Cardiff Blues: Welsh Rugby Union temporary takeover called off

Blues chief executive Richard Holland said the region has made the "unanimous decision" not to pursue the option. Holland added "amicable discussions" had been held on how the WRU could assist the region during the potential redevelopment of Cardiff Arms Park. "We will continue to explore the best way forward for the future of ... our region," he said in an open letter. Earlier in May WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips said the governing body was in "embryonic" talks over the possibility of taking over the Blues.Stadium redevelopment plans rest on Blues coming to an agreement over renewing their lease with Cardiff Athletic Club (Cac) that ends in January, 2022.That agreement appears to be a step closer with a Cac spokesperson saying:...

Steff Evans: Scarlets wing free to play in Pro12 final against Munster

Media playback is not supported on this device Scarlets wing Steff Evans can play in Saturday's Pro12 final against Munster after the red card he received against Leinster was rescinded. The 22-year-old was sent-off by referee Marius Mitrea for a tip tackle in their semi-final win over Leinster in Dublin.A disciplinary panel decided, by a majority, that Evans "undertook a lawful tackle in a manner that was consistent with...

Christian Day: Premiership Rugby’s extended season plans are ‘upsetting’

Premiership Rugby plans for the 2019-20 campaign to start in early September and finish at the end of June.The Rugby Players' Association, which 33-year-old Day is chairman of, "unanimously rejected" the proposals."It's not going to happen until 2019 at the earliest and we've made it pretty clear that in its present state we players won't let it happen," said Day. The plans were revealed following the announcement of the new global calendar in March. Premiership Rugby said the 10-month campaign will allow clubs to become "more sophisticated" in their management of players, with chief executive Mark McCafferty insisting player welfare remains the priority. But Day said players were worried about their well-being if a longer season, with only a two-month off-season, were...

Aaron Shingler: Wales call up Scarlet for injured Osprey James King

The 29-year-old replaces injured Ospreys forward James King. Shingler, who has eight caps, will join the Wales squad after Scarlets' Pro12 final against Munster on Saturday. "We've got a young squad, but we're not treating this as a development tour. We're going to the southern hemisphere to win two Tests," said Robin McBryde, Wales' head coach for the tour. "So the selection has to reflect a balance between potential and performance, and the new players will have to reach the high levels of expectation we have of them." Shingler's call-up comes a day after uncapped Exeter full-back Phil Dollman was summoned as a replacement for Rhun Williams.

Leigh Halfpenny: New Toulon contract close says owner Mourad Boudjellal

Halfpenny, 28, joined Toulon in 2014 from Cardiff Blues and his current deal runs out this summer. The Top 14 side's owner, Mourad Boudjellal, wants to have the contract sorted "by the end of this week". Toulon have made an offer reported to be worth £750,000 per year for the club's top points-scorer. His former Welsh region, in conjunction with the Welsh Rugby Union had offered Halfpenny a national dual contract (NDC), but Blues chief executive Richard Holland admitted in March that it was "unlikely" the player would agree a return. Halfpenny again proved his worth as Toulon reached the French Top 14 semi-finals, scoring a crucial late try in a personal haul of 21 points as they saw off Castres 26-22...

Joe Marchant & Paul Hill out of England’s tour to Argentina

Marchant, 20, has a toe injury while Hill, 22, has an ongoing neck problem. England will also assess Sale Sharks wing Denny Solomona, who is having treatment on a foot sprain. Head coach Eddie Jones will confirm the 31-man squad travelling to Argentina on Monday, following the Aviva Premiership final on Saturday.

Phil Dollman: Wales call up Exeter full-back to face Tonga and Samoa

The 32-year-old former Newport Gwent Dragon will replace the injured Rhun Williams in the squad. Dollman is due to represent the Chiefs in Saturday's Premiership final against Wasps following their last-gasp victory over defending champions Saracens. Dollman's inclusion means there is no place for Dan Evans in Wales' squad. He will compete with Gareth Anscombe and Sam Davies for the full-back shirt.

London Irish: Nick Kennedy not looking beyond second leg of Championship final

Irish will take an 11-point lead into the return leg against Yorkshire on Wednesday as they bid to complete an immediate return to the Premiership."I've not even sorted my holiday out for the end of May or June, I've not thought past kick-off," Kennedy said. The Exiles are favourites having lost just once in the regular season. "I don't even know what I'm doing on Thursday morning," former Irish second row Kennedy told BBC Sport. "It's such a big event for me, I don't have the ability to think that far forward. "We're just throwing absolutely everything at Wednesday night." Irish will be without centre Asaeli Tikoirotuma in the only change to their team for the second leg at the Madejski Stadium. The...