Rugby Union: Woods fails to make Irish cut

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The Independent Online
NIALL WOODS has been dropped by Ireland, despite their victory over Wales, for the Five Nations match against England on 6 March. He makes way for Girvan Dempsey - the man he replaced for the Wembley match - and is the only change to the 22-man squad announced yesterday.

Dempsey had been forced out of the side to face Wales with a hip injury but he has now recovered and is expected to play at Lansdowne Road.

The coach, Warren Gatland, will announce the team next Tuesday. Woods returns to the Ireland A side that takes on England A at Donnybrook next Friday evening.

France have named their squad for the match against Wales in Paris and they include the uncapped Stade Francais lock David Auradou and Toulouse wing Xavier Garbajosa among the 22, although neither player is expected to start the match at the Stade de France.

Following the ruckus over Martin Johnson's rucking in the Calcutta Cup match at Twickenham on Saturday, when the England lock was shown a yellow card for an alleged stamp on the throat of Scotland's John Leslie, Colin High, the Rugby Football Union's referee development officer, has called for a change in the rules regarding the citing of players.

High, who was not speaking in his official capacity, said: "My personal opinion is that these rules are going to have to be changed so that citing is an available option regardless of whether the referee has already punished the offence. I'm not saying Martin Johnson is guilty of foul play, just that incidents like that should be investigated. I think the public is now demanding that rugby acts in these matters and I think change will come."

Gloucester will be without centre Terry Fanolua for Saturday's Tetley's Bitter Cup quarter-final tie at Kingsholm. Fanolua has had to return home to Western Samoa to attend the funeral of his grandmother. That is a blow to Gloucester, who tackle Harlequins at Kingsholm for the second time in two weeks.

It was following the two sides' most recent meeting in the Allied Dunbar Premiership at Kingsholm, which Gloucester lost convincingly, that Richard Hill was sacked as director of rugby.

His replacement, the former France international wing Philippe Saint- Andre, has named himself in a threequarter line which also includes Simon Mannix, deputising for Fanolua. Chris Catling comes in at full-back and the prop Andy Deacon returns to the front row having recovered from a rib injury.

Teams and squads, Digest, page 31

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