Live updates

Former England star Hodgson confirms retirement date

Former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson has confirmed that he will retire from playing at the end of this season.

Hodgson will work as head of recruitment from next season. Credit: PA

Hodgson, 35, will remain with his current club Saracens, taking up a role as the Aviva Premiership champions' head of recruitment and talent identification.

He won 38 England caps, scoring a record 44 points on his Test debut against Romania 14 years ago, while he also toured New Zealand with the 2005 British and Irish Lions.

Hodgson joined Saracens from their Premiership rivals Sale Sharks in 2011, and he is the Premiership's top scorer with almost 2,500 career points in the competition.

In a statement released by Saracens, Hodgson said:

I am extremely excited to be taking up the new role at the end of the season. It was a very tough call to make, as being a rugby player is the only thing I've ever known in my working life. In one sense, my career seems to have lasted a lifetime, and in another sense, it's just flown by. It was a difficult decision to make, but my body is now telling me that it's probably the right thing to do.

I have been presented with an amazing opportunity to be here at Saracens in a different capacity, and it's an opportunity I felt that I just couldn't turn down. I've been very lucky in my career to have played for two fantastic clubs in Sale and Saracens. Having the chance to play for my country and tour with the Lions was a real honour, and something that I will always cherish.

– Former England fly-half Charlie Hodgson

Rees banned for seven weeks after stamp on Easter

Former Wales captain Matthew Rees has received a seven-week ban for stamping on Harlequins and England number eight Nick Easter.

Rees was dismissed for the horrible stamp. Credit: PA

Cardiff Blues hooker Rees was sent off following the incident, which happened seven minutes from time during Blues' European Challenge Cup defeat against Quins at the Arms Park last Thursday.

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby said that Rees was suspended following an independent disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday.

In a statement, EPCR said:

The independent judicial officer, Pat Barriscale (Ireland), heard evidence and submissions from Rees, who accepted he had committed an act of foul play that warranted a red card, from the Cardiff Blues team manager Gafyn Cooper and from the EPCR disciplinary officer Liam McTiernan.

In upholding the red card decision, the judicial officer found that Rees had stamped on Nick Easter and determined that the offence was at the top end of World Rugby's sanctions and selected 12 weeks as the appropriate entry point.

He then reduced the sanction by five weeks, taking into account Rees's guilty plea, timely expression of remorse to Easter and his clean disciplinary record, before imposing a suspension of seven weeks.

– uropean Professional Club Rugby statement


Toulouse too good to turn down for Richie Gray

Richie Gray couldn't resist the lure of Toulouse. Credit: PA

Scotland lock Richie Gray admits the chance to sign for French giants Toulouse was too good to turn down after agreeing a four-year deal with the former European champions.

The towering 6ft 9ins second-rower will leave Castres for their Top 14 rivals at the end of the season.

The former Glasgow forward said:

This was a very difficult decision to make, I have loved my time in Castres, the club and the supporters have made my time here very special and I will leave with very fond memories.

However the opportunity to play for one of Europe's most successful clubs, steeped in history, is an incredible one for me. When I met with the club they described their ambition and I felt this was the right move for me, to challenge myself in what is a very strong squad.

I still have seven months here at Castres, I will give everything I can to the club in hope of achieving top six and then who knows.

My goal for now is to leave Castres on the best possible note, I will give everything I can to the club, the players and the coaches.

– Scotland lock Richie Gray

Luke Charteris to join Bath ahead of 2016/17 season

Luke Charteris will join Bath next season. Credit: PA

Wales international Luke Charteris will join Bath rugby from Racing 92 next season.

The gigantic second row, who towers above most players at 6 ft 9 in, will join the Aviva Premiership club ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

Speaking to his future club's official website, Charteris - who also attracted a late bid from Cardiff Blues - said:

It is such an ambitious club, and that’s a great atmosphere to be joining. They put a lot of emphasis on player development, making sure that everyone is improving no matter how experienced they are, and that is a very exciting environment to be part of.

There is some incredible talent in the squad and I’m really looking forward to heading over and getting started.

– Wales international Luke Charteris


Load more updates