Here are your rugby morning headlines for Monday, 29 August.
Parkes finds new home
Wales international Hadleigh Parkes has found a new club and will stay in Japan after signing for Black Rams Tokyo. Parkes has been announced alongside former England international Nathan Hughes and blues Super Rugby star Josh Goodhue.
The 29-cap centre won his second title with Saitama Panasonic Wild Knights back in May, ensuring he remained on the winning side in all of his matches in Japan to date. However, with South African centre Damian de Allende joining Japan Rugby League One champions Wild Knights, Parkes needed a new home.
Parkes said previously: "We've been very fortunate with the places we've been able to get to and the career that we've had. It's been a privilege to be playing at Panasonic and over in Wales as well.
"It's a real honour to get over there. I haven't really thought about going back to New Zealand. It's not come across my mind."
Lions given potential lifeline
Lions stars Duhan van der Merwe and Rory Sutherland could be offered a lifeline by Edinburgh amid the huge doubt surrounding the future of their club Worcester Warriors.
Worcester are reportedly on the brink of administration following a winding-up petition over unpaid tax being issued by HM Revenue & Customs last week.
Now, Edinburgh coach Mike Blair has admitted the club are monitoring the situation of two of Scotland's best players, telling The Times : “Obviously the Worcester situation is one that is ongoing. Once we get clarity on what exactly is happening there we can have further discussions on it but at the moment we’re sitting back and waiting for that to play out. Hopefully, they get bought out, they resolve things and they’re able to continue how they’re going. If the situation changes and players become available then we’ll have to see how that fits with what we want.”
Springboks ready to bounce back
South Africa flanker Kwagga Smith insists the world champions are desperate to turn things around after their defeat to Australia on the weekend, adding that they are still in the mix to win the Rugby Championship.
The Springboks went down 25-17 against Australia in Adelaide on Saturday, having previously suffered a 35-23 defeat against New Zealand in Johannesburg two weeks ago. As such, they will be under pressure to bounce back strongly in their last three matches of the competition.
The Springboks will meet Argentina, who beat the All Blacks on the weekend, in their last two Rugby Championship clashes in Buenos Aires and Durban after Saturday’s encounter at the Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
“We are definitely still in the competition,” said Smith.
“All four teams can still win, and it is tough to say who is going to win because there are a still a few games to play.
“The big thing for us will be us to stop their (Australia’s) momentum next week because they got good momentum on Saturday. We’ll have to work hard to bounce back next week.”
Wales women delighted with first 'proper pre-season'
Wales Women squad captain Siwan Lillicrap believes the training week in Halifax and Test against Canada will prove invaluable over the next couple of months.
Wales are preparing for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and although they are disappointed with Saturday’s 31-3 result, the over-riding feeling in the camp is the chance the week has provided for players and coaches to test themselves.
“It was so important to have a hit-out against quality opposition like Canada," said Lillicrap. “We’ve had our first proper pre-season as professional athletes and it was vital to measure ourselves in a Test match situation at this stage of our prep for the World Cup.
“We will take a lot of learning from the match and the whole week. Our set-piece improved compared to our training session against Canada on Tuesday, we need to improve our urgency in contact, we allowed Canada too many turnovers but there were lots of positives and lots of things to work on.
“It was a great benchmark for us. Defensively we looked comfortable mostly but we didn’t take the scoring opportunities we had so we will need to work on that. Lots to work on but lots of positives.
“It’s been really valuable to train together, away from home for a week. We learned a lot about each other, I’m excited about the journey we’re on over the next few weeks before we get on the plane to New Zealand.
“I’m really proud of the first caps, they are well deserved by all three and other girls had important opportunities too.
“We have more strength in depth in the squad than I’ve ever experienced which is exactly what we need to give the coaches selection headaches for the World Cup.”