Morning rugby headlines for Friday 11th June.
Fiji star move fail
Fijian rugby icon Leon Nakarawa has seen his move to Ulster crumble after failing treatment.
The man with the most impressive handling skills in world rugby has an impressive resume, having been named European Player of the Year during his time at Racing 92 and named to the Rugby World Cup Team of the Year in 2015.
He was also part of the Fiji Sevens that won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2017.
Nakarawa returned to his old club Glasgow early last year, but played three matches before returning to Fiji when the closures occurred.
He came back late when rugby resumed and then picked up a knee injury.
Now his move to the PRO 14 competitor in Glasgow’s Ulster has stopped.
A brief statement from the club said: “Today we can confirm that upon receipt of a detailed medical report following an examination conducted by the club at the weekend, Leon Nakarawa will not join Ulster Rugby Club next season.
“This result is disappointing for the player and for Ulster Rugby, however, we will continue to build strongly through our preparations for next season. We wish Lyon all the best for the future.”
Cuthbert: I grew up as a man in Exeter
Alex Cuthbert says he has grown mentally during his time with Exeter as his association with the return to Wales has continued.
The 31-year-old international winger’s contract with the England champions will expire at the end of this season.
It seems likely that Devon and Osprey will leave one of the teams they have mentioned they are interested in Securing his services.
Cuthbert was targeted by a minority of keyboard warriors towards the end of his time in Wales, where he was heavily criticized on social media for his demo performance.
Having opted to leave Cardiff Blues and head to the bridge in 2018, he has been hit by injury, and has made just eight appearances since November 2019.
But the Wales and Lions player, who has 47 caps, said he gained a lot from his three-year stay at Sandy Park.
“I feel like I’ve grown as a person and as a player,” He told BBC Radio Devon.
“It was disappointing (in terms of injury), but the medical staff and the medical department have been very positive with me.
“It’s so easy to get yourself into a hole and there’s nothing worse than watching rugby when you know you have to play.
“I’ve worked really hard on this part and I think mentally I’ve grown as a man in terms of my mental strength and what I’ve learned in the past three years has been losing a lot of rugby.”
Eddie takes tips from EUR
Eddie Jones will join Euro 2020 in search of ideas to boost his performance as England manager.
Jones has established a good relationship with Gareth Southgate and has participated in regular virtual conversations with Three Lions President David Moyes and Arsene Wenger to discuss the challenges of working in the sport during the Covid era.
England launched their opening Euro 2020 game against Croatia on Sunday, and with his team’s summer match series not starting until June 27, Jones will be watching over the coming weeks for indications that could translate into rugby.
“I know Gareth reasonably well,” he said. “We’ve talked over the past period and I will follow up on his interests and those of the team.”
“It is clear that they have a talented group of players as evidenced by the presence of two English teams in the European Cup final and one team in the Europa League final.
“They have some great talent at the moment and it’s about how to unite that talent and play as a team where the players have to play in different roles.
“It’s not the same as what we have to do in terms of sometimes players have to play a slightly different role than they do at their club because it fits the team better. I’ll watch that.
“Obviously there are some good players on other teams so we’ll see how the coaches get the best out of these players.
“Again, I had some conversations with the coach of Belgium (Roberto Martinez) and he has some talent there. How they handle the expectation of being one of the favorites with top players like Kevin De Bruyne will be of interest.
Jones is preparing for Tests next month against the USA and Canada at Twickenham, which is preceded by an international player ‘A’ against Scotland’s A.