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March 12, 2013

Andy Powell keen to remain a Shark

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/12/2013

Wales and Sale No.8 Andy Powell is hopeful of winning a new contract at the Sharks with his current deal finishing at the end of this season.

Powell shone for the Sharks in their Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final win over Saracens on Sunday and he is hopeful that if his performances continue in the same manner, then he will be handed a new deal by Sale boss Steve Diamond. "I’m out of contract at the end of this year and I’ve had no offers anywhere yet so I had to play well on Sunday," Powell told the Manchester Evening News.

"In terms of the future, I would love to stay here at Sale as I’m happy here, but it’s been a tough season so Sunday was a big opportunity to hopefully show what I’m about. It’s been stop-start for me this season. I’ve had a few little niggles along the way and, in fairness to Richie Vernon, he’s played really well and kept me out of the side and I take my hat off to him as he’s a good player."

March 10, 2013

Sale book Anglo-Welsh Cup final berth

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/10/2013

Sale Sharks downed Saracens 21-15 to secure their place in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final.

Despite being bottom of the Aviva Premiership, the Sharks turned the form book on its head to defeat league leaders Saracens at the Salford City Stadium. Tom Holmes grabbed a first-half score for Sale while Nathan Fowles went over in the second 40 to help Sale to their win.

They will play Harlequins in the Anglo-Welsh Cup final which will take place at Sixways on Sunday March 17. For a full match report of Sale's win - click here.

March 9, 2013

Harlequins book place in Anglo-Welsh Cup final

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 03/09/2013

Harlequins stormed into the final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup final thanks to a 31-23 triumph over Bath at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday.

Tom Guest crossed first for Harlequins with Karl Dickson and a double from Tom Williams helping them towards their 31-point total. Bath crossed the line through Francois Louw and Nick Abendanon but they crashed out of the tournament to a youthful Quins side.

For the full match report - click here.

February 8, 2013

Christian Day handed three-week ban

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 02/08/2013

Northampton lock Christian Day has been suspended for three weeks by an RFU disciplinary panel for stamping on an opponent during last Saturday's Anglo-Welsh Cup match at Exeter.

The player had been charged with the offence contrary to law 10.4 (b) following a report by the citing officer Matt Bayliss. Day, who pleaded guilty at last night's hearing, is suspended from February 7 until February 27 and is free to play again the following day.

January 26, 2013

Tom Croft given all-clear following injury scare

Posted by Graham Jenkins on 01/26/2013

England flanker Tom Croft has been cleared of serious injury after lasting just 11 minutes of Leicester's 34-8 Anglo-Welsh Cup victory over Wasps at Welford Road on Saturday.

The 27-year-old suffered a back injury on only his second start since returning from eight months on the sidelines after a shoulder operation but Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said it was not serious. "Crofty just got a knee in his back and it was a bit bruised and a bit tight in the soft bit between his hip and spine," Cockerill said. "It was just bad luck, one of those things. He needed to play but that's life. It's nothing serious, just a bang."

There was not such positive news for his team-mate Tom Price who was taken to hospital after being knocked unconscious on his debut. "He is at the hospital. He is not very good," said Cockerill. "It was his neck. He was unconscious and struggling. He has got movement in his hands and feet and, hopefully, he will be okay."

January 25, 2013

Andy Hazell returns to Gloucester XV

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/25/2013

Veteran flanker Andy Hazell is back in the Gloucester team after he served his 14-week suspension.

Hazell was suspended following the red card he collected in Gloucester's ill-tempered Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Mont-de-Marsan in October. But with his ban up, he returns to the side ahead of their match with Northampton on Saturday. Tonga's Lua Lokotui will also make his debut for the side.

Rob Webber to make Bath debut

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/25/2013

Bath have handed a debut to hooker Rob Webber ahead of their Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Exeter on Saturday.

Webber signed for Bath in the summer but suffered a shoulder injury. He has since lost his place in England's elite player squad but he is relishing the chance to get back out onto the field. "I'm chuffed to bits to be getting my first start," Webber said. "Bit nervous after such a long time out, but I just need to get amongst it, do the basics well and build game by game to get back to the standards I expect of myself."

London Irish bring in duo on short-term deals

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/25/2013

London Irish have bolstered their ranks with the signing of two hookers on short-term contracts - Mike Mayhew arrives from Newcastle while Davey McGregor joins from Coventry.

The pair have been fast-tracked into the London Irish side with Mayhew starting for the Exiles against Worcester on Sunday and McGregor looking to get some game time from the bench.

January 22, 2013

Worcester to test the water with GoalScan

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/22/2013

The Worcester Warriors have confirmed that they will test new technology that will determine whether a ball goes through the posts or not.

Named GoalScan, the technology, created by IA Technology Ltd, generates an electronic curtain which, when intruded by a rugby ball, transmits a signal to the ref. It will also, if required, activate flashing lights within the bar, LCD units and television monitors. Warriors chairman Cecil Duckworth has thrown his weight behind the proposals saying: “Hopefully it will be accepted by the IRB and I give the project my wholehearted support.”

January 17, 2013

Michael Claassens blow for Bath

Posted by Tom Hamilton on 01/17/2013

Bath scrum-half Michael Claassens is set for three to four weeks on the sidelines, which will prompt their boss Gary Gold into looking for short-term half-back cover.

Claassens has damaged his thumb but Gold is hopeful that he will return in time for their Round 13 clash against Worcester on February 9. His setback leaves Bath with just two No.9s - Mark McMillan and Chris Cook - at their disposal so Gold will look for an injury joker.

“It is quite a concern," Gold told the Bath Chronicle. "We’ve got Macca and Cooky but we are thin now, really thin. We will probably have to look at bringing in a replacement.”