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Hatley to join England from Bath as scrum coach

Neal Hatley has been confirmed as England's new scrum coach.

England Rugby announced that 46-year-old Hatley will join Eddie Jones' coaching staff from Aviva Premiership club Bath at the end of this season.

Neal Hatley will join England at the end of the season. Credit: PA

Hatley will work two days a week with the England team, with the rest of his time spent working in the Rugby Football Union's player development pathway.

He becomes the latest recruit to Jones' coaching team, linking up with forwards specialist Steve Borthwick and defence mastermind Paul Gustard.

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Burger to retire after Saracens' weekend clash

Jacques Burger is set to become a farmer. Credit: PA

Saracens flanker Jacques Burger has confirmed he will retire from rugby following Sunday's Aviva Premiership game against Newcastle at Allianz Park.

Burger, 32, joined Saracens in 2009, while he captained Namibia and played in three successive World Cup campaigns, winning a total of 41 caps.

He established a reputation as one of the toughest tacklers in world rugby, and he was among the Premiership's most consistent performers during his time in England.

Sunday will be the end of something really special for me.

It is sad that it's coming to an end, but I've said this before, playing rugby is something that I have really loved doing.

Growing up as a child, I wanted to be a professional rugby player, and I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to live that dream. It's been an amazing journey.

I have loved every minute at Saracens, as it's been like home from minute one. It has been an incredible ride.

– Jacques Burger

Sinfield to call time on glittering 20-year rugby career

Kevin Sinfield has announced that he will retire from all forms of rugby at the end of the current rugby union season in May.

The former Leeds and England rugby league captain, who turns 36 in September, switched codes with the Rhinos' sister club Yorkshire Carnegie last November and had another 12 months left on his contract.

However, Sinfield announced at a press conference at Headingley on Wednesday his intention to hang up his boots after receiving several job offers.

Sinfield is hanging up his boots. Credit: PA

Sinfield said: "I have been privileged and deeply honoured to have enjoyed a 20-year career as a professional rugby player and to retire on my own terms rather than through injury is something I feel lucky to be able to do.

"I have always said that some day I will need to get a proper job and that day has now come.

"A number of opportunities have become available to me for life after rugby and I need to make the right decision for me and my family.

"However, before then we have got hopefully four massive games ahead of us, starting this Sunday against a very good Doncaster side at Headingley Carnegie."

In his glittering 19-season professional career in rugby league, Sinfield led Leeds to seven Grand Final victories, back-to-back Challenge Cup triumphs and three World Club Challenge successes.

He was awarded an MBE in the 2014 Queens' Birthday Honours and was runner-up to Andy Murray in the BBC Sports Personality Awards last December.

England's Marler and Farrell cited for foul play

Marler has been cited. Credit: PA

England internationals Joe Marler and Owen Farrell have both been cited over incidents that occurred while they were on European duty with their clubs over the last few days.

Harlequins prop Marler appeared to kick Grenoble hooker Arnaud Heguy in the head on Friday night during the London club's 30-6 victory at The Stoop that sent them into the European Challenge Cup final.

Saracens centre Farrell is alleged to have committed a dangerous tackle on the Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson on Saturday as Sarries reached the Champions Cup final with a 24-17 win at the Madejski Stadium.

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Marler anxiously waiting on another disciplinary hearing

European bosses have 48 hours from the end of the match to bring a citing against Marler. Credit: PA

Joe Marler will face an anxious wait to see whether he will be hit with another disciplinary hearing after appearing to kick Grenoble hooker Arnaud Heguy in the head.

Harlequins romped past Grenoble 30-6 at The Stoop on Friday night to reach the European Challenge Cup final, but that three-try win was overshadowed by England prop Marler.

The 25-year-old was in his first game back after his two-match ban for the "Gypsy boy" slur against Samson Lee in the Six Nations, but found himself in hot water again thanks to the 26th-minute tussle with Heguy.

European bosses have 48 hours from the end of the match to bring a citing against Marler, and any ban could leave him a doubt for England's June tour to Australia.

"Any test for a citing has to pass the red card test, and this does not pass that test," said Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea.

"Should he do it? No. Is it a red card? No. It's disappointing to have to talk about it because I thought his scrummaging was excellent.

"But he is under the microscope.

"Things happen, we never condone it but if that is a red card there's a heck of a lot of things that happen on the pitch that are worse."

Citing commissioner Iain Goodall will now determine whether Marler should face a disciplinary hearing for the incident.

Bath suspend Faosiliva after pleading guilty to assault

Bath have suspended their Samoa international back-row forward Alafoti Faosiliva.

The Aviva Premiership club said in a statement that 30-year-old Faosiliva had appeared at Bath Magistrates' Court on Thursday and pleaded guilty to assault.

Alafoti Faosiliva has been suspended by Bath. Credit: PA

"Bath Rugby can confirm that Alafoti Faosiliva appeared at Bath Magistrates' Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to assault, with sentencing due in early May," the club said.

"The club takes matters such as this very seriously.

"It does not condone behaviour of this sort, and can confirm that Faosiliva has been suspended pending conclusion of the judicial process.

"Bath Rugby will not be making any further comment until the conclusion of this process."

Faosiliva joined Bath in 2013. He has won 15 caps for Samoa, including makiing two appearances at last year's World Cup when he lined up against the United States and Scotland.

Bath have three Premiership games left this season, hosting Sale Sharks on Saturday before visiting Northampton and then concluding their campaign at home to Leicester on May 7.

Moray Low agrees new contract with Exeter

Scotland international prop Moray Low has agreed a new contract with Aviva Premiership title challengers Exeter.

Low has penned a new two-year deal. Credit: PA

The Chiefs have confirmed a two-year deal for Low, who joined Exeter from Glasgow in 2014.

Low has won 32 caps, and he featured off the bench in three of Scotland's RBS 6 Nations games this season.

Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said.

I think Moray has done well for us in his first two seasons here, and is looking to be an improving player all the time.

He has worked his way back into the Scotland squad, and the performances he has put in for us, his ability to play on both sides of the scrum, plus his desire to be considered as a player who can play on both sides, has all been great.

I think he is a good player to have in the squad. He works extremely hard, he is very professional, he's an easy guy to coach and he enjoys being here.

– Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said.

England rugby players shortlisted for European award

Six of England's Six Nations and Grand Slam-winning squad are among the nominations for 2016 European player of the year.

Itoje was immense for England in the 2016 Six Nations. Credit: PA

Saracens quartet Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, George Kruis and Billy Vunipola are joined by Harlequins back-row forward Jack Clifford and Wasps centre Elliot Daly on a 15-strong list.

Also nominated are the likes of Daly's Wasps colleagues Charles Piutau and George Smith, in addition to Exeter's prolific try-scoring number eight Thomas Waldrom, Northampton wing George North and Leicester's Vereniki Goneva.

The EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) list is completed by Toulon's former England flanker and 2014 European player of the year Steffon Armitage, his club team-mate Guilhem Guirado, Racing 92's New Zealand World Cup winner Dan Carter and his Racing colleague Juan Imhoff.

The European Champions Cup semi-finals take place this weekend, with Wasps and Saracens clashing in Reading on Saturday, followed 24 hours later by Leicester facing Racing at Nottingham's City Ground.

The winner's identity will be revealed during next month's European finals weekend in Lyon.

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