Friday 23 March 2018

In brief: RFU dismayed by 'Slam' video leak

The English RFU yesterday expressed their dismay that an advertisement celebrating England winning the Grand Slam was leaked.

The video, produced by official kit supplier Nike, shows several players, among them Toby Flood, Chris Ashton and Ben Foden, in a series of action clips.

Signing off the advert, widely circulated on the internet yesterday, is an image of England's red rose emblem on top of a caption reading 'Grand Slam Champions 2011'.

The photo shoot for the footage took place midway through the Six Nations, which England won despite being routed in Dublin.

The RFU explained that filming the advert in advance was necessary for commercial reasons and denied that Ireland were taken too lightly.

Johnson keen to stay on after World Cup

Martin Johnson gave the strongest of hints yesterday that he would like to stay on as England manager after the World Cup, WRITES MICK CLEARY.

His three-year contract runs out in December. No talks about a possible new deal have yet taken place, with both parties happy to leave those negotiations until the tournament finishes in October.

It's inconceivable that the RFU will not move to secure Johnson's services, no matter what happens in the World Cup. He has just delivered England's first Six Nations title in eight years, the horrors of Dublin notwith-standing.

Johnson has always dismissed enquiries on the subject, but yesterday his stone-walling mask slipped as he gave a telling insight into how much the job means to him, even after such a huge disappointment as Saturday.

"It's a very addictive job," said Johnson, who was brought on board after Brian Ashton's dismissal in summer 2008.

"And that's even with all the stresses and disappointments. Monday (after a Six Nations) is always the worst day of the year. You're sat there, at the end of a long tournament, no players to deal with." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Owens to referee Leinster v Tigers

WELSHMAN Nigel Owens will take charge of Leinster's Heineken Cup quarter-final clash against Leicester Tigers at Lansdowne Road, while Romain Poite will referee Ulster's date with Northampton Saints.

Owens took charge of the 2009 Heineken Cup final between the same teams as well as the '08 decider, but this will be Poite's first game in the knock-out stages.

England's Dave Pearson will take charge of Munster's Challenge Cup quarter-final away to Brive.

Alain Rolland has been given the Heineken Cup contest between Perpignan and Toulon in Barcelona, while George Clancy and Alan Lewis take charge of all-French Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Irish Independent

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