That was the month that was: March 2022

Tragedy struck in Dublin when Scottish Parliament XV stalwart David Hill collapsed and died during game against Irish counterparts

Hollie Davidson will referee the TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash between France and England, and be assistant for Ireland versus Wales, England versus Wales and Italy versus England. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Hollie Davidson will referee the TikTok Women’s Six Nations clash between France and England, and be assistant for Ireland versus Wales, England versus Wales and Italy versus England. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

by COLIN RENTON


Spain’s sporting headlines may be premature

World Rugby’s decision to ban Russia from international competition handed qualification for next year’s World Cup to Georgia, who join Wales, Australia and Fiji, as well as the qualification tournament winner, in Pool C. It also opened up the possibility of Spain securing a spot in France 2023 if they could beat Portugal in Madrid in front of a capacity crowd. And they emerged with a tense 33-28 win to apparently claim a spot in Scotland’s pool in France alongside South Africa, Ireland and the top qualifiers from Asia/Pacific. It would be Spain’s first participation in the global event since 1999, and the magnitude of that achievement was reflected in the fact that rugby nudged football off the front page of the sports paper Marca – a rare occurrence indeed. However, it subsequently came to light that Spain may have breached a player eligibility regulation. World Rugby will convene an independent judicial committee to establish the facts, meaning Spain’s participation in France is now in the balance.


Premiership accused of self-preservation

There were angry allegations of a Gallagher Premiership cartel after Doncaster Knights and Ealing Trailfinders, the two clubs in contention for the second-tier Championship title, were informed that winning the silverware would not entitle them to a place in the top flight. The pair received the news that their grounds did not meet the minimum standards for the Premiership. Their respective facilities have a capacity of around 5,000. That’s about half of the level specified as essential for a top-tier outfit and means that neither side will earn promotion.


A busy Six Nations for Hollie

Hollie Davidson has reaffirmed her position among the global refereeing elite with several appointments for the TikTok Women’s Six Nations. Davidson will take charge of France v England, taking place in Bayonne, and was also appointed assistant for Ireland v Wales, England v Wales and Italy v England.


SGM on governance proposals to take place before the end of May

TikTok 6N: four changes to Scotland team to face Wales

Treatment of Stuart Hogg and the ‘Edinburgh Six’ is shameful


Zebre offer Ukraine support

Club officials at Zebre weighed in with help for the families of the players at RC Epokha-Polytechnic in Kyiv. Women, children and elderly relatives were transported from Ukraine using the Zebre team bus, and settled into a hostel in Parma province. Epokha’s players and male staff stayed behind to help defend their country. Among them is former Edinburgh back-row player Dimitri Basilaia. The Georgian international is now a coach at the club and owns a restaurant in Kyiv.


No points but plenty of action

Two sides battling for the Tennent’s Caledonia North Division 4 title produced a rare result after a hard-fought match. The top of the table clash between Dyce and Highland thirds ended with neither side able to score. The 0-0 draw ensured a tight finale to the title race, with subsequent results meaning either Dyce or Deeside will lift the silverware.


Aramburu murder suspects arrested

Police have made several arrests following the murder of former Argentine international Martin Aramburu, a strong-running centre, who spent the 2010-11 season at Glasgow Warriors. After retiring from rugby, he lived in Biarritz, where he worked in the travel industry, and where his funeral took place. The incident occurred in Paris. Aramburu is understood to have been involved in an argument and a group of three people subsequently returned to the scene. One of them shot the former player, who died on the spot. The main suspect, a far-right activist, fled the country but was arrested in Hungary, while another was caught in France, and a women who drove their vehicle was also taken into custody.

A JustGiving page has been established by former Glasgow team-mates of Aramburu, with the goal of raising £5000 to support his wife and three young children. To contribute, click HERE.



Tragedy strikes in parliament game

Tragedy struck during the annual match between the Scottish Parliament and their Irish counterparts in Dublin. David Hill, who played for Dumfries Saints, collapsed and died during the game. He was a founding member of the Scottish Parliament team.


URC react to concussion mockery

The United Rugby Championship apologised to Cardiff and sacked the agency it used for TikTok content after a tasteless video was posted on its account. The item made fun of a head knock sustained by Cardiff’s Aled Summerhill, a crass move at a time when concussions in the game are a growing cause for concern.


America set to be named as World Cup hosts

USA Rugby is expected to be announced as host of the men’s and women’s World Cups in 2031 and 2033. Alan Gilpin of World Rugby has stated that there are no other bidders. Confirmation is expected in mid-May. Australia is the sole bidder for the 2027 tournament, although the proposal appears to have encountered some problems which will need to be ironed out in the coming months before any formal announcement.


A result for Marco despite defeat

A stunning last-ditch victory over Wales on the final day of the Guinness Six Nations was not the only tournament highlight for Italy centre Marco Zanon. The Benetton man chose the aftermath of his country’s defeat at home to Scotland to propose to his girlfriend. Fortunately, given the number of people looking on, she said ‘yes’.


Treatment of Stuart Hogg and the ‘Edinburgh Six’ is shameful

About Colin Renton 220 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!