Listed here are your rugby morning headlines for Wednesday, June 22.
Gatland’s ‘no hugging’ warning
Warren Gatland has informed his Lions gamers to not hug in a bid to keep away from the Covid-19 furore skilled by England and Scotland in Euro 2020.
Gatland and his fees are at the moment in Jersey on a 10-day coaching camp forward of the warm-up conflict with Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday earlier than touring South Africa.
There might be no followers in attendance once they tackle the Springboks attributable to rising coronavirus infections in South Africa.
And the virus has additionally triggered disruption in soccer over the previous couple of days, with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour having examined optimistic for Covid-19 and England pair Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell having to self-isolate.
And Gatland stated: “We’re very conscious what’s at stake.
“The gamers which have had a few campaigns within the autumn and Six Nations – they had been fairly good by way of staying Covid- free.
“So we’ve to verify we adhere to the protocols. And second, that there isn’t any hugging.”
READ MORE: The total Warren Gatland Q&A
JPR: Williams over Hogg at full-back
Lions and Wales legend JPR Williams says he sees a little bit of himself in full-back Liam Williams as he defined why the Scarlets man ought to get the nod at 15 over Stuart Hogg.
Williams was yesterday named within the XV to face Japan within the Lions’ warm-up match forward of this summer time’s tour to South Africa.
And JPR revealed his namesake has the stardust to entertain in opposition to the Boks.
“I used to be fortunate all of the groups I performed for – Bridgend, London Welsh, Wales, the Lions – performed an attacking sport. We entertained and loved it ourselves,” he stated. “Fashionable gamers want to understand they’re getting paid huge cash they usually need to entertain the general public.
“Liam Williams does that. I believe I see a little bit of myself in him. I’ve at all times rated him. He is very snug counter-attacking and he is a very good tackler. He’d be my No 1 full-back selection for the Lions. Regardless that I believe Stuart Hogg is great, Liam has that little bit additional.
“I believe rugby’s legal guidelines are fairly stagnant. It comes right down to the very fact there is not a lot room to maneuver on the sphere. Once I performed, we was 20 metres aside so that you had an opportunity of transferring. Now, it is man and ball. You may’t play like that.
“There are additionally too many substitutions – it is absurd and an actual drawback.”
Gatland hails Lion as ‘world class’
Head coach Gatland has branded Robbie Henshaw as “world class” forward of the Lions’ bow in opposition to Japan this weekend.
Yesterday Henshaw was named within the beginning XV to face the Japanese at Murrayfield on Saturday.
And Gatland has been impressed by his improvement over the previous 4 years.
“I assumed Robbie was the excellent midfielder within the Six Nations,” Gatland stated from Jersey on Tuesday.
“He’s nice within the air. I’ve seen him develop, enhance and mature from 4 years in the past.
“That is been in all probability one of many greatest highlights for me, simply by way of how he has developed into an absolute world-class midfielder.”
Alex Cuthbert’s Ospreys switch accomplished
The Ospreys have accomplished the deal to carry Alex Cuthbert again to Welsh rugby.
The 31-year-old Wales worldwide, who has helped Exeter Chiefs into Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership ultimate, has signed a one-year contract on the Liberty.
Capped 48 instances, with considered one of his Exams seeing him function for the Lions, the 6ft 6in, 16st 10lb wing will add to the Ospreys’ backline firepower.
READ MORE : Alex Cuthbert names his dream XV
He’ll go away the Chiefs this summer time after three years plying his commerce in England.
The expectation is that Cuthbert will wish to decide up the threads of a Check profession which has been on maintain beneath Welsh rugby’s choice rule making use of to exiled gamers who’ve but to hit 60 caps. For certain, Wayne Pivac is unlikely to be disillusioned the scorer of 17 Check tries is coming again into the Wales choice orbit.
Cuthbert stated: “I’m actually buzzing about this now it’s accomplished and I can’t wait to place that Ospreys jersey on and put my finest foot ahead subsequent season.
“This can be a actually good alternative to return again to Wales. Talking to Toby I actually just like the path he needs to take the group.
“I imagine I can add quite a bit to the group and becoming a member of the Ospreys was simply an thrilling prospect and one I couldn’t flip down.”
Tuilagi withdraws from England
Manu Tuilagi has withdrawn from the England squad simply 41 hours after he was included in it on Sunday night.
Following the Gallagher Premiership semi-finals, seven gamers from the 2 defeated groups had been referred to as up by Eddie Jones, Tuilagi amongst them.
England play an ‘A’ fixture in opposition to their Scottish counterparts on Sunday, June 27 earlier than taking up the USA and Canada at Twickenham at the start of July.
There’s a concern, in fact, that the announcement of Tuilagi’s withdrawal from the squad means he might be unable to be on standby for Gatland’s Lions squad. Nevertheless, the extent of the damage is as but unknown.
READ MORE: The Lions standby gamers for every place.
A press release learn: “Manu Tuilagi has withdrawn from the England squad after selecting up an damage throughout Sale Sharks’ Gallagher Premiership semi-final on the weekend.
“Northampton Saints’ Fraser Dingwall has been referred to as up and has joined the squad at The Lensbury, Teddington.”