Your rugby morning headlines for Tuesday, April 12.
England legend’s classy nod to Gibbs
England legend Neil Back has thanked Scott Gibbs for changing his side’s approach to closing out matches as a result of the iconic try he scored for Wales against his team at Wembley.
The English looked on course to secure a hard-fought victory over Graham Henry’s side on April 11, 1999 until Gibbs scored a memorable try late on – with Neil Jenkins’ subsequent conversion seeing Wales clinch a dramatic 32-31 triumph. Prior to that late comeback, England opted against kicking a penalty to move into a nine-point lead, instead kicking for a touch in a decision which saw them yield zero points.
And 23 years on from what was the final ever Five Nations fixture, Back took to social media to send a classy message to try scorer Gibbs.
“Thank you @GibbsScott. You / @WalesRugby taught @EnglandRugby an important lesson that day,” he wrote on Twitter. “Six points up we elected to kick for the corner, future games when six points up we took points ‘three, six, nine the opposition have to score twice’. Met your dad sat in Aberystwyth top bloke like his son.”
Wales’ victory in that memorable encounter ensured England missed out on the Grand Slam as well as the Five Nations title, with Scotland taking the trophy after defeating France 36-22 on the final day of the tournament.
Where does Scott Gibbs’ try against England in the 1999 rank in the list of best ever Welsh tries scored? Have your say in the comments section below.
Players to be given welfare surveys
Rugby players are set to be considered on the future of the game and player welfare issues when World Rugby seeks their opinions in the form of a survey.
The Daily Mail is reporting that current players will be among a group – which also includes ex-players, coaches and medical staff – that are involved. Player welfare is one of the hottest topics in the game at the moment, specifically the management of concussion
“In the coming weeks we’ll be inviting everybody in the sport at every level to participate in what will be the biggest consultation ever undertaken on the welfare of players within rugby,” World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin told the Mail.
“Rugby must evolve if the game is going to be attractive, relevant and credible for the next generation of both players and fans.
“That means making the sport all it can be when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of both current and future players and of course former players at all levels of the game.
“We are very focused on this. That they have been made evident by the continued public interest around the high-profile public debate on concussion. In the men’s Six Nations tournament we’ve just seen, the debate around concussion has been more extensive than ever The need to progress in this area is very strong and very evident.
“We will not stand still. That commitment is shared by everyone in World Rugby at all levels.
“We need to hear all the voices in the debate and therefore everybody in the rugby family has a role to play to make sure we’re progressive.”
All Black out for six months after surgery
Anton Lienert-Brown is set to be sidelined for six months as he requires shoulder surgery.
The 26-year-old took a heavy hit from Sam Nock at a ruck during the Chiefs ’25-0 Super Rugby Pacific loss to the Blues on Saturday. And Lienert-Brown has confirmed they are set for a lengthy spell out of action.
“Shoulder is going to need a bit more work than I was hoping, going under the knife this week which will put me out for six months,” he wrote on Instagram. “A bump in the road but the journey continues. I’ll be back. Appreciate all the support.”
Read more:‘What more must they do to get on the plane to South Africa?’ The outstanding form of the Welsh flanker demanding attention
‘Exceptional’ Ulster winger signs contract days after Champions Cup heroics
Robert Baloucoune has signed a new contract with Ulster just days after scoring a hat-trick in his side’s Champions Cup triumph over Toulouse.
The 24-year-old produced a sublime display as the Irish side earned a 26-20 win over the 14-man hosts in the first leg of the round of 16 encounter in France. And it has been confirmed that Baloucoune – who made his Ireland debut last year – has put pen to paper on a new three-year deal to remain with Ulster until the summer of 2025.
“I’m delighted to have extended my contract with Ulster for three more years,” they said. continue to grow together. ”
Head Coach, Dan McFarland, said: “Rob is an exceptional talent, and it’s fantastic that a player of his caliber has committed their future to our province. Not only does he possess a devastating pace, with the ability to score tries from anywhere, but he is also a superb defender, as he showcased against Toulouse.
“I’m looking forward to what Rob will deliver in the Ulster jersey over the coming seasons.”