Sharks sign Sergio Parisse heir apparent de Marchi

Steve Diamond, the Director of Rugby of the Aviva Premiership Rugby Football Union club the Sale Sharks has announced the capture of talented Italian international prop forward Alberto de Marchi ahead of the new season of the Premiership.

The 28 year old, who grew up idolizing legendary Italian skipper Sergio Parisse and is considered as a future international skipper himself, was a part of the Italian squad that recently competed in the Six Nations Championship, staring each of their five games, has been brought in to replace the outgoing England international Henry Thomas who is set to join Sale’s Premiership rivals Bath Rugby in the new season.

Diamond has mentioned that the club had to fight off stiff competition from French heavyweights and the reigning European champions Toulon to complete his signing from Treviso, his Italian club.

The legendary boss stated that de Marchi has had a great time with the Italian team at the Six Nations Championship and that brought him to the attention of the major clubs from Europe. He is hopeful that the player will prove to a great asset for the club as it looks to achieve the unthinkable for a club like them and fight on all fronts next season.

He mentioned that Italian is a great scrummager and his mobility allows him to move all over the pitch during a game. Moreover, the fact that his defensive skills are beyond any question will make him a great asset for the club in the future.

Diamond finds his side at fifth in the Aviva Premiership table with just seven points separating them from a place in the playoff semifinals which will be a great achievement for the club considering it was fighting to save relegation from the top flight last season escaping by the skin of their teeth.

New Zealanders want Richie McCaw to continue

A recent poll conducted in New Zealand by Herald DigiPoll has revealed that an overwhelming majority of New Zealanders want their ageing but legendary skipper Richie McCaw to lead the side out as they head to England next year to defend their Rugby World Cup title.

The poll put forward a very simple question for fans to answer: asking whether they though the Rugby World Cup winning captain of the team on home soil in 2011 should call it quits ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England in September when he will be a few days short of his 35th birthday.

A majority of 50.6 per cent of the men surveyed believe the inspirational still has a lot to offer to the side while 54.8 per cent of women surveyed want to see Richie McCaw lead the team next summer as well.

A whopping 53.3 per cent of New Zealanders want to see McCaw continue while the number comes down to around 51.8 per cent for the area in Auckland.

If the legendary skipper does indeed start against Australia in the first match of their Rugby World Cup 2015 campaign at the new Wembley Stadium, he will be 34 years and 263 days old, an age where most players are either retired or contemplate retirement.

Although McCaw missed a large duration of last season due to an injury, there is no doubting his peak physical conditioning means he will still be a force for the team. Although he has lost that yard of pace, his work ethic, energy and intelligence makes the whole New Zealand team tick and if the team does include Richie McCaw in the side for the Rugby World Cup 2015, there are chances of them sealing another triumph at the home of the sport.

The Greatest Openside Flankers

The New Zealand Rugby Union player, Richard Hugh “Richie” McCaw is the present test captain for the national rugby team of the country, the All Blacks. He is a predominant player in the openside flanker position of the New Zealand as well as Crusaders and Canterbury teams. However, he has also played as a number 8 and blindside flanker.

The two key attributes that are considered to have made Richie McCaw one of the greatest openside flankers are his ability of anticipating play and the adaptability he shows to the rulings of the referees. Richie was selected for the New Zealand National Rugby Team All Blacks in the end of year tour in 2001. He debuted for New Zealand against Ireland. He was also awarded the man of the match in that tournament and earned selection as first choice openside flanker for the team of New Zealand for the 2003 World Cup tournament. Excepting a few games, Richie McCaw has been a regular selection for the New Zealand rugby team. He was appointed the captain of the All Blacks in 2006 and also led the team at the world cup tournament in 2007. The elimination of the team in the quarter finals had brought up criticism regarding in captaincy, but he achieved victory for his team in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The tournaments in 2012-13 saw the All Blacks win almost twelve tests, draw in one and lose only one. They also won the Rugby Championship with a cent percent winning record. McCaw during this time overtook George Gregan on the winning side, for most times, with 94. Richie recorded his 100th victory in Dunedin against South Africa. Richie McCaw was announced a nominee for the IRB Player of the year, however he lost the title to Dan Carter, his fellow team mate.