Sunday’s news about rugby while a leading expert hits South Africa’s entry into the European Cup and warns that they will join the Seven Nations.

Here are some of the stories that made the rugby news on Sunday, May 29th.

Barnes strikes on South African euro commitment

Leading expert Stuart Barnes has criticized South Africa’s involvement in next season’s Heineken Champions Cup and warned that it is only a matter of time before the Six Nations become the “Seven Nations”.

La Rochelle’s impressive triumph over Leinster marks the end of an era for the European Cup in its current disguise, with the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls entering the tournament next season with their high-profile finishes in the United Rugby Championship.

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Unlike only one Welsh team, the Ospreys, will be involved in a competition traditionally contested by sides of Wales. The same goes for Scotland.

Barnes feels the new format is wrong and also prevents fans who will be expected to fly to South Africa to see their teams compete in Europe’s elite club competition.

In a strong hit column for the Sunday Timesthe former England fly-half and experienced television expert wrote: “From its earliest origins, when Toulouse defeated Cardiff in 1996, it was a tournament that recognizes the winners as European champions. No more.

“While the other nations have been ruled out of the eight automatic qualifying places of the URC Heineken Cup, did we expect the South African sides to shake their thumbs, missing the European action?

“So in the URC they came. And there will be three South African teams playing in a tournament to decide the best team in Europe.” Distorted “is the word that a former French international used to describe the arrival of a whole other continent. Kaiser Chiefs of South Africa played in the Champions League of football.

“The European Champions Cup is history. The strength of the Heineken Cup has been the intensity of rivalry between clubs, provinces, nations. The opportunity for supporters to follow their team to other countries. Will vast numbers make the journey from Limerick to Limerick. Pretoria More accurate, right?

“How long until the final is played in Cape Town, or Johannesburg? And what if the finalists happen to be the Lions and the Sharks? A favorite, identifiable tournament becomes a geographically widespread disengagement.”

Barnes went on to say that this will be reflected on the international stage, with South Africa’s involvement in the Six Nations inevitable, he feels. The Springboks are committed to the Rugby Championship for the time being but he writes “You can be sure the financiers will press South African participation in the Six Nations.

“The South African presence in the URC has been inextricably linked to its best teams becoming a global contingent in what we should stop recognizing as the European Cup. International alliances – the Seven Nations – are the next stage of the plan. I have enormous sympathy for a great rugby nation, but South Africa will push the idea of ​​a European Cup beyond a breaking point. “

Van der Flier wins top prize

Leinster side Josh van der Flier has been named European Player of the Year.

The dynamic forward demanded the prestigious individual praise after his performances helped the Irish aces reach the Champions Cup final.

He takes the trophy of French sensation Antoine Dupont and follows in the footsteps of Leinster legends Sean O’Brien and Rob Kearney who have also won it before.

Van der Flier, 29, shone again in the final against La Rochelle although Leinster were defeated. He was awarded the Anthony Foley Memorial Trophy at the end of the game in Marseille.

Van der Flier outscored Dupont and Grégory Alldritt, who were also on the five-man shortlist, as were his Leinster teammates Caelan Doris and James Lowe.

O’Gara is happy with the euro

Ronan O’Gara was delighted to lift the trophy as he became only the third person to win the Heineken Champions Cup as a player and head coach after his La Rochelle side defeated Leinster 24-21 at the Stade Velodrome.

O’Gara joined Leinster counterpart Leo Cullen and Ugo Mola of Toulouse when melee half Arthur Retiere swung his way over a ruck on the Leinster line to win the winner by his side with just 17 seconds left on the clock.

“We made a plan and our desire was huge. There was nothing in it, but the key was to take Leinster’s space and time away,” said O’Gara, who won the trophy as a player with Munster in 2006 and 2008.

“There are certain players in football like Ruud Van Nistlerooy who you know will get goals and Arthur Retiere is a brilliant rugby player, but he is a number nine midfielder and a midfielder. He is a brilliant player without a position.

“Leinster are usually out of sight in the first half, so during halftime – when we were five points behind – I asked the players” what’s the problem “? quarter.

“Twelve months ago we went to Racing and were beaten 49-0. There was a fight and it was a massacre, but it will be a massacre in the port of La Rochelle for the next few days after this.

“It was such a tight game and everything felt a little surreal that we would wake up in the morning as European champions.”

Sexton – “I’m lost for words”

Leinster captain Johnny Sexton said he was “lost for words” after his team lost to the final score of a dramatic game.

Sexton was replaced by the time La Rochelle caught their 79th minute attempt to grab the trophy away from Leinster’s grasp.

“I’m pretty lost for words honestly. Some things at the end of the game that I can’t understand, “said Sexton.

“Good game to La Rochelle, they came up with a plan. I didn’t see them come back from the lead we had, but we didn’t clear our lines well enough and we paid the price.

“It’s an incredibly tough competition to win. When you reach the final, it’s the hardest game of the season. We had a few chances that we didn’t take, but we kept the scoreboard ticking and it was just gigantic to lose it like we did at the end.

“They get shine and they come in and win and it’s devastating.”

Springboks postpones Wales announcement

South Africa has delayed announcing its squad for the summer clashes with Wales.

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber was expected to reveal his hand in late May following what South Africa are calling a number of warrants with their players to prepare for the upcoming international season.

Nienaber has examined various aspects of the three games with Wales, the Rugby Championship fixtures and the build-up to next year’s World Cup as South Africa seeks to retain their ranking as the number one team in the world.

Burt chose to wait until the end of South Africa’s involvement in the United Rugby Championship before finishing his squad.

South Africa will meet in Wales on July 2, 9 and 16 and Nienaber said: the three Tests against Wales.

“I am very happy with the enthusiasm of the players and their desire to continue to learn and customize the areas of their game that could make a big difference in the quality of our rugby.

“These three back-to-back Tests will lay an important foundation for our Rugby Championship campaign, so it’s essential that we get the little detail right from the start.”

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