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The rugby morning headlines as World Rugby face legal action over new autumn schedule

Your rugby morning headlines for Friday, July 31.

World Rugby facing legal action over new schedule

French Rugby have sent a letter to the game’s governing body, World Rugby, threatening legal action over the newly revamped autumn schedule, according to the Daily Mail.

Yesterday, proposals for a one-off seven-week autumn international block were given the green light.

It gives countries the opportunity to play up to six international matches, starting on October 24 and running through to December 5. You can see the detail of Wales’ matches here.

The window has been extended to give nations increased opportunity to bring in some desperately-needed revenue, to mitigate the financial impact of Covid-19.

However, the French clubs appear to be angered that they will lose their players for longer than usual this autumn, with the Mail reporting that they’ve begun legal proceedings.

Wallaby exodus continues

Experienced Australia international Rob Simmons will be the latest Wallaby to head to the northern hemisphere.

Later this year, following the conclusion of Super Rugby AU, the Waratahs lock will travel up to join London Irish in the English Premiership.

“I don’t know if I always had wanted to do it if you’d asked me six or seven years ago,” the 100-cap lock told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“But as I’ve got older and had more experiences … it became apparent you’ve only got a certain lifetime to do so. It was an opportunity that came up and I didn’t want to miss it.

“I said to the club I want to play until the end of the Super competition and give everything I’ve got until the end. That was pretty important to me.

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“It wasn’t an easy decision, especially being captain of the group. I’ve always got a soft spot for this team and I’ll be watching it from afar. I’ve tried to give everything I can in a short period of time, even before captaincy.”

Irish provinces remain free of Covid-19

There were no positive results recorded during the second round of coronavirus testing at the Irish provinces.

Munster and Leinster players and staff were tested for the second time this week, with Ulster and Connacht having gone through a second batch of testing a week earlier.

So far, 560 tests have been conducted on players and backroom staff at the Irish provinces and no positives have been recorded.

IRFU medical director Rod McLoughlin said: “The players and staff will continue to undergo daily medical screening and assessment. The next phase of testing will take place ahead of the Pro14 fixtures in August.”

Owen Farrell opens up on mental health

England captain Owen Farrell has given an insight into how his approach to certain situations has changed over the years.

As part of the Heads Up campaign, Farrell sat down for a conversation with former England football star Rio Ferdinand to discuss mental health.

The two-time Lion revealed how he used to prefer to bottle up his emotions.

“I’ve gone from being someone who keeps it in and [says]; ‘No I don’t want to admit things, I don’t want to show anything, give anything away’ to telling everybody everything,” he said.

“I feel better for it.

“It’s never as good or as bad as you think it is and having people to speak to goes a long way to accepting things.”

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