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Wales Online
Wales Online
Jon Doel

Today's rugby news as Taulupe Faletau wows fellow players and Wasps issue statement amid crisis

Here are the latest rugby headlines on Thursday, September 22.

Navidi sings praise of 'outstanding' Faletau

Cardiff flanker Josh Navidi has spoken about the impact "outstanding" Taulupe Faletau has already had at the Arms Park.

The Wales No. 8 made his debut for the club in their 20-13 win over Munster on weekend, having joined from Bath this summer. And Navidi, who has packed down alongside Faletau in the Welsh back-row on multiple occasions, knows only too well the quality the three-time Lions tourist brings.

"He's outstanding and he's consistent," said Navidi. "It's the stuff you don't see.

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"A lot of the stuff he does off the ball. His work-rate, you don't realise how much he gets around the park.

"Playing with him, you really notice. He's world class.

"It makes it a lot easier for whoever is alongside him to do their job. He adds that wow factor to our pack and our team. He gets on with his job. He doesn't need to say anything. He just leads by what he does on the pitch."

Wasps statement amid crisis

Wasps have issued a statement after becoming the latest English club fighting for their future. The club yesterday announced that a notice of their intention to appoint an administrator has been filed with the High Court.

The crisis has arisen due to Wasps' difficulty in repaying the £35million bond that was raised to help finance their relocation from High Wycombe to Coventry in 2014 and that was due in May.

While they are confident that they will secure the finance needed to prevent administration, failure to do so could result in automatic relegation from the Gallagher Premiership.

"Due to the impending threat of action from HMRC, Wasps Holdings Limited, the ultimate holding company of the group including Wasps Rugby Football Club and Arena Coventry Limited, have taken the difficult decision to file a notice of intention to appoint administrators in order to protect its interests," a statement from Wasps Holdings Limited read.

"This measure does not mean the business is in administration but provides a crucial period of grace to continue negotiations with a number of interested parties to secure the long-term future of the group.

"These negotiations have been going on for some time, are in advanced stages and we are hopeful of securing a deal.

"In the meantime, the day-to-day operations of the business are unaffected, and we will continue to support our players, staff, supporters, bond holders and suppliers, and keep them fully updated during what we appreciate will be an unsettling time."

Double celebration for Norkett

Wales winger Lowri Norkett, who made her capped debut against Canada in August, has double reason to celebrate: she is headed to the World Cup and has bagged a full-time WRU contract for the remainder of the year.

She follows in her little sister Elli's footsteps. Elli Norkett played in the 2014 Rugby World Cup but tragically died three years later aged just 20 after a car accident.

Lowri said: “It’s been a bit of a whirlwind to be honest. From getting my first cap in Canada, to getting a contract up to December to booking my ticket to New Zealand, it’s been an incredible month.

“I think coaches reward hard work and even though I didn’t get a contract the first time around, I kept working hard and it’s paid off.

“My fondest memories of Elli are of going to watch her in France in the 2014 Rugby World Cup when she was just 17. It’s amazing I’m going to do the same now. She’s been my inspiration every time. I’m a bit lost for words, to be honest. My family and fiancé are obviously very proud.”

Wales boss Ioan Cunningham said: "As a coach, you are always delighted when someone works really hard and forces their way into a team or squad. Lowri Norkett is one of those. She has come in, trained her socks off and fully deserves her place."

Abbie Fleming and Robyn Wilkins also move from part-time to full-time contracts in line with all other squad players.

Lancaster to join Racing 92

Former England coach Stuart Lancaster is set to leave Leinster for Racing 92.

The Irish Times report Lancaster has all but signed to lead the French giants from next season.

He has rebuilt and grown his reputation after England's failure at the 2015 World Cup under his leadership, proving to be a hugely popular figure in the Leinster dressing room and being credited with much of their recent success.

Lancaster joined the Irish side in 2016/17.

Read next:

Wales have seven options to replace Liam Williams as Anscombe and Adams switch both possible

Darcy Swain banned from rugby for six weeks after Australia v All Blacks outrage

English rugby rocked by Wasps news and Wales star tries to prove Pivac wrong

'Special' future Wales international awes English viewers with his ability

Leigh Halfpenny's nightmare about to end as he finally eyes return to rugby pitch after 445 day absence

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