Sport Warren Gatland's struggling Chiefs could be rescued by stunning Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje signings

14:16  07 august  2020
14:16  07 august  2020 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

'He's getting better as he gets older' — Sir Clive Woodward dubs Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones a rugby 'freak'

  'He's getting better as he gets older' — Sir Clive Woodward dubs Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones a rugby 'freak' Woodward names Wales captain as one of three genuine contenders to lead the Lions against world champions South AfricaHe insists the Welsh colossus is a genuine Lions captaincy contender against South Africa next summer, even though he will be nearing 36 by the time of the tour.

Owen Farrell , Maro Itoje and Co narrowly lost out to Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership semi-final, freeing them up to join their new team-mates. Mako Vunipola, George Kruis and Jamie George were the other Sarries men to be put through their paces under the watchful eye of Gatland .

The Six Nations is nearly upon us as France face Warren Gatland ' s Wales on Friday to kick things off. World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward gives his verdict on the Six Nations contenders: With Owen Farrell fit, England can seize Ireland's crown.

Warren Gatland’s embattled Chiefs could be given a Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell lifeline by Champions Cup holders Saracens.

The English club, who will be relegated to next season's Championship due to salary cap breaches, are considering loaning out the pair and other stars to Super Rugby.

Gatland’s Chiefs would be the favourite to be the main beneficiaries if the proposal comes off ahead of the Lions tour of South Africa.

They have been beaten in their seven matches in the all-New Zealand Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament to be bottom of the table with one fixture remaining.

Beauden Barrett fires back at booing rugby fans as he prepares for fly-half return against Warren Gatland's Chiefs

  Beauden Barrett fires back at booing rugby fans as he prepares for fly-half return against Warren Gatland's Chiefs The New Zealand superstar was unhappy after being targeted during his return to the city where he made his name The former world player of the year was repeatedly booed by some Hurricanes supporters during his Super Rugby return to Wellington.

Maro Itoje stepped up his injury return with an assured performance against Glasgow Warriors Credit: Getty Images. The loss of Farrell would be a body blow to England, but Itoje insists the squad is full of leaders and could cope in Portugal and in the Six Nations.

He claimed every since Warren Gatland has coach plays with the same pattern. If he wants to get Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell on at the same time, they’ll put a big physical boy at centre. Gatland will continue to experiment over the coming weeks but Hansen believes there could be

That has taken Chiefs' losing streak to eight in all competitions this year to put the former Wales boss under growing pressure.

Although Gatland won’t officially be on duty with the Hamilton-based franchise next year because of his sabbatical with the best of British and Irish rugby, he would be a key figure in putting any deal together concerning Farrell and company.

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall revealed he has already been in talks with Gatland about Itoje, Farrell, Jamie George, Elliot Daly and Mako and Billy Vunipola.

Apart from No.8 Billy Vunipola, who was injured, the others starred for the Lions in the Gatland-plotted drawn Test series with New Zealand three years ago.

Asked about possible Super Rugby loans, McCall said: “I don’t think it is out of the question.

Rugby: Japan and Fiji to join Six Nations sides in eight-team tournament - report

  Rugby: Japan and Fiji to join Six Nations sides in eight-team tournament - report Rugby: Japan and Fiji to join Six Nations sides in eight-team tournament - reportThe tournament is scheduled to begin on Nov. 14, two weeks after the completion of the Six Nations Championship which was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in March.

Owen Farrell turns up for training with heavily strapped quad, but coach Warren Gatland is still in high spirits as British and Farrell appeared in training on Friday, with an ice pack strapped to his left leg, and was unable to take part in the full session as Warren Gatland ' s men were put through their paces.

Lions chief Warren Gatland named an unchanged side after levelling the seriesCredit: Sportsfile. OWEN FARRELL . LETHAL passing and kicking game but also has to put in another shift in the defensive Wales stars jet off to Barbados after coronavirus cancels Scotland game. MARO ITOJE .

“I don’t think, if that was to happen, it would be for very long. It would be to get enough rugby to make sure they are firing come the Lions tour.

“I talked to Warren on Monday and he was very happy with the situation.”

Should it happen, it would be after next season’s Six Nations with Farrell, George, Mako and Billy Vunipola, Itoje and Daly all set to be integral figures in England coach Eddie Jones’ squad.

“The Lions have a warm-up game before the tour where I would expect all of our players selected to tour to be involved,” said McCall.

“There are some warm-up games before the first Test match and that might be enough for them.

“The opportunity has arisen for these players to have a little bit of a different year and we will look to use it as wisely as we can.”

McCall said Saracens are ready to use his super six stars sparingly in the Championship.

“The most important thing for us, if I am honest, is that we get promoted, that is going to be the first priority.”

Warren Gatland's crisis deepens amid yet another controversial defeat

  Warren Gatland's crisis deepens amid yet another controversial defeat The Chiefs have lost for a record eighth consecutive matchIt is a record eighth successive loss for the Chiefs and they have now also lost six home matches on the spin.

Maro Itoje admits he knows some people find his style of play annoying. It is the trademark 'I am not really concerned about the feelings of people I play against,' says Maro Itoje - a steeliness to his tone. Destructive. Chilled. He can be terse, monosyllabic and curt too as well as engaging, affable

England are hoping to rush back Maro Itoje against Italy after Courtney Lawes joined their casualty list following a calf ‘We can ’t get the added extras now but we can still win the Six Nations.’ The prop undid a strong performance with two costly penalties. Warren Gatland said the youngster needs to

But he added: “Those senior players might only need a couple of Championship games to keep them ticking over.

“If they need more competitive rugby there are avenues to make decisions with that player.”

Saracens have lost nine senior players due to their enforced relegation, while six more flourishing talents, including Dragons-bound Wales find Nick Tompkins, have headed on loan before returning to north London for the 2021-22. campaign

England boss Jones has already insisted he will have few qualms selecting Saracens’ experienced Test campaigners while they are competing in the Championship.

McCall believes those players will have ideal preparation for the autumn completion of the Six Nations, and the one-off eight-team Test tournament which is being staged.

Saracens will take on Bristol on August 15 when the Premiership returns from the coronavirus shutdown, with McCall enthusiastic about what is in store.

“They’re going to have just about the perfect lead into the autumn internationals, they’re going to have just about enough very competitive games,” he said.

“They’ve got a huge role to play in terms of the standards they set here, which they’ve done already in this pre-season, and they’re hugely important going forward even though they probably won’t play that many Championship matches.”

Formidable lock Itoje will be in the running to captain the Lions in South Africa with Gatland having name-checked him, with Farrell also chief among the contenders.

McCall believes either could comfortably lead the tourists into battle with the World Cup holders.

“I genuinely think that both of those players would do a phenomenal job,” said McCall.

“Probably a slightly different job but they would do a phenomenal job. I think they are both ready to do it.”

Ross Moriarty says he 'got stuck' in Warren Gatland's Wales game plan .
The Dragons and Wales star is relishing taking to the pitch againThe Dragons number eight can't wait to get back on the pitch this weekend as the region face the Ospreys on Sunday.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 15
This is interesting!