Midweek news and comment from around the clubs and what the papers say.
RFU Press Release Thursday 17th January 2013
Championship Organising Committee: Leeds Carnegie v Plymouth Albion
The Organising Committee of the Championship met this week at the request of the RFU to review the circumstances that led to uncontested scrums after 13 minutes of play in the fixture Leeds Carnegie v Plymouth Albion at Headingley on January 6 2013.
Having considered all facts and reviewed a tape of the game involved it was found that the Referee correctly ruled that the pitch was not safe for scrummaging .
It has been decided after consideration of the representations of the Clubs, the Laws of the Game and the regulations governing the Championship that the fixture should be replayed on the next available free weekend, being February 1-3 at a venue of Leeds choice.
If a venue can be secured in Yorkshire that meets the Laws/Regulations, Leeds Carnegie will be required to fund Plymouth Albion’s proper travel and accommodation costs.
Alternatively, the game can be replayed at Brickfields with Plymouth Albion meeting all staging costs whilst retaining game revenue.
Either Club has a right of appeal against this decision to an independent panel.
17th January 2013 published by Tom Tainton
Councillors voted to approve Sainsbury's plans to redevelop the Memorial Stadium site on Wednesday evening.
The decision will now be referred to the Secretary of State, who now has twenty-one days to comment on the scheme.
Bristol Rovers will begin building the new UWE Stadium at Frenchay and construction could start as early as June 2013.
Bristol Rugby have agreed terms to remain at the Memorial Stadium for the 2013/14 campaign.
The Club will then consider their long-term options over the duration of next season.
Game Changers is a community focused youth development programme combining education and rugby to encourage 13 and 14 year old school pupils to strive for academic and personal success.
Run over an eight week period and supported by Deutsche Bank, the Game Changers programme will work with 25 students most at risk of exclusion from school using rugby as a vehicle to change young people's behaviour through a comprehensive sports education programme.
Topics covered include personal wellbeing, communication and focus, conflict resolution, time and career management, food nutrition, financial capability, community harmony and anti gang culture. The core principal of the programme is the measurement and evaluation process which monitors and tracks the students closely throughout the course to highlight results.
Specialist teachers will deliver the education programme, with members of the London Scottish 1st team and coaching staff working alongside the Club’s community development officers to deliver the rugby coaching aspect of the programme. Deutsche Bank’s UK staff volunteers will support both classroom mentoring sessions and rugby coaching as part of its corporate volunteering programme.
Deutsche Bank’s support of Games Changers follows the success of a 2012 ‘School of Hard Knocks’ pilot joint initiative which used rugby values to relate to life skills and personal development.
The programme delivered very positive results for the pupils and was shortlisted for Community Programme of the Year at the 2012 Rugby Expo awards.
London Scottish Interim CEO and Club President Rod Lynch: “Game Changers and Deutsche Bank’s support is a welcome addition to the community programme operated by the Club.
The Club’s aim is to develop and inspire people of all ages from all backgrounds by promoting an active and healthy lifestyle in and around the sport of rugby. Game Changers is an important component of our community programme as it focuses on pre-NEET students from the West London area and aims to inspire them using the power of rugby.”
Deutsche Bank UK CEO Colin Grassie said: “Deutsche Bank is committed to supporting motivating and engaging activities that positively impact a very real social issue for young people.
Using sport to encourage a young generation from disadvantaged backgrounds provides strong principles and a solid foundation for academic and personal development. Corporate citizenship is a key focus for both Deutsche Bank and our employees, and we look forward to the results of this initiative.”
Lee made his debut for Rotherham in January 2004 against Bath in the Zurich Premiership; a match that was played at the Millmoor football ground.
The 30 year-old has since made 66 appearances for the club, scoring 13 tries along the way.
Alex Codling, Titans Head Coach, commenting on Blackett's contract extension said, "I'm thrilled that Lee has committed his future to the Titans.
He makes a significant contribution as both a player and a coach and I think it's very rare that you find somebody who can do both, because they are very different roles.
We've seem to hit it off working together and I'm looking forward to working with him further as we move forward.
"Lee is very knowledgeable and with me coming on board it has taken a certain amount of pressure off him and that's allowed him to focus on specific aspects of coaching and on the playing side.
He's Rotherham through and through and he sees this club as his own and that's a benefit to have people like that around the place."
Equally delighted at extending his stay with the South Yorkshire club, Blackett explained, "As everyone knows I've got a lot of history with the club and at this point in time I have no aspirations to be anywhere other than Clifton Lane. I don't want to leave Rotherham, it feels like I've come back home and also it's a terrific opportunity to start my coaching career.
"I've really enjoyed the experience of working with Alex and I believe we make a real good partnership together. I like his ambitions for the club and the way he's trying to change certain things and that makes me want to stay even more.
"I love the club; I love everything about the club starting with the VP's that work here every week showing a real team effort and our supporters at the weekend. They are really loyal and very passionate about the club and I think that's why everyone that comes here loves it here."
Also extending his stay at Titans is second row forward Barney Maddison who has put pen to paper to stay with the club until the summer of 2014.
The 23 year-old lock has been sidelined with a knee injury he picked up against Bristol at Clifton Lane back in early October and following surgery, he is currently in the middle of his rehabilitation programme.
Maddison has been a big hit with the Titans and his presence in the pack has been sorely missed. Formerly with Tynedale and Leeds Met, Maddison has made 33 appearances for the club scoring two tries along the way.
Titans Head Coach Alex Codling said, “I’m delighted that Barney has decided to re-sign for next year. Barney is a real power-house in the second row and we’ve missed his presence there. His contribution both on and off the field is significant and now he can continue to work hard knowing he has a spot here for next season.
“I was very keen to give him the security going forward, so he knows where he his whilst he’s in the middle of his rehab. It’s important when players get injured that we give them our support and backing. He’s getting great support from Lindsay and the medical staff and he’s on track to be available for when our pre-season campaign starts in the summer.”