Today's rugby news as Jonathan Davies demands WRU change and end to 'blazer brigade' – Wales Online

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Here are the latest rugby headlines on Saturday, December 10.
Jonathan Davies has called for complete change in Welsh rugby and an end to the 'blazer brigade'.
Jiffy wants to see Warren Gatland get involved at all levels of the game following his return rather than focus just on the men's national team. He believes the appointment will mean nothing unless major reform comes.
He said: "What exactly is Warren Gatland’s role? Team Wales only? Working with the performance director Nigel Walker and working with regions, player & coaching development at all levels? Total reform from CEO down needed. Premiership, 60 cap rule, players salaries needs looking at.
"WRU need to get professionals to run the game in Wales not blazer brigade. Strengthen regions, Premiership and grassroots to underpin Team Wales. Pointless getting him in just to do team Wales as we’ll be in same position when he departs again."
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Former Wales lock and BBC pundit Andrew Coombs has hit out at WRU boss Steve Phillips over the ongoing contract freeze in Welsh rugby that has seen Max Llewellyn leave Cardiff for England..
WalesOnline revealed this week Llewellyn is set to quit Welsh rugby just days after Will Rowlands' exit for Racing 92 was confirmed.
Their departures come as the four regions and WRU continue to try and thrash out a financial agreement going forward. A six-year deal that is expected to see player wages driven down has been verbally agreed but until things are rubberstamped no deals can be done.
Coombs said: "The English, French and Japanese clubs will be like seagulls on a bag of deserted chips with our top talent. Expect more players to leave in the coming weeks. Merry Christmas to the agents! Steve Phillips, where are you!?!?
"I really feel for the regions! How much money have Cardiff spent developing Max? All gone to waste if true! Lose him when he’s just matured into a front line player. Who can blame him though!"
Steve Borthwick insists his focus is on Leicester's opening European game this weekend and not on speculation linking him to becoming England's new head coach.
Tigers director of rugby Borthwick is the favourite to succeed Eddie Jones, who was sacked on Tuesday after overseeing England's worst year of results since 2008.
"We play Ospreys on Sunday night and that's what I'm focused upon," Borthwick said at his pre-match press conference for Leicester's Heineken Champions Cup opener.
"That's what my team is focused upon and that's what we've been focused upon all week.
"Within Leicester Tigers and this team here, there is no talk here of anything other than the game on Sunday night."
Borthwick – who pledged he would be in the Leicester dugout for their second Champions Cup game against Clermont Auvergne on December 17 – added: "I don't think anyone can possibly doubt how committed I have been since the minute I walked through this door to give the best I can for this team.
"That is my intention again this week to get the performance we want.
"All these things that go on around a team, your job is always to be focused on what you need to do.
"Since I've come in here my focus is on what we need to get better today.
"We have frameworks in place to make sure how we think about how we train, how we prepare, and we will continue to do that this week."
The 43-year-old former England captain was given his first coaching role in 2012 when Jones was in charge of Japan.
Borthwick stepped down as England forwards coach after the 2019 World Cup, and final defeat to South Africa.
He moved on to Leicester whom he transformed from fallen giants to last season's Gallagher Premiership champions.
Borthwick said he had spoken to Jones after his seven-year England reign came to an end just nine months before the 2023 World Cup.
He said: "Eddie is a phenomenal coach and I was very fortunate and privileged to have worked with him for so many years.
"I have learned and continue to learn a huge amount from him. Even when not working in the same coaching team as him since I came to Leicester Tigers, he's always been incredibly supportive of myself and my coaching journey.
Bristol produced a blistering first-half performance to get their European Challenge Cup campaign under way with a 19-5 win in Perpignan.
Early tries from Charles Piutau and Fitz Harding, both converted by AJ MacGinty, gave the Gallagher Premiership side a commanding 14-0 advantage.
And when 19-year-old Joe Jenkins crossed on his European debut after gathering a Harding kick out wide, Bristol looked set for a comfortable night in the south of France.
But Eru Shahn crossed for Perpignan on the stroke of half-time after a clever line-out and the home side largely dominated what proved to be a pointless second period.
Stade Francais hit back from behind to beat Benetton 24-14 and make a successful start at Stade Jean-Bouin.
Benetton led 14-10 on the hour mark after Siua Maile went over for their first try, but Jeremy Ward put the hosts back in front within two minutes, and a further try from Lester Etien sealed their win.
Read more:
Wales international named in Cardiff's European squad list weeks after being made redundant
Wales rugby internationals rush to help injured woman after incident in city centre
Dan Biggar returns and young Wales international appeals for help after theft
Warren Gatland revealed his blueprint for Welsh rugby after he left and called for regions to merge and end to tribalism
10 Wales players to return for Warren Gatland after missing Pivac's final demise


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