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100 days to go until the Rugby World Cup

Exeter is one of the cities hosting the World Cup Credit: England Rugby 2015

It's 100 days to go until the start of the Rugby World Cup 2015. Sandy Park in Exeter is one of 13 match venues.

The games at Sandy Park include:

- Tonga v Namibia, 29 September

- Namibia v Georgia, 7 October

- Italy v Romania, 11 October

It's thought the three matches at Sandy Park will generate £39 million of economic activity to city, create 286 new jobs, increase visitor numbers to the city and wider area and establish a long lasting legacy.

As well as the 100 day countdown to the start of the Tournament, the Webb Ellis Cup starts its journey around the UK and Ireland as part of the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour.


Torquay United takeover deal is agreed

The group is expected to take command of Torquay United on Thursday Credit: ITV News

A group of people have agreed a deal to take over Torquay United.

The consortium, which is being led by former Gulls striker Dean Edwards, has already provided proof of finance to ensure they can fulfil next season's fixtures in the National League.

The group should take command of the club on Thursday, with a new board of directors being unveiled on Friday.

'Outstanding' Somerset cricketer retires after eye injury

Craig Kieswetter (right) was a successful and popular player for both Somerset and England. Credit: Jed Leicester/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Somerset and England cricketer Craig Kieswetter is retiring from professional sport due to the serious eye injury he suffered last summer.

The 27-year-old wicketkeeper and batsman fought to recover after a ball went through his helmet grille while batting in July, causing serious damage to his eye socket and impairing his vision.

He returned to cricket after surgery, but realised his vision was still problematic. He has now made the decision to retire - but says he finishes his career with no regrets.

Today Somerset Cricket said he had made an "immense" contribution to both the club and the national team, and described him as "gifted" and "popular".

"This is sad news for all concerned. Craig is a very popular member of the squad and has made a real impression on the Club during his years here.

He has been a major influence both on and off the field and will be missed by players, coaches, staff and fans alike." "He is an extremely gifted cricketer who could win a game on his own. His record speaks for itself and the game will miss him. I would have loved to have worked with him this year but it just wasn't to be."

– Matt Maynard, Director of Cricket, Somerset Cricket

“This is awful news both for Craig and the Club but we completely understand why he has come to this difficult decision.

“Craig has made an immense contribution to the success of Somerset and England since joining us. His performances with the bat and gloves have been outstanding and have endeared him to all cricket fans, not just at Somerset but right across the globe.

On behalf of the General Committee and all Somerset Members and supporters I would like to publically thank Craig for his superb contribution to Somerset and to wish him all the best fortune in his future endeavours. He will be greatly missed and will always receive a very warm welcome at the County Ground.”

– Guy Lavender, Somerset CEO

“After been given the opportunity to take some time off and step away from the game, I’ve come to the decision that wasn’t the easiest to make, yet I feel is the right one.

“Having gone through that experience of my eye injury and everything it entailed, I feel mentally I will never again be the player that I was.”

“I have had a terrific career, with plenty of ups and occasional downs, and I am calling time on my career and walking away with no regrets.

“There are so many people that I am grateful to yet most importantly I need to thank my family, without whom nothing I have achieved would have been possible. Their sacrifices to help me to be able to achieve some fantastic success defines the importance of family.

“I’d also like to thank Somerset County Cricket Club for giving me the opportunity to play as a professional, to help mould me and for their loyalty. It is a Club full of so many incredible people and with a great bunch of supporters.

“I would especially like to thank Brian Rose, the former Director of Cricket who gave me my first contract at Somerset, Andy Hurry who was my first team coach and Darren Veness who helped to make me into what I am today. These three guys have been huge influences to me in my career.”

“I’ll have so many memories of a career that spanned nine years of my life during which I have made so many friends. See you all on the sidelines!”

– Craig Kieswetter

Rugby legend and surprise Barnstaple player Jerry Collins dies

Jerry Collins once turned out for Barnstaple. Credit: Reuters

An international rugby superstar who once made a shock appearance for Barnstaple's second team has been killed in a car crash.

Jerry Collins, 34-year-old former captain of New Zealand's All Blacks, died in a crash in southern France between his car and a bus early this morning, along with his wife. Their three-month-old daughter is in a critical condition in hospital.

In 2007 Collins was staying with friends in North Devon. A chance meeting with Barnstaple's director of rugby meant he ended up coaching the team's young players one night and playing for the second team at Newton Abbot the next day - in a game they were winning until it was abandoned due to an injury.

The All Black later wore his red-and-white Barnstaple socks in an invitational against then World Champions, South Africa.

Barnstaple Rugby described Collins as a "wonderful man" with a "heart of gold" in an emotional tribute on Facebook today.

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Somerset's Chris Gayle confident of another big innings at the County Ground

Big-hitter Chris Gayle says the size of the County Ground works in his favour. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA

Somerset cricket fans will be hoping for another big innings from Chris Gayle tonight, when they take on Hampshire in the T20 Blast.

The West Indian batsman has already hit 243 runs in his first two matches, including 151 not out last Sunday against Kent. He says the size of the County Ground helps.

When you have a good wicket and these decent-sized boundaries the ball will tend to fly - over the rope and outside of the ground as well.

– Chris Gayle, Somerset CCC

Plymouth Albion announce new signings

Plymouth Albion's Brickfields home Credit: ITV News

Plymouth Albion has made its first two signings ahead of next season.

Marc Koteczky, played 16 matches for Albion last season and has signed a new deal. He'll play alongside fellow Australian Ethan Ford.

Ethan Ford, like Koteczky, can play wing, centre or full back and he has representative honours with Australian Schools, Australia under 20’s and the New South Wales country side.

I’m looking forward to joining up with the Plymouth Albion squad and experiencing rugby in England.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club and the City.

I know Marc well from Randwick so it will be great to play alongside him again. I’m excited about the challenge that awaits

– Ethan Ford

I like Marc’s ability as a footballer and it’s a bonus that he can play across three positions.

For Ethan coming over from Australia it will be good for him that he has someone he knows in the squad.

It’s always good to have friendships within a team

– Graham Dawe, Head Coach
Plymouth Albion announce new signings Credit: Plymouth Albion

'Just unbelievable': Emotions run high for Cornwall rugby victors

Cornwall are champions for the first time in 19 years. Credit: ITV News

Ecstatic fans and emotional players celebrate Cornwall's County Championship victory. Team captain Kyle Marriott tells us how victory feels, and try scorer Matt Shepherd talks about how much he loves his teammates.

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