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Thursday 23 November 2017

Sharks in hunt for O'Sullivan

FORMER Ireland coach in running for position with SaleFORMER Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan could be on his way to Sale Sharks after declaring an interest in taking a role at the English Premiership side.

Earlier this week, Sale announced that director of sport Steve Diamond would take up chief executive duties at the start of next month, and O'Sullivan has contacted Sale, through his manager, to state his availability for a position with the club.



DRIVE

The short-term plan is for Diamond to combine the two positions of chief executive and director, with Tony Hanks continuing as head coach, but with the club planning a major drive, built around their chief executive, to become the "rugby hub of England's north west" that situation could change.

O'Sullivan, who finished a two and-a-half-year stint with the US Eagles after the World Cup, has also declared his interest in a position with the Ospreys following their director of rugby Scott Johnson's announcement that he would be joining Scotland's coaching team at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Rugby Union are to challenge the International Rugby Board to rule Steven Shingler ineligible for Scotland after the 20-year-old was called into Andy Robinson's squad for the forthcoming Six Nations.

Swansea-born London Irish fly-half or centre Shingler was yesterday named as one of six uncapped players in Scotland head coach Robinson's 36-man squad as preparations for the February 4 Calcutta Cup clash with England at Murrayfield began in earnest.

However, a row has erupted over his eligibility and the IRB are set to determine Shingler's fate.

Shingler played at full-back for Wales U20s against France U20s in the 2011 Six Nations, when both nations declared the age-group squads as their second 15s, effectively handcuffing the players involved to those nations.

However, Scotland, who believe Shingler qualifies as a result of his Dumfries-born mother, have been assured by the player that he kept his eligibility open by refusing to confirm his future would lie with Wales.

Following the declaration by the SRU, the WRU issued a further statement, effectively dismissing Shingler's claim and reiterating their stance.

The WRU statement read: "Steve Shingler played for Wales U20s against France in 2011 before which he was specifically informed, as were his fellow squad members, that the match would confirm their sole qualification as potential Wales senior international candidates.



INELIGIBLE

"Shingler was told by the U20 team management that if he played in the game he would become a Wales qualified player and therefore ineligible for selection for any other nation.

"The regulations and guidelines relating to qualification compliance are set in accordance to IRB regulations and any questioning of these regulations should be directed to the IRB. We have made the IRB aware of this issue today and will be returning to it as a matter of urgency in the morning."

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