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Rugby News: Monday 8 June

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

Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports

We are approaching the end of a long wait for Rugby Union action to return with Super Rugby Aotearoa set to kick-off this coming weekend. With Rugby Union soon to be back on television screens, the news mill has kicked into overdrive with a number of big stories emerging last week including the return of Dan Carter to Super Rugby.

Blues Land the Super Rugby G.O.A.T
The Blues bid to win Super Rugby Aotearoa received a massive boost this past week with the news that the highest ever points scorer, Dan Carter, has signed with the Auckland outfit.

Carter may be well into the twilight of his career but he’ll still have plenty to offer a Blues side that will also feature All Black talisman Beauden Barrett.

It will be rather interesting to see what sort of a roll Carter plays with Barrett also on the books and Blues inside centre TJ Faiane in solid form prior to the Super Rugby season being called off. Perhaps, Barett will revert to fullback and Carter with Carter coming in at 10? We’ll only know after the first few rounds, however, as Carter is unlikely to be involved until the third or fourth round of the tournament.

Fans Set to Attend Super Rugby Aotearoa Games
Super Rugby Aotearoa is set to be the first sports competition to welcome back fans on mass with New Zealand set to moving to Level 1 social distancing measures this Monday, which allows people to gather on mass.

This is great news for rugby fans as empty stadiums have really robbed sports of their at atmospheres with the NRL and German Bundesliga games having a strange vibe to them without the crowds at the stadiums.

Tony Brown Blames South Africa for Sunwolves Super Rugby Exit
Former Sunwolves coach Tony Brown has hit out at SARU saying that South Africa was behind the Sunwolves exit from Super Rugby.

The former All Black and Highlanders pivot hit out the South African rugby establishment stating they had a beef with Japan due to the Japanese not voting for them to host the 2023 World Cup.

Brown said “I just feel as though the relationship between South Africa and Japan was pretty nasty there when South Africa were really trying to get the Sunwolves kicked out of the competition,”

He further stated “I’ve mentioned previously the hatred South Africa had for the Sunwolves and Japan rugby around them not voting for South Africa to host the World Cup.

“I think that’s where it started and now we’ve ended up with not having the Sunwolves involved and a little bit of grey around what role Japan will play in the future of Super Rugby.”

With the Sunwolves now officially out of any form of Super Rugby – Australia announced the Japanese franchise would not be playing in their domestic version of the competition – the manner in which they were axed is sure to come under the microscope in coming weeks.

Specman Set to Disappear from The Bulls?
The Blue Bulls may be signing a number of players under Jake White but they are also losing quite a few with Rosko Specman possibly the next in line to depart Loftus.

Apparently, the Blitzbok is not part of White’s plans and is now on the verge of joining the Fre State Cheetahs on a two-year deal. This will be a massive boost for the Cheetahs who will land another vastly experienced player in the form of Specman.

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