The Guinness PRO14 have released a list of the 20 players whose futures appear to lie elsewhere beyond the current season, with many transferring, retiring or released by their respective clubs. The league is currently in virus hiatus, but rumblings this evening suggests the league is targeting August for a resumption of games.
The current Guinness PRO14 season was been suspended on March 12th, eight weeks ago. If the league does resume, these players are unlikely to be involved with their current sides at least. The PRO14 will be updating the list, which you can read here, as the season goes on.
The list includes maybe the physically strongest player in the league, Moldovan prop Gheorghe Gajion, who bench presses 230kg, who is known as ‘The Beast from the East’ by fans. More well-known players departing include Jonny Gray, Matt Scott, James Hook, Fergus McFadden, Simon Hickey, Nick Frisby, DTH van der Merwe and ex-Scotland skipper John Barclay. To date, departees include:
James Hook – retiring
Gheorghe Gajion – to Aurillac
Joseph Dweba – to Bordeaux-Bègles
Fergus McFadden – retired
Jonny Gray – to Exeter Chiefs
Cameron Henderson – to Leicester Tigers
Nick Frisby – released
Siua Halanukonuka – released
DTH van der Merwe – released
Pietro Ceccarelli– to Brive
John Barclay – released
Jason Baggott – released
Cameron Fenton – released
Dougie Fife – released
Simon Hickey – released
Matt Scott – to Leicester Tigers
Sam Thomson – released
Colby Fainga’a – to Lyon
Tom McCartney – retiring
Corey Baldwin – to Exeter Chiefs
Earlier this week SRU chief operating officer Dominic McKay, who is a PRO14 board member, stressed any resumption would be dependent on getting approval from governments, not an insignificant obstacle given the tournament takes place in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Italy and South Africa.
McKay said: “We are still looking at scenarios that might see some way of potentially finishing the PRO14 season if restrictions allow later in the back end of the summer/beginning of autumn. And that will definitely be a curtailed end to the PRO14 season.
“We are still looking at scenarios, the PRO14 executive are going to come back to us with an update on what might be possible. But that is entirely dependent on the various restrictions in the different territories.”
The rugby calendar is up in the air with summer tours almost certain to be cancelled and doubts over the November Test series, while the Guinness Six Nations and European club competitions are also unfinished. McKay said: “On the Six Nations, of course we are looking to find ways to reschedules those games.
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