Tag Archives: mullan

England rugby injuries mount – David Paice called up

All hail Paice! Hooker's joy at call-up but England injuries mount

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 29 October 2012

Joe Marler became the latest player to join England’s swelling casualty as the Harlequins prop’s hamstring injury forced head coach Stuart Lancaster to send for Matt Mullan as yet another squad reinforcement.

The flow of late arrivals into the FA’s national football centre in Burton-on-Trent — London Irish hooker David Paice and Quins lock George Robson joined on Sunday — continued with the call-up of the Worcester loosehead for training ahead of the first QBE International against Fiji at Twickenham on November 10.

Marler appeared to come through Quins’ Aviva Premiership victory over Irish on Sunday unscathed, but after reporting for national duty he was diagnosed with a ‘tight’ hamstring.

Call up: David Paice has been drafted into the England squad

Call up: David Paice has been drafted into the England squad

While the RFU insisted that summoning Mullan was just a precaution, Lancaster will, in theory, aim to finalise a matchday 23 for the Fiji game by Thursday, in order to release remaining squad players back to their clubs.

Therefore, Marler has another 48 hours to prove he is fit or his place is likely to be filled by the uncapped Saracen, Mako Vunipola.

This latest alarming development follows a flurry of setbacks over the weekend, with concerns largely focused on the state of two key Northampton forwards — Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes — who both suffered knee injuries on Saturday.

Amid suggestions that the damage sustained by Hartley is ‘significant’, the hooker and his fellow Saint were sent for scans on Monday evening. The RFU medical staff were also monitoring the state of centre Jonathan Joseph’s right ankle.

Hartley had been considered a contender for the captaincy, having led England to a draw in their last outing, against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in June, then following that up with a storming start to the new season. However, Chris Robshaw remained the clear favourite and is due to be confirmed on Tuesday in the role he filled with such distinction for the first seven games of this year.

Race against time: Joe Marler (left) is struggling with a hamstring injury

Race against time: Joe Marler (left) is struggling with a hamstring injury

Mullan was the third forward called up as a late replacement, after Robson and Paice checked into St George’s at short notice on Sunday night.

Paice revealed that he had to check with Joseph, his club colleague, to find out which part of the country he should drive to after being told about his sudden call-up by Exiles director of rugby Brian Smith.

‘I’ve just asked JJ where we’re going,’ he said. ‘I wasn’t sure. I haven’t spoken to anyone from England — just Brian and the media. I don’t know if people are winding me up! I’ll have to get one of the guys at Sunbury (London Irish’s training ground) to open up the changing room to get more boots out, then plug in the sat nav to find my way!’

Paice had learned last week that he had been overlooked for a place in the senior squad yet again, with Tom Youngs of Leicester promoted from the Saxons ahead of him. Yet the sense of dejection didn’t last long.

‘They called me on Tuesday night and said that I wasn’t in,’ he said. ‘I was disappointed but I’m very excited now. Brian told me in the changing rooms just after the game, and it’s a great honour. This news is a great surprise for me. I got engaged on Wednesday night, so it is a great engagement present!’

Sitting it out: Courtney Lawes (centre) and Dylan Hartley (right)

Sitting it out: Courtney Lawes (centre) and Dylan Hartley (right)

The hooker, 28, born in Darwin, Australia, made two replacement Test appearances on the tour of New Zealand in 2008, but then fell off England’s radar. He has worked hard for another shot and his chance follows the retirement of first Steve Thompson, then Lee Mears, and the injuries which sidelined Rob Webber and Joe Gray.

‘I think I’ve been playing well for the last couple of seasons and if I get my shot, I will take it with both hands this time,’ said Paice. ‘My game has come along in leaps and bounds, and I know I’m a much better player than I was in 2008.

‘The biggest thing I had to work on was my set-pieces and I think it is a major strength in my game now. I got my opportunity in 2008 through injuries and I guess it has happened again, but this time I’m going to take the chance.’

Southern Barbarians 26 England 54: Danny Care impresses

Southern Barbarians 26 England 54: Lancaster takes a shine to Care as Wade bags hat-trick

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UPDATED:

19:24 GMT, 13 June 2012

At the end of a turbulent season, Danny Care marked his return to England colours with a sparkling, try-scoring performance in the diamond-mining town of Kimberley, while the prolific Christian Wade made his mark with a hat-trick.

Following the defeat against South Africa in the Test series opener in Durban last Saturday, this fixture had been identified as a means of ‘kick-starting’ the tour. Ultimately, England returned to Johannesburg satisfied with the victory and their own eight tries, but disappointed to have conceded four against scratch opposition.

Quick heels: Christian Wade races clear to score his first try against Southern Barbarians

Quick heels: Christian Wade races clear to score his first try against Southern Barbarians

Match facts

Southern Barbarians: Jansen, Hendricks, Rautenbach (Dukisa 46), Stevens, Nelson (Croy 68), Watts, Abrahams (Kebe 51), Fourie, Franklin (Lewis 52),
Geldenhuys (Hopp 61), Clark, Bulbring (Fihlani 75), Mbiyozo, Raubenheimer (Jordaan 61), Engelbrecht.
Tries: Engelbrecht, Franklin, Nelson, Dukisa. Cons: Watts 3.

England: Goode (Abendanon 41), Lowe (Dickson 42), Allen, Turner-Hall, Wade, Hodgson, Care, Mullan, Gray (Tom Youngs 48), Doran-Jones (Harden 59), Kitchener, Robson, Haskell, Fearns (Gibson 48), Waldrom (Dowson 68). Subs Not Used: Palmer.
Tries: Waldrom 2, Wade 3, Lowe, Kitchener, Care. Cons: Hodgson 4.
Pens: Hodgson 2.

Care last played for his country in
August last year, before injury and off-field disciplinary issues led to
the Harlequins scrum half missing the World Cup, then the Six Nations –
the latter after being banished from the squad by new head coach Stuart
Lancaster.

On Wednesday, he played like a man who was impatient to resume
his Test career; full of pace and invention and vision.

Having gone through his attacking
repertoire to maintain his fine form in the latter part of the club
season, Care darted under the posts for a try with three minutes
remaining.

It remains to be seen whether his efforts are enough to force
him back into the Test 22 this weekend, but his recall is surely a
matter of time.

‘He did well, he set up Christian for a great try and he
showed an intuitive sense of where space is,’ said Lancaster. ‘I’m
pleased with his performance and he lasted the full 80 minutes.

Test: England's latest stop on the tour came at GWK Park in Kimberley

Test: England's latest stop on the tour came at GWK Park in Kimberley

'He will be pleased he’s got a game
under his belt because it’s been a while since he’s played for England.’

Another to impress was Thomas Waldrom. The Leicester No 8 carried with
typical gusto, was always heavily involved and scored a brace of tries,
the first involving some decidedly nimble footwork for a large forward.

Breakaway: George Lowe was impressive before being taken off injured

Breakaway: George Lowe was impressive before being taken off injured

Wade’s treble followed a try-scoring debut for England, against the
Barbarians at Twickenham at the end of last month. The Wasps wing’s
third strike came from the last play of the game and offered further
proof of his supreme finishing class, although there were also signs of
susceptibility in defence.

That was an aspect of the overall
performance which concerned Lancaster, who added: ‘They scored four
tries and we pride ourselves on our defence, so we’re not happy about
that.’

Bruising: Graham Kitchener dives over for his try during the intense battle

Bruising: Graham Kitchener dives over for his try during the intense battle

Southern Barbarians 26 England 54: Christian Wade grabs hat-trick

Southern Barbarians 26 England 54: Wade grabs hat-trick to impress Lancaster

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UPDATED:

15:51 GMT, 13 June 2012

Christian Wade claimed a hat-trick and Thomas Waldrom scored twice as eight-try England secured the first win of their South African tour.

After defeat in the first Test to the Springboks, England gave their second string a run-out against the Southern Barbarians composite side at Kimberley's GWK Park and eased to victory.

They did concede four tries as they endured some uncomfortable moments on a hot afternoon, but the result was never in doubt with George Lowe, Graham Kitchener and Danny Care also scoring.

Quick heels: Christian Wade races clear to score his first try against Southern Barbarians

Quick heels: Christian Wade races clear to score his first try against Southern Barbarians

Match facts

Southern Barbarians: Jansen, Hendricks, Rautenbach (Dukisa 46), Stevens, Nelson (Croy 68), Watts, Abrahams (Kebe 51), Fourie, Franklin (Lewis 52),
Geldenhuys (Hopp 61), Clark, Bulbring (Fihlani 75), Mbiyozo, Raubenheimer (Jordaan 61), Engelbrecht.
Tries: Engelbrecht, Franklin, Nelson, Dukisa. Cons: Watts 3.

England: Goode (Abendanon 41), Lowe (Dickson 42), Allen, Turner-Hall, Wade, Hodgson, Care, Mullan, Gray (Tom Youngs 48), Doran-Jones (Harden 59), Kitchener, Robson, Haskell, Fearns (Gibson 48), Waldrom (Dowson 68). Subs Not Used: Palmer.
Tries: Waldrom 2, Wade 3, Lowe, Kitchener, Care. Cons: Hodgson 4.
Pens: Hodgson 2.

The result, although encouraging, will not matter greatly in the context of the tour with eyes as much on individual performances and team selections as the scoreline.

Winger David Strettle, having been named in the initial side, was withdrawn while full-back Alex Goode was taken off at half-time.

Both are likely to be in the reckoning for the second Test in Johannesburg on Saturday, with at least two changes to be made following injuries to backs Brad Barritt and Mike Brown.

The game bore the hallmarks of a traditional tour match, being played on a rough surface and before a small crowd in the relatively remote diamond mining town.

England made a sluggish start as the Barbarians claimed the first lineout and number eight Jacques Engelbrecht was driven over for the opening try after just two minutes.

Test: England's latest stop on the tour came at GWK Park in Kimberley

Test: England's latest stop on the tour came at GWK Park in Kimberley

Fly-half Elgar Watts hit the post with his first conversion attempt but referee Jonathan Kaplan spotted an England infringement and ordered a retake, which was successful.

England looked to respond quickly with Lowe, a late inclusion in the side in place of the rested Strettle, running from deep but lacking support.

The tourists got on the scoreboard with two Charlie Hodgson penalties and Waldrom was unfortunate to be pulled back for a forward pass after breaking clear from a Danny Care ball.

There were no mistakes as the same pair combined after England won a lineout against the throw and Waldrom powered through to touch down.

The impressive Care was the provider for England's second try with a neat angled grubber kick which Wade hacked on before gathering expertly to score.

A neat interchange then saw Hodgson put Jordan Turner-Hall through to set up Lowe for a third try. That put England into a commanding position but the Southern Barbarians showed some spirit and hooker Hannes Frankin barged his way over just before the break to make the score 25-14 with a converted try.

Breakaway: George Lowe was impressive before being taken off injured

Breakaway: George Lowe was impressive before being taken off injured

England suffered another injury blow early in the second half when Lowe was forced off but they maintained the momentum as Waldrom found his way over out wide for his second try.

The Southern Barbarians did trouble England in patches and winger Norman Nelson capped one such good spell with a superb individual try, cutting in from the left and darting through from 22 metres.

England produced a fluid move of their own and scrum-half Care was again involved as lock Kitchener crossed.

England then appeared to put the result beyond doubt as Anthony Allen intercepted close to his own line and sent Wade racing clear for his second.

The South Africans produced such a move of their own to release substitute Ntabeni Dukisa down the right to score from inside his own half.

England finished strongly and Care earned reward for his efforts by nipping through a gap to score and another opening was created for Wade out wide in the closing seconds. Hodgson finished with 14 points from four conversions and two penalties.

Bruising: Graham Kitchener dives over for his try during the intense battle

Bruising: Graham Kitchener dives over for his try during the intense battle

Worcester 19 Newcastle 9: Falcons edge closer to relegation

Worcester 19 Newcastle 9: Falcons edge closer to relegation

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UPDATED:

22:52 GMT, 23 March 2012

Worcester nudged Aviva Premiership relegation favourites Newcastle closer to the trap-door after winning a dour struggle at Sixways.

Centre Alex Grove's second-half try secured the victory for Worcester, leaving bottom club Newcastle still eight points adrift with just four league games left.

Jimmy Gopperth kicked three penalties for the visitors, which was enough to secure a 9-6 advantage approaching the hour mark, but Scotland international Grove then rounded off a spell of sustained pressure and the Falcons were finished.

Doomed: Worcester were too strong for relegation favourites Newcastle

Doomed: Worcester were too strong for relegation favourites Newcastle

Match facts

Worcester: Tries: Grove. Cons: Goode. Pens: Goode 4.

Worcester: Pennell, Garvey, Grove, Rasmussen, Benjamin, Goode,
Perry, Mullan, Lutui, Taumoepeau, Percival, C. Jones, Betty, Abbott, Horstmann.

Replacements: Arr for Perry (66), Shervington for Lutui (73),
Cowan for Abbott (20).

Not Used: C. Jones, Douglas, Gillies, Gray, Fatiaki.

Newcastle: Pens: Gopperth 3.

Newcastle: Manning, Uys, Helleur, Fitzpatrick, A. Tait, Gopperth, Stringer, Golding, Thompson, Murray, Swinson, Goode, Tu'ifua, Welch, Hogg.

Replacements: Goosen for Manning (75), Sheriffe for Uys (70),
Shiells for Golding (66), Graham for Thompson (64), Fondse for Goode (70), Wilson for Tu'ifua (73).

Not used: Wells, Chudley.

Attendance: 11,202

Referee: Sean Davey (RFU).

Gopperth's opposite number Andy Goode booted 14 points via four penalties and a conversion, his final strike denying Newcastle the consolation of a losing bonus after their hopes of a first league away triumph since February last year had already vanished.

Eleventh-placed Wasps, who host Newcastle on the regular league season's final day in early May, are not expected to gain anything from their trip to title play-off contenders Northampton on Saturday.

But Newcastle's latest defeat – their 13th from 18 Premiership starts this term – has upped the ante for remaining fixtures at home to Sale Sharks and Saracens and away against Gloucester and Wasps.

Rugby director Gary Gold, who will make way for Dean Richards next season, could not fault the effort or commitment of his players, yet Falcons lacked sufficient attacking flair or invention to seriously threaten scoring a try.

Newcastle gave loan signing Peter Stringer his Falcons debut, the Ireland international scrum-half having arrived at Kingston Park after completing a similar short-term stint with league champions Saracens.

Worcester, meanwhile, welcomed back wing Marcel Garvey and number eight Kai Horstmann after injury lay-offs as the Warriors looked to put further distance between themselves and the Premiership danger zone.

The form guide suggested a Warriors win, given they had lost just once at home in all competitions since mid-November, while Newcastle could reflect on a solitary Premiership away victory in almost two years.

Conditions were perfect for an open, running game, yet Newcastle arrived with so much at stake that for them it was all about winning, pure and simple.

Gopperth sent a rushed early drop-goal shot wide of the Worcester posts, but with both sides opting for sustained kicking strategies, clear-cut attacking opportunities were few and far between.

Kicking game: Newcastle rarely threatened to cross Worcester's line

Kicking game: Newcastle rarely threatened to cross Worcester's line

Defences also cancelled each other out, especially in a congested midfield area, yet Newcastle secured enough of a territorial advantage for Gopperth to kick them ahead after 13 minutes.

Neither side could get a grip on the contest, not helped by increasingly wayward and largely pointless kicking that merely gifted possession to the other team.

There was a chronic lack of confidence and imagination displayed in attack, yet Newcastle would have been far happier than their hosts as half-time approached.

Goode landed an equalising penalty just before the interval, but the Falcons finished a dire opening 40 metres with a degree of territorial control and feeling they could probably push on and secure a priceless away triumph.

Referee JP Doyle's half-time whistle could not come soon enough for Worcester, with the Warriors looking a pale shadow of the side that had beaten Saracens and Gloucester at home in the Premiership since Christmas.

Worcester, it is safe to presume, would have received an interval rocket from their head coach Richard Hill, but it was Gopperth who made the first notable contribution after the break.

The prolific marksman found his range from 48 metres to inch Newcastle back in front, although there were signs of Worcester's forwards stirring into life.

And some impressive work by the home pack ended with Newcastle infringing, allowing Goode an easy penalty chance that he accepted to make it 6-6.

Gopperth, though, restored Newcastle's advantage by completing his penalty hat-trick, and when Goode matched his achievement shortly afterwards following a slashing break by Warriors wing Miles Benjamin, the game was tied again entering its final quarter.

Worcester were far more dangerous with ball in hand than they had been in the first half, looking to find Benjamin and Garvey, who enjoyed increasing amounts of room.

And it came as no surprise when Grove crossed 15 minutes from time, his touchdown ending a prolonged spell around Newcastle's 22 that ultimately cracked open Falcons' well-organised defence.

Goode converted and then slotted his fourth penalty just a minute from time, leaving the prospect of Newcastle playing Championship rugby next season looking an increasingly likely one.

Blackburn fans will hold 24 hour protest against Venky"s

Blackburn fans to take drastic 24-hour protest action against Venky's

Blackburn Rovers fans will undertake an astonishing 24-hour demonstration outside Ewood Park from Friday, in protest against owners Venky's.

The organisers have called off their truce with the club which began on December 3, and will resume their action more vehemently than ever.

The fans' group had halted their protests in a temporary peace deal, but say the club have not kept their promise to hold a meeting to discuss their concerns.

Resumed: Action against the owners and manager has resumed

Resumed: Action against the owners and manager has resumed

Day: Blackburn fans will protest for an entire day

Day: Blackburn fans will protest for an entire day

Little support: Steve Kean has few backers at Ewood Park

Little support: Steve Kean has few backers at Ewood Park

A statement from the fans' group said: 'Despite organisers arranging no protest for the last seven matches the club has failed to deliver on the promises and pledges they made.

'This protest will be aimed at Venky's, the legal owners of Blackburn Rovers football club.'

There will also be a protest march to Ewood Park ahead of the match against Fulham on Saturday.

Organisers Glen Mullan and Simon Littler recently released a statement which read:

'The aim of the protests, as from the start, will be about the removal of Steve Kean as first-team manager, Venky's as owners of the club and now the removal of the board of directors.

'The intensity of the protest will increase substantially.

'As Blackburn Rovers fans we have no choice but to try to ensure we preserve the legacy left by the late Jack Walker.

'While we appreciate that this era is in the past, the failure by Venky's and the current board of directors to build on his legacy leaves fans with very little if anything to cling on to.'

Saga: Blackburn are embroiled in a relegation scrap

Saga: Blackburn are embroiled in a relegation scrap

Since calling off the protests in December Blackburn have been knocked out of the FA Cup and suffered defeats to Stoke, Bolton, West Brom and Sunderland.

Although they achieved a creditable victory over Manchester United and a draw with Liverpool, the fans are understandably unhappy with the club's current league position.

Blackburn fans to "increase" protests against Steve Kean and Venky"s

Enough is enough! Blackburn fans to 'increase' protests against Kean and Venky's

Blackburn fans are planning to step up their campaign to rid the struggling Premier League club of their under-fire manager, owners and board of directors with 'increased intensity'.

A section of Rovers supporters have demonstrated against manager Steve Kean and owners Venky's at several Ewood Park fixtures this season.

Outrage: Blackburn boss Steve Kean faces renewed calls to resign from the club's fans

Outrage: Blackburn boss Steve Kean faces renewed calls to resign from the club's fans

The action was officially postponed for the final two home matches of 2011, although losses in those games against West Brom and Bolton saw many fans continue to vent their anger anyway.

Blackburn then enjoyed an upturn in form, securing a 1-1 draw at Liverpool and a shock 3-2 victory at Manchester United, and even though they lost Monday's home game against Stoke 2-1, Kean praised the Rovers supporters for getting behind their team.

However, organisers Glen Mullan and Simon Littler have now released a statement confirming that further protests are planned.

It read: 'The aim of the protests, as from the start, will be about the removal of Steve Kean as first-team manager, Venky's as owners of the club and now the removal of the board of directors.

Under pressure: Kean faces a fight to keep Blackburn in the Premier League

Under pressure: Kean faces a fight to keep Blackburn in the Premier League

'The intensity of the protest will increase substantially.

'As Blackburn Rovers fans we have no choice but to try to ensure we preserve the legacy left by the late Jack Walker.

'While we appreciate that this era is in the past, the failure by Venky's and the current board of directors to build on his legacy leaves fans with very little if anything to cling on to.'

Frustration: Fans have also vented anger towards unpopular owners Venky's

Frustration: Fans have also vented anger towards unpopular owners Venky's

Prior to the postponement in December, Mullan had revealed that communication between protesters and the club had improved, but it is claimed in the latest statement that Blackburn have failed to keep promises on that front.

Rovers, currently 19th in the table, host Fulham in their next league match on January 14, with a trip to Newcastle in the FA Cup to come before that this weekend.