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2 years 3 weeks ago #57072

Cooney starting for Ulster tonight


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2 years 2 weeks ago #57087

Boschoff got 64 mins in the Currie Cup for the Blue Bulls - only started watching a few mins before he came off but the commentator reckoned he'd be happy on his return to SA. Good to see him playing!

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2 years 2 weeks ago #57101

68 min Gaffney in, building the try, and Zebre holding on in Wales, led only 15-13! Amazing

Last edit: 2 years 2 weeks ago by connachta.

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2 years 2 weeks ago #57129

Gaffen impressed from what I saw of him for Zebre and does look like a big fella, bigger than I thought he was when I saw him for Connacht. How long is his contract at Zebre? Could bring him back next season with his experience in NZ & Italy at the age of 22 could certainly do worse.

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2 years 2 days ago #57527

Dave Nolan playing for Malahide in AIL 2c...


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2 years 2 days ago #57530

Mel Deane is part of the coaching effort to make Rio Ferdinand a boxer.

Last edit: 2 years 2 days ago by Robbo.
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2 years 2 days ago #57532

Shane O Leary has signed for Ealing

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2 years 1 day ago #57535

connemara man wrote: Shane O Leary has signed for Ealing

On the face of it that is not a bad move. Ealing will be alongside Bristol in the division below the premiership so he has an opportunity to impress

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2 years 1 day ago #57541

Shane Layden, Danie Poolman, and Cian Romaine played for Buccs at the weekend.

Conor Kindregan for Cork Con.

Ivan Soroka and ex-Corinthians man Dylan Donnelan for Clontarf.

Conor Lowndes for Young Munster.

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1 year 9 months ago #58966

Jamie Dever has signed for the Houston Sabercats.

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1 year 8 months ago #59267

Fairly recent story about Nepia Fox Matamua in the Cook Island News, still rehabbing his last injury with us.
Talking about getting back playing some time next year...

Hope so, good guy and was a very decent player for us in his relatively (too) short time with us...

www.cookislandsnews.com/sport/rugby-unio...gby-star-on-the-rise


A rugby star on the rise
Thursday August 24, 2017 Written by Conor Leathley

A young rugby star is visiting his grandfather in the Cook Islands after finishing a very successful stint for an Irish club.

Nepia Fox-Matamua made a name for himself as a dynamic flanker for St Peter’s College and at ITM Cup level for Auckland, before finding his progress halted in getting into a stacked Blues back row, until he received a surprise phone call.

“I got a random phone call from former Blues and Auckland coach Pat Lam, who was coaching the Connacht province in Ireland,” Fox-Matamua said.

“He rang me up and said that they’d had an injury to one of their flankers, and he wanted to get me over immediately and play for him in Galway.”

Initially there was resistance from the Irish Rugby Union, which meant that he was unable to fly out that season, but the troubles were soon resolved.

“He came back to me not long after that, saying that he wanted to sign me for two years and I just jumped at that chance. Because it wasn’t only a chance to do something I love full time (playing rugby), but it would be an opportunity to be in Europe and travel.”

Fox-Matamua did not know too much about Ireland before arriving, though he soon found that the level of rugby was similar to what a Super Rugby player would experience in the Southern Hemisphere.

“The level of competition over there is really strong,” he said.

“I played in the Pro12, so we played against the top Irish teams, Welsh teams and even Italian teams, so it’s sort of like the Super Rugby of the Northern Hemisphere. There were also crossover games against French and English teams, so it’s a pretty high level. I really got to play the best Europe had to offer.”

His integration into the team was made a bit easier through the supervision of Lam, who had arrived two years before Fox-Matamua and was preaching a style of rugby that is sacred on this side of the world, but unfamiliar in the far north.

“We tried to play like a Southern Hemisphere side, throwing the ball around like you would down here. And while I was there we actually won the Pro12, and I mainly put it down to the style we were playing,” Fox-Matamua said.

“Connacht is probably the poorest out of the four provinces in Ireland, so we didn’t have too many super stars. But we had really strong structures and played a way that was unfamiliar to our opponents, because at the time a lot of our opponents were playing the really typical ‘kick and chase’ rugby.”

Although the team went through a period of adjustment earlier in Lam’s tenure, his demeanour and encouragement helped the players feel more comfortable, Fox-Matamua said.

“He encouraged them to play freely, to be a bit risky, like running the ball out of your own 22.”

Fox-Matamua’s time in Galway coincided with the most successful period in the club’s history, as in addition to winning the Pro12 for the first time, they defeated the prestigious London Wasps at home and also defeated a terrifically rich Toulouse team that was packed to the brim with internationals.

“One of the players I was really excited to play was Justin Tipuric, the Welsh and Lions no.7, because he’s a great player,” the 25-year-old New Zealand-born flanker said.

“Thierry Dusautoir, the former French captain, he’s one of the most awesome players that I’ve seen. He’s a guy that I’ve tried to model my game around, and to play against him was pretty cool.”

Unfortunately, Fox-Matamua was injured when Connacht claimed the Pro12 over Leinster, as he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) after breaking the line and trying to step the fullback in a previous match.

It’s one of sport’s most severe injuries and Fox-Matamua laments that the length of his recovery has put his future playing plans on hold.

“It’s still one of the worst injuries that you can get in rugby, because that’s you gone for six months.

“Science has sped up recovery time for a lot of injuries, but not the ACL. So when I got injured I still had two months on my contract, so I’ve done a lot of rehab in the early stages when it’s most important.

“So now that I’m back in Auckland, I’m doing most of the rehab by myself, trying to keep fit. I might also look at playing sevens to keep myself in game-playing shape.”

Well-known former New Zealand broadcaster Derek Fox, who is Nepia’s grandfather, explained that the name Nepia came from his uncle, George Nepia, the iconic All Blacks fullback who starred for the team, now known as the Invincibles, in their 1924-25 tour of Britain, Ireland, France and Canada.

Fox also spoke about how Nepia was received by the fans over there and what this could mean for young Pacific rugby players in the future.

“Initially I think that the Connacht fans may not have been too happy, thinking that Lam was bringing over another foreign player instead of giving one of their local boys a go,” Fox explained.

“But then they saw him play, how fantastic he was, how hard he tackled and ran, that he wasn’t just there to get paid, and when he scored a few tries, they were happy to call him their own.

“What Nepia’s story highlights is the opportunity for young Pacific players. If they work hard, then there are opportunities for them to play in New Zealand, in Australia, in Europe or Japan.

“And there is a huge rugby following in Europe, huge crowds turn out to support the players. Pacific players should really look at this as a chance to set up their lives.”

Although Fox-Matamua leaves Rarotonga later this week, he will return next year to marry his fiancé Kate.

By then, he hopes he will be playing competitive rugby again.


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1 year 8 months ago #59344

Rory Parata has joined Zebre

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1 year 8 months ago #59345

I think he'll do well, play 10, and back next season for Crosbie :P

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1 year 8 months ago #59402

Fetu'u Vainikolo is joining Utah Warriors for the major league rugby season state side

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1 year 8 months ago #59474

Parata started at 14 for Zebre.

AJ will be out for 9 - 12 months which is a huge shame, he has apparently been flying for them this season.

Jamie Dever started his first game for Houston. They had 5300 people at a pre season game so an early sign the league over there might have a chance.

Last edit: 1 year 8 months ago by Mark Mostyn.
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1 year 8 months ago #59478

Hope they replace Kings and Zebre in the next 5 years...

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