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England flanker Kvesic joins Exeter Chiefs

Kvesic has joined Exeter. Credit: PA

Exeter have signed England flanker Matt Kvesic on a three-year deal from their Aviva Premiership rivals Gloucester.

The Chiefs announced that 24-year-old Kvesic would move to Sandy Park for next season.

Kvesic has won three Test caps - two against Argentina in 2013 and one as a replacement when England beat Wales at Twickenham last May - and he will leave Gloucester after four years at Kingsholm.

"We see him as a very good player," Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said.

"I worked with him on the (England) tour to Argentina, where he was outstanding in the way he prepared himself, the way he carried himself and the way he played.

"Young English talent doesn't come on the market all that often, so when it does become available we are very determined to collect some of that here.

"He has got a lot of the qualities we like. He is very hard working, has a very high work rate on the field and off the field he is a good guy, and we feel he has also got a good deal of development in him."

England flanker James Haskell 'totally fine' after head knock during Wasps comeback

James Haskell (right) leaves the field of play. Credit: PA

Wasps boss Dai Young delivered a positive fitness bulletin on James Haskell after the England flanker's long-awaited comeback from injury lasted less than a minute.

Second-half substitute Haskell appeared to be knocked out following a tackle on Leicester full-back Freddie Burns as Wasps claimed a gripping 22-16 Aviva Premiership victory at the Ricoh Arena.

He was then helped off, having featured for just 49 seconds in his first appearance since suffering a serious toe injury during England's successful Australia tour last summer.

"He is totally fine now," Wasps rugby director Young said. "He had a real big hit and had a bang on the head, so he has got to go through the protocols.

"It was the best '36-second' comeback ever, so he is having a bit of a ribbing off the boys, but all jokes aside, thankfully he is okay. He took a nasty bang to the head.

"He went in low to make the tackle, and it was pretty much head on body.

"We've all been really eager to get him back on the field, and he's had a big build-up, but he is totally fine, laughing and joking and having a bit of banter."


Manu Tuilagi ruled out for rest of the season

Manu Tuilagi will miss the rest of the season including the Six Nations. Credit: PA

Luckless England centre Manu Tuilagi will miss the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury, Leicester have announced.

The injury-plagued Leicester battering ram suffered a ligament tear in Sunday's 16-12 Aviva Premiership defeat to Saracens.

Tuilagi has battled severe groin trouble in the last two years and only managed one replacement appearance for England in 2016.

The injury blow to Tuilagi compounds Leicester's sacking of rugby director Richard Cockerill on Monday, with interim boss Aaron Mauger left to help Tuilagi come to terms with his latest setback.

Leicester coach Mauger said:

Unfortunately Manu sustained an ACL injury in the game on Sunday that's going to put him out for the rest of the season," It's looking like a six-month recovery which is devastating for the bloke, he's worked so hard to get back to where he is.

He's absolutely gutted, but we've got a good support team around him, we'll put a good plan in place and we'll see him back on the field early next season.

– Leicester coach Aaron Mauger

Eddie Jones uses Leicester as an example for England

England have discussed Leicester City's decline this season as they aim to prevent any drop in standards in the wake of a perfect year.

Eddie Jones will not tolerate complacency from his England players. Credit: PA

Eddie Jones' men open their Six Nations title defence against France on February 4 seeking a 15th successive victory, having pieced together an unblemished run of 13 wins under their Australian head coach.

To highlight the pitfalls awaiting his Grand Slam winners, Jones has used Leicester's slump from Premier League champions to a team struggling in the bottom half of the table as a warning.

"If you look back at 2016, the two most winning teams in England in terms of complex team sports were Leicester City and England," Jones said.

"We went through the example of what's happened to Leicester and do we want that to happen to us and so what are the things that we need to ensure that it doesn't happen. The players were actively involved in it.

"We've come up with some strategies that we believe will help us overcome any complacency and any tendency to be comfortable and keep pushing forward."

Former Wales captain John Gwilliam dies aged 93

Gwilliam played for Wales between 1947 and 1954. Credit: PA

Former Wales captain John Gwilliam has died, aged 93, his family have announced.

Gwilliam won 23 caps between 1947 and 1954, leading Wales to two Grand Slams - the only Welsh captain to do so - and played in their last victory over the New Zealand All Blacks in December 1953.

A history teacher who became headmaster of Birkenhead School, he played for Cambridge University, Newport, Edinburgh Wanderers, Gloucester, London Welsh, Llanelli and Wasps.


George Earle handed eight week eye-gouging ban

The 29-year-old South African had pleaded not guilty. Credit: PA

Cardiff Blues lock George Earle has been banned for eight weeks following his sending-off in their European Challenge Cup defeat against Bath.

Earle was sent off by referee Alexandre Ruiz for eye gouging in a maul in the second half of their 38-3 loss last week.

The 29-year-old South African pleaded not guilty, but an independent disciplinary panel ruled otherwise, although it deemed his offence was at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions.

The panel also took into account Earle's clean disciplinary record and the fact he apologised to Tom Ellis, the Bath player involved, after the match.

The ban will begin with Cardiff's Guinness PRO12 home clash with Newport Gwent Dragons on Boxing Day.

Earle, who can appeal the decision, will be free to play on February 13.

Gatland 'delighted' with Lions coaching staff

(L to r) Steve Borthwick, Warren Gatland, Rob Howley and Andy Farrell. Credit: PA

Warren Gatland says he is "absolutely delighted" with the quality of his British and Irish Lions coaching team for next summer's tour to New Zealand.

As had been expected, England forwards coach Steve Borthwick, Ireland defence specialist Andy Farrell and current Wales interim head coach Rob Howley will join Lions chief Gatland for the 10-match tour.

Confirmation of the trio came at a press conference in Dublin, with Farrell and Howley returning for another Lions expedition after working with New Zealander Gatland during the successful 2013 Australia tour.

Ex-England skipper and current Red Rose forwards coach Borthwick is a Lions newcomer, but he has made a considerable impression during England's spectacular revival under Eddie Jones.

Gatland said: "Over the next couple of months we want to add some specialist people to the coaching set-up.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the quality we've got here at the moment. There's no rush specifically at the moment. We're just making sure we speak to the right people."

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