Here are your rugby evening headlines for Thursday May 12.
Shaun Edwards admits son’s election more nerve-wracking than Grand Slam
Shaun Edwards has admitted that his son’s recent election as a Labour councillor was more nerve-wracking than any Grand Slam game he’s been involved in.
The former Wales defensive guru won yet another Six Nations crown with France earlier this year. However, he has admitted it was nothing compared to the achievements of his son with M People singer Heather Small after he became a new member of City of Westminster council.
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James Small-Edwards claimed victory in the Bayswater ward – one of three Labour candidates to take a seat in the area following Thursday’s local elections. And Edwards told the Daily Mirror of his pride – and nerves – over his son’s achievements.
“Two or three days before I didn’t sleep a wink hardly all night,” said Edwards. “Very similar to a huge Grand Slam game. Actually, it was more than that.
“I knew how hard he’d worked. How badly he wanted to make a difference to those who’d shared with him their problems and anxieties.
“I saw real leadership in him. Then again, he was a scrum-half.
“They know what they want, they get the best out of their forwards. James certainly got the best out of his team that day.”
World Rugby confirms five new laws
World Rugby have confirmed that they have voted to introduce five recent trial laws into full use across the sport.
The trials had been tested for the previous year in professional rugby – with the 50:22 and the goal line dropout in particular proving popular with fans.
The other ‘welfare driven’ laws include a ban on pre-bound pods of players under pre-existing ‘flying wedge’ laws, the sanctioning of the lower-limb clearout and a ban on latching.
A World Rugby statement reads: “With rugby united in its mission to be the most progressive sport on player welfare, the package of five laws have all been approved with welfare advancement in mind and following a global trial period of one year where every player at all levels has been able to play under them and have their say.”
PRB make statement over regions
Welsh rugby bosses appear to have ruled out the prospect of axing one of the four regions as talks continue over the game’s future in Wales.
A crunch meeting was held on Wednesday when a bombshell report into the way forward for the Welsh game, which included a proposal to get rid one of the pro teams, was up for discussion. The WRU-owned Dragons and Ospreys, who do not own their own stadia, were the sides in the firing line.
The Professional Game Board – on which representatives from all four regions and the WRU sit – met to assess the various recommendations in the report compiled by Oakwell, which assessed the ‘strategic options’ available to improve the sport.
A statement issued by them on Thursday afternoon read: “The Professional Rugby Board (PRB) met yesterday, Wednesday 11th May, to continue discussions to further develop its strategy for a sustainable and ultimately successful professional game in Wales.
“The PRB is committed to working together to ensure all four regions continue to play important roles in the professional game. We will meet further over the coming weeks to ensure the strategy protects and grows our game and remain committed to communicating further progress to all as soon as appropriate.”
The PRB is comprised of Alun Jones (Cardiff Rugby), David Buttress (Dragons), Nick Garcia (Ospreys) and Simon Muderack (Scarlets), WRU CEO Steve Phillips, WRU finance director Tim Moss and two independent members – Malcolm Wall, who is chair, and Marianne Økland.
Munster confirm new forwards coach
Munster head coach Graham Rowntree has revealed that Andi Kyriacou will join his coaching team as forwards coach from the beginning of the 2022/23 season.
The former hooker has signed a two-year deal with the province. Kyriacou originally returned to work with the Irish province as an Elite Player Development Officer with the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy in April 2021.
The Englishman, who played for Munster, Saracens, Ulster and Cardiff during his time in the game, began his coaching career at the Arms Park before enjoying stints with Sale Sharks, Russia Rugby and Nottingham.
England duo sign deals with Leicester
All-time leading Premiership try-scorer Chris Ashton and veteran scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth have signed new deals with Leicester Tigers.
Former England winger Ashton joined Leicester on a short-term deal in February – going on to break the record for most tries scored in England’s top-flight competition.
The 35-year-old has touched down six times in seven Premiership appearances since signing for the table-topping Tigers. Fellow England international Wigglesworth’s deal means he will play on until after his 39th birthday.
Kini Murimurivalu, Harry Simmons and Sean Jansen have also agreed new deals. The length of the deals have not been disclosed.