Thursday 22 March 2018

Munster wrap up deal for Tokula

MUNSTER have signed Waikato and Chiefs centre Savenaca Tokula until the end of the season.

The New Zealand Sevens international will fill the void left by Australian Will Chambers, who returned home last month, while Tom Gleeson and Troy Smith are both injured. Smith will require a second operation following a re-occurrence of the knee injury which has kept him out for most of the season.

Tokula has played 36 times for his province Waikato and was called up to the Super Rugby franchise, the Chiefs, last season. He is expected to arrive in Ireland over the weekend, but with former All Black Casey Laulala arriving next season, his stay will be short.

One New Zealander on the way out of Thomond Park is Peter Borlase, who has joined Connacht on loan until the end of the season.

Signed as a designated 'Special Project' player, the prop has failed to win a place in Tony McGahan's team and has yet to play this season.

With a front-row injury crisis out west, Eric Elwood has handed Borlase (26) a second chance.

Mallinder pulls out of England running

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder has joined former New Zealand assistant Wayne Smith in ruling himself out of contention to be the next permanent England head coach.

Mallinder, touted as one of the leading candidates to be Martin Johnson's long-term successor, has confirmed he did not apply for the job before yesterday's deadline.

Smith took up a coaching role with the Chiefs' Super 15 franchise after helping the All Blacks win the World Cup and said the timing was wrong.

The former Northampton boss was also critical of the Rugby Football Union's job description, describing it as "waffly" and better suited "for the head of a PR company".

Stuart Lancaster, who has led England to Six Nations victories over Scotland and Italy as the interim head coach, is so far the only man to confirm he has applied for the full-time job.

Irish Independent

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