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Tonight’s rugby news as ‘room erupts’ when Leinster rugby star comes out as gay in announcement

Here are the latest rugby evening headlines on Monday, June 20.

URC scrum-half comes out as gay

Leinster scrum-half Nick McCarthy has revealed his team-mates “erupted” when he came out and told them he was gay.

The 27-year-old half-back revealed his sexuality publicly on Monday, having told his team-mates in January after confiding in Leinster coaches Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster last November.

While many female rugby players are openly gay, McCarthy is thought to be one of the first – if not the first – male player to come out as gay while still playing professional rugby.

Read more: Shaun Edwards reveals Phil Bennett videos inspired humiliation of England

The scrum-half, who rejoined Leinster from Munster last summer after two years with the Reds, said: “I came out to my teammates in January and I was obviously pretty nervous about doing so, but I’m really happy that I did it I struggled with coming out for a while and it was starting to impact on me and my happiness so it was the right decision.”

He said of his address to the full squad ahead of a scheduled team meeting on a Monday morning back in January: “I only made a quick announcement. But I just remember the room erupting! They were all delighted for me and it was immediately a weight off my shoulders. I felt they understood my situation. It’s hard to perform at your best when you are carrying something, anything, and that’s the same for all the lads. For me it was my sexuality, for others it could be stuff at home, or studies or whatever.

“I spoke to Leo (Cullen) and Stuart (Lancaster) last November and the support that I got from them straight away was unbelievable. They helped and guided me over the months that followed so that I felt more comfortable to come out to the group .”

McCarthy also spoke about considering walking away from rugby instead of coming out, saying: “It affected me so much that I agonized over my future and contemplated walking away from rugby altogether because I just didn’t think I could come out while playing rugby. I suppose because it’s not really ‘a thing’. It’s not common for a male athlete to come out in sport, nevermind professional rugby, and it’s probably something that I didn’t want to believe or accept myself either. gay myself before I could address it with others.”

Richards set for Glasgow move

Former Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards is among the top contenders to replace Danny Wilson at Glasgow Warriors ahead of the new season and has been interviewed by Scottish Rugby bosses.

The Scottish Daily Mail reports that he has been interviewed for the vacant head coach role, after recently ending a 10-year association with Newcastle.

The 58-year-old had a stellar playing career, having featured more than 300 times for Leicester and played in 54 Tests for England and British and Irish Lions combined. Following his retirement from him, he took over the coaching with Leicester Tigers between 1998 and 2004 during which the club went on to win four Premierships and two Heineken Cups.

He also had stints with Grenoble and Harlequins, during which he faced a suspension for a Bloodgate scandal, but returned in 2012 with Newcastle Falcons to help them to a fourth-place finish in the 2017/18 season and in the process secured a Champions Cup qualification.

Billy Vunipola’s Test-caliber performance in final seals England recall

Billy Vunipola sealed his recall for England’s series against Australia next month after producing what Eddie Jones viewed as a Test-caliber appearance in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership final.

Vunipola has been included in a 36-man touring party after injuries to Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds created depleted options at number eight. It is the 29-year-old’s first appearance in an England squad since winning the last of his 61 caps in the 2021 Six Nations, at which point he was part of a cull of senior players.

Saracens have benefited all season from the rampaging form of their powerful back row of Tongan heritage, but it was when he excelled against Leicester in a narrow defeat at Twickenham that Jones was truly convinced. He was knocked out in the closing stages but has been cleared to reclaim the No. 8 jersey – with Tom Curry the alternative – when the series begins in Perth on Saturday week.

“Billy needed to find his best,” Jones said. “He wasn’t at his best in the last Six Nations he played with us, he was a bit up and down. I asked him to go away and find his best and I think that consistently for Saracens he has been close to that. In the end he was exceptional, he looked like a Test number eight.

“We’ve been in regular contact. I would go and see him before each selection and have a chat about where he was at. I value him highly as a player but he wasn’t at his best. He has found his best now and deserves to be back in the team.”

Danny Care is on course to make his Test comeback in Australia as one of three scrum-halves included in the touring party, almost four years after winning the last of his 84 caps. But three notable senior players are missing in Ben Youngs, Joe Marler and Elliot Daly, while Max Malins continues to be frozen out after being dropped during the Six Nations. Eight uncapped players have been named in the squad in Fraser Dingwall, Tommy Freeman, Guy Porter, Patrick Schickerling, Jack Van Poortvliet, Jack Walker, Henry Arundell and Will Joseph.

England squad for Australia tour — backs: H Arundell (London Irish), D Care (Harlequins), J Cokanasiga (Bath), F Dingwall (Northampton), O Farrell (Saracens), T Freeman (Northampton), G Furbank (Northampton), W Joseph (London Irish), J Marchant (Harlequins), J May (Gloucester), J Nowell (Exeter), G Porter (Leicester), H Randall (Bristol), J van Poortvliet (Leicester), M Smith (Harlequins), F Steward (Leicester ); Forwards: O Chessum (Leicester), L Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), T Curry (Sale Sharks), C Ewels (Bath), E Genge (Leicester), J George (Saracens), J Heyes (Leicester), J Hill ( Exeter), N Isiekwe (Saracens), M Itoje (Saracens), C Lawes (Northampton), L Ludlam (Northampton), B Rodd (Sale Sharks), P Schickerling (Exeter), W Stuart (Bath), S Underhill (Bath ), B Vunipola (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Walker (Harlequins), J Willis (Wasps).


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