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Six Nations round-up

Lee Byrne's stellar form for Clermont has the fullback in line for a recall to the Wales side.

Lee Byrne's stellar form for Clermont has the fullback in line for a recall to the Wales side. Photo: Getty Images

French trip puts Byrne back on road to Wales
by Brendan Gallagher

Lee Byrne, one of the players of the tournament in the 2008 Six Nations and a Lion in 2009, seems poised to regain his place in Wales's starting XV at full-back after a move to Clermont breathed life back into his career.

Byrne, who fell out of favour during the World Cup, has been a mainstay this season in a star-studded Clermont team who are second in the T14 and have qualified for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup. While his Wales colleagues Mike Phillips and James Hook have been on the back foot with struggling Bayonne and Perpignan respectively, Byrne has rediscovered his 'A game'.

South African-born Tobias Botes will make his international debut for Italy.

South African-born Tobias Botes will make his international debut for Italy. Photo: Getty Images

Wales backs coach Rob Howley went out of his way yesterday to highlight how sharp Byrne looked during a two-day spell at the Wales camp in Gdansk last week.

To accommodate the return of Byrne, Warren Gatland would have to move Leigh Halfpenny back on to the wing but that might be a timely switch anyway given Wales's continuing injury problems in midfield.

With the medical reports on Rhys Priestland and Jamie Roberts, who have both been suffering from knee injuries, not overly optimistic - they have been given 48 hours to prove their fitness along with blindside flanker Dan Lydiate - Wales could well have to shuffle their cards in midfield.
The Telegraph, London

Botes receives Italy call up
South African Tobias Botes has been called up to the Italy squad for this weekend's Six Nations opener against France in Paris following an injury to Luciano Orquera.

With Argentina-born Aironi fly-half Orquera ruled out with a hamstring problem, scrum-half Botes has been given his opportunity.

Botes is the first choice number nine at Treviso, ahead of Italy pair Fabio Semenzato and Eduardo Gori, but he has the versatility to also play at fly-half and even on the wing.

Having spent four years playing in Italy he is now eligible for the national team.

England preparing to thrive on the fear factor
by Mick Cleary

As England's match-day 22 for the Calcutta Cup encounter against Scotland on Saturday took shape last night (Tuesday) with eight players returning to their clubs, forwards coach Graham Rowntree revealed that England would travel to Murrayfield with some trepidation about stepping into the unknown.

"We will go up there with a fear," said Rowntree, the only survivor on the coaching panel from the Martin Johnson regime. "We haven't really tried out this outfit. We're new and that puts pressure on us in terms of time we have available. We are underdogs. No one expects us to do well. We will have something to say about that. Going up there, especially at this point in time, given where we have been, the unspeakable past, they will be licking their lips. We will be expecting that. Scotland always save up a passion for us."

England broke camp last night and will name their side tomorrow. Those released from the 32-man squad suggest that England will take the field with three new caps - Saracens centres Owen Farrell and Brad Barritt, as well as Northampton's Phil Dowson at No?8, although uncapped Scarlets player Ben Morgan is also pushing for that position.

In the back line, Saracens wing David Strettle appears to have held off Gloucester's Charlie Sharples.

Two other players, captain Chris Robshaw and lock Mouritz Botha, have only one cap apiece. Northampton's Lee Dickson has won the nod ahead of Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson, who was at the World Cup, to be back-up to Ben Youngs.

The players returning to their clubs are Dave Attwood, Matt Banahan, Calum Clark, Alex Goode, Lee Mears, Simpson, Thomas Waldrom and David Wilson.
The Telegraph, London

Ten from France Cup team to face Italy
Clermont duo Vincent Debaty and Wesley Fofana have been called up by new France coach Philippe Saint Andre for the World Cup finalists' Six Nations opener against Italy in Stade de France on Saturday.

Saint-Andre, the 44-year-old who succeeded Marc Lievremont, has called up ten of the team that were runners-up to New Zealand in the World Cup final on October 23.

"We have enormous respect for the Italians, their team and Jacques Brunel (coach) whose competences we are aware of," said Saint-Andre.

"The aim is to get a good start in the Six Nations. We're going to focus and do all we can to win this first match on front of our public in Stade de France."

France: Maxime Medard, Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Julien Malzieu, Francois Trinh-Duc, Dimitri Yachvili; Louis Picamoles, Julien Bonnaire, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Lionel Nallet, Pascal Pape, Nicolas Mas, William Servat, Vincent Debaty. Res: Dimitri Szarzewski, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Yoan Maestri, Imanol Harinordoquy, Morgan Parra, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Mermoz.

Jones to make debut as Robinson rings the changes
by Alasdair Reid

If Scotland coach Andy Robinson wanted to tap into his players' thirst for revenge in this weekend's Calcutta Cup match he would probably have chosen a few more who had reasons to harbour resentment.

As it is, only seven of his side to face England on Saturday were in his starting line-up when the Scots lost 16-12 to the same opponents at last year's Rugby World Cup - a result that meant they took their leave of the tournament before the knockout stages got under way.

Of the eight changes made by Robinson, one has been forced on him by the retirement from Test rugby of Scotland's record cap holder, Chris Paterson. Another two, Joe Ansbro and Ruaridh Jackson, have been left out because of injuries. The remaining five changes are simple issues of form.

Simon Danielli, who was on the left wing in the World Cup match, has been left out as he has not had sufficient game time with Ulster. In his place, Robinson has chosen the fast-improving Edinburgh player Lee Jones for a debut cap.

Jones delayed his entry into professional rugby while he completed a degree in mechanical engineering, but he has been picking up pace and admirers with every game he plays.

Jones's Edinburgh colleague Dave Denton, who replaces Richie Vernon at No.8, may consider this game to be his first 'real' Test as well. Denton was capped as a replacement against Ireland in the World Cup warm-up match last August, but that was clearly an experimental selection. The Zimbabwe-born forward missed selection for the World Cup, but his performances this season have been outstanding.

In the other backline changes Dan Parks and Chris Cusiter return to the half-back berths, with Nick De Luca restored at outside centre. In the forwards, Jim Hamilton, and Ross Rennie take over from Alastair Kellock and John Barclay respectively.
The Telegraph, London

Super Rugby 2015

Round 1
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CRU 10 vs REB 20 Report Stats
BRU 47 vs RED 3 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
LIO 8 vs HUR 22 Report Stats
BLU 18 vs CHF 23 Report Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
SHA 29 vs CHT 35 Report Stats
BUL 17 vs STO 29 Report Stats
WAR 13 vs FOR 25 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 20 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHF 19 vs BRU 17 Report Stats
REB 28 vs WAR 38 Report Stats
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
BUL 13 vs HUR 17 Report Stats
HIG 20 vs CRU 26 Report Stats
RED 18 vs FOR 6 Report Stats
Sun, 22 FebTimes shown AEDT
STO 27 vs BLU 16 Report Stats
SHA 29 vs LIO 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
HIG 20 vs RED 13 Report Stats
FOR 13 vs HUR 42 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
CHT 25 vs BLU 24 Report Stats
CHF 40 vs CRU 16 Stats
REB 15 vs BRU 20 Report Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 43 vs SHA 35 Report Stats
LIO 19 vs STO 22 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 17 vs HIG 20 Report Stats
BRU 27 vs FOR 15 Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
BLU 10 vs LIO 13 Report Stats
RED 5 vs WAR 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHT 20 vs BUL 39 Report Stats
STO 29 vs SHA 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 30 vs BLU 23 Report Stats
FOR 17 vs REB 21 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 34 vs LIO 6 Report Stats
HIG 26 vs WAR 19 Report Stats
RED vs BRU 29 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
STO 19 vs CHF 28 Report Stats
CHT 10 vs SHA 27 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
HIG 13 vs HUR 20 Report Stats
REB 16 vs LIO 20 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRU 57 vs CHT 14 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
BUL 25 vs FOR 24 Report Stats
SHA 12 vs CHF 11 Report Stats
WAR 28 vs BRU 13 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
HUR 36 vs REB 12 Report Stats
RED 17 vs LIO 18 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
CHF 37 vs CHT 27 Report Stats
HIG 39 vs STO 21 Report Stats
WAR 23 vs BLU 11 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
SHA 15 vs FOR 9 Report Stats
BUL 31 vs CRU 19 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
HUR vs STO 18:35WS
REB vs RED 20:40AAMI
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
CHF vs BLU 18:35WS
BRU vs CHT 20:40GIO Stadium
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
SHA vs CRU 01:00Growthpoint Kings Park
LIO vs BUL 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BLU vs BRU 18:35EP
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HIG 18:35AMI
WAR vs STO 20:40AS
FOR vs CHT 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO vs SHA 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
BUL vs RED 04:10Loftus Versfeld
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs CHF 18:35AMI
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
HUR vs WAR 15:30WS
HIG vs BLU 18:35FBS
BRU vs REB 20:40GIO Stadium
FOR vs STO 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
SHA vs BUL 02:05Growthpoint Kings Park
CHT vs RED 04:10FSS
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CHF vs FOR 18:35WS
BRU vs HIG 20:55GIO Stadium
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
CRU vs BLU 18:35AMI
WAR vs REB 20:55ANZ
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
LIO vs CHT 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
STO vs BUL 04:10DHL Newlands
RED vs HUR 17:05SS
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
HIG vs SHA 18:35FBS
BRU vs WAR 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs FOR 16:30EP
HUR vs CRU 18:35WS
REB vs CHF 20:40AAMI
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT vs STO 02:05FSS
BUL vs LIO 04:10Loftus Versfeld
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs RED 18:35AMI
REB vs BLU 20:40AAMI
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs SHA 18:35WS
FOR vs WAR 20:40nib Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO vs HIG 00:00Emirates Airlines Park
STO vs BRU 02:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs BUL 18:35EP
RED vs REB 20:40SS
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
HUR vs CHF 18:35WS
WAR vs SHA 20:40AS
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
LIO vs BRU 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
CHT vs HIG 04:10FSS
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
CHF vs BUL 18:35Rotorua International Stadium
RED vs SHA 20:40SS
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HUR 18:35Emirates Airlines Park
WAR vs CRU 20:40ANZ
FOR vs HIG 22:45nib Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CHT vs LIO 02:05FSS
STO vs REB 04:10DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CRU vs HUR 18:35Trafalgar Park
BRU vs BUL 20:40GIO Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
SHA vs REB 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
HIG vs CHF 18:35Rugby Park
FOR vs RED 20:40nib Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
STO vs CHT 02:05DHL Newlands
LIO vs WAR 04:10Emirates Airlines Park
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
HUR vs HIG 18:35McLean Park
FOR vs BRU 22:00nib Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
REB vs BUL 16:30AAMI
BLU vs CRU 18:35EP
RED vs CHF 20:40SS
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CHT vs WAR 00:00FSS
STO vs LIO 02:05DHL Newlands
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
BLU vs HIG 18:35EP
REB vs FOR 20:40AAMI
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
BRU vs CRU 16:30GIO Stadium
CHF vs HUR 18:35Yarrow Stadium
WAR vs RED 20:40AS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
BUL vs CHT 02:05Loftus Versfeld
SHA vs STO 04:10Growthpoint Kings Park
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
7 vs 7 10:00
View All Fixtures
Super Rugby 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Hurricanes 6 6 0 0 85 27
Brumbies 6 4 2 0 73 20
Sharks 7 4 3 0 11 19
Chiefs 7 5 2 0 46 24
Bulls 6 4 2 0 24 18
Waratahs 6 4 2 0 36 18
Highlanders 6 4 2 0 22 20
Stormers 6 4 2 0 15 16
View all
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