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A five-match losing streak, Beale suspended, Hill’s job in jeopardy, talk of O’Connor going to the Brumbies… and now captain Gareth Delve is out with soreness for this weekend’s match against the Force. Scott Higginbotham steps up to skipperhood.
Link firms in post-Kidney stakes
The Irish Times surveys the field of candidates for the national coach’s job and puts Ewen McKenzie, Les Kiss and Leinster’s Joe Schmidt out in front. Speaking of Link, here’s his latest column at the Sydney Morning Herald: Waratahs want to run? We’ve been doing it for years. Despite the provocative title, it couldn’t be blander.
Welsh tipped for Lions spots
Still in the home countries, the pundits are favouring the stars of Wales’s Six Nations triumph for Lions selection. BBC Sport asked former internationals Jonathan Davies, Jeremy Guscott, Keith Wood, and Andy Nicol to name their first XVs — however, the only names the foursome agree on are Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Jones and Brian O’Driscoll. Also at the Beeb, Bryn Palmer put plenty of Welshmen in his recent Six Nations Team of the Tournament.
Across the dutch, the 3News site had a fine headline the other day: Stephen Donald gets out of Bath for Japan. The Don, who’s heading to the Mitsubishi Dynaboars, will be joining Anthony Boric, Richard Kahui, Lelia Masaga, Ben May and Adam Thomson in the off-season onsen. According to AAP via FoxSports, Cliffy Palu also likes the idea.