Today’s rugby news as Scarlets in danger of losing international star and Stuart Hogg takes drastic action after abuse

Scarlets could lose Lousi

Sam Lousi, a Tongan international playing in the second row, is expected to leave the troubled region in the upcoming months, therefore the Scarlets are unlikely to hang onto him past this season.

Lousi, who was born in New Zealand, joined the Scarlets in 2019 and played his first game back during the Boxing Day derby against the Ospreys after missing the entire season due to injury.

Nevertheless, his contract expires at the end of the current campaign, and with Dwayne Peel’s team faltering and the Welsh regions’ funds expected to be further reduced, it appears increasingly probable that the 6′ 5in star will leave Parc y Scarlets.With our daily email, you can have the most recent rugby news delivered right to your inbox for free.

The Llanelli outfit has already had to make significant financial cuts, and as things stand, they will have to do so once more in preparation for the upcoming season. Each region’s budget will be reduced from £5.2 million to £4.5 million, albeit they are still permitted to sign two elite players over the cap. Of course, a financial infusion into Welsh regional rugby would probably turn the whole thing around, but for now, it’s looking more and more unlikely that he’ll be able to stay on the Scarlets’ payroll.

After an incredible 2021–2022 season, Lousi—who has made 66 appearances for the Scarlets—was chosen as the season’s player of the year by both the players and the fans. He made three appearances for Tonga during the World Cup last year.

The 32-year-old’s exit would be another major blow to Peel, who has had to contend with a raft of injuries to key players so far this season. His side currently sit 13th in the URC with two wins from nine matches, while they recently suffered a humiliating defeat to Georgian outfit Black Lion in the European Challenge Cup.

Hogg takes drastic action

Days after voicing his displeasure over online harassment regarding his recent romantic engagement, Stuart Hogg canceled his Instagram account.

Days after his “heartbroken” wife of seven years gave birth to their fourth child, the former Scotland rugby captain made his new partner, jockey and TV personality Leonna Mayor, public in November. After that, the retired full-back said he was “starting the New Year with the best” as the pair enjoyed a vacation to Dubai and celebrated New Year’s Day together.

But not everyone has approved of Hogg’s new connection, and he has received a substantial

quantity of criticism in the last few weeks. Shortly before Christmas, he addressed the matter in an Instagram post, but it now appears that his page has been completely removed.

“I did not want to comment on any personal matters, however, the continual press speculation and online abuse has crossed a line that is impacting my family, relationships, and well-being,” he stated in a message that was posted on his Facebook on December 22. I find it annoying that some people believe I haven’t supported my kids; in reality, I have.

“I see them frequently and I will continue to do so. It was the best choice for all of us that my marriage ended before the kid was born. I’ll stop talking about it now as it’s a

World star returns after heart scare

South Africa star Lood de Jager is nearing a return to rugby nearly six months after he was diagnosed with a heart condition.

The lock, who plays for Saitama Wild Knights in Japan, saw his World Cup hopes ended the day before the Springboks squad was announced last summer, as he was diagnosed with pericarditis, or the inflammation of the lining around the heart. The condition can develop from exercising when sick with a cold or flu.

De Jager last played for South Africa in their 35-20 defeat to New Zealand in July, but he will make his return to rugby this weekend after being named in the Wild Knights’ reserve side for a training match against Toyota Verblitz. He had revealed in December that he was back in training and nearing a return after being cleared to play by a heart specialist.

“I can play again,” he told Rapport. “I will have to build up my fitness again after not being allowed to do anything for more than three months. I’m pretty unfit.”

Despite a shoulder injury meaning he only played 21 minutes of the final, de Jager was part of the victorious 2019 World Cup squad and was set to be involved again in France last year. However, he had to watch from home as his side successfully defended their title and lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for the fourth time.

Sinfield to quit England

By Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent

Following the summer tour to Japan and New Zealand, Kevin Sinfield will vacate his position as England’s number two under Steve Borthwick.

Since being appointed by Borthwick in December 2022, Sinfield has been in charge of the defense; but, following the World Cup in France, the legendary Leeds rugby player has made the decision to move on. With Felix Jones taking control of the defense, the 43-year-old will continue to play during the Six Nations and the three scheduled Test matches in June and July, but in a new capacity managing skills and kicking.

In the first backroom shake-up of Sinfield’s year-long tenure, Borthwick refused to comment on any specifics on the future plans of his boss.

“Kev made the decision over what he wanted to do,” Borthwick said. “At the end of the World Cup, there was space for every member of the management to reflect as we look ahead to the next World Cup cycle. After a big tournament like the World Cup, every member of the management team needed the opportunity to relax, decompress, reflect and spend some time with friends and family.

“A couple of weeks later, Kev and I met and he gave me his decision. Kev’s decided that longer-term he’s going to head in a different direction away from the England rugby team. Ahead of the autumn series, Kev will not work with the team then, he will move away from the team and in a different direction.”

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