Rugby Union: Barnard called to replace Jenkins

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The Independent Online
Pontypridd have called up Andre Barnard, a centre from South Africa, to stand in for Neil Jenkins for today's Welsh National League Premier Division meeting against Ebbw Vale.

The 24-year-old student, who has appeared for Natal, will play in the problematic No 10 position for the champions after Jenkins suffered a rib injury in last week's opening defeat by Cardiff. "Andre has played at outside-half before and had a run-out in a friendly in midweek," Eddie Jones, the Pontypridd rugby administrator, said.

Jenkins is likely to be out for a month giving Barnard, a student at the University of Glamorgan in Treforest, the chance to stake a claim for an extended run. He will partner the scrum-half Paul John, who is the present Wales choice because of the injury which is still keeping Rob Howley on the sidelines. Jason Lewis, who toured the United States and Canada with Wales, will step back into the Ponty side after recovering from a knee injury.

Bridgend will be defending a four-year unbeaten home record when they entertain Llanelli at the Brewery Field. And Dafydd James, the Wales wing, believes they have a new-found spirit this season, instilled in them by John Phillips, their New Zealand coaching director. "There is a different attitude here and John has turned the place around," James, who was in the team which came from 19-3 down to defeat Newport last week, said.

The Scottish Rugby Union yesterday announced plans for an experimental 10-minute sin-bin for players deliberately killing the ball on the ground. The move, designed to keep the games flowing and make them as attractive as possible, will come into force for League Trophy matches held between 30 August and 25 October.

After three infringements, the teams will be warned by the referee and the next offender will be sent from the field for a 10-minute period. The referee will send players to the sin-bin by showing them a white card. The period will not include injury time or the half-time interval.

If the player committing the offence is a front-row forward, his captain can nominate another forward to leave the field, allowing the replacement front-row forward to come on as a substitute. If the infringing team does not have a replacement front-row forward, the offending player may remain on the field but the captain will have to nominate another player on the field to serve the temporary suspension.

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