Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Rugby News: Monday 13 April

Rugby News: Monday 13 April

Darry Worthington takes a look at the rugby news that has made the headlines over the past week. 

While COVID-19 has put a hold to all rugby fixtures around the globe, there's still a lot of rugby news doing the rounds at the moment. This week's big stories include a muted trans-Tasman tournament, rumours surrounding some big-name moves to Rugby League, a return home for Frans Steyn and a proposed return to play date for South Africa's domestic sides.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Owens and Peyper To Continue
Two world-class referees have confirmed they will continue to officiate matches next year with Nigel Owens and Jaco Peyper both confirming that they'll keep getting their ears chewed off by rugby players for a while longer.

Owens has said he will keep at it for at least another year, while Peyper has said that he wants to officiate at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. This is great news for rugby fans as these two refs are two of the best in the business.

NRL Eyeing Union Stars
Australia's NRL are a rather controversial outfit, and they stirred a lot of ire around Australia last week when the organizations head honchos confirmed that they would restart the tournament in late May. While they have been given the green light by authorities this Monday, last week's announcement really ruffled some feathers.

It seems, like the organizers, the NRL clubs are also keen to cause a stir with rumours doing the rounds that a few of their big-name clubs are eyeing up Union stars Quade Cooper, Ardie Save and cross-code hoppers Israel Folau and Sonny-Bill Williams.

While short term deals for Williams and Cooper don't seem too bad a prospect, a deal for Savea or Folau would certainly leave a number of people fuming. The former is contracted to New Zealand Rugby until 2021, while Folau was sacked by the Australian Rugby Union for controversial comments he made around this time last year.

Dave Rennie Committed To Wallaby Cause According To Castle
Last week there was some speculation doing the rounds that new Australian head coach Dave Rennie may jump ship if ARU CEO Renlaine Castle was sacked. report

Castle has tried to quell these rumours stating "Dave is absolutely committed to Australia and I am absolutely committed to seeing the business through these difficult times and ensuring that we can see the Wallabies back playing test matches with the new coaching team that we worked really hard to put together. ”

While she seems rather optimistic that Rennie will continue regardless of her fate, source close to the former Glasgow Warriors coach isn't too keen on hanging around if Castle gets the axe.

Steyn Returns To Bloemfontein
Frans Steyn has confirmed that he will return to the city of his berth after signing a contract with PRO14 and Currie Cup side, the Free State Cheetahs.

The decorated Springbok will link up with former national teammate, Ruan Pienaar, who has been massive for the Free Staters since linking up with them late last year.

Pichot To Overthrow Beaumont?
IRB vice-chairman, Augustin Pichot, has launched a late bid to succeed current head honcho Bill Beaumont. The former Argentine international has put together a manifesto with development of the men's and women's game his two biggest points.

While Pichot has said he has nothing against Beaumont, he does believe that the IRB is still an old boys club that needs to be revolutionized in order to develop the game.

Pichot makes some very good points in his proposal, which is actually a very good read. Two things that really caught the eye was his passionate talk about developing both the men's and women's game and also his point about equal distribution of income for all nations. The latter is a major issue with players from smaller nations being played shockingly low wages when turning out for their national sides.

SA Rugby Targetting June 5th As Launch Date For Domestic Competition
While the lockdown in South Africa has been extended until the end of the month, SA Rugby is still hopeful that they will be able to get a domestic competition going in early June, with a 5 June start date being mentioned in a report.

This is a best-case scenario, however, and would need the all-clear from the South African government. Should it happen, then a two-month-long tournament featuring all of the South African Super Rugby franchises as well as the two PRO14 would be arranged, with the Currie Cup and SuperSport Rugby Challenge being played later in the year.

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