New South Wales Men's Sevens National Champions

New South Wales clinch men’s and women’s national titles

New South Wales beat Queensland in both the Men’s and Women’s Cup Finals to clinch the the National Sevens Championships over the weekend, making it a clean sweep of titles across the seniors and youth events.

At the Australian home of Rugby Sevens, the Sydney Academy of Sport, the New South Wales Blue Men’s team continued their fine form from the pool stages on Day One as they saw off a brave Victorian side (12-0) and New South Wales White (35-7) and then defeated Queensland Red (29-21) in a see-saw Cup Final.

New South Wales Women's Sevens National Champions

In the Women’s tournament, New South Wales Blue re-claimed the title they lost to Queensland Red in 2014, beating their rivals north of the border 22-0 in the Cup Final. Earlier, New South Wales Blue saw off Australian Universities (36-0) in the first Quarter-Final of the day before beating Australian Services by the same scoreline in the Cup Semi-Finals.

New South Wales lynchpin Illiseva Batibasaga was named Player of the Tournament by Australian Women’s Head Coach Tim Walsh in the post-tournament presentation.

Selected results
Cup Quarter-Finals: NSW Blue 12-0 Victoria, Australian Universities 14-22 NSW White, ACT 17-12 Queensland White, Queensland Red 24-7 National Indigenous; Cup Semi-Finals: New South Wales Blue 35-7 New South Wales White, ACT 14-22 Queensland Red; 3rd/4th Place Play-Off: New South Wales White 12-26 ACT; Cup Final: New South Wales Blue 29-21 Queensland Red

Final Positions: 1. New South Wales Blue, 2. Queensland Red, 3. ACT, 4. New South Wales White, 5. Australian Universities, 6. Queensland White, 7. National Indigenous, 8. Victoria, 9. Western Australia, 10. Northern Territory, 11. Tasmania, 12. South Australia

Cup Quarter-Finals: NSW Blue 36-0 Australian Universities, Australian Services *12-12 NSW White, ACT 12-7 Western Australia, Queensland Red 20-0 National Indigenous; Cup Semi-Finals: New South Wales Blue 36-0 Australian Services, ACT 5-19 Queensland Red; 3rd/4th Place Play-Off: Australian Services 0-31 ACT; Cup Final: New South Wales Blue 22-0 Queensland Red

Final Positions: New South Wales Blue, 2. Queensland Red, 3. ACT, 4. Australian Services, 5. Western Australia, 6. Australian Universities, 7. National Indigenous, 8. New South Wales White, 9. Victoria, 10. Northern Territory, 11. Queensland White, 12. South Australia

Kent Cricket new T20 shirt with Battle of Britain Memorial Trust logo

Battle of Britain 75th anniversary commemorated by new Kent Cricket shirt

The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain has been commemorated by Kent Cricket with the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust’s name appearing on the brand new 2015 NatWest T20 Blast shirt which gets launched next week.

The charity appears on the collar of the new Kent Spitfires cricket shirt, designed by Samurai, which will go on sale in April with a donation from sales going to The Trust, which will become one of Kent Cricket’s official charities for 2015.

Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens had an input into the design and said: “It’s great to see the Club commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Britain with a limited edition kit.

“I shall be proud to wear the Kent Spitfires shirt and help raise funds and awareness for such a worthy cause.”

The club played tribute to sponsors Shepherd Neame who allowed the Trust to replace its Spitfire Ale collar logo on the 2015 shirt.

Kent Cricket CEO Jamie Clifford said: “Kent Cricket and Spitfire Ale is already a fantastic partnership with our respective brands fitting so closely together.  This initiative is a very special extension of that partnership.

“I am delighted that Shepherd Neame has very graciously agreed to donate their collar logo on the new shirt to the Trust and share the Club’s desire to remember the sacrifice made over the skies of Kent during the summer of 1940.

“As part of our long-term agreement, the Club also nominates a match annually as the Battle of Britain memorial match to commemorate the bravery of ‘The Few’ in the skies over the fields of Kent.”

The collection at the designated fixture helps to raise funds for The Wing, a new visitor centre at the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone.

In 2015, Kent’s Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Lancashire Lightning on Saturday 8 August will be the special charity day for the Trust.

The President of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Graydon GCB CBE, said the charity was “absolutely delighted” with the support from both Kent Cricket and Shepherd Neame.

Sir Michael, former Chief of the Air Staff, said: “The 75th anniversary year is very important for the Trust and it will also see the opening of the Scramble Experience within the new Wing building at Capel-le-Ferne.

“We rely on the support of the public and of organisations such as Kent Cricket to help us look after the Memorial and, in turn, preserve the memory of the aircrew who defended this country against invasion in the summer and early autumn of 1940.

“We are proud to have our logo on the NatWest T20 Blast shirt and we hope it brings the team every success this season.”

The shirt will be revealed next week before it goes on sale at Kent Cricket Shop at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence and The Battle of Britain Trust Shop in Capel-le-Ferne.

Article and image used courtesy of Kent Cricket

Kabras Sugar - Kenya Cup Rugby

Debutants Kabras make Kenya Cup semis

Kabras Sugar reached the Kenya Cup semi final playoffs at their first time of asking after blitzing the already qualified Pan Africa Strathmore Leos 61-24 at Kakamega in a dramatic final round of league games.

The league debutantes securing the last playoff available, and held off a challenge from Mwamba who thrashed Mean Machine 49-6 to pile the pressure on to Kabras.

On lower end of the table, Catholic Monks were relegated to the Nationwide league after going down 0-33 to visiting Western Bulls in Karen. The Monks tumble down to the second tier alongside Mombasa who coincidentally fell to a 0-33 loss to Kenya Harlequins.

The semi final draw sees the two teams in Samurai rugby kits, Top Fry Nakuru and Kabras Sugar, face each other on 7th March, while in the other tie KCB face Pan Africa Strathmore Leos with the winners meeting in the final 14th March at the RFUEA Grounds.

Saturday 7 March 2015 – Nakuru Athletic Club
Semi Final 1: KCB v Pan Africa Strathmore Leos – 2.00pm
Semi Final 2: Top Fry Nakuru v Kabras Sugar – 4.00pm

Saturday 14 March 2015 – RFUEA Grounds
Final: KCB/Pan Africa Strathmore Leos v Top Fry Nakuru/Kabras Sugar


Resolution Impala Saracens 24-25 Total Nondies
Blak Blad 3-36 Homeboyz
Mean Machine 6-49 Mwamba
Catholic Monks 0-33 Western Bulls
Kabras Sugar 61-24 Pan Africa Strathmore Leos
Mombasa Sports Club 0-33 Kenya Harlequins
Top Fry Nakuru 23-20 KCB


Q1.Nakuru 13 13 0 0 503 123 +380 9 61
Q2.KCB 13 12 0 1 555 134 +421 11 59
Q3.Strathmore 13 9 0 4 472 205 +267 10 46
Q4. Kabras 13 9 0 4 375 133 +242 10 46
 —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —
5. Mwamba 13 9 0 4 465 191 +274 8 44
6.Impala 13 7 0 6 454 274 +182 10 38
7.Nondies 13 7 0 6 288 245 +43 8 36
8.Homeboyz 13 7 0 6 329 223 +106 7 35
9. Bulls 13 7 0 6 288 236 +50 6 34
10.Quins 13 5 0 8 318 326 -8 6 26
11.Blad 13 3 0 10 161 497 -336 3 15
12.Machine 13 2 0 11 142 438 -296 1 7
 —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —  —
R13.Catholic 13 1 0 12 88 773 -685 0 4
R 14.Mombasa 13 0 0 13 38 644 -606 0 -4

*Machine docked two points for failure to honor fixture against Nakuru
* Mombasa docked four points for failure to honor fixtures against Nondies and Homeboyz

Kent and England Women's Cricket Captain Charlotte Edwards

Edwards set for double century as England captain

Kent ladies captain Charlotte Edwards says it will be a “huge honour” to captain England for the 200th time and hopes to still be in charge for the 2017 World Cup.

The 35-year-old batsman will lead her side out in a Twenty20 match against New Zealand at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln, just south of Christchurch, tonight.

“It’s something I am hugely proud of,” said Edwards, who took over the captaincy from Clare Connor in 2005.  “To captain England was the ultimate honour. To be on the verge of doing it for the 200th time is unbelievable.”

Edwards, from Cambridgeshire, becomes the first England player – man or woman – to have been skipper for 200 international games. She has led the team in nine Tests, 109 one-day games and 81 T20s.

She said she had always been “pretty determined” to captain her country. “I watched my dad from an early age captain his club team and I’d sit down and criticise his moves, so I thought I had an eye for captaincy,” Edwards said.

The right-handed batter made her England debut in 1996 at 16. She was voted Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2008, led her country to World Cup and World Twenty20 success in 2009, and has been appointed both an MBE and CBE for her services to cricket.

“I’ve still got huge ambitions in the game personally and as a team,” said Edwards. “I’m not saying I’m going to retire in 2017, but playing in that World Cup is a huge goal for me.” That tournament will be staged in England, with Australia the defending champions.

The Twenty20 series between England and hosts New Zealand is level at 1-1. The deciding contest in Lincoln will be followed by two further one-day internationals, with the home side 2-1 up in that format.

As Edwards prepares for her own personal milestone, she continues to push the women’s game in general. She hopes a number of England players will feature in a new Women’s Big Bash Twenty20 competition in Australia, starting next year, and hopes there will be a T20 league for women in the United Kingdom soon. “It would be great to get all the world-class players over to England throughout our summer and really show off the game,” she said.

The domestic season in the Women’s County Championship gets underway on the 3rd May with Kent looking to keep hold of the title. They open the defence of the crown at home to Yorkshire wearing Samurai women’s cricket kit – with the teams this year appearing in coloured kits, compared to traditional cricket whites.

The Kent team will play in the same shirts as the men, wearing the hugely popular sky blue patterned shirts that the men enjoyed such one-day success in last summer.

Danny Cipriani Sale Sharks

Cipriani turns down Toulon to sign new Sale deal

England star Danny Cipriani has handed Sale Sharks arguably their most important result of the season by signing a new two-year deal with the club. The 27-year-old fly-half has rejected the advances of French giants Toulon to instead commit his future to Sale Sharks in what is a massive boost for Steve Diamond’s side.

In signing his new deal, Cipriani has become the 10th player, following club captain Dan Braid, to agree to a new deal at Sale but confirmation of his renewal is unquestionably the most significant.

Cipriani, who first burst onto the national stage as a teenager with Wasps, has made a huge impact at Sale since joining from Melbourne Rebels in the summer of 2012 and his superb form over the past 18 months has seen him earn a deserved recall to the England set-up.

After impressing on the tour to world champions New Zealand last summer where he made two Test appearances, the fly-half then marked his first Six Nations appearance in seven years last weekend by coming off the bench to score a superb try in England’s 47-15 win over Italy.

Given his fine form and mercurial talent, Cipriani had emerged as a key target for Toulon who were prepared to offer him a king’s ransom to persuade him to cross the Channel and play in France’s Top 14 on a lucrative salary. Two of Sale Sharks Premiership Rivals had also made enquiries about luring him away from the North West with big-spending Championship Bristol also hovering in the background.

However, Cipriani has relished living in Manchester where he has been allowed to quietly go about his work without the media frenzy that accompanied him when he was living in London and playing for Wasps. And the fly-half revealed he was happy to have finally concluded talks which first began before Christmas and commit his long-term future to the Sharks.

“I am delighted to have put pen to paper at last and signed the new deal,” said Cipriani. “We’ve got some great young talent at the club with players like Mike Haley, Will Addison, Tommy Taylor, Ross Harrison and Josh Beaumont all having really come to the fore over the past year or so. It’s a quality set-up and the future looks great at the club with some exciting times ahead.

“One of the main reasons I signed the new deal was that we’ve got a tight squad and it embraces new talent.  It’s also an environment that makes you feel very welcome so, as I say, I’m really thrilled about signing the new deal and looking forward to the future.”

Cipriani’s delight at committing his long-term future to Sale was shared by the Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond whose guidance and support has proved a key factor in helping inspire the playmaker back to his very best form. It’s also a significant development in the club’s bid to attract new fans and hopefully persuade lapsed supporters back to the fold.

Diamond is in no doubt as to Cipriani’s crucial importance to Sale and has established a close rapport with the player over the past two and half years. And he said Cipriani’s commitment to the club spoke volumes as to Sale’s long-term ambitions to challenge England’s elite.

“The fact that Danny has signed his new deal and committed to Sale is a major statement for everybody,” said the Sale boss. “Danny is a top quality player and he’s been a very big part in our success over the past year or so. He’s also been very happy living here in Manchester and everyone at the club is absolutely delighted that he is staying at the club and will be a big part of our plans going forward.”