Hollie joins new organisation
Hollie Davidson has underlined the high regard in which she is held among her refereeing peers by being named in a six-strong management committee elected to the representative body for international high performance match officials. The Scot, who took charge of the women’s world cup final in New Zealand last year is joined by Jaco Peyper, Mark Egan, Jordan Way, Lauren Jenner and Brian MacNeice at the head of the International Rugby Match Officials’ (IRMO) organisation, which was formed last December with the goal of contributing to discussions with World Rugby on the laws of the game and encouraging others to become officials.
All change for Cotter and Cockers
Former Scotland coach Vern Cotter announced his resignation from the role of head coach with Fiji, citing personal reasons. That sparked an immediate response from the Fijian federation which needs to fill the post quickly given the rapidly approaching World Cup. It was perhaps a sign of desperation that the federation’s president is reported to have called Bernard Laporte to offer him the job! However, the Frenchman declined, preferring to keep a low profile after a court recently handed him a two year suspended jail sentence for corruption. Cotter’s assistant Richie Gray also stepped down. The pair have worked together for eight years, including a spell at Montpellier, the French Top 14 outfit which has appointed ex-Edinburgh boss Richard Cockerill as forwards coach.
Scots hit a trail that does not lead to promotion
Former Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh lock Andrew Davidson will extend his stay south of the border after signing for Ealing Trailfinders. The Scotland Under-20 cap had three seasons with Newcastle Falcons earlier in his career then, after a spell at Edinburgh, joined Gloucester in 2021. He has added to the Scottish contingent at the Championship table-toppers, who recently re-signed hooker Alun Walker and also have ex-Edinburgh man Kyle Whyte as a regular starter in the front-row. However, Trailfinders will not be promoted to the Premiership, even if they go on to win the title after failing to satisfy the RFU’s criteria of having either a 10,000 capacity stadium, or planning consent to achieve that level.
Former Glasgow Warriors lock Kiran McDonald has signed a two-year deal with that will see him join Newcastle Falcons for next season. The 28-year-old left Warriors for Wasps in 2021 and moved to Munster on a short-term deal after Wasps were ejected from the Gallagher Premiership after suffering financial problems. Joining him at Kingston Park will be fellow Scot Murray McCallum, who has also signed for Falcons following a period of uncertainty that has seen him play for Worcester Warriors, Montauban and Edinburgh over recent months.
Super6 recruitment drive
A New Zealand based recruitment agency has been circulating an advert for a Super 6 club seeking props, locks, scrum-halves, stan0 offs and centres. The package on offer includes a retainer, accommodation, flights and employment. According to the blurb, applicants must have an EU passport, and preferably be Scottish qualified.
Tigers endangered by lack of cash
Two directors of Leicester Tigers will invest £13 million amid claims that the cash is needed to prevent the risk of the club becoming the latest to go into administration. The financial struggles at the Welford Road outfit have arisen despite Tigers winning last year’s Gallagher Premiership and receiving around £1 million in compensation after Steve Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield were poached to become England coaches. The club’s chief executive Andrea Pinchen suggested that the relegation of Wasps and Worcester Warriors has led to a substantial loss of revenue and an anticipated breach of Tigers’ bank overdraft limit. Tom Scott is believed to be investing £10 million, while Peter Tom is set to invest £3 million, subject to approval by ordinary shareholders.
Zen and the art of try-scoring
Selkirk prop Zen Szwagrzak helped Poland to a 21-15 home win over Belgium in the Rugby Europe Championship when he bagged one of his side’s two tries. The result had extra satisfaction for Szwagrzak as the Belgian side featured Ryan Godsmark at scrum-half – the pair lined up together for the Philiphaugh club in the Tennent’s Premiership earlier this season.
Ireland raising women’s involvement
The Irish Rugby Football Union has proposed an increase in female representation on its committee by the end of 2023. The aim is to have 40 percent of the posts filled by females in order to reflect the growth in the women’s game at all levels.
Hardy Harley chilling in France
Former Glasgow Warriors and Scotland man Rob Harley has been building a reputation at his new club, Carcassonne, as a tough and uncompromising individual. And that image was enhanced when, during a recent cold spell, he was the only player to turn up for training in shorts and a t-shirt. The 32-year-old will need to show his mettle over the coming weeks as Carcassonne seek to move away from the lower half of the PRO D2 table.
🥶 2 degrés mais Rob Harley reste fidèle à son short/tee-shirt.
— US Carcassonne⚔ (@USCXV) February 9, 2023