Tonight’s rugby news as Alun Wyn Jones’ time is up and World Cup star suffers new family tragedy

The latest rugby news stories from Wales and beyond

AWJ to leave Toulon

Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones is set to leave French club Toulon in the next few days, with the European giants unlikely to extend his contract, reports in France say.

The former Ospreys and Wales skipper was signed by the Top 14 outfit as a World Cup joker – cover for the south-of-France side during the tournament.

But Midi Olympique report that the imminent arrival of Melvyn Jaminet from Toulouse will impact on Jones’ situation. A deal for Jaminet is likely to be a serious investment and the knock-on financial effect means the Lions man will not be retained until the end of the season as previously mooted.

They say that Jones’s contract is expiring in a few days and that Toulon’s perspective has altered due to Jaminet’s upcoming arrival. After leading the invitational squad against the Barbarians in the Principality, Jones expressed his desire to participate in his next two games.

“I’m hugely grateful that I was able to go to Toulon,” he stated to S4C. It’s weird how things work out; if I hadn’t taken that action, I doubt I would still be here. Most likely a couple red wines and a sunbathing lay. It’s two games, so maybe I’ll play. We’ll see the outcome.

More tragedy for Tuisova

Fiji star Josua Tuisova has suffered yet more family tragedy with news his mother has passed away.

Tuisova made headlines during the Rugby World Cup for highly emotive reasons, with his seven-year-old son dying after a long illness. The Racing 92 player remained in France for the tournament, missing his son’s funeral.

He participated in the Flying Fijians’ World Cup match against Georgia, which enabled them advance to the round of eight and meet England.

Tuisova found out about his mother’s passing late last week. Due to an injury, he is now sidelined.

In a show of respect, his Racing 92 teammates all donned black armbands for their match against Toulon over the weekend.

“We wanted to give Josua Tuisova all we had on the field. We performed for him this evening after he tragically lost his mother, Racing center Henry Chavancy said to Canal+.”We worked really hard for him when things got tough, and I think that’s why we lost the bonus point.”

Lloyd backed to be Wales 10

Two former Wales internationals have backed Warren Gatland to throw Ioan Lloyd in at the deep end at outside-half in the months ahead.

With Sam Costelow out until the next year and the injury-prone Owen Williams experiencing yet another fitness setback, Gatland has his work cut out for him in trying to replace the vacuum left by Dan Biggar and Gareth Anscombe. Because of the dearth of experience at the position, Gatland even mentioned scrum-half Tomos Willimas as a potential backup at number 10.

However, Scarlets player Lloyd appears to be making a claim with his early season form after returning to Wales from Bristol, according to Scrum V analysts James Hook and Tom Shanklin.

Hook, who earned 81 matches for Wales, stated, “If there was a Test match now, you start Lloyd at 10. We’re not blessed with 10s at the moment.”

“He’s a real talent and is brilliant in broken play with his footwork, his pace. His kicking game was really good as well, particularly from the tee.

“It’s going to be interesting to see what [Scarlets head coach] Dwayne Peel does when Sam Costelow comes back but he needs time in the saddle at 10.

“We’re struggling for 10s coming up to the Six Nations,” Shanklin continued.

“A lot will rely on injuries, but consider the guys who are no longer available: Costelow, Williams, and everyone else. Sheedy has a chance to return to the race, but it will all rely on his form.

“If Ioan Lloyd gets some momentum, confidence and form over the next few months then Wales will be looking at him for 10.”

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