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Today's rugby news as Dan Lydiate reveals brutal facial injury and Jason Robinson backs Regan Grace to succeed

Here are your rugby morning headlines for Monday, July 18.

Robinson backs Regan Grace to be rugby union success

World Cup-winning former England star Jason Robinson believes exciting Welsh talent Regan Grace has what it takes to be a success in rugby union.

The 25-year-old Wales rugby league international will join Top 14 outfit Racing 92 next season and Wales will be keen onlookers to see how he fares in France, with many believing him to have a shot at making the Rugby World Cup squad next year.

And Robinson, who himself was a success in rugby league before joining Sale in 2001, believes the former St Helens star can light up the Top 14 after switching codes.

READ MORE: Wales report card — the out-and-out revelation, the 'unreal' player and those left holding tackle bags

"Do I think he can be a success? Yes," Robinson told The Rugby Paper. "He's got a background in rugby union whereas I came into it cold. If there's one thing Regan can do in league and union it's attack.

"He's got great footwork, great pace and he can score a try. He's a great finisher and I don't think him switching codes is a massive surprise because Racing would have been one of many clubs coming in for him.

"Why wouldn't you want someone like Regan in your team, who is young and can win games? With a bit more experience under his belt, he could really be flying."

Analysing the Port Talbot-product more closely, Robinson sees a lot of himself in Grace. He added: "In terms of his style, Regan reminds me of myself. He's light on his feet, he can beat people with no space at all and he's got top-end pace. He's hungry to work and to get better, so there are a lot of similar attributes."

Dan Lydiate's brutal facial injury

Wales flanker Dan Lydiate has shared a photo of the brutal facial injury he sustained in the third and final Test against the Springboks.

In the lead-up to a Handre Pollard try on Saturday, the Ospreys back-rower took a bang to the head, one which ended his game prematurely.

And he has shared the outcome on social media, posting a photo of his eye clamped shut with a hefty number of stitches on the eyebrow.

Alongside the photo, he wrote: "Thanks for everyone that asked I’m all good a few more train tracks to add to the collection."

Shane Williams: North, Lydiate and the old guard deserve all the praise

Wales legend Shane Williams believe the performances of the experienced Welsh players in South Africa is the real success story of the tour.

Of course there were many headline-grabbing performances from players across the squad, including Tommy Reffell who was arguably the standout player of the tour for Wayne Pivac's men, but Williams wants to highlight the impact the old guard had on an encouraging series against the Springboks.

Writing in his column for The Rugby Paper, he said: "As much as the advances made by Tommy Reffell grabbed the headlines, the improvements made by props Gareth Thomas and Dillon Lewis, wings Louis Rees-Zammit and Josh Adams, scrum-half Kieran Hardy and centre Nick Tompkins were great to see, for me the story of the tour was the return of the old guard.

"George North wasn't sure if he would ever get back to this level again after his last injury but he came back with a bang and looks set for a long run at centre as he continues to break records. He is now the most capped Welsh back and has started 101 games for Wales in a decade. There are many more to come and the more he plays, the better he looks in the midfield.

"Then you come to the two back-row men. Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau. It was a cruel, cruel blow when Pivac had to pull Faletau out of the game just before the start. His performances in the first two Tests were simply sensational and proved he is back to his brilliant best.

"Then there is Lydiate. The tractor man bulldozed his way into the Boks for two and a quarter Tests before a head knock and cut forced him to leave the fray. Who thought he would get back to the top - and then play as well as when he was voted player of the tournament after Wales won the Grand Slam in the 2012 Six Nations.

"Another World Cup is definitely on the agenda for him and those young players learning from him and Faletau will become better players for it. Their experience, along with North, Alun Wyn Jones, Liam Williams and skipper Dan Biggar will drive the culture, the desire and the improvement needed to arrive in France in 14 months' time in good enough shape to mount another major challenge."

Australia lining up move for Eddie Jones

Australia are reportedly lining up a move to bring Eddie Jones back to his home country after next year's Rugby World Cup.

England are coming off the back of an impressive series win over the Wallabies, no doubt another building block towards their build up to next year's global showpiece in France.

Jones, 62, will step down next year and The Telegraph claim Rugby Australia have put the England head coach on a list of targets they want to take the reins Down Under. Jones, of course, was Wallabies boss between 2001 and 2005, guiding them to the RWC final in 2003.

The report claims contact has been made already with Jones' representatives, however as yet there is no indication as to what the coach plans to do once he steps away from the England job.

Current Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie has overseen just one win in six matches and is under pressure following the series defeat by England. Jones could also be offered a director of rugby role with Australia, the report adds.

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Rugby Australia has condemned the “offensive” remarks and behaviour of fans towards England on Saturday night. It comes after England head coach Eddie Jones had an angry confrontation with an Australia fan who shouted “traitor” during the match. You can read more about that here.

Wales Sevens qualify for RWC

Wales Sevens have become the first team to qualify for the men's Rugby World Cup in South Africa this September.

The Welsh side beat Belgium 24-12 in the qualification match in Bucharest after tries from Lloyd Lewis, Luke Treharne and Morgan Sieniawski in the knockout clash.

Wales join the 13 other teams who have qualified automatically for the tournament which takes place between September 9 and September 11.

Before heading to South Africa, Wales men will compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.


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