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A selection of the latest rugby news and blog posts.

Early season surprise: Michael Hooper sheds captain's armband Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has stood down as skipper of the NSW Waratahs, with Test lock Rob Simmons taking over the job. Openside flanker Hooper, who has been fulltime captain of the Tahs for the past four seasons, still intends to make himself available to be Wallabies skipper, a role he has held since August 2017.

Major League Rugby adds Fox and ESPN as TV partners Major League Rugby will be broadcast on three national television networks in the USA this season. Having seen positive numbers on CBS Sports Network in each of its first two seasons, the league will add weekly matches on Fox Sports 2 and ESPN News for 2020.

Short, sharp training sessions a hit for the returning Luke Jacobson All Black loose forward Luke Jacobson has revealed less is more when it comes to Warren Gatland's coaching sessions at the Chiefs. The date of Jacobson's return is still up in the air as he makes his way back from concussion issues but he is building up his contact work.

All Blacks star Ardie Savea to give goggles experiment another shot Ardie Savea's goggles are staying. Unfortunately for Hurricanes supporters and fans of Savea's all-action style, the loose forward won't make a Super Rugby appearance until well into the second half of the season but confirmed yesterday he was committed to the space age eyewear which caused a storm at last year's World Cup.

Women's Eagles named for Hamilton Sevens Chris Brown has made only minor alterations to his Women's Eagles squad for this weekend's Hamilton Sevens. The 2019-2020 Women's World Series hits the midpoint with the USA currently in third place overall after three stops including a Cup Final win at Glendale in October.

Rebels stick with Dane Haylett-Petty Wallabies outside back Dane Haylett-Petty will captain Melbourne Rebels again as the Victorian club strives for a first Super Rugby finals spot.

Rugby Transfer News and Rumours Round-Up: 21/01/2020 NEWC CONTRACT: Scrum-half Ali Price has followed up his Man of the Match performance against Sale Sharks on Saturday by signing a new two-year contract with Glasgow Warriors. GOSSIP: Saracens prop Vincent Koch has reportedly told his agent that he is desperate to join Sale Sharks.

Michael Hooper steps down as Waratahs captain Michael Hooper has stepped down as captain of the NSW Waratahs barely a week before the side's opening Super Rugby match of the season. Veteran second-rower Rob Simmons will take over from Hooper, with Kurtley Beale named as his deputy.

Premiership Rugby urges Saracens to come clean over salary-cap report Premiership Rugby wants to see the initial report into the Saracens affair made public and is adamant the rest of the Premiership are complying with the cap.

Everyone is chomping at the bit to get a starting spot’ - Andrew Porter The Ireland tight-head has achieved so much since switching from loose-head but still has big ambitions.

Israel Folau scouted out by Northern Hemisphere club Israel Folau has begun discussions to launch a return to the rugby league field. The Daily Telegraph reports the New York franchise, which joins the British competition this season, made a pitch to Folau in a phone call recently. The former Wallaby could be joining All Black Sonny Bill Williams in North America.

A new hooker and props applying pressure - Ireland's front row for the Six Nations Who would you like to see Andy Farrell pick in jerseys number one to three in a week’s time?

Ospreys: From Welsh rugby's Galacticos to regional strugglers The once mighty Ospreys failed to win a single game in this year's Heineken Champions Cup, but can they recover their season?

Reactions are mixed to Leicester's latest coaching reshuffle Ex-England captain Steve Borthwick is set to finish his time working under Eddie Jones and link up at Welford Road as head coach under Geordan Murphy who becomes director of rugby.

RFU chief sheds light on England and Saracens dilemma IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney has refused to rule out the possibility of allowing England to select Saracens players who move abroad following the salary cap scandal.

Bristol boss Pat Lam confirms Saracens star have been in touch Lam revealed to the Bristol Post: "There were rumours they were having a meeting on Friday, that was being circulated in the media and stuff, and I thought that must be true when I started getting phone calls from agents from 10 o'clock onwards.

I ended up feeling sorry for myself, now I’m ready to take my second chance’ Dave Heffernan is determined to make his mark with Ireland after fearing his international career was over.

The message is writ-large: cherish Alun Wyn Jones before he unlaces his size 15s for the last time This will be his 15th year of Test rugby since taking his first tentative steps in 2006 in Argentina. If Jones hangs up his boots and retires the No4 shirt after next year's Six Nations, it will mark the end of an era. In 14 months the idea he could to take his place among the Welsh greats is no longer fanciful.

Murphy hits Championship form with silver, McMahon takes U17 gold in Melbourne Murphy will be back on the water in Melbourne next month for the World Championships.

Wallaby cops four-week ban DISCIPLINARY UPDATE: Saracens Will Skelton has been suspended for four weeks following his red card in the 27-24 win over Racing 92 in their European Champions Cup pool match last Sunday.

RFU chief has his say on whether England could pick Saracens players if they move to France With recruitment by Premiership teams for next season well underway, Saracens players could move to France in the search of a contract - a decision that would normally make them unavailable for England selection.

Mo Farah insists he's 'happy' for his old blood and urine samples to be retested Wada intends to investigate athletes who worked with banned former coach Alberto Salazar.

England assistant Steve Borthwick to join Leicester Tigers as head coach England assistant Steve Borthwick will join Leicester Tigers as their new head coach at the end of the season. The RFU confirmed on Monday that Borthwick, who is England's skills coach for the upcoming Six Nations after being in charge of the forwards for the previous four years, was set to leave before the summer tour to Japan.

Shields expects Braekhus to take 'easier' fight with Taylor in undisputed champion triangle In my opinion, Katie Taylor is going to beat her, but she will not knock Cecilia Braekhus out. And Cecilia can live with that.’.

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