Media Watch: Edinburgh making moves as Lancaster backs Ireland

12 February 2020

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The Guinness PRO14 may not return to action until the weekend, but that hasn’t stopped the news coming out of the Championship continuing to flow.

We begin in Scotland where Edinburgh have extended Damien Hoyland’s contract and turned Jamie Farndale’s loan switch into a permanent deal.

Hoyland, 26, has established himself on the wing for Edinburgh since joining the club in 2014 and has 21 tries in 71 outings for the Guinness PRO14 side.

Farndale arrived in the Scottish capital on loan last summer and the 25-year-old has made five outings since. The length of both deals have not been revealed.

Elsewhere, Argentinian prop Enrique Pieretto has agreed to join Glasgow Warriors in a move which will see him leave Exeter Chiefs.

Pieretto will put pen to paper on a two-year deal subject to completing a medical and passing visa checks.

The 25-year-old was part of the Argentina squad at last year’s World Cup and his arrival comes in the same week Glasgow agreed a new two-year deal with Rob Harley.

Meanwhile, Leinster boss Stuart Lancaster believes Ireland have what it takes to defeat England when the two sides face off at Twickenham in Round 3 of the Guinness Six Nations.

Ireland suffered a heavy 57-17 loss at the hands of Eddie Jones’ side last time they visited Twickenham, but Lancaster feels Andy Farrell’s men, who have won both of their Six Nations games so far this year, have what it takes to come out on top on this occasion.

“I think Ireland can win because of the quality of players they have got,” Lancaster told the Irish Times.

Leinster may have swept all before them aside so far this season with victories in all of their games both on the domestic stage and in Europe, but they do have weaknesses according to Cheetahs captain Ruan Pienaar.

The runaway Conference A leaders host Cheetahs on Saturday and Pienaar insists his side can come away with victory despite the home side being the firm favourites.

“I think they have built something really good over the last few years and they keep the ball really well. Their work rate is good, and they work really hard for each other,” he said.

“It is hard to find a weakness but there has to be a day when you can pounce. For us, we have to focus on our game, what we want to do and hopefully that is good enough to get a result.”

In Wales, Dragons boss Dean Ryan has called on his players to make a fast start to their meeting with Benetton on Saturday.

Having not played since a mid-January win over Enisei-STM it would be understandable for Dragons to be rusty going into the game, but Ryan will not allow for any complacency.

“A three-week break is difficult because it is enough to kill momentum,” said the director of rugby. “If you do not get your training right across that three weeks then you do not come out the other end well.

“We want momentum in the league. We want to be competitive.”

The WRU are rumoured to be keen on bringing Tommy Reffell and Mat Protheroe back to Welsh rugby.

The duo are the latest players to be named in an apparently ongoing attempt by Wales’ four regions to recruit a number of Welsh stars who have been plying their trade in England.

Liam Williams, Sam Costelow and Sam Moore have already struck deals to return to their homeland in high profile deals.

Now Ospreys are said to be keen on bringing in both Reffell and Protheroe who currently play for Leicester Tigers and Bristol Bears respectively.

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