Ireland rugby legend Peter Stringer retires

Duncan Bech 29/06/2018
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Ireland legend Peter Stringer has announced his retirement.

Former Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer has retired from Rugby to bring down the curtain on a decorated professional career spanning two decades.

Stringer’s 20-year odyssey began with Munster in 1998 and he went on to make 230 appearances for the province, encompassing their Heineken Cup triumphs of 2006 and 2008

The 40-year-old also won 98 caps for Ireland over an 11-year period that reached its zenith with the 2009 Grand Slam, forming a highly-effective half-back combination with Ronan O’Gara.

More latterly he completed spells at Saracens, Newcastle, Bath, Sale and Worcester in the Aviva Premiership.

“From the age of five all I ever dreamed of doing was playing Rugby,” Stringer said in a statement released on his Twitter account.

“I cannot describe how it feels to have lived that dream for nearly all my life. The journey has been an uncompromising obsession filled with memories I will cherish forever.

“Thank you to my clubs in England. However, my proudest days on a Rugby field came from wearing the red of Munster and the green of Ireland and will remain with me for the rest of my life.”

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Wallabies star Israel Folau slapped with one-match ban over Ireland incident

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Australia full-back Israel Folau has been banned for one match for contact in the air during last Saturday’s third Test defeat by Ireland.

Rugby Australia announced the suspension had been imposed following a World Rugby disciplinary hearing on Wednesday.

Folau was cited after a review of an incident in the ninth minute of the match in Sydney in which he and Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony both jumped to try to catch the ball from a restart.

Folau was deemed to have placed his left hand on O’Mahony as he started to descend, pulling the Irishman over. Folau was sin-binned for a similar offence later in the game.

A statement read: “A World Rugby judiciary panel has handed Wallabies full-back Israel Folau a one-match suspension at a hearing in Sydney.”

The statement added that Folau will appeal but should the ban be upheld he will miss Waratahs’ top-of-the-table Super Rugby clash with Melbourne on Friday.

Australia were beaten 20-16 by Ireland to lose the series 2-1.

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Jordan Joseph leads our best under-20 players in world rugby

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Every season, there are always a few youngsters who burst onto the scene and send the fans’ pulses racing.

By normal standards, however, this season has seen more than its fair share of young players starring for their teams, with 17-year-old Jordan Joseph leading a talented crop of players who recently shone at the World Rugby U-20 Championships in France.

JORDAN JOSEPH (FRANCE)

Age: 17
Club: Racing

A future French star in the waiting. The 17-year-old made the most carries (54), metres (587) and offloads (13) of anyone in the France squad during their recent U-20 World Cup success, whilst his average of six defenders beaten per 80 minutes, was the best of any back-rower from any team in the competition. The World Rugby Junior Player of he Year can still play in that grade for another two years, but if his form continues to rise, don’t be surprised to see him parachuted into Jacques Brunel’s senior squad.

RUGBYU-WORLD-U20-FRA-GEO

CAELEN DORIS (IRELAND)
Age: 20
Club: Leinster

Arguably one of the stand-out players of the tournament in a depleted Irish team. The Leinster man may have only made one senior appearance, but he is likely to get more opportunities this year with the Irish contingent away monitored well in a crucial World Cup year. A native of Mayo in Connacht, he made the most offloads (15) and tackles (78) of any player in the tournament. He has a direct running style like Irish legend Jamie Heaslip and possesses a strong offloading and solid carrying game and willingness to win is own ball in the tight areas.

WANDISILE SIMELANE (SOUTH AFRICA)
Age: 20
Club: Golden Lions

The Lions man was a menace for the Baby Boks scoring six tries in five matches during their run to third in the tournament. The 19-year-old scored a hat-trick against Ireland but made little impact after switching from 13 to 11 for the remaining two games. With smoking footwork, speed, good positioning and power, the Johannesburg native has the chance to build further on his potential this season after gaining confidence from his superb run of form in France. Although he is yet to make a senior appearance for the Lions, it’s only a matter of time before the Ellis Park side give him a chance to shine on the Super Rugby stage.

JORDAN OLOWOFELA (ENGLAND)
Age: 20
Club: Leicester

The Englishman made a tonic start to his junior international career with five tries in the U-20 tournament. The rising Leicester star has the pace and finishing ability to put his side in command of any contest, and can act as an option for full-back and centre also. The 20-year-old made three senior appearances for Leicester last term and is primed for more game time under Matt O’Connor this season. With Johnny May occupying one of the wing spots at Welford Road, Olowofela has a world class player to learn through if he is to make a jump to the next level.

DEMBA BAMBA (FRANCE)
Age: 20
Club: Brive

If Tadhg Furlong is the man revolutionising the game at tighthead due his imposing presence around set-piece and the breakdown, then Bamba is the man who could challenge the Irish man in future years. The Brive native is primed for a place in Les Bleus’ senior side, with his destructive carrying and scummaging ability all key parts to his game. At 6’1 and 118kg, Bamba carries the ball like a back-rower and showed against New Zealand and England why he is set to be a superstar of the future.

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