News and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.
Bedford Blues, Cornish Pirates, Jersey, Leeds Carnegie, Newcastle Falcons, Nottingham, Plymouth Albion and Rotherham Titans
The Blues will be staying in Salles near Bordeaux as they look to get back into the swing of things before home friendlies against Saracens and Cardiff at Goldington Road.
Director of rugby Mike Rayer is hoping the trip, which will involve a training game against Pau, will help to galvanise his squad ahead of the new season.
They will also take the chance to view a number of trialists with some players still recovering from minor operations over the summer.
Full Story www.bedfordtoday.co.uk
The whole country applauds Helen Glover and her rowing partner, Scotswoman Heather Stanning for winning Great Britain's first 'gold' at the London 2012 Olympics.
Pirates supporters and the population of Penzance and Newlyn are particularly proud of the success of local girl Helen.
Helen’s father Jimmy Glover played a couple of hundred games for the Pirates and was a star wing/centre with Cornwall, Oxford University, Bristol and Barbarians, he carried on playing for the Pirates until over 40.
To mark the achievement, the Post Box by the Dock Inn Penzance, has been given a golden makeover, the first of hopefully many across Britain in the hometowns of Gold medal winners.
The new kit carries both the jersey.com and locatejersey.com branding as part of the recently announced £75,000 sponsorship agreement with the Jersey Economic Development Department.
The deal, initially drew protests from some sports suffering from funding cuts, but Wayne Gallichan, of Locate Jersey, said ‘We have businesses from overseas making enquiries as a direct result of Jersey rugby, so in terms of publicity for the Island, there are some great opportunities.
Jersey Rugby chairman Bill Dempsey said ‘It’s fantastic to look at the fixture list and see the teams we’ll be playing. Seeing the guys today put on the kit with the Jersey.com logos has added to that sense of excitement.’
Leeds have announced their second pre-season friendly as Diccon Edwards' side take on Aviva Premiership side London Wasps at Headingley Carnegie on Friday 17th August.
The game will see former Leeds' captains Marco Wentzel and Tom Palmer return to Headingley Carnegie whilst Tommy Bell, Carnegie's Supporters Player of the Year last season, will make a swift return after joining Wasps this summer along with prop Phil Swainston.
New Zealand-born Manning, 26, joined the Falcons from Munster in the summer of 2010 after making 50 appearances for the Irish outfit over five seasons.
Due to a change in Manning’s personal circumstances it is with regret that the two parties have decided to part company with immediate effect.
Chief executive David Bell said: “We have spoken with Jeremy about the potential options and it is with regret that we have mutually decided to terminate his contract.”
After three months with his head in the long white clouds and rubbing shoulders with New Zealand World Cup winning giants, Mansfield’s Tom Calladine has been rewarded with his first professional contract with Nottingham Rugby.
Having topped Linwood’s try scoring chart with seven tries in New Zealand’s powerful Canterbury Metropolitan competition, bosses at the Green and Whites were proven right in their decision to send the back rower on his international adventure.
Calladine and Nottingham teammate Ollie Taylor were given the chance to develop their game on the other side of the globe after impressing in the club’s run to the British and Irish Cup quarter-finals last season. And while Calladine’s Championship opportunities were limited, his form for Mansfield in National Division 3 made him impossible to ignore.
Within a week of touching down in New Zealand, Calladine had forced his way into Linwood’s starting XV and seamlessly adapted to the Kiwi’s expansive style of play.
Calladine rejoined Nottingham last week, having penned a one year deal with the club after his exotic summer exploits.
Training one-on-one with 2011 Rugby World Cup winning All Black, Owen Franks, was all part of an experience that the former young England international says has transformed him as an athlete.
“It was an amazing experience that has really brought me on as a player and improved my understanding of how the game should be played,” Calladine said.
“At Linwood I was rubbing shoulders with Owen Franks, who two weeks later was starting for the All Blacks! I was also training with Crusaders Super 15 stars Willie Heinz and Sean Maitland who are the supreme of the supreme over there.”
It wasn’t just the privilege of sharing the training paddock with some of New Zealand rugby’s biggest names which appealed to the 22-year-old, but the very culture in which he found himself immersed was an enlightening journey.
“I got a different perspective of rugby,” Calladine said.
For 15 years I’ve played the English way, which is very forward oriented, based around set pieces, scrums and line outs, whereas in New Zealand the line outs and scrums are just another way to recycle the ball. It’s how New Zealand played to win the World Cup and how they play at every level.
“It’s given me the confidence to come back here and bring that element of the game with me. I’ve still got that English grounding, but now I’ve got a New Zealand edge to go with my Mansfield heritage.”
It’s now a matter of unleashing it on England’s second tier competition.
“I’ve been working towards this since I first picked up a rugby ball,” Calladine said.
“I’ve got plenty of game time behind me in these past few months, and I’m feeling stronger and faster than ever.”
Director Of Rugby Nat Saumi told the Herald that it is up to the players to deliver the goods for there 'will be no hiding place' for those unable to meet his and the coaching team's expectations.
Saumi said: "I'm really looking forward to what I expect will be a tough match against Launceston, who are local rivals and will want to get one over us.”
"Everyone knows we had a difficult time last season, but I want the club and the supporters to look ahead, as I am, to what I hope will be exciting times.”
Saumi's pre-season fitness regime has included the predictable 'beasting' on the field and in the weights room, mixed with kayaking and rock climbing at the Mount Batten boat centre, and pilates-style body-balancing at the China Fleet Club.
Full Story /www.thisisdevon.co.uk
Rotherham Also Kick Off This Weekend, With A Match Against Hull Ionians
Titans have named a side containing a blend of new, young and experienced players ahead of their first pre-season run out against Hull Ionians at Brantingham Park tomorrow kick-off 3pm.
Among the starting fifteen are four trialists who will hope to take their opportunity to impress the coaching staff at Clifton Lane.