Daily Express


Sale ready to welcome back South African duo

- By Neil squires Chief Sports Reporter

WORLD CUP winners Faf de Klerk and Lood de Jager are flying back to the UK this weekend in anticipati­on of a green light for Premiershi­p clubs to resume training next week.

Sale’s South African stars are among a flood of overseas players making their way back after the announceme­nt that elite sport could return behind closed doors next month.

The league expects to receive return-to-play guidance from the Department of Media, Culture and Sport today.

Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond said: “We haven’t been given the nod to start training yet but the lads have been away for nine weeks and they need to be back here now because things may happen reasonably quickly.

“We’re going to watch football very closely and if they trip over any hurdles then hopefully we will avoid them. A lot of it will be down to common sense and we’ve got plenty of that.

“This period is going to be like a mini pre-season. We are going to need two weeks to acclimatis­e the players, two weeks to get them into some contact, two weeks of proper physical training.

“That’s six weeks and then we can play. They have all done a lot of running so it’s not aerobic stuff we are worried about. Some of them might have lost a bit of timber so it’s a case of getting them back in the gym.”

The Premiershi­p will return to a law change, with World Rugby announcing yesterday that a try can no longer be scored by placing the ball against the post protector. The governing body will continue to monitor two other potentiall­y more significan­t law changes in minor league experiment­s when rugby resumes after reporting back “encouragin­g” initial findings.

The first is the 50-22 – a version of rugby league’s 40-20 kick which earns a line-out for the kicking team and is designed to take defenders out of the line to cover it.

The second is the ban on tackling above the waist. That saw a three-fold reduction in injuries and a 60 per cent cut in concussion­s during its use in the French community game which, if replicated in further trials, could be a game changer.

Meanwhile, Exeter back row Matt Kvesic, 28, is moving back to his first profession­al club Worcester next season.

Scarlets wing Tom James, who won 12 Wales caps, has retired from profession­al rugby at the age of 33.

 ??  ?? RETURN: De Jager will also fly back
RETURN: De Jager will also fly back
 ??  ?? IN FULL FLIGHT Faf de Klerk is among the players jetting back to England ahead of a resumption
IN FULL FLIGHT Faf de Klerk is among the players jetting back to England ahead of a resumption

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