November 25, 2023
Tonights rugby news as Leigh Halfpenny jets off to start new life in New Zealand and superb Wales international dies
These are your evening rugby headlines on Saturday, November 25. Halfpenny bids Wales farewell Leigh Halfpenny has bid farewell to Wales and flown to New Zealand to start his new life with the Crusaders. The 34-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Super Rugby side earlier this month, having announced his international retirement and played his last match in a Wales shirt against the Barbarians on November 4. Halfpenny left the Scarlets at the end of last season but after also representing Cardiff and Toulon, his time in Europe is now over, with he and his wife Jess jetting off Down Under this week. The full-back - who was described as a "legend of Welsh rugby" by his new club - shared photos of his final few days in Wales on Instagram ahead of his departure, as he was seen undergoing a gruelling strength and conditioning session on home turf as he prepares for the Super Rugby pre-season. He and Jess were also photographed in a taxi heading to Heathrow, with his wife also taking to the Social Media site to share her excitement at the move. The couple posed for a photo outside Terminal 3, with Jess adding the caption: "Mum and Dad take New Zealand". "So excited for the start of our next little chapter," she added. "I don’t know what to do with myself traveling without two prams, two kids and a million cases. Already missing our babies. Thanks Super Nannys for holding down the fort back home for a week." READ MORE: Dan Biggar left stunned by shocking Siya Kolisi interview as South Africa captain reveals he was stabbed READ MORE: Wales rugby international's father dies in tragic circumstances as club issue statement Wales international dies One of Wales' oldest internationals, Glyn 'Shorty' Davies, has died aged 96. A former teacher, Davies played for the likes of Blackwood , Cross Keys, Blackheath and Sussex County, before turning out for Swansea against Italy in 1956 and appearing twice for the Barbarians on their 1953 Easter Tour, playing in wins at Penarth and Newport . The back-row only won a single cap for Wales as he faced England in Cardiff in 1955. Despite ending up on the winning side as Wales earned a 3-0 victory, he was never picked again - but that seemingly didn't matter too much to Davies, who described himself as "the happiest man alive" after his selection was confirmed in the same week he got engaged. He told reporters at the time: "I’ve been on tenterhooks all the week. Even now I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.” Davies could have won more caps for his country, including in Wales' famous win over New Zealand in 1953. He had been selected for his international debut against the All Blacks, but picked up a back injury the day before and was replaced by Sid Judd, who went on to score a decisive try in the historic victory. 6ft 3in 'Shorty' suffered more bad luck the following year when he was invited to play for Wales against Ireland, only to be hospitalised with pneumonia. However, his chance to represent his country would come a year later, to his sheer delight. The WRU has paid tribute to 'Shorty', describing him as a "superb all-round athlete", who also represented Wales at basketball and was the Welsh Universities heavyweight boxing champion. The union also said it "passes on its sincere condolences to his wife, Brenda, and the rest of his family and friends". Springbok addresses death threats South Africa scrum-half Cobus Reinach has revealed the extent of the vile abuse he received at this year's Rugby World Cup after being sent death threats allegedly by rival supporters. The Montpellier star played a key role in the Springbok's quarter-final win over France in a match that saw the tournament hosts become slightly aggrieved with some of referee Ben O'Keeffe's decisions. Reinach, however, praised the official which, according to him, sparked the online abuse which ultimately saw security in France beefed up ahead of the final knockout matches. “I said after the match that the referee had been good under pressure, which led to me receiving many messages,” the 33-year-old told L’Equipe. “The first message concerned me directly, telling me not to come back to Montpellier, otherwise I would be killed. “Then it started to concern my family. People, behind their keyboards, who can attack your family. They are not the ones making decisions on the field or playing against your team, so clearly, this crosses the line.” Reinach added that he had received lots of support from French fans since the incident, but called for the behaviour of the minority to be stamped out of rugby. “I don’t want to dwell on it because the French have been incredible, but this online harassment, which is from a minority, must stay out of this game,” he said. “These people who told me not to come back to Montpellier, that I was going to die, that I was a cheat.” Dupont makes World Cup confession France captain Antoine Dupont has revealed he couldn't sleep after his side were dumped out the Rugby World Cup and rewatched his side's heartbreaking quarter-final defeat to South Africa just hours after the final whistle. Dupont made a miraculous return to the French starting line-up having fractured his cheekbone just weeks earlier in a pool stage match against Namibia, with the scrum-half defying the odds to line up against the Springboks after having facial surgery. But the talisman's return was not enough to save Les Bleus from crashing out of their home World Cup, with the eventual champions beating them 29-28 to progress to the last four, where they faced England. And Dupont has now admitted in an interview with French Football legend Thierry Henry that the defeat played heavily on his mind having sensed "injustice" at full-time. "I watched [the match] the next morning because I couldn't sleep," he told Henry. "I slept for a few hours, then I couldn't do it anymore. I thought, 'Okay Come on, I'm watching it now, so afterwards I don't watch it anymore. It's especially the refereeing stuff that I wanted to watch again. In 2019, we lost the quarter-final by one point, and I never watched it afterwards. "But this one, I wanted to see it again. I had to, I think I needed it. You always have this impression on the ground, which is not necessarily the same afterwards. It was to see if this feeling of injustice that we had was real." However, Dupont looks to have come to terms with the loss, admitting: "In the end, it's useless, it has no use, except perhaps to accept more easily, or understand certain things."
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