Entertainment Today's rugby headlines as coach backs Jonathan Davies to reclaim Wales spot and S4C to show English Premiership rugby
The reasons behind the Wales team selection to face New Zealand
Wales have announced the team that will face New Zealand on Saturday and this is the verdictRugby correspondent Simon Thomas looks at the thinking behind Wayne Pivac’s selection for the autumn opener at the Principality Stadium.
Here are your rugby morning headlines for Tuesday 23 November.
Peel backs Foxy to wrestle back Wales jersey
Scarlets coach Dwayne Peel has backed Jonathan Davies to nail down a Six Nations starting spot for Wales.
Two-time Lions tourist Davies wasn't involved in Wales' last two matches of the autumn against Fiji and Australia - with Wayne Pivac putting it down to wanting to look at other centre options.
However, the fact that the 99-cap Test international didn't feature in the important autumn finale against the Wallabies has brought about questions concerning his future - especially as Pivac noted they see Davies as more of a 12, with his two starts at 13 this autumn more out of necessity than anything else.
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However, Peel believes consistent rugby for his region - first in South Africa and then in Europe and the festive derbies - will get him on the right track for Wales' title defence.
"Jon’s good and is looking forward to the next couple of weeks," he said. "He’s a great Scarlet, captains us and loves the club.
"He’s eager to get back.
"We’re looking forward to getting him back in the fold and giving him some rugby.
And when asked whether he backed Davies to wrestle back a starting spot during the Six Nations, Peel was adamant in his answer.
"Yeah, definitely," he added.
"He’s a class player and has been for many years. He also played at the start of Wales' campaign.
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"I’m backing him 100 percent."
S4C set to bag Gallagher Premiership highlights
S4C are set to broadcast highlights from England's Gallagher Premiership.
report that S4C could show highlights of English domestic rugby in the new year. BT Sports currently show live coverage of the Premiership, but Channel 5 decided not to renew their contract to show highlights.
The report adds that, despite currently broadcasting live matches from the United Rugby Championship, S4C are confident they will post high viewing figures with English highlights.
Plus, just as was the case with their Autumn Nations Cup coverage last year, there is the potential for English-based fans to turn to the Welsh language channel for free-to-air coverage.
Sara Elgan is tipped to present, with former England prop David Flatman and ex-Wales centre Jamie Roberts likely to be involved in some capacity.
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It comes as S4C also announced coverage of Indigo Group Premiership' matches live online every Thursday night throughout the season ahead.
Starting with Swansea’s trip to face Aberavon at the Talbot Athletic Ground on Thursday 9th December (7.30pm), a different league game will be shown each week.
All of The Indigo Group Premiership clubs are set to benefit from live coverage at least once in the first seven weekends alone, with the matches to be shown via a new S4C series - Indigo Prem.
The matches will be available online on the S4C Clic player, the S4C Facebook Live page and S4C YouTube page and will also feature on the WRU’s own website and WRU Facebook.
Cheika backs Rennie's referee complaints
Australia head coach Dave Rennie has found support from predecessor Michael Cheika following his criticism on the match officials after Saturday's defeat to Wales.
Rennie specifically targeted South African TMO Marius Jonker and his decisions in both of their autumn defeats to Scotland and Wales.
According to Rennie, a number of decisions went against his side as Kurtley Beale was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on while Wales centre Nick Tompkins was allowed to score a try despite the Wallabies alleging he'd deliberately knocked the ball on - even though it was adjudged to have gone backwards.
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Rennie was already frustrated by the South African official's decision to sin-bin Allan Alaalatoa at Murrayfield- a decision that World Rugby later described as incorrect.
“I’ve been right there, right where he’s standing, feeling just like that, and I want to give him my support right now,” said Cheika, who had his fair share of run-ins with referees during his time as Wallabies coach.
“Coach Rennie is pointing out that incident [with Tompkins] but I think it’s the accumulation [of rulings], also the involvement of the TMO in many decisions, and he’ll be feeling frustrated because, just like me, he felt his side had played really well and gritty.
“Like he [Rennie] said, they deserved more on the night. He’ll be feeling that now, so let’s give him a bit of room to vent and tomorrow he’ll be sweet.”
Former Springbok coach: World Rugby right to ban Rassie
Former South Africa coach Nick Mallett has said that World Rugby was correct to hand Rassie Erasmus a ban, but lamented the length of time the independent committee took to come to a decision.
Speaking onalongside former Springboks Schalk Burger and Gcobani Bobo, Mallett said he was disappointed that the whole process was not dealt with quicker, but added that ultimately the decision to suspend Erasmus was correct.
Planet Rugby’s World Rankings for 2021
Planet Rugby features writer James While ranks the best international teams from 1 to 10 at the conclusion of a thrilling Autumn Nations Series.World Rugby’s list is somewhat different to our features writer James While’s run-down, so without further ado here comes our 10 sides in ascending order.
"First of all, it took a tremendous amount of time before this came out and that’s a real disappointment,” Mallett explained.
“If a player gets sent off for a red card, it’s done within a week. Obviously, they [World Rugby] were very concerned with what happened.
"They were very concerned about the defence that SA Rugby and Rassie were going to put up. They didn’t want to slip up on this at all and they wanted to make sure they crossed their Ts and dotted their Is with regard to the report.
“It’s taken ages, four months I think, before it has come out. They have come down very, very heavily on Rassie. If you look at what they were asked to adjudicate on, it’s hard to argue that they were incorrect. Some of them: threatening a match official unless a requested meeting took place."
“When you go through his tape, it’s not a question of whether he was correct if Nic Berry had a poor game, which I still believe Nic Berry did have a very poor game. That wasn’t what they were allowed to adjudicate on. They had to adjudicate on whether Rassie broke World Rugby laws in terms of the way in which directors of rugby and coaches deal with decisions.
“In South Africa, we have slightly confused the issue. We’ve said that perhaps they should have looked and seen what the mistakes were that Nic Berry made and that should mitigate against what Rassie did. Unfortunately, when you are an affiliate of World Rugby, you have to obey World Rugby’s laws.
“As a rugby player you can say ‘I don’t like the maul therefore I am going to collapse it’ but you are always going to get penalised if you collapse the maul. You might not like the law, but you have to play by it. Rassie is a director of rugby and he has to abide by World Rugby laws and he was found that he didn’t. He has been heavily sanctioned for that.”
Burger agreed that Erasmus was wrong in the manner in which he went about making the 62-minute video critiquing Nic Berry that earned him the suspension, while Bobo argued that World Rugby was not blameless and there needs to be more accountability for referees in the future.
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Who the the referee for Celtic v Hearts, Rangers game at Hibs and each SPFL midweek match in cinch Premiership and Trust Trophy? .
It’s hard to move for Scottish football this week after a weekend choc-ful of fixtures, there’s a match every day this week to satisfy fans of all clubs and levels. © Referee appointments for this weekend's Scottish fixtures Following Monday night’s conclusion of the Scottish Cup third round, when Darvel made the trip north to Brechin City for their televised game, the fourth round draw – including Rangers, Celtic, holders St Johnstone and all the cinch Premiership sides was made. © Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Kick off 7.