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Rugby League / Union 2013 onwards

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Kato Ottio, the 23-year-old Papua New Guinea centre signed by Widnes Vikings after the World Cup last month, collapsed and died after a training session yesterday.

Ottio was preparing to leave Papua New Guinea for the Cheshire club this week, but “developed a sudden health issue whilst training”, James Rule, the Widnes chief executive, said last night.

Ottio had been signed by the Betfred Super League club on the strength of his performances in the 2017 World Cup, including the Kumuls’ quarter- final defeat by England in Melbourne.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/widnes-vikings-mourn-the-death-of-kato-ottio-23-p38kwgh6z

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Marcus Smith will become the best-paid teenager in world rugby after being given a pay rise of about 900 per cent for signing his first professional contract with Harlequins.

England’s apprentice fly half, who was doing his A levels at Brighton College last summer, will see out the rest of this season on an academy contract worth less than £30,000 a year. In a sign of his potential — and of how desperate Harlequins were to tie down one of the game’s hottest prospects — the 18-year-old has agreed a deal through to the summer of 2022 that is expected to start at £230,000 a year before bonuses.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/harlequins-make-marcus-smith-the-best-paid-teenager-in-world-rugby-sxxxblz7d

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I didn't see all of the 17-35 victory by the Scarlets at Bath last night but I saw most of it and the latter were brilliant and blew bath away. Very impressive attacking rugby.

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Good win by Ulster over La Rochelle  in a not particular good game.

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Comprehensive win by the Chiefs over Montpelier leaving them with still a chance to qualify.

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9 hours ago, knocker said:

I didn't see all of the 17-35 victory by the Scarlets at Bath last night but I saw most of it and the latter were brilliant and blew bath away. Very impressive attacking rugby.

Not the Scarlets biggest fan with the rivalry but to be fair they have been very impressive this season and last. 

Off to see the Ospreys Saracens game later, with all of Saracens players now back.  :oops:

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Stone me Wasps were home and hosed against Quins 28-12 and lost 33-28 and their position is now a bit dodgy vis the next round.

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It's possible that no English club will qualify for the next round of the European Cup after the weekends results although I think the Chiefs might just make it. The Welsh clubs had excellent results and the Irish provinces are back on a high.

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Brilliant second half in the Glasgow/ Chiefs game. One contentious yellow card and a penalty try for the the former and then they scored two outstanding tries, you wont see better this season. So that's the Chiefs European campaign done and dusted.

Edited by knocker

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More pain inflicted on saints by Saracens. A matter awaiting the results from other games now.

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A valiant performance by the Ospreys away to Clermont and while the 24-7 scoreline was harsh IMO, the best side clearly won.

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Anyone sticking their head above the wall for the Six Nation?

Obviously I'm flying the flag for Scotland and think they will do well. Could they win it though? Meh! Ask me when it's over :D

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I think much depends on the injury list. There is an interesting article in the Sunday Times today which is quite a disturbing read. it's behind a paywall but an extract

Rugby must address crippling injury crisis that threatens to destroy game

Quote

It has become obvious that this year’s Six Nations Championship will be decided through injury. If you count just those who would have had a fighting chance of being in the team or the match squad, England are without 13 players, Ireland 10, Wales 11, six first-choice forwards included. Scotland are hoping for some late recoveries, but there is doubt about five of their front-row forwards. France are missing 11 key individuals.

The European Cup and domestic competitions are a mess. No club in Britain and Ireland appears unaffected. For Harlequins’ fixture with Northampton in October, they had as many as 25 senior and academy players unavailable; Jamie Roberts described their dressing room as a “morgue”. That same month Dragons coach Bernard Jackman, prior to the derby with Cardiff Blues, trumped that with 29.

Wasps have six Test centres, but recently they had little choice but to use the centre partnership of Rob Miller, their reserve full-back, and the all but untried Guy Armitage. Last weekend, the match involving Bath and Scarlets was largely between reserves; Ospreys took on Saracens with numerous Test players injured. When we tried to check official figures at Aviva clubs, we were told that Premiership Rugby, the governing body, had asked them not to divulge them.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/rugby-must-address-crippling-injury-crisis-that-threatens-to-destroy-game-0tp53dfqd

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