Irish pair in IRB top five

The IRB has announced a shortlist of five from which the inaugural international player of the year award will be made on 11 November. The nominees are George Gregan and George Smith of Australia, Brian O’Driscoll and Keith Wood of Ireland, and England’s Jonny Wilkinson.

The judging panel, all former internationals, are Gerald Davies, Paul Ackford, Sean Fitzpatrick, Simon Poidevin, Hugo Porta, Gareth Rees, Philippe Sella, Fergus Slattery, David Sole and Chester Williams. The panel will also judge some other categories, including team of the year, coach of the year, and women’s player of the year.

Edinburgh’s home Heineken Cup tie against Bath, previously due to be played on Friday, 26 October, has been moved back 24 hours. The Saturday match will kick off at 6.15pm and will be shown live on TV.

Kevin Bowring, the former Wales coach, has been appointed as head of the RFU’s elite coach development.

Bowring’s brief at Twickenham will include overall responsibility for the development of coaches throughout England’s representative sides and a newly-created English academy system.

TONIGHT (7.45pm kick-offs unless stated)

Premiership Division 1: Gala v Hawick (7pm).

Division 2: East Kilbride v Ayr (7.30pm); Jed-Forest v Kelso (7.15pm); Peebles v Selkirk (7.30pm); Watsonians v Murrayfield Wanderers (7.30pm).

National League: Division 1: Preston Lodge v Ross High (7:30pm).