Your rugby morning headlines for Saturday, July 4.
Jonathan Davies nearing return
The Rugby Paper report that Wales and Lions star Jonathan Davies is nearing a return to fitness.
Davies has been out injured since returning from last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, when he suffered a knee injury against Fiji.
He played on in the tournament with a heavily-strapped leg to feature against South Africa and New Zealand, but required surgery upon his return home.
The report states Davies is unlikely to make it back for the Scarlets’ Welsh derbies, which are scheduled to kick off on August 22, though it has not yet been ruled out.
Carter gets clobbered but puts on show for hometown club
Two-time World Cup winner Dan Carter turned out for his hometown amateur club Southbridge this morning.
It was an effort to get some much needed game time as he continues to prepare to make his debut for Auckland Blues in Super Rugby Aotearoa.
He played the full game, scoring 12 points and setting up two tries in the 54-14 win over West Melton.
Carter got absolutely clobbered in a thunderous first half tackle but shook it off to put on a solid display.
“It’s been about four months since I’ve played, and I’ve only been training for four weeks really,” he told the media afterwards.
“It’s one thing running around, training and feeling good, another one is actually playing.
“To get through 80 [minutes] is pleasing, probably a bit more than I expected, but it was good – a bit rusty but good.”
Booth excited by Ospreys opportunity
New Ospreys head coach Toby Booth has explained why he was lured to the Swansea-based region.
The Englishman has arrived in South Wales ahead of the squad’s scheduled return to training next week.
“It’s a good, exciting opportunity above anything else,” he said.
“I’ve been institutionalised in the Premiership for a long time so I think there is some difference there.
“The big one was the opportunity along with the Welsh attitude towards the game. They’re very passionate about their rugby and what that represents. I thought that was an exciting opportunity to get in front of a different audience and work with a different culture, where there’s a different outlook on the game.
“Without doubt, you can see the passion. Being English, I’ve been on the receiving end of some of that!
“Some of my best friends live in Ogmore and Bridgend. So I’ve got a connection, which is fantastic.
“I know how passionate they are and some of the banter we’ve had in the pub around England and Wales is fantastic.
“Even though results haven’t gone well last year, I’ve had a good opportunity through Covid to spend time looking at previous performances. There has certainly been a lot of hard work, effort and intent.
“The exciting thing from that point of view is that it shows you how much they care about the game and the Ospreys.”
Eddie Jones warned exceptions won’t be made for Tuilagi
England boss Eddie Jones has been told he won’t be able to bend the rules if Manu Tuilagi heads overseas.
There is a strict selection policy in place at Twickenham, which states players operating outside English domestic rugby cannot be selected, with no exceptions.
Tuilagi appeared to be heading out of Leicester after failing to agree revised contract terms, leading to the player being stood down.
Reports claim that he has received offers from France and Japan, moves that would end his England career.
An RFU spokesperson said: “Players who are not based in England will not be selected to play for England EPS (Elite Player Squad) Teams. There are no plans to change this regulation.”