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RECAP: Wednesday’s Rugby Round-Up


Captain Sam Warburton gives Wales boost for New Zealand Tour
Sam Warburton is expected to be passed fit for Wales’ tour of New Zealand this summer after injuring his shoulder at the Principality Stadium last Saturday.

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The Cardiff Blues flanker is the latest key player to be passed fit after it was revealed yesterday that Alun Wyn Jones and Samson Lee will also be available.

“These injuries depend on the person and their professionalism to the rehab,” said Blues coach Danny Wilson.

Read more: https://www.ruck.co.uk/?p=20469

Scotland and British & Irish Lions scrum-half Chris Cusiter retires
Scotland international scrum-half Chris Cusiter has announced his retirement from professional rugby.

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The 33-year-old won 70 caps for his country and toured New Zealand with the 2005 Lions.

“This is the right time to hang up my boots and move onto the next challenge,” he told the Sale website.

“Playing for Scotland 70 times was more than I could have dreamed of growing up learning how to play rugby at Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen.”

Read more: https://www.ruck.co.uk/?p=20459

Ben Botica will leave Harlequins to join Top 14 outfit Montpellier in France
Ben Botica will leave Harlequins at the end of the season to join Top 14 outfit Montpellier for the 2016/17 campaign.

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The fly-half comes in to replace the Toulon-bound Francois Trinh-Duc. Botica joined Harlequins for the 2012/13 season and made an immediate impact, notably during his Heineken Cup debut, kicking 19 points in the victory over Biarritz.

Since joining Quins, the 26-year-old has made 93 appearances, scoring 544 points. He was an integral member of the 2013 LV= Cup winning side and made nine consecutive 80-minute performances this season in the absence of first teamer Nick Evans.

Read more: https://www.ruck.co.uk/?p=20452

Worcester Warriors confirm list of departing players
Worcester Warriors have confirmed that a total of 12 players will leave Sixways following the conclusion of the 2015/16 season.

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The players, who are all out of contract, depart Sixways with the Club’s best wishes.

Director of Rugby Dean Ryan said: “I’d like to go on record in thanking all the departing players for their efforts during their time at the Club and wish them all the best in the future.”

Departing players (destination in brackets):
JB Bruzulier (Nevers, France)
Ravai Fatiaki
Dan George
Mat Gilbert
Alex Grove
Charlie Mulchrone (Harlequins)
Darren O’Shea (Munster, Ireland)
Joe Rees
Dan Sanderson
Ben Sowrey (Newcastle Falcons)
Heath Stevens (London Welsh)
Andy Symons (London Irish)

Ex-France international Clement Poitrenaud retires from rugby
Former France international Clement Poitrenaud has retired after Toulouse denied him a new contract.

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The 33-year-old, who has filled fullback and centre roles in his career, began with Toulouse in the 2000/01 season and won four French league titles and the European Cup on three occasions.


Bath sign Leicester Tigers hooker Michael van Vuuren
Bath have completed the signing of Springbok hooker Michael van Vuuren from fellow Premiership side Leicester Tigers for the 2016-17 season.

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The former Stade Francais front-rower also has Super Rugby experience with the Cheetahs and Kings.

“This is a great opportunity for me to compete for a place in a team that is really going places,” Van Vuuren said.

“I’ve had a taste of English rugby recently and I’m looking forward to playing in one of the toughest leagues in rugby.”

Bath head coach Mike Ford added: “He is a robust, talented player, with a lot of potential to continue improving as a player, and we’re looking forward to helping him do that.”


Jump racing legend JP McCoy brought in to motivate Saracens
Jump racing legend Sir AP McCoy has been at Saracens, helping motivate the players for their end-of-season push.

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The 20-time Champion Jockey visited the Sarries on Tuesday, as Saracens prepare for the Champions Cup final and the Premiership play-offs in the forthcoming weeks.

“To get him in was a real coup for us,” director of rugby Mark McCall said.

“For our group to listen to a 20-time Champion Jockey was incredible. He spoke to the squad for an hour, and he was unbelievably engaging.”

Saracens are known regularly invite guests speakers to address the players, but McCall says McCoy has long been someone the club’s management have admired.

“AP McCoy was somebody we had talked about in meetings three years ago when he won his 17th title,” McCall added to BBC Radio 5 live.

“To see the sacrifices he had gone through to achieve what he has achieved, and how driven he was to achieve that, was enlightening for everybody.”