Rugby Union: Hackney joins Moseley as second wing in week leaves Leicester

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The Independent Online
Moseley have signed the England A winger Steve Hackney from Leicester. Hackney, 29, has scored 86 tries in 152 first-team appearances after joining Leicester from Nottingham six years ago. It means the Pilkington Cup holders have now lost their two most experienced wingers in a week following the departure of Rory Underwood.

Moseley hope Hackney will form an attacking wing partnership with former Irish international Darragh O'Mahony, who was their leading try-scorer last season. Hackney, who previously played for West Hartlepool and Loughborough University, has joined the Second Division club on a four-year full-time contract.

Andrew Mehrtens, an important member of New Zealand's Bledisloe Cup and Tri-nations campaign, is a doubtful starter for Saturday's Test against Australia. Mehrtens withdrew half-way through the All Blacks' first training session yesterday.

Mehrtens, who has been recuperating from a hamstring strain suffered against Fiji on 14 June, felt his muscles tighten and he was replaced at outside-half by Carlos Spencer as practice continued. Spencer played in the two-Test series against Argentina and will be slotted into the pivotal role again on Saturday should Mehrtens' problems persist.

"Carlos had been told quite clearly from last Sunday that there was a possibility the injury wouldn't be right because you can't judge those things until you start working," the All Blacks coach, John Hart, said.

"He's in Test mode anyway, so I have no worries there. He's played very well and I've got no doubt he can do the job for us. It's just that Andrew was the incumbent and deserved the opportunity."

The selectors will wait as long as possible before scratching Mehrtens' name from the team list, with Hart saying his chances of playing were 50-50.

The next two matches will double as Tri-nations Tests, in Melbourne on 26 July and Dunedin, New Zealand on 16 August. In between the All Blacks meet South Africa in Johannesburg on 19 July and Auckland on 9 August.

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