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.

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'