Rugby Union: Wasps roused to chase Springbok Teichmann

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THE RUGBY retirement home known as the Allied Dunbar Premiership looks like attracting another international once his test career is over. The buzz is that Wasps want South Africa captain, Gary Teichmann, to join them after this year's World Cup.

"They [Wasps] have been in touch and I've spoken to them, but it's very initial," Teichmann said.

So initial, indeed, that Nigel Melville, Wasps director of rugby, had no inkling that Teichmann was interested in Loftus Road until he read speculation in the press.

"We read in the papers that we were talking to Teichmann," Melville said, "so we thought we had better speak to his agent, which we have now done. I expect to speak to Teichmann himself sooner rather than later, probably after another conversation with his agent."

The Springbok No 8 Teichmann has reportedly been offered around pounds 200,000, although whether that is over one, two or three years is not known. Melville denies making any offer and added: "I don't even know if we can afford that sort of money. Teichmann is a fantastic player and we would be foolish not to have followed up on the speculation."

One player who definitely moved yesterday was Richmond's Welsh international prop, John Davies, who has followed Scott Quinnell to Stradey Park, although he will not feature in Llanelli's team for today's Welsh Rugby Union Challenge Trophy final against Pontypridd.

And spectators at Stradey Park for the game, which kicks off at 5.30pm, will not see any of the nine players in the Wales squad. Welsh coach Graham Henry has reached an amicable agreement with both clubs for the players to be pulled out of the match.

Swansea rest their wing Matthew Robinson for the Swalec Cup tie against Newport, fuelling speculation that he will be on the bench against Scotland at Murrayfield next weekend.

The fifth round of the Tetley's Bitter Cup sees a resurgent London Irish travelling to Franklin's Gardens looking for a repeat of their convincing Premiership victory over the Saints earlier this month.

Northampton's Argentine front row, Frederico Mendez, said: "We made too many mistakes that night. You won't see the same errors this time. We have to tackle all afternoon. And we will have Matt Dawson back at scrum- half."

Henley are taking 1,500 supporters with them to Kingsholm for the tie against Gloucester. The National League One club, who knocked out Premiership One Bedford in the previous round, are eager to play in the cauldron of sound.

The Gloucester crowd can give visiting teams terrible stick, but they also appreciate good rugby. With their expansive, all-out attacking approach, coupled with a miserly defence which has conceded 17 tries in the league, Henley should provide the Cherry and Whites with plenty of problems.

Newcastle's all Premiership One tie at North-East neighbours West Hartlepool was given spice when former England and Gosforth prop Colin White, now the assistant coach at West, declared: "Newcastle is just a cheque book club now, one with which I no longer have any affinity."

In another tie involving Division One teams, Harlequins have put hooker Keith Wood and lock Garrick Morgan on the bench and have to do without the services of fly-half Thierry Lacroix (concussed) and coach-captain Zinzan Brooke. Their opponents, London Scottish, are without Scotland international centre Ronnie Eriksson.

Wendell Sailor makes his last appearance for Leeds at Leicester. Tomorrow sees Lydney of National League One entertain Cup holders Saracens at Regentsholme. Wasps play Waterloo, and Richmond are at home to Exeter.