Tag Archives: samoa

Ospreys sign Tito Tebaldi

Ospreys snap up Italian scrum-half Tebaldi on two-year deal to replace outgoing Fotuali'l

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

12:24 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 2 March 2013

The Ospreys have announced the signing of Italy international Tito Tebaldi on a two-year deal.

The scrum-half, who has won 16 caps, will move to the Liberty Stadium from Ospreys' fellow RaboDirect PRO12 team Zebre.

And he is set to fill the void left by Samoa scrum-half Kahn Fotuali'l, who is set to join Aviva Premiership club Northampton next term.

Inbound: Tito Tebaldi has joined Ospreys

Inbound: Tito Tebaldi has joined Ospreys

Tebaldi, 25, said: 'I am excited about this fantastic opportunity with the Ospreys.

'Their record in the PRO12 speaks for itself, and the chance to be a part of such a successful club is something I couldn't turn down.

'I am looking forward to a new challenge in a competitive environment that will help me to improve as a player and a person, while hopefully contributing to the continued success of the Ospreys.'

Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny discharged from hospital

Wales full-back Halfpenny discharged from hospital after neck injury

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UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 2 December 2012

Leigh Halfpenny was discharged from hospital today after being carried off during Wales' 14-12 defeat against Australia at the Millennium Stadium.

The Wales full-back was hurt during the dramatic closing seconds yesterday. He had earlier kicked four penalties to put Wales within sight of victory.

Halfpenny, 23, was taken to Cardiff's University Hospital Wales, where he underwent scans after complaining of neck pain.

Treatment: Wales Leigh Halfpenny receives attention games against Australia

Treatment: Wales Leigh Halfpenny receives attention games against Australia

'He was immediately admitted to hospital to exclude any serious neck injury, a process which thankfully has now been concluded,' the Welsh Rugby Union said, in a statement.

Cardiff Blues player Halfpenny added: 'I want to say thank you to all of the medical teams who have looked after me following my injury yesterday.

'The paramedics, WRU and Millennium Stadium medical teams were outstanding. All of the staff at University Hospital Wales were also amazing.

Taken away: Leigh Halfpenny was taken to hospital

Taken away: Leigh Halfpenny was taken to hospital

'Everyone has been so supportive, and the care that I have had has been incredibly professional and second to none.

'I would also like to thank all of those who have been sending me messages of support following the injury.'

The WRU added that Halfpenny would now undertake a period of treatment and rehabilitation to ensure a swift return to play.

Halfpenny, a major contender to tour Australia with the British and Irish Lions next summer, was Wales' outstanding performer during an autumn series that produced losses to Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia.

Rhys Priestland is seeing a sports psychologist to regain form

Wales fly-half Priestland reveals he's having therapy to halt declining form

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UPDATED:

01:05 GMT, 26 November 2012

Rhys Priestland has revealed that he is seeing a sports psychologist in a desperate bid to recapture his form.

The Wales fly-half has been severely criticised for his performances during Wales' run of sixth consecutive defeats and has now quit Twitter because of the torrent of abuse.

Following the 33-10 thumping by New Zealand at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, Priestland said: 'After Samoa (which Wales lost 26-19) I did not want to leave the flat or see anyone, I felt I had let people down.

Desperate: Rhys Priestland is talking to a therapist to regain his form

Desperate: Rhys Priestland is talking to a therapist to regain his form

'The poor performances were a lot to do with me because I have been playing with blinkers on.

'I buried my head in the sand, cutting myself away and that has been the problem. One of the issues I have is I have not been asking for help.

'I have started to see the sports psychiatrist we used during the World Cup and he has been really good. A lot of the boys have been using Andy McCann so I thought I would give it a shot because I had nothing to lose.

'I have tried to address it and hopefully I can get back to the way I have been playing.'

Priestland was the surprise star of Wales' run to the World Cup semi-final last year but his form has been on a steady descent ever since and Warren Gatland's stubborn commitment to stick with him regardless is a cause of fierce debate in the pubs of Queen Street.

United: Priestland (right) says a number of the Wales team use a sports psychologist

United: Priestland (right) says a number of the Wales team use a sports psychologist

Alternative: James Hook received a massive cheer when he was introduced against New Zealand on Saturday

Alternative: James Hook received a massive cheer when he was introduced against New Zealand on Saturday

Wales have a very able deputy in James Hook and the Perpignan playmaker was greeted with one of the loudest cheers of the afternoon when he replaced Priestland with 13 minutes left to play.

Unfortunately, next week's game against Australia falls outside the official IRB Test window, so Hook has to return to his club in France.

With alternative Dan Biggar unlikely to be fit Wales must stick with Priestland for another week at least.

Sam Warburton says Wales must beat New Zealand to become immortal

EXCLUSIVE: Warburton claims Wales must forget the defeats and beat New Zealand to become… IMMORTAL

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 18 November 2012

Sam Warburton believes his Wales team will become 'immortal' if they can stop the rot and beat the world's No 1 team New Zealand on Saturday.

The Wales captain was left on the bench for Friday night's gruesome defeat by Samoa but will return to the starting line-up to face the World Cup winners.

After five defeats on the trot, Warburton admits this will be his hardest week as leader of a team desperately fighting for form.

Humiliated: Samoa beat Wales on Friday

Humiliated: Samoa beat Wales on Friday

Head coach Warren Gatland, who has been focusing on his duty as Lions head coach for the past eight months, returns this morning to take his first hands-on training session since preparing for Wales's Grand Slam game against France in March.

He inherits a team who haven't won a real Test match since then, and has only five days to prepare them to face an imperious All Blacks side they haven't beaten since 1953.

But Warburton believes history can inspire Wales.

'The players know the team that beat the All Blacks 60 years ago are all remembered for that victory,' he said.

'The players appreciate that if they were fortunate enough to beat the All Blacks then it would almost make them immortal.

'I think Wales would go crazy. It would be one of the biggest achievements in the modern game for Welsh rugby because nobody has experienced it for a long time.

'We've had such good support over the last few years in packed houses because the supporters believe we can actually win these now.'

Warburton himself can expect plenty of scrutiny over his personal duel with All Blacks captain and fellow openside Richie McCaw.

Immortal Sam Warburton (right) hopes Wales can forget the defeats and beat New Zealand

Immortal Sam Warburton (right) hopes Wales can forget the defeats and beat New Zealand

ITALY FORCE THE KIWIS TO DIG DEEP

World champions New Zealand overcame a sluggish start to beat Italy 42-10 on Saturday in front of a 70,000 crowd in Rome's Olympic Stadium.

Tries from Kieran Read, Ma'a Nonu, Cory Jane and Julian Savea (2), plus 17 points from the boot of Aaron Cruden were enough for New Zealand to see off Jacques Brunel's team.

But Italy trailed just 13-7 at half-time after an Alberto Sgarbi try and All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said: 'I thought the attitude of Italy's game was outstanding.'

McCaw has been the master openside flanker of the modern game and if the Wales skipper can win that battle then he can set the tone for his team to follow.

'I've only faced McCaw once so I'm looking forward to a second battle against him,' he said.

'He's a player I definitely looked up to growing up.

'The style McCaw plays is the type of back rower similar to myself. But I've never tried to become any player, I've always wanted to be my own player.

As a kid I'd try to pick the best bits from certain players' games and try to implement them into my own.

'How many turnovers each No 7 gets in a game has become a one-on-one battle. You're not responsible for all of them but you can try to be responsible for about half. The turnover contest is probably the most intense battle a seven has.'

After the defeat by Samoa, the Welsh public made their feelings clear.

Warburton's sister quit Twitter at the weekend because she was fed up of reading the abuse the players were getting.

Wales are in genuine danger of slipping outside the world's top eight by the end of the autumn internationals – which would leave them facing two teams ranked higher in their World Cup group when the draw is made on December 3 – but Warburton believes they can turn it around.

'The players aren't going to forget the way we played back in the World Cup, in the Six Nations and in the summer – that doesn't just go with the click of the fingers,' he said.

Relishing it: Warburton is looking forward to going up against Richie McCaw (right)

Relishing it: Warburton is looking forward to going up against Richie McCaw (right)

'It's the same players. It's not as if it's a new squad and we've brought new guys in. We're just going through a rough patch but we know we can pull it out the bag.

'It's definitely been the toughest time since I've been involved in the starting team. That's five Tests on the bounce we've lost and I haven't experienced that before.

'It's easier when you're winning and it's a test now for a lot of the leaders in the squad to make sure that we put things right. I couldn't play solo sports because I'd beat myself up. We're a great bunch of lads, good mates, and as long as we stay tight and keep working our nuts off we'll get the rewards.'

Warburton has downplayed the return of Gatland, but the head coach must do something radical. 'Warren's been floating around the camp anyway and not too much has changed because the environment has stayed the same with Rob.

Underdogs: Warburton claims the pressure is off when Wales welcome New Zealand

Underdogs: Warburton claims the pressure is off when Wales welcome New Zealand

The intensity in training has been similar but I'm sure his presence will be felt, as a great coach, and hopefully that can be a factor in playing better next week.'

As for the weekend, the pressure is off. 'I guess now there's no pressure on us because nobody will expect anything on Saturday. It's a game which I'll always look forward to, playing the All Blacks at home. That's why it's sold out.

'That's why there are underdogs in sport. If it was predictable nobody would watch it. There's every chance we can win on Saturday.

'We have to believe we can win. Whether people think that's realistic or not is up to them.'

Scotland must improve – Tim Visser

Scotland hero Visser eyes further improvement in final Tour match

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 17 June 2012

Scotland know they will still have to improve if they are to make it three Test wins out of three when they take on Samoa on Saturday.

They followed their stunning victory over Australia by beating Fiji 37-25 in a bruising encounter, with Dutch winger Tim Visser, who was making his debut, scoring two tries.

Crunch: Scotland's Simon Danielli is hit in the head by Fiji's Koli Sewabu

Crunch: Scotland's Simon Danielli is hit in the head by Fiji's Koli Sewabu

After a lacklustre second half which alllowed Fiji back into the game, Visser said: ‘There was a lot of good rugby but also a lot of stuff that we said we wouldn’t do.

‘It showed how dangerous they are ball in hand because every time they got a turnover we were under pressure. There is still a lot to work on.’