Australia's Kepu to call time on international career following Rugby World Cup

By Sports Desk September 02, 2019

Sekope Kepu will call time on his Australia career following the Rugby World Cup.

Kepu became the first prop to play 100 Tests for Australia last year, having made his Wallabies debut in 2008.

The 33-year-old Waratahs front rower will join London Irish after the World Cup, which he confirmed on Monday will be his final international tournament.

Saturday's Test against Samoa – against whom Kepu made his first start for Australia in 2011 – will be his final home match.

"I'll let my wife contact all the friends and relatives that want to come along to the game but it will just be a great day to play against Samoa. It's going to be a hell of a week and I'm definitely looking forward to it," Kepu told the Wallabies' official website.

"I never thought I would have achieved that milestone [100 Tests] and to have done so, it's something that makes me feel very privileged and fortunate.

"There's guys pushing for spots everywhere now. We have quality depth in Australian rugby and I'll be looking from afar and just excited about what we have."

While Kepu will travel to Japan, Jack Maddocks and Rob Valetini did not make the cut, though the duo have been included in Michael Chieka's extended squad for the Samoa match.

Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Liam Wright, Tom Banks, Luke Jones and Tatafu Polota-Nau could also feature on Saturday, despite not making the travelling party.

Related items

  • Two-time World Cup winner Ben Franks to retire Two-time World Cup winner Ben Franks to retire

    Northampton Saints' two-time Rugby World Cup winner Ben Franks will retire at the end of the season.

    The Premiership high-flyers revealed on Tuesday that the 35-year-old prop will end his illustrious career at the conclusion of the campaign.

    Franks, who was joined by his brother Owen at Franklin's Gardens last year, played 47 times for New Zealand and lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 2011 and 2015.

    He joined Northampton from London Irish in 2018 and has played 37 times for the Saints.

    "I am proud to be a Saint and very grateful to have had the opportunity to finish my playing days here in Northampton," said Franks. "But the end of this season is the right time for me call time on my career.

    "I've loved my journey in rugby; from playing back home in New Zealand, to representing the All Blacks alongside my brother, and then coming over here to experience the challenge of the English Premiership.

    "I've also really enjoyed having the chance to run out with Owen again here at Franklin's Gardens, and I'll of course be following the club's progress in the coming years as he continues to play on in Northampton."

    Franks made 130 Super Rugby appearances for the Crusaders and the Hurricanes before moving to England, winning the title in 2006 and 2008 with the Christchurch-based franchise.

  • Ardie Savea wants NRL switch Ardie Savea wants NRL switch

    Hurricanes and New Zealand back-row Ardie Savea has spoken of his desire to play in the NRL and could switch codes as early as next year.

    The 26-year-old is sidelined with a knee injury after undergoing surgery.

    Savea, capped 44 times by the All Blacks, is contracted to New Zealand Rugby until the end of 2021 and pulled out of a deal to join Top 14 side Pau after the Rugby World Cup last year.

    The flanker says a switch to rugby league was on his mind before he was injured during the World Cup.

    Asked if he wants to play in the 13-a-side format, he told the Ice Project podcast: "100 per cent.

    "I just think they [the players] do a lot more in terms of off the field stuff than New Zealand. And also, just a new challenge. I want to test myself.

    “Learning a whole new game and seeing if I can dominate or play the way I play in union and if I can do that in league. That excites me.

    "Seeing guys like Sonny [Bill Willians] do it and the way that has benefited him. It kind of plays on my mind a bit.

    "It sucks that I got this injury because I was low key thinking about it [a code switch] for next year."

    Savea has already given some thought to which team he would fancy joining.

    "Strategically I would want to go to a team that was good or dominating, like the Melbourne Storm or the [Sydney] Roosters." he added.

  • Zebre & Benetton Treviso Pro14 games postponed because of coronavirus Zebre & Benetton Treviso Pro14 games postponed because of coronavirus

    Zebre and Benetton Treviso have each had their Pro14 fixtures for this weekend postponed due to the threat posed by the coronavirus.

    Parma-based club Zebre were due to face Ospreys while Treviso were set to host Ulster.

    However, both fixtures will now have to be rearranged, with restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, known officially as Covid-19, forcing the games to be called off.

    There have been 209 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Italy, with the death toll officially rising to five on Monday.

    A Pro14 statement read: "Both Guinness PRO14 fixtures set to take place in Italy this weekend have been postponed due to the restrictions enforced by national and local authorities dealing with the threat posed by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

    "The current restrictions are in place until Sunday, March 1, 2020 and PRO14 Rugby will remain in contact with the FIR [Italian Union], Zebre Rugby Club, Benetton Rugby and World Rugby to monitor situation on a daily basis."

    Four Serie A football matches were postponed on Sunday, including Inter's clash with Sampdoria.

    Saturday's scheduled Serie B match between Ascoli and Cremonese was postponed and up to 88 amateur football games were also called off.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.