Video Ranking: four / five
The franchises who will participate in the Super Rugby 2016 will not have to make any kind of sacrifice for the expansion of the tournament as said by the boss of Sanzar Greg Peters. He also told The Weekend that it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to decide whether a team from Argentina will play in this tournament or not.
Previously there have been various Argentinian teams who have participated in this championship but it is to be seen whether the green signal is given for 2016 or not. In addition to this another South African franchise is also being looked into whether they can be the sixth African franchise in 2016. So far Puma, Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks have been able to maintain their position quite comfortably but for the ones who are new it is becoming really difficult. Peters also added that if they do choose a South African franchise or a team then people would suggest that they are reining the African rugby and moreover they would also blame them for entering into local politics. So the situation is a mess right now and the final decision is yet to be made.
In the present format the Southern Kings and the Johannesburg based Lions are competing against each other for the promotion relegation battle. When asked about this he said that it would be best if both of them participate but if that is done then the number of teams would go up to 17. Peters added that the only solution which he can see right now is to remove one of the franchises from Australia but then again seeing the financial condition of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa it would be hard to decide which franchise they would be cancel.
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Henry Speight, the wing player for the Brumbies will be available for selection for the Australia Rugby Team from the 11th of September this year, according to a ruling by the governing body of international rugby, the International Rugby Board or the IRB.
The calls for Speight to be selected for the Wallabies squad have been growing for some time now and intensified over the last couple of years after the wing man put in performances that just went from good to better to the best in the land and the rugby fans Down Under were eager for the Wallabies to tie down one of the best wing players currently playing in the country.
The ruling of the IRB means Speight will be available for selection for the Australia Rugby Team in time for the Rugby Championship games, where he could make four appearances as well as last Bledisloe Cup match against the arch enemy New Zealand on the 18th of October scheduled to be held in Brisbane.
A panel of experts appointed by the IRB ruled that Speight is yet to fulfill the criteria of continued residency for thirty six months, which he will do in September and as a result, he doesn’t qualify to play for the national team straightaway.
According to the laws, a player needs to spend at least three years in a country to be eligible for call up to the national team and the Fijian born wing player is still some way off it.
Head honchos of Australia Rugby had hopes he would be eligible to play for the country in their autumns tour of the United Kingdom, Italy and Ireland but since he spent one year playing in New Zealand, he will have to wait a few more extra months for his debut.
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Video clip Rating: four / 5
Rugby Football Union or RFU Championship club the London Welsh are considering a rebranding of the club to establish their identity with Oxford.
Bleddyn Philips, the chairman of the club says that there have been talks with some senior figures within the club as they consider a rebranding of the club as they attempt to establish a strong connection with their Oxfordshire base. However, at the same time, the club is not willing to eradicate tradition that has dictated the club for the last 130 years.
The club moved from Richmond to Oxford last season after reaching the Aviva Premiership but has since been relegated back to the RFU Championship. And although they have maintained their base at the county, the crowd count has been very poor since the drop.
According to Philips, the challenge for them is to come up with an identity that the people of Oxford will readily connect with.
The Exiles are still to face defeat this season and are in fine form as they look to bounce straight back to the Aviva Premiership but they have not been able to attract the expected crowds of 3,000-4,000 with merely 1,200 people being the largest crowd that witnessed their win against the Cornish Pirates.
Kelvin Bryon, the vice chairman of the club released a press statement in October stating his disappointing at not being able to attract the crowds while Philips has maintained that they are open to ideas about creating a new identity for the club that will be readily identifiable with the region without turning their back on the huge history that the club has.
Philips maintained that the London Welsh are a global brand and it is important that the traditions be adhered to but they are also open to slight changes to their identity.
Video clip Ranking: 4 / five
Movie Score: 5 / five