Senior Wallaby Matt Burke says he hasn'tgiven up on his international rugby career after being overlooked for theWallabies training squad on Thursday. National coach Eddie Jones said it was far from a death-knell forplayers left out of a 22-man squad of New South Wales and Queensland playersselected for a skills session here next week. The 76-Test veteran was the most notable omission with former Testcentres Steve Kefu and Nathan Grey also overlooked for the preliminary squad. Burke, 31, who had a mixed Super 12 season with theunder-achieving NSW Waratahs, said he felt his form warranted selection. "It's disheartening not to be chosen in the squad, knowingwhom they've picked ... you want to put yourself in contention to be picked andshow some form and I thought I was accomplishing that but it's contrary to whatother people thought," Burke said on Thursday. "The shoulder injury wasn't the greatest timing but when Igot a chance to play I thought I was playing reasonably well." Burke and Waratahs teammate Grey will leave on Monday to play forthe Barbarians against Scotland, Wales and England later this month. The Barbarians, coached by former Wallabies and NSW coach BobDwyer, play Scotland at Murrayfield on May 22, Wales at Bristol on May 26 andEngland at Twickenham on May 30. Burke, Australia's most capped fullback, is contracted to theAustralian Rugby Union until the end of the year, but he is now under pressureto have it renewed for 2005 if an option is not taken up by the ARU and NSW
Rugby. "Like everyone playing in the Super 12 I still aspire to playfor my country," Burke said. "I'm waiting for them to come back to me in terms of whetherthey want me, if I'm in NSW's plans for next year. "I think there's still life in the legs and I have somethingto offer. "If that's not the case I suppose I'll have to canvass stuffoverseas." Jones said the Wallabies squad, to be announced on May 25, was farfrom cut and dried and pointed to Burke's early omission from the Test lineuplast year. "Burkie was also not in the squad at the start of last yearand ended up playing the first Test of the Tri-nations against South Africa so anyplayer who's outside the squad there's still very much the ability for themto get into back into it," Jones said on Thursday. "This is just a squad for one day of training and thendepending on what happens with the Brumbies, we'll will name another squad and then itcontinues onwards, it's just one selection." Australia train-on squad (minus ACT players still in Super 12): AlBaxter, Brendan Cannon, Matt Dunning, Justin Harrison, David Lyons, MorganTurinui, Lote Tuqiri, Cameron Shepherd, Dan Vickerman, Phil Waugh, ChrisWhitaker (New South Wales); Sean Hardman, Nathan Sharpe, John Roe, David Croft,Luke Doherty, Josh Valentine, Elton Flately, Wendell Sailor, Peter Hynes,Drew Mitchell, Chris Latham (Queensland).
Ireland Women's Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall is in Langford this week for the Canada leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series. Following Ireland's Bowl win in Atlanta, Lucy previews our prospects this weekend.
Ireland Women's Sevens captain Lucy Mulhall speaks about the build-up to the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. The girls in green begin the pool stages against France at 12.52pm local time/5.52pm Irish time today.
IRFU High Performance Manager Colin McEntee reflects on the Easter matches played by the Ireland Under-18 and Under-19 teams, which ended last weekend with wins over the England Counties U-18s and France U-19s.
Watch highlights of the Ireland Under-18s' seven-try 43-0 victory over Scotland during the inaugural U-18 Five Nations Festival in Caerphilly, Wales. Number 8 and captain Caelan Doris scored a hat-trick of tries and winger Daniel Hurley bagged a brace.
Railway Union's Kim Flood made her debut at full-back for the Ireland Women in last weekend's 14-3 Six Nations win over Italy. She is looking forward to experiencing the partisan crowd at Donnybrook again this Sunday when Scotland are the visitors. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.ie.
Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek spoke to Irish Rugby TV on the eve of the final round of the RBS 6 Nations Championship. He is happy that the team are focused but warns that it will be a tough encounter with Scotland tomorrow.
Looking forward to the lineout battle with Scotland, Ireland lock Devin Toner said: "We went well again Italy, I think our set piece went well. If we can just build on that and build on the positives then I think we'll be okay."
Joe Schmidt spoke to Irish Rugby TV this morning with an update on the squad, a look back at Ireland's nine-try win over Italy and a preview of our final match of the RBS 6 Nations Championship against Scotland.
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney was pleased to see his new-look side come away with a 14-3 win over Italy. Full-back Kim Flood, winger Liz Burke and replacement centre Claire McLaughlin made their international debuts on the day.