Wenesday’s rugby news has speculation on an overseas contract, Cooper continuing with the Sevens, a new Tahs CEO and a Welsh doping ban.
Beale joining exodus
Kurtley Beale is reportedly set to sign a record two-year deal worth $1.35 million-per-season with the London Wasps. Such a deal is unlikely to be matched by the Australian Rugby Union even if Beale enters into a flexible deal which allows him to play in Japan.
It would make the Waratahs playmaker the highest-paid player in the English premiership, and the equal-highest paid Australian abroad along with Matt Giteau at Toulon. Crucially, the 27-year-old would still be able to play for the Wallabies given he has now played 60 tests for Australia.
Friend names new look team
Quade Cooper has been given permission by French club Toulon to continue his sevens education with Australia at this weekend’s Vancouver round of the World Series. The 27-year-old was deemed insufficiently prepared to play on home soil in Sydney and finally made his debut in Las Vegas last weekend, helping Australia to the final.
Australia coach Andy Friend’s team includes five changes. Playmaker Lewis Holland and veteran James Stannard are both recalled while 21-year-old loose forward Conor Mitchell is set to make his national sevens debut. The other new faces are Stephan van der Walt and John Porch.
New Tahs CEO named
New Zealander Andrew Hore has been appointed as the new chief executive of both the NSW Waratahs and the NSW Rugby Union. He replaces Greg Harris, who announced his departure last August, just six months into the job. “As a seasoned administrator, with experience in international rugby circles, Andrew brings to the joint CEO role a unique set of competency skills that distinguished him from the other quality candidates in the global search,” Waratahs chairman Roger Davis said said.
Hore – not to be confused with the ex-All Blacks hooker of the same name – has spent the past eight years as chief operating officer then CEO of Wales-based rugby club Ospreys. Before that he was high performance manager for the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Welsh player banned
A Welsh rugby union player has been banned from all sport for two years following an anti-doping rule violation. UK Anti-Doping said 19-year-old Adam Buttifant, who played for Bargoed Rugby Club, tested positive for metabolites of an anabolic steroid following an out-of-competition test in June last year.
Buttifant becomes the 12th Welsh rugby player serving a drugs ban. Nicole Sapstead, Ukad’s chief executive said: “Adam Buttifant is a young rugby player who had a promising playing career ahead of him,” adding, “Athletes must follow the principal of ‘Strict Liability’, which means they are solely responsible for any banned substance found in their system.”