‘Battle of the Hemispheres’ back on agenda

BRAGGING RIGHTS: An annual fixture between the Super 14 and Heineken Cup winners is back on the agenda.

WHO IS the best club team in the world?

That question could soon be answered, with an annual match between the winners of the Super 14 and Heineken Cup back on the agenda.

According to website RugbyHeaven, England’s premier clubs are backing the concept of a  “battle of the hemispheres”, meaning the long-mooted game looks set to become a reality.

CLICK HERE to read more.

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Leinster name Schmidt as new coach

FORMER Auckland Blues assistant Joe Schmidt has been named as coach of  Leinster, according to the Irish Times.

Schmidt (right) has been working as a backs coach for the past three years at Clermont Auvergne where, alongside fellow Kiwi Vern Cotter, he has guided the French Club to three consecutive Top 14 finals.

The 44-year-old signed a three-year deal with the defending Heineken Cup champions and will replace Australian Michael Cheika at the start of the 2010-11 season.

He is likely to be assisted at the Dublin-based club by compatriot and former All Black, Chiefs and Waikato loose forward Jonno Gibbes.

Schmit comes with a good track record, also helping the Blues win the Super 12 in 2003 and Bay of Plenty lift the Ranfurly Shield for the first time a year later. CLICK HERE to read more.

Leamy to miss Six Nations

IRELAND have been dealt a massive blow ahead of their Six Nations title defence, with flanker Denis Leamy set to miss the tournament through injury.

The SkySport website reported the 41-test veteran (right) limped off the paddock after sustaining a serious knee injury during the final minutes of Munster’s 37-14 Heineken Cup victory over Perpangain on Sunday.

He underwent surgery on Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined for between four to six months.

Ireland – which won its first Grand Slam in 61 years last season – open their campaign against Italy at Croke Park in February. CLICK HERE to read more.