Your rugby evening titles for Wednesday, June 1st.
Wales rookie shortlisted for award
Tommy Reffell, the headless winger named in the Wales squad for this summer, was shortlisted for the Land Rover Discovery of the Season. The award recognizes the best young player in the Gallagher Premiership and the 23-year-old is among the five nominees.
Reffell had an outstanding year for league top flight Leicester and caught the attention of Wayne Pivac. He will travel with Wales on a three-test trip to South Africa this summer, where he will be looking to make his senior national debut.
The Tigers’ open side is on the shortlist with Henry Arundell (London Irishman), Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints) and Hugh Tizard (Harlequins).
Bristol mercurial Welshman Ioan Lloyd has won the award before. Other past winners include Sam Simmonds, Ellis Genge, Maro Itoje, Henry Slade, Billy Vunipola, Joe Launchbury, Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi, Ben Youngs, Jordan Turner-Hall, Danny Cipriani, Tom Rees, Tom Varndell and Ollie Smith.
Faf will join Hill in Japan
South African World Cup winner Faf de Klerk has joined Yokohama Canon Eagles, the same club for which Wales international Cory Hill plays.
De Klerk was confirmed as leaving Sale Sharks some time ago but his future has been in the air so far. He will play his last game for Sale this weekend before joining the Springboks for the Summer Tests against Wales. Then he will go to Japan.
I am very excited and grateful for the opportunity to be part of a great team like Yokohama Canon Eagles, ”said de Klerk. “Since the Rugby World Cup in 2019, I have known that I want to play in Japan at some stage of my career.
“Now it’s a reality and I can’t wait to stick with my teammates and coaches and hopefully make a big impact. The Japanese culture is amazing and I look forward to enjoying every moment with my partner, teammates and all rugby fans of Japan. “
Dragons ‘financially protected’ in Allen deal
Dragons boss Dean Ryan shed some more light on the Cory Allen deal in an interview with the South Wales Argus.
The Wales center signed for the region last year but has not been seen on the field since he suffered a serious knee injury in 2019. He was not involved at all in the last term but was also not released by the Dragons as longtime servant Adam Warren was. pointed to the door.
Allen will fight Jack Dixon, Aneurin Owen, Max Clark and Sio Tomkinson for the next term if appropriate.
In light of Allen’s injury record, and the fact he was injured when the Dragons signed him, Ryan told the Argus that they are “financially protected” in the deal but would not delve deeper.
“We want to support him with the recovery while not exposing the business,” Ryan said. “We did that in conversations with Cory and want to support him to play.
“We obviously can’t do that forever, but if we get it right, then we get a player at the Dragons that we probably wouldn’t have in another situation.
“It’s a bit of a risk, but we are financially protected along the way. That has always been the case and we are still in a position to support him to play again.
“It simply came to our notice then [where you have to stop] but at the moment I have no message that there will be no return. “
Glasgow is not afraid of Leinster
Glasgow clash Ross Thompson enjoys the pressure of his United Rugby Championship quarter-final against Leinster in Dublin.
Warriors face the toughest tasks in the last eight as they face the team that overcame the league with their own chip at the RDS Arena.
But the 23-year-old Scottish international is not worried about the prospect.
“I like pressure,” he said. “I enjoy it. Sometimes it can be difficult but it’s what I’m looking forward to.
“As a young kid you want to play in those big games. If you want to play in those big games, you have to handle the pressure.
“You have to challenge yourself and really strive to get some growth as a player. Playing in these great games is what you really need to do to take your game to the next level.
“It’s good to try to treat every game the same. There’s definitely more pressure, you can feel a little more buzz around some of these great games.
“We tried to focus a lot on ourselves. Obviously Leinster are a very good team and have been for a few years. So we’re looking forward to this test.
“If you want to go to the final stages, you’re going to have to play against these top teams.”