Today's rugby news as Wales player in tears and France star sent home in disgrace after shock video

Liam Williams comforts an emotional Josh Hathaway
-Credit: (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency Ltd)


These are your rugby headlines on Monday, July 8.

New Wales cap in tears after 'surreal' moment

Josh Hathaway says he was overcome with emotion after realising his dream of playing for Wales.

The 20-year-old lined up at full-back against the Wallabies on Saturday as he won his first cap for Warren Gatland's side. It comes after speculation over where his international future would lie, with the Gloucester man representing both England and Wales at age-grade level.

Despite the result, Aberystwyth-born Hathaway was buzzing at the full-time whistle as he said it was a "surreal" feeling to pull on the red jersey and represent his country. With his family and friends watching from the stands in Sydney, he admitted he "shed a tear or two" after belting out the anthem at Test level for the first time.

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"It is going to take a couple of weeks to settle in," he said. "When the team was announced I still can't believe it even now we have played the game. It's what I have wanted to do since I was three or four years old and still surreal now to think back and look at it. I did shed a tear or two after. I was trying not to but it was hard because it is what I have always wanted to do.

"I have sung the anthem at age grade but this is different when you are representing your country on the international stage at the top level. My Mum, Dad and sister are here as well which is lovely to have them for the first one."

Reflecting on the game, he added: "It is a lot quicker than club rugby. I was nervous going into it but after a few involvements it sharpened me up a bit and I was trying to get used to the game as it went on.

"It was a class experience going to replace one of your childhood heroes at 15. The whole experience is surreal - I am still trying to piece it together."

France superstar sent home

By Rachel Vickers-Price, PA

Full-back Melvyn Jaminet has been suspended from the French national team after a video surfaced online of the Toulon player making a racist remark.

Jaminet came off the bench during France's win against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

The video, in which the 20-times capped player is heard making a remark about Arabs, came from an Instagram story posted to his account.

It has since been deleted, although copies of the video are on the internet.

The French Rugby Federation (FFR) has condemned Jaminet's comments in a statement and suspended him with immediate effect.

"Such comments are totally unacceptable and contrary to the fundamental values ??of our sport," the FFR statement said.

"An internal investigation is underway to shed light on the making of these extremely serious remarks and take appropriate measures."

The FFR affirmed its "unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion and secularism".

"Rugby is a sport that brings people together and unites, and we must promote these essential values. No discriminatory behaviour of any kind has a place in French rugby," the statement added.

The 25-year-old issued an apology shortly after his suspension was announced.

"I understand that this has hurt and offended many people, and I want to make it clear that these remarks do not reflect my values or those of the French rugby team," he said on Instagram.

"Racism in any form is unacceptable and goes against everything I believe in."

His club Toulon said in a statement that it "condemns the comments made and dissociates itself from them".

"An internal investigation is open, and the club will communicate more widely at the end of it," the statement added.

Jaminet kicked a penalty in Saturday's opening game in Argentina which France won 28-13.

Marler ruled out of second All Blacks Test

By Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent

England have suffered a setback in their bid to level their series against New Zealand after prop Joe Marler was ruled out of the second Test in Auckland because of a foot injury.

Marler was replaced in the 17th minute of the 16-15 defeat in the opener at Forsyth Barr Stadium and the Rugby Football Union has confirmed he has been withdrawn from the squad.

Uncapped Northampton loosehead Emmanuel Iyogun, 23, will arrive in New Zealand on Tuesday to take his place, providing support for Fin Baxter and Bevan Rodd. Baxter made his England debut when coming on for Marler and endured a challenging Test baptism at the scrum.

The Harlequins prospect will compete with Rodd for a place in the starting front row at Eden Park on Saturday as head coach Steve Borthwick comes to terms with the loss of his senior loosehead, the only playing survivor from the last tour to New Zealand a decade ago.

Captain Jamie George, Marler's front-row colleague, believes England will at least have earned the All Blacks' respect.

"We're gutted, of course we are. Not many teams come here and do that to the All Blacks. It's a tough result to take," George told BBC Sport. "We definitely weren't at our best but the fundamentals of our game, what we talk about regardless of the bounce of the ball, is us being out here and showing character and we did that in spades.

"In the week they were talking about not knowing too many of our players - I think they'll know us now."

Farrell warns Ireland not to be 'desperate'

By Ed Elliot, PA

Ireland boss Andy Farrell has warned his players to avoid being "desperate" in their efforts to salvage a series draw in South Africa following defeat in the opening Test.

The Springboks underlined their status as back-to-back world champions by taking control of the two-match contest with Saturday's 27-20 victory from a fierce encounter in Pretoria. Farrell, who felt his side invited pressure and were punished for indiscipline, is targeting significant improvement during next weekend's tour finale in Durban.

Asked what he will change, the head coach replied: "Quite a bit actually. I suppose the main thing is attacking the game the way we want to do it and not being desperate just because we've lost this week. If that creeps in then you become even more ill-disciplined and I think discipline cost us.

"The penalty count wasn't outrageous but the way we put pressure on ourselves and relieved pressure for them is what we need to address."