Bristol's scrum-half Shaun Perry has been ruled out of England's summer tour to Australia because of a fractured wrist. He suffered the injury early last month in the match against Newcastle when he collided with advertising hoardings, but an X-ray and a scan revealed no damage.
It was not until Perry complained of persistent discomfort that an MRI scan revealed a fractured scaphoid. "I'm gutted," Perry said. " Touring with England would have been a dream come true and would have capped an amazing season. But the wrist wasn't right so it's important to get it sorted."
However, there was some good news for England's head coach, Andy Robinson, with Sale winger Mark Cueto making himself available for the two-Test series against the Wallabies next month. Cueto, who has won 16 caps, said: " The squads haven't been announced yet and there's obviously been a lot going on off the field, but if Robbo wants me to go then I'm available."
London Irish are making long term plans to leave their rented home at Reading's Madejski Stadium and move nearer to London.
The club chairman, John Conlan, has set up a sub-committee to conduct a feasibility study into the possibility of the Exiles building or buying into a sporting complex, with west London the favoured location. But the club is ruling out a groundshare with the likes of Chelsea, Fulham, Queen's Park Rangers or Brentford.
Irish are tied in to their present deal at the Madejski Stadium until 2010. Their old ground at Sunbury to the south-west of the capital, where the amateur teams in the club still play, is not a viable site.
The Ospreys prop Duncan Jones has been appointed captain for Wales' two-Test tour of Argentina next month. The coach, Gareth Jenkins, has named five uncapped players in the 28-man squad with an average age of 24. "This summer tour is key to our World Cup aspirations," Jenkins said. " Certain players have not been considered because they are undergoing a period of rehabilitation following injury or operations; others have injuries that need further investigation and possible surgery over the summer; while there is a group simply in need of rest. That process is key if we are to get to September-October with a healthy squad of players."
London Irish have signed the Toulouse flanker Aidan McCullen, who has one Ireland cap, on a two-year contract, but the New Zealand-born centre Rod Penney, flanker Paul Gustard and stand-off Ross Laidlaw have left Exiles for Saracens.
Wasps are shoring up their scrum-half cover following the retirement of Matt Dawson. Yesterday they signed Gloucester's Simon Amor on a three-year contract and Mark McMillan on a two-year deal from relegated Leeds, who have appointed their academy director, Stuart Lancaster, to succeed Phil Davies as director of rugby.
On the day winger Ollie Phillips signed a one-year deal with Falcons, Newcastle also snapped up Northampton's John Rudd on a two-year contract.
* The 20-year-old son of former All Black Grahame Thorne may never fully recover from a stroke suffered after a tackle in a junior match. David Thorne, the son of the 10-Test New Zealand centre, had a stroke when an artery in his throat was squeezed in an under-21 match at Nelson, South Island, on Saturday. Thorne then suffered a seizure while having an X-ray and has not been able to speak or recognise family members.Reuse content