Today's rugby news as outcome of Biggar deal probe expected today and Gatland 'saw change' in Rees-Zammit

Toulon star Dan Biggar -Credit:Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images
Toulon star Dan Biggar -Credit:Johnny Fidelin/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Here are your rugby morning headlines for Wednesday, May 22.

Biggar deal outcome expected today

The outcome of the investigation into the deal which brought Dan Biggar to Toulon will be decided today.

The Wales fly-half headed to the south of France in November of 2022, leaving Franklin's Gardens with immediate effect.

Reports in L'Equipe suggested the Salary Cap Disciplinary Commission in France was investigating the move over compensation paid. A disciplinary committee of the National Rugby League is expected to examine the situation today.

Toulon president Bernard Lemaitre has stayed quiet on the matter, previously saying: “I cannot make any comment at this stage. This subject will be debated next week with the League which sees it as 'a lack of transparency' on the part of the club."

National Rugby League president Rene Bouscatel has also declined to comment.

“No, I have nothing to say about that," said Bouscastel. "I am not aware of the file. This is a matter that concerns the Salary Cap Control Commission. I do not know more. The case is continuing and we will see if there is substance or not."

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Gatland: I'm disappointed but support LRZ 100%

Warren Gatland has opened up on his frustrations over the pace of Louis Rees-Zammit's exit from Welsh rugby to pursue a career in the NFL, but says the former Wales wing has his total backing.

Rees-Zammit stunned the rugby world when, just an hour before Wales announced their squad for the Six Nations, he announced he would be leaving the sport to chase his dream across the Atlantic.

That dream has been realised after he was signed by Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs and Gatland, speaking on The Rugby Pod, has reflected on a whirlwind few months for the 23-year-old.

"He’s a big loss to us because he's a lot bigger than people think," Gatland said. "He's obviously quick. He's powerful, he’s skilful. I saw a change in him during the World Cup in terms of his attitude and his preparation and the time and effort. He hardly missed a training session, whereas he was probably guilty in the past of having little niggles and stuff. Whether it was a mental thing or not, I’m not too sure.

"It wasn't too bad but then all of a sudden he’d had a week in a row, ten training sessions in a row. I made a joke and said ‘Are you okay?’. He looked at me and I said, ‘Well, you've just broken your record for the most consecutive training sessions missed’. Every couple days I’d go, are you sure you're okay? You continue to keep breaking your record.

"He’s still a young man, he's only 23. The thing that was frustrating for me was it just happened so quickly. We were announcing the squad and then all of a sudden he wasn't available and we were running around a little bit, sort of chasing our tails.

"But when I thought about it and I looked at it, I'm going, here’s a young kid, following a dream, something that is a chance for him. As father on that, and not just in sport, but anything, it's fantastic that people can have an opportunity to do something different and follow their dreams. If he makes it, that’s absolutely brilliant and if he doesn't, he’ll still be 25, 26 and he’ll hopefully come back to rugby. It’s going to be really tough for him. It's going to be a real challenge for him to pick up the game and do those sorts of things. But look, he's going there to do that.

"It could be really good for the profile of the game, he’s a good looking lad and all the girls seem to love him, so that's a pretty good starting point. You do that and girls get excited and young females and you broaden the base in terms of creating an interest. I think that'll be brilliant if he makes it in the NFL and good luck to him. If he doesn't, then he'll have other opportunities.

"So the disappointing thing is he’s a loss to us but I've got to support him 100% in terms of him following his dream in doing something different and hopefully he does well."

All Blacks could mutiny ahead of England series

There is a threat of mutiny in New Zealand just over a month before the All Blacks take on England.

Some of the All Blacks' leading players are threatening to break away from the governing body to set up their own owing to a dispute over governance review reforms with their provincial unions.

A number of high-profile players and ex-players are involved, including Sam Cane, Sam Whitelock, Richie McCaw, David Kirk and Ruby Tui. They have issued an ultimatum ahead of a crucial vote on the reforms on May 30.

It comes after a review into running of the game in New Zealand last year, which found the NZ Rugby was not fit for purpose with wholesale changes recommended – including the appointment of a new board of independent directors.

A letter issued to the provincial unions and NZ Maori Rugby from the New Zealand Rugby Players Association reportedly states that if a counter-proposal is passed on May 30 then the NZRPA will effectively break away and split the professional game into two.

NZRPA claim the counter-proposal does not include the necessary recommendations for change which were outlined by the initial governance review.

England play a two-Test series against the All Blacks with games taking place on July 6 and July 13.