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Wales Online
Jon Doel

Tonight's rugby news as Wales and Australia rivals become team-mates and Dan Biggar's successor identified

Here are the latest rugby headlines on Tuesday, May 16.

Wales and Wallabies stars team up

A number of Wales' top stars will play alongside Rugby World Cup rivals from Australia after Quade Cooper and Samu Kerevi were picked for the Barbarians' match against a World XV later this month.

The Wallabies superstars have been chosen by national and Barbarians coach Eddie Jones for the Twickenham encounter on May 28. They join the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau and Rhys Webb in the Baa-Baas ranks.

Wales play Australia in the Pool stages of the World Cup later this year, when former England coach Jones and Warren Gatland will renew their rivalry on the international stage.

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"I am very much looking forward to returning to Twickenham stadium - a venue I have so many fond memories of - as head coach of the Barbarians, and I'm more motivated than ever to put on a show," Jones said.

Former Wales and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen is in charge of the World XV, with the likes of Charles Piutau, Ngani Laumape, Marika Koroibete, Semi Radradra, and Israel Folau all set to feature. Axed Wales prop Wyn Jones, who was left out of Warren Gatland's World Cup training squad this month is also involved, while Rhys Patchell and Elliot Dee are also said to have been invited to turn out for the unique side.

Dan Biggar's successor identified

Former Wales outside-half Paul Turner believes Scarlets outside-half Sam Costelow is the man to replace Dan Biggar in the Wales team after the World Cup.

Turner, a supremely talented number 10 in his playing days, is head coach at Ampthill in England, where Costelow spent time as a youngster.

In a wide-ranging interview with WalesOnline, he insisted the Scarlets man has all the tools to be a force on the big stage.

He said: "For the World Cup, Dan Biggar is Wales' best option with Gareth Anscombe on the bench if he is fit.

"But after the World Cup it'll be interesting to see what happens because Biggar and Anscombe might not be around, we'll see.

"Owen Williams is a good player. He's very solid and can control proceedings, while his kicking game is very good but he doesn't have the x-factor he had in his younger days.

"For me Sam Costelow is the long-term successor to Biggar. We had Sam at Ampthill for a bit pre-covid, and he's a great kid with a strong work ethic.

"He's still learning his trade but he's got it all. He can kick, he can control games, he can get a back-line moving, he can break the line, and he tackles hard.

"All these things need to come together but the potential is definitely there.

"What set him apart is his problem solving on the field, when things don't go his way he can put it right.

"Callum Sheedy is another one who we need to see kick on.

"It's hard to put your finger on what's gone wrong with him because 18 months ago he was an established member of the Wales squad, and now he's totally dropped out of contention.

"But at his best he's a quality player and Wales are going to need him to regain his form."

Officials named for summer matches

Wales have discovered the officials who will take charge of their final three matches before the Rugby World Cup.

Australian referee Nic Berry will be the man in the middle for the opening summer clash against England in Cardiff on August 5, with Georgia's Nika Amashukeli taking charge of the return fixture a week later. Ireland's Andrew Brace will referee the final fixture against South Africa on August 19.

Welsh official Nigel Whitehouse, who has been selected as a TMO for the World Cup, has a big gig performing that role for the New Zealand v South Africa Rugby Championship match on July 15.

London Irish threatened with suspension

By Andrew Baldock, PA Rugby Union Correspondent

London Irish could be suspended from the Gallagher Premiership as speculation continues to rage about their future amid a possible takeover by an American consortium.

The Rugby Football Union says that, along with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players' Association, it is "seeking to take action to obtain greater clarity on the future of London Irish".

The RFU said: "The proposed takeover of London Irish by an American consortium has led to a significant amount of uncertainty and speculation about the future of the club, which is having an impact on players, staff and fans of the club.

"It is imperative that the club will be in a position to take its place in the Gallagher Premiership in season 2023-24 and to complete that season."

A deadline of May 30 has now been set by the RFU in what is an increasingly grim saga, with Irish having reported debts of £30milliom.

By that time, a takeover of the club must have been completed and approved by the RFU, with the buyers undertaking to provide all required working capital to meet the club's obligations for at least next season, or the club showing that it will continue to be funded to operate throughout next season.

The RFU added: "If the club fails to meet these conditions, it will be suspended from participating in the Premiership (and other competitions) in season 2023-24 to avoid a scenario where the club enters insolvency mid-season, with the corresponding and substantial impact that has on players, staff and fans, as well as on the remainder of the league.

"This deadline was set to give enough time for the buyers to provide the information needed and for the transaction to complete."

Wasps and Worcester entered administration earlier this season, resulting in their expulsion from the Premiership.

Glasgow look to prove worth against Biggar's Toulon

Glasgow lock Scott Cummings knows that talk is cheap on creating something special at Scotstoun until they can prove it with silverware.

The EPCR Challenge Cup finalists have had some outstanding results and performances this season, their first under South African head coach Franco Smith.

In the European competition alone, they have won at Bath and Perpignan and scored 139 points in three knockout games to reach Friday's final against Dan Biggar's Toulon.

Highlights of their BKT United Rugby Championship season included a 38-26 win over Munster - the eventual finalists - at Thomond Park and a festive double over Edinburgh.

Their league campaign ended at the quarter-final stage when Munster avenged that home defeat against a Warriors team that finished the game with 13 men at Scotstoun, and Cummings is determined to have something to show for their campaign.

Cummings said: "We have had ups and downs, we have had good wins and a couple of losses at the start of the season that we weren't too happy with.

"We have definitely been building towards something. I know that's easy to say, obviously it doesn't matter until you win something.

"This (the final) is the only match that is really going to matter when it comes down to it. It's going to be a big occasion but we are really excited for it."

Read more:

Former Dragons boss calls for Anglo-Welsh league and identifies exiled talents Wales can't afford to lose

Axed Wales star picked in World XV to face team-mates after shock Gatland call

Today's rugby news as coach hits out over World Cup referees and club face being thrown out of English Premiership

Ex-Scarlets favourite's parents turn up to watch him for first time in five years and the crowd love it

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