Here are the latest rugby evening headlines for Wednesday, June 15.
Another Wales age-grade international moves away
Wales U20s and Sevens international Tomi Lewis has signed for English Championship club Jersey Reds following his release from the Scarlets, it has been announced.
The 23-year-old Brecon-born wing/full-back, who has enjoyed a previous spell in England while on loan at Ampthill, has been unveiled as one of Jersey’s five summer signings so far.
The Reds are set to start their pre-season preparations soon ahead of a trio of friendly matches later in the summer, including against London Irish and Bath, before the new season begins on September 10.
You can see the full list of 80-plus Wales-qualified rugby players now in England next season here.
Star is banned for dangerous tackle on Dan Biggar
Newcastle Falcons lock Sean Robinson has been hit with a three-week ban for his red card tackle on Wales captain Dan Biggar during Northampton’s regular season-ending win on June 4.
A disciplinary panel heard on Monday that Robinson had accepted the charge of a dangerous tackle, with the panel deeming it to be a reckless act of foul play although there was no evidence of intent.
The sanction paperwork said Biggar was treated on field having initially reported a sore neck, but was able to continue with play and suffered no symptoms thereafter.
In the RFU’s 10-page written judgement, Robinson said: “As Dan passed the ball to the player outside, Mateo [Carreras] stepped in late to make the tackle on Dan. This hung me out to dry, and with Dan doing what you would expect in this situation, straightening up to square the defender(s), and with myself traveling at speed to cover the necessary distance quickly, I had no time to adjust and nowhere to go
“Mateo went low, which meant I couldn’t. I tried to avoid a heavy collision by trying to push Dan away but found my right leg across his body as we collided. The back of his head caught my cheekbone. When he passed the ball I was about two meters from him traveling at full pace.The whole incident happened in a fraction of a second and was a complete accident in the sense that there was no intention to cause a collision.I immediately apologized to Dan because between Mateo and me, we had got it wrong, more so Mateo than me. I had defended conventionally and Mateo had neither stepped in to take man and ball or slid out. Had there been an element of recklessness about what I had done I would certainly hold my hand up to it but my own player went out of the system which caused the collision.”
Starting at a mid-range entry point of six weeks, the sanction was reduced to three games after mitigating factors were taken into account like a clean disciplinary record and admitting the charge at the earliest opportunity.
Robinson, 31, also fractured his cheekbone during the incident and needs surgery. If the one-time England prospect, who was called up for last summer’s series before suffering a ligament injury, completes World Rugby’s coaching intervention program then his suspension will be reduced to two games. You can read more about rugby’s “speed awareness course” here.
Biggar later limped off in Northampton’s following game, a semi-final defeat to Leicester, with a back problem, but hopes to be fit for Wales’ summer tour to South Africa.
Monye: Rugby must change ‘heavy drinking culture’
Ugo Monye believes rugby must change its “heavy drinking culture” and “laddish” changing-room behavior to truly be a sport for all.
The former England, Lions and Harlequins wing, who is chair of the Rugby Football Union’s independent advisory group on diversity and inclusion, is concerned that the sport’s association with alcohol could be deterring parts of society from engaging with the sport at both grassroots and professional level .
Admitting that rugby was on the whole an inclusive sport, he told The Telegraph: “I do think we also need to be mindful of some of the stereotypes and traditions that we used to have and that have kind of seen into this professional age.
“There has always been a heavy drinking culture within rugby. I invested heavily into that as well during my playing days, and I enjoyed it. But if I was in Birmingham, in a densely-populated Muslim community, and my teenage kids wanted to play rugby, as a parent, my perception of rugby would be: ‘All they do is drink after every match – I don’t want my children to be apart of that.’ Rugby can’t be afraid of what it is, but I do think it also needs to mirror the present day and where we are in society.
“I’d go one step further and say I think sport should be a best reflection of society – and rugby, just by the dynamic of the game which it is, it really and truly is a game for all shapes and sizes from the physical aspect, but I think beyond that, it should also reflect absolutely every single attitude if we really want to stand by that statement in the first place.”
He said there was a “fairly laddish” changing room during his time at Twickenham Stoop, something he admits could have prevented some of his team-mates from being able to express themselves fully.
Danny Care told he has World Cup chance against Baabaas
Danny Care has been told by England that he could figure in their plans for next year’s World Cup if he makes the most of his international comeback.
Care is hoping to play a role in Sunday’s fixture against the Barbarians at Twickenham after earning a surprise recall by Eddie Jones nearly four years after winning the last of his 84 caps. Although a star of the Gallagher Premiership over the last two seasons through his influence on him as one of Harlequins’ main attacking threats, Care will be 36-years-old by the time the World Cup is staged in 2023.
Forwards coach Richard Cockerill insists, however, that he will “definitely” be in Jones’ selection thoughts if he proves himself, with the non-cap international against the Barbarians and next month’s tour to Australia his immediate targets.
“If Danny’s playing well enough and he’s playing better than anybody else, whether they’re young or old, then he’ll come into contention,” Cockerill said. “World Cups are about having that balance – having enough caps of experience to be able to control and manage the pressure, but also having those young guys who are so hungry.
“We need that balance in our group. I don’t think age will be a barrier, whether young or old. Guys will be picked on how well they’re playing. Danny is a competitor and wants to compete. He wouldn’t be here if he didn’t have that focus to go to the World Cup.
Care’s England career appeared to be over after being discarded by Jones in the wake of a 35-15 victory against Japan in November 2018. But he has been at the heart of Harlequins’ revival over the past two seasons, forging a devastating half-back partnership with Marcus Smith which has thrilled audiences across the country.
Italy center signs for London Irish
London Irish have announced the signing of Italy international center Luca Morisi.
Morisi, who made his Test debut in 2012 and has won 32 caps, will join the Exiles from Benetton later this summer. He scored two tries against England during the 2015 Six Nations and was part of Italy’s 2019 World Cup squad.
Irish rugby director Declan Kidney said: “Luca boasts a good amount of club and international experience, which can be a valuable asset to any squad. We look forward to seeing his impact, both on and off the field.”