Saracens linked with Kiwi Randell

If Saracens are indeed on the trail of Taine Randell, the former All Black captain, they are being careful not to leave too much of a scent in their pursuit. Having failed in their bid for Heineken Cup action next year, the Watford-based club have identified the need to strengthen their pack for the next instalment of the Zurich Premiership and Parker Pen Shield.

The French hooker and captain Raphael Ibañez became the first close-season signing. Attention has turned to recruiting a tight-head prop and a loose forward-cum-specialist No 8, according to a club source. Whether or not that results in Randell swapping hemispheres has been the subject of much discussion.

The debate regarding Randell's movements was fuelled last week when the Otago Highlanders coach, Greg Cooper, announced that his captain was "unavailable at this stage", and thus his name was missing from those inked down for the NPC championship that begins in August.

Recently the 28-year-old Randell, capped 51 times for his country but currently out of John Mitchell's plans, said it was "a possibility" that he had played his last match for Otago, adding, "I'm in no rush to make a decision". Which appears to be the mood at Vicarage Road. However, the source admitted the rough-and-ready Kiwi was "the type of player who we are looking at. We need a hard man, not to say they don't exist here, but they seem to grow up a little differently in the southern hemisphere".

While the talk is of Randell swapping one black-jerseyed career for another, there is a possibility that countryman Wayne Shelford's days as head coach are nearing the end. "We are in discussions with him at the moment, nothing is finalised either way," the source said.

Saracens' chief executive, Mark Sinderberry, was in Dublin on Friday to eye the talent on offer in the Under-21 World Cup match between England and Australia. Sinderberry, an Australian, watch-ed the young Wallabies win 52-22 on a night South Africa U-21s beat Ireland U-21s 37-29.

The senior Ireland squad continued their tour of the southern hemisphere by fielding a reserve-strength side and beating Tonga 40-19 in Nuku'Alofa. Ireland scored six tries to two but had an early alarm when they trailed 11-0. Once they settled their nerves, however, the visitors took control of the game, Guy Easterby and John Kelly each crossing twice and Mark McHugh and Jonathan Bell picking up one apiece. Ronan O'Gara slotted two conversions and two penalties.

Beaten by Australia in their first match, Ireland complete their short tour with a Test against Samoa next week.

News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence