Here are the latest rugby headlines from Tuesday 19th April.
Ospreys star re-signs
Osprey’s winger Keelan Giles has signed a new two-year deal in the Welsh region.
The former teen prodigy is slowly returning to his most dangerous form after a nightmare few years in which serious injuries hampered his development. Giles, 24, is one of the fastest and most exciting players in Welsh rugby and a firm favorite with Ospreys fans.
He said: “I grew up in the area, have supported the club since I was young, enjoy being here and see a real future here. You can really feel how we are growing as a team and you will see this bear fruit over the next few years.
“Personally, it’s just great to be playing and training again, trying to improve as a player and contributing to the team. The more I play, the more confidence I get. I really enjoyed just being back out there doing what I do. The battle for the wing spots is unreal here and really drives you in training and in games.
Coach Toby Booth added: “Keelan has shown real resilience to get back on the field and he’s improved his performances week in and week out. His game-changing ability will help our attack become stronger and more powerful, which is exciting to see.”
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The Australian star suffers a spinal injury
Australian rugby player Nathan Stapleton has sustained a serious spinal injury during a game.
The former NRL star, who now plays Union, broke his neck in the second half of his Boorowa club’s season-opening game against West Wyalong. The game was immediately abandoned while the 32-year-old was treated on the ground by a nurse before being taken to a Sydney hospital.
“Goldies men’s player Nathan Stapleton suffered a serious injury in the second half which resulted in the game being abandoned,” Boorowa Rugby Club posted on Facebook.
“Unfortunately, during the contact, Nathan broke his neck and injured his spinal cord, which required significant medical attention. Through an incredible effort by members of each club, first aid was administered to Nathan until paramedics could arrive.
“Nathan has begun his recovery in a Sydney hospital and while he is showing improvement every day, the extent of his injuries and the long-term effects remain unclear.”
Stapleton scored 17 tries in 61 games for rugby league giants Cronulla Sharks between 2009 and 2014.
The Scarlets player wants to beat his own team again
The Scarlets will have one of their own players looking to bring even more misery on them this weekend as they travel to Rodney Parade to face off against the Dragons.
Young hooker Taylor Davies is currently on loan at the east Wales club from her western rivals and was instrumental in last weekend’s surprise 38-27 win in which she scored a crucial try. The two teams now face each other again and Davies is keen to continue his development.
He is set to return to the Scarlets next season and will be fighting for a spot on the team after 18 appearances for the Dragons this season.
“It was a sweet moment, it’s always nice to get over the try line and it was a special moment to do the same at Parc y Scarlets,” the hooker told the South Wales Argus.
“There were ups and downs in the game,” said Davies, who came on after just three minutes from an injury to Elliot Dee.
“We stayed calm and managed to come back to take the win. It was pretty tight and a good rugby game to the end.”
“I’ll have to see how things develop but I’m really enjoying my rugby at the moment. I have a lot of playing time and focus on the things I need to work on to improve my career.
“There are five games left this season and I want to have a good ending because I really enjoyed my season. I feel like one of the guys, they’re a great group of guys and we work really hard.
“I’m really grateful to the Dragons, I put the work into it and was lucky enough to get the playing time I wanted.
“At that level you improve by playing. You can only achieve so much in training, you have to be able to get on the field. Every game you get something different, you learn from other people and how the opponents play .”
New deal for Scrum-Half
Glasgow scrum half Sean Kennedy has signed a contract that will keep him at Scotstoun next season.
The former Ireland Alloa, Edinburgh and London player has made 19 appearances during his two tenures with the Warriors.
The 30-year-old told the club’s website: “I’m happy to stay at the club. I love coming to work every day – it’s a great club with great people.
“There is a strong group of scrum halves at the club and it’s great to battle them for the jersey every week. Even though I’m an older player, I’m learning new things every day and I’m having a great time at it.
“The club feel that we are working towards something and I look forward to continuing to be a part of it.”
Head coach Danny Wilson added: “Sean is an integral part of our roster. He’s an extremely good professional who played well for us when he had his chance.”