it narrows down to lead games with each other. After that it comes down to the aggregate points and going by the performance it seems that Irish are going to take it away from the hand of Blues. It is likely that they will have a draw of quarter final at home for the Irish.
Wales Rugby Team has found a supporter in Josh Lewsey. Lewsey is the Welsh Rugby Union’s head of rugby, who took up this post in August, 2013. According to Lewsey, Wales Rugby Team should be thrilled for the upcoming World Cup as they have to face some tough challenges.
Josh Lewsey is of the opinion that the Wales Rugby Team’s head coach- Warren Gatland has the ability to help the team perform well at the 2015 World Cup and the team may very well follow the footsteps of the England team which had won the Rugby World Cup 2003 under the headship of Sir Clive Woodward.
Lewsey himself had been a part of Woodward’s team that had won the World Cup in 2003 and he was also part of the England team which reached the finals of 2007 Rugby World Cup.
England team had been able to win in the year 2003 due to peaking and meticulous planning. Lewsey thinks the way in which Gatland is working with the Wales Rugby Team really provides the team with an opportunity to do exceptionally well at the 2015 World Cup.
Before the World Cup, Wales Rugby Team has to play against teams such as South Africa, New Zealand and Australia at the Autumn Internationals being held in November, 2014.
Josh Lewsey believes that last World Cup season Wales’s performance was poor due to the Lions tour. But this time, they have got the necessary break and have understood the importance of performing well at the upcoming World Cup.
He even thinks that the knockout stages at the World Cup are extremely essential and therefore the team has to have proper physical and mental strength in order to reach these difficult knockout stages.
Only time will tell whether the confidence bestowed upon Gatland and Wales Rugby Team by Lewsey holds water or not.
The Ireland Women’s Rugby team has impressed one and all with their impressive performances in the World Cup. They went down 40-7 to an impressive English side but their stubborn attitude has caught the attention of several experts of the game. England was beaten by New Zealand in each of the finals that were played in the last three years featuring the two teams. But the Irish woman managed to cause the greatest upset this time around by beating the Black Ferns and booking their semi final berth. The champions had to face a shocking exit owing to their defeat in the game. Ireland has beaten England only once in their previous encounters but the team was carrying a lot of self belief and momentum into the semi final clash. However they could not avenge the 17-10 defeat which saw England as the winners at Twickenham.
Philip Doyle’s Ireland Rugby team knew throughout that it would be a test of their character. His team was required to play out of its skins in order to ensure a suitable result. However they failed to capitalize on the early lead of 17-0 and went down fighting with their opponents. Niam Brigghs was back at her usual full back position and Fiona Coghlan was restored as the captain. There are a number of emotional stories along with the particular statistics that show how much the Ireland Rugby team has improved since the yester years. Cooke RFC and Ulster’s Grace Devitt may recall the time when she had to bribe in order to get into the team for the first time. Doyle himself and Tony Smeeth were parachuted in as overseers for the team ahead of the 1998 World Cup. They were defeated by the Kazakhs in the group stages that year which they had rightly avenged this year.
Argentina Rugby is slowly coming of age but they are still looking for their first win in the Rugby Championship. Although the team has put in strong performances in the past and managed draws yet the win has eluded them till date. The Pumas are yet to win any test series this year as well as they went down to the Six Nations champion Ireland and Scotland respectively in their past two encounters. It will be a stiff challenge for the Argentina Rugby team as the countries like South Africa and New Zealand will be ready to flex their muscles in the Championship. Every team is taking this completion more seriously than before as this is the perfect stage to practice before the World Cup that is going to be held next year. The closest the Argentines came to victory was in their 16-16 draw with South Africa at home in 2012. The new Argentine coach Daniel Hourcade feels this shall be a great chance for their players to prove their worth on the big stage.
Argentina Rugby team is lead by Agustin Creevy who has enough experience in South Africa. This will come in handy for the team along with the experience of their coach who was in charge of the Pampas when they played in Vodacom Cup of South Africa. Martin Landajo and Thomas Cubelli will also provide the much needed experience to the team. Leguizamon , Lobbe and Ayerza are the other players with enough experience in the world class level. Argentina’s first game will be against the mighty South Africans. The South African coach Johan van Graan is aware of the strength of his opponents in the next fixture and has refused to take them any lightly. He mentioned that his team will strive to play to its full potential in order to win.
Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish are exploring the prospect of signing of New Zealand fly half Chris Noakes from his present club.
The 28 year old currently plays for the Blues in the Super Rugby League, and the Exiles have identified him as the perfect replacement for Ian Humphreys, who is reported to be considering a return to Ulster at the beginning of the new season.
Just like Humphreys, the Kiwi is vastly experienced and his safe pair of hands on the ball will be a huge boost for the club as they try to cover the potential loss of the Irishman. But the greatest asset of Noakes is perhaps the ability to steer the team around the park, something that the Exiles have been missing for some time and his signature would come as a huge statement of intent from the club.
Moreover, he would also provide an alternative on the pitch for Shane Geraghty, who has made position his own in the recent matches for the London Irish.
Noakes has been a part of several big names sides during his time in the Super Rugby League, having plied his trade with the Highlanders, Otago and Bay of Plenty and he had a highly impressive season with the Blues in his debut campaign last term.
He made 12 starts in the club’s first 14 games but a shoulder injury which required surgery derailed his season. And since his return, he has failed to reproduce the kind of form that saw him blossom for the sidelines and he found himself on the bench for many matches.
And with his position in the team up in smoke, the London Irish could complete a coup by swooping for him before the end of the season and sing him up.
Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish have confirmed the signing of Scottish international tight head prop Geoff Cross ahead of the new season of the Aviva Premiership on a two year contract as the club looks to build a squad capable of fighting and qualifying for the European competitions.
The 30 year old has been signed from the Scottish side Edinburgh and has made 130 appearances for the club during his stint with the club, scoring six tries for the team.
Cross has also been a regular international for the Scotland Rugby Team and has amassed 28 caps for the side and was also selected for the recently concluded Six Nations Championship where he started twice.
Brian Smith, the Director of Rugby of the London Irish stated that it will be a huge boost for the club to have managed the signing of a player of the talents and experience of Geoff Cross. He went on to add that he is a genuine tight head prop with an international caliber behind him and he also performed exceptionally well during the recently concluded Six Nations Championships where he was one of the players who stood out among a side that underperformed greatly.
Smith stated that the team will have a lot of competition for front row positions during the new season and this healthy competition will only benefit the squad and the players.
Cross himself hailed his move south of the border and added that he excited to be playing in the Aviva Premiership, which is one of the most competitive and best leagues in the world in the new season. He also mentioned that leaving Edinburgh was a tough choice but the chance to play for the London Irish in the Premiership was too good to pass up.
Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the London Irish must never allow a lack of ambition on part of the club to spark a mass exodus of their star players, according to Brian Smith, the Director of Rugby of the club.
Mick Crossan, the boss of Powerday, helped secure the long term future of the club recently with the chief of the waste management company leading a takeover of the board that will see fresh investment come into the club.
And the team Smith believes that the new direction that the club is now on has been quickly underpinned by their success in securing the services of mainstays of the team to long term deals, including Shane Geraghty and George Skivington.
Last summer, the case was quite the opposite with four home grown London Irish opting against renewing their contracts at the club to secure moves to Bath Rugby and join up with former coaches Neal Hatley and Toby Booth.
And Smith, a former attacks coach for the England national team has vehemently stated that the team cannot afford any more drain of talent like the one seen last season. Marland Yarde, the England international winger is out of contract in the summer and the Exiles already have had several meetings with his agents to try and tie him up to a new deal at the club.
Smith stated that he would like to think that there would be no repetition of what happened last season. He added that they have learned their lesson from last season and he believes that the London Irish is a club that is a lot stable both financially as well as in terms of infrastructure.
He is confident that Yarde will sign a new deal and remain at the club for the long term.