Ask-Ads Left

European Rugby

EnglandJim Mallinder has hit out at the way this crucial period of Northampton’s season has been undermined by the RFU’s unofficial approaches to his backs coach, Alex King, to become part of the England setup.

“As a club, we’ve had no official contact at all, so we’re in the dark,” he said. “Alex King is a key part of our coaching staff. We’re in a vital part of the season building up to a massive game this week. What you don’t want to hear is that somebody is talking to one of your coaches.”

Eddie Jones, England’s new head coach, met King before Northampton’s 9 – 9 home draw with Racing 92. Jones has indicated that he will look after England’s attack but it is thought he might be interested in King as an assistant in that department, which may yet allow for a part-time arrangement whereby King continues with Northampton.

Should the RFU try to prise King away, Northampton have two models to choose from for their next move – that of Saracens, who have agreed to release Paul Gustard as defence coach (although they received an official approach from the RFU), or Bristol, who are demanding punitive compensation for the signature of Steve Borthwick as coach of the forwards.

Continue reading

Gregor Townsend

Gregor Townsend

Llanelli Scarlets host Glasgow Warriors tonight in a European Rugby Champions Cup Pool 3 match.

The teams met for the first of their two games in the round robin stage of Europe’s top rugby competition last week at Glasgow’s home ground, Scotstoun Stadium. Glasgow won that match comprehensively with a final score of 43/6 in their favour, picking up a bonus point in the process. The big Fijian Australian winger Taqele Naiyaravoro was in devastating form arguably putting in the performance of the weekend in scoring a hat trick of tries and having one dot down perhaps harshly ruled not a try.

The Scarlets had many players missing last week due to injury and with various of these players returning today it should be a much closer affair at their home ground, while the fact that it could be a very damp day could also help as a leveller.

Today’s game will be the 100th game for Gregor Townsend as head coach of Glasgow Warriors and also coincidently the Warriors’ 100th game in European Rugby competitions. To commemorate the milestone of Gregor Townsend (Toony) a big Glasgow Warriors fan has been running a series of articles this week with all sorts of detail about the club. This Spreadsheet Warrior is a very gifted numbers analyst who highlights all sorts of interesting facts about Glasgow Warriors and it is always very interesting to read the latest offerings on the blog. Some of the analysis this week goes into such minute detail which is great especially for the dedicated Warriors fan and highlights just how well Gregor Townsend has done with the Warriors. We bring you the final part of the “Tribute to Toony”.

Continue reading

Cian Healy

Cian Healy

Leinster prop Cian Healy has been banned for 2 weeks for dangerous play during last weekend’s European Champions Cup game against Toulon.

The 28-year-old Ireland international was charged with striking Toulon hooker Guilhem Guirado with his knee during the 24-9 defeat in France.

The striking charge was found to be not proven but the incident was deemed to be foul play.

Healy misses the return fixture against Toulon and a Pro12 match with Munster.

Although there were no aggravating factors, judicial officer Roger Morris said the ban could not be reduced because Healy does not have a clean disciplinary record.

Continue reading

EnglandBristol say they will “take all reasonable actions” after denying a deal had been done with the Rugby Football Union for Steve Borthwick to become England forwards coach.

The RFU released a statement saying former England captain Borthwick would join new head coach Eddie Jones’ team.

Borthwick signed a long-term deal with Bristol after the World Cup, having worked under Jones with Japan.

“We have not agreed Steve Borthwick can leave our employment,” Bristol said.

Borthwick is understood to have handed in his resignation on Tuesday, but the club said they had not given the RFU permission to speak to Borthwick and would “take all reasonable actions as necessary to protect the club’s position”.

Before Bristol intervened, Borthwick was quoted in an RFU statement saying it was a “huge honour to be asked as these chances don’t come around often”.

The former England captain was due to be Jones’ first appointment after previous forwards coach Graham Rowntree departed on Monday, along with Mike Catt and Andy Farrell.

In the same RFU statement, Jones described Borthwick as a “great addition” who would “get the best out of the players at the highest level”.

Jones also called Borthwick a “young coach with great potential” and praised his “analytical” approach as part of the RFU announcement.

 

Continue reading

Trio Gone

Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt (from left to right) were Stuart Lancaster’s assistants

New head coach Eddie Jones has begun overhauling his England backroom team by getting rid of Mike Catt, Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree.

The trio worked under former boss Stuart Lancaster, who was relieved of his duties last month following a disappointing home World Cup campaign.

“We felt it was the right time to make changes,” said Australian Jones, 55.

“They are all experienced guys and have contributed greatly to this England team over recent years.”

He added: “I know everyone is appreciative of their hard work and commitment.”

Jones, who has previously worked with South Africa, and been head coach of Australia and Japan, became England’s first foreign head coach when he agreed a four-year deal in November.

He succeeded Lancaster after hosts England failed to progress beyond the pool stages of the World Cup, and will take charge of his first match on 6 February, when England play Scotland in the Six Nations.

Continue reading

European Rugby Champions CupGregor Townsend has named the same starting XV to face the Scarlets tomorrow, which would have taken to the pitch last weekend against Leinster.

The Guinness PRO12 encounter last Saturday was postponed due to the adverse weather conditions in Glasgow.

The only change to the matchday 23 is amongst the replacements, with scrum-half Grayson Hart coming in for Ali Price.

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 hooker James Malcolm will therefore make his first start for the club, after featuring twice off the bench last month against Cardiff Blues and Benetton Treviso.

Fijian second-row Leone Nakarawa will make his 50th appearance for the Warriors, after being voted the McCrea Financial Services Warrior of the Month for November.

Continue reading

Gregor Townsend

Gregor Townsend with the PRO12 trophy Glasgow Warriors won last season

Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend has signed a contract extension with Scottish Rugby, which will keep him at Scotstoun until June 2017.

After leading Glasgow Warriors to the 2015 GUINNESS PRO12 title in May the former Scotland international has committed his future to the club he has coached since 2012.

Having previously coached in the Scotland national team set-up Gregor led Glasgow Warriors to the PRO12 semi-finals in 2012/13, his first season in charge at Glasgow, before making the PRO12 final the following year.

To acknowledge these achievements Townsend was named the GUINNESS PRO12 Coach of the Season in 2013 and 2015.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “We are delighted to have retained Gregor’s services up to the end of the 2017 season.

“After Glasgow Warriors became the first Scottish team in the professional era to win a major trophy it was only natural Gregor’s talents would be of interest to other clubs.

“We maintain a constant dialogue with our coaches and believe he remains the right person to take the Warriors forward and consolidate their recent success.

“He has created a consistent winning culture at Scotsoun and that is benefitting both the club and the players he works with.”

Continue reading

Kellands Park

Kellands Park

Co-Leader of Aberdeenshire Council, Councillor Martin Kitts-Hayes and the Chair of the local branch of the Samaritans Peter Benton will plant a tree to remember those lost to suicide in the north east of Scotland.

The tree planting and dedication ceremony will take place in Kellands Park, Inverurie at 12:00pm on Saturday 12th December.

Officials and players from Garioch and Shetland Rugby Clubs are expected to attend the event ahead of their match.

Last year 60 people from the north east of Scotland died by suicide – leaving a lasting impact on families, friends and communities.

Cllr Kitts-Hayes said: “I am honoured to be asked to be a part of this ceremony. It is important, that we offer support to those who have been close to someone who has taken their own life and to raise awareness of suicide to encourage people to seek help.”

Continue reading

Lily Partridge

Lily Partridge

A 23-year-old rugby player with a history of concussions has died after suffering a head injury during a match.

Lily Partridge collapsed by the side of the pitch after being injured at North Tawton’s ground in Devon on Sunday.

Her life-support machine was switched off in hospital in Exeter on Monday night, her family confirmed.

Her club said she had suffered “a couple” of concussions previously, but had taken out the recommended time from playing and had consulted a doctor.

“She took a month off and was symptom free before she returned to playing,” said Katie Lunnon, captain of the Topsham-based Exonian Ladies team.

The RFU is investigating the circumstances of the injury, which happened during the women’s development tournament.

Ms Partridge, who was a part-time teacher and also worked at Shaldon Zoo, had played for Exonian Ladies for about 18 months. She was also the club’s social secretary of the club.

Continue reading

alan solomons

Alan Solomons

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons has signed an extension to his contract, keeping him at the club until June 2017.

The capital club started the 2015 / 2016 season strongly in the Guinness Pro12 with 4 consecutive wins and recently recorded back-to-back victories against French opposition in the European Challenge Cup.

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson said: “Alan is successfully building on the improved performances achieved by Edinburgh Rugby last season, which saw them reach the European Challenge Cup Final and secure the 1872 Cup.

“The club has made a positive start to the new season and we wanted to ensure Alan was able to continue to develop the vision he started in 2013. We are therefore very pleased he has committed to Edinburgh through to 2017.”

Continue reading

Ash Jones

Ash Jones – Head of Strength and Conditioning at Edinburgh

Ash Jones, Edinburgh’s head of strength and conditioning, has just been named Professional Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Year by the discipline’s world leading membership organisation, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

He said: “It is a worldwide award but the organisation is based in the USA which is why I didn’t really think I had a chance of winning, although I was honoured to receive the nomination.

As the 1st coach from outside the the USA and the 1st rugby S & C coach to win the accolade, Jones admits the honour came out of the blue.

“With the number of S & C coaches across all sports in the United States, someone in America would have a much better chance of winning it but it shows the outward looking focus of the organisation.”

Strength and conditioning is now an integral part of the coaching team and Jones, who joined Edinburgh 12 months ago, has now worked in 3 professional sports (basketball, rugby league and rugby union) across 4 countries (New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Scotland).

Continue reading

Nemani Nadolo

Nemani Nadolo

New Zealand’s Super Rugby franchise the Crusaders have confirmed that Fijian Rugby World Cup winger Nemani Nadolo will not be extending his contract with the Christchurch team next season.

Nadolo has agreed to play his rugby in France for French club Montpellier after the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Fijian winger Nadolo was raised in Brisbane Australia and has had playing stints in the UK, France, Australia and Japan but his career only really took off when he joined the Crusaders.

Nadolo is now 1 of the hottest wingers in World Rugby but it was not long ago that he was with the Waratahs and was unable to make the match day team.

The winger left Sydney and played for Bourgoin between 2010 and 2011 before joining Japan’s NEC Green Rocket where he was brought to the attention of Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder.

Continue reading

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

England’s new rugby coach Eddie Jones has been hired as an adviser by Goldman Sachs in Japan in the hope he can reproduce the Midas touch he showed at the Rugby World Cup.

The 55-year-old Australian, who recently led Japan’s Brave Blossoms to 3 victories in 4 games at the Rugby World Cup, will join a 9-member advisory board at the start of next year, a spokesman said Friday.

“(Jones) has achieved the impossible by bringing the Japanese team to a level on par with the best in world rugby,” Goldman Sachs Japan president Masanori Mochida said in a statement.

“Goldman Sachs will benefit from his unrivalled leadership and his ability to bring together a multi-cultural team, set clear goals and pull an entire team toward a shared vision.”

Continue reading

Millennium Stadium with the roof closed

Millennium Stadium with the roof closed

The home of Welsh rugby in Cardiff lost its name on Thursday as the ‘Millennium Stadium’ sign was taken down in readiness for its January rebranding as the Principality Stadium.

The steel letters spelling out the stadium’s old name in English and Welsh were removed from the eastern facade of the venue, which sits on the River Taff in the heart of the Welsh capital.

The 74 500-seater arena is to be renamed under a 10-year sponsorship deal with Welsh building society the Principality, which has worked with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) since 1969.

Continue reading

Nick Schonert

Nick Schonert (from his twitter account)

Saracens continued their dominant start to their Aviva Premiership campaign in the 1st match of the day in the Twickenham double header on Saturday (28 November).

They put in a fine performance, scoring 6 tries against Worcester Warriors in the game which was long serving No 8 Ernst Joubert’s final 1 for the club. Joubert got to lead Saracens out onto the field in his 161st game for the club.

Veteran Charlie Hodgson converted 1 of Chris Ashton’s tries to reach a wonderful milestone of 2 500 Premiership points. The try was created by the fancy footwork of South African hooker Schalk Brits who also scored a try of his own.

However, another South African, Worcester Warrior’s prop Nick Schonert will not have fond memories of the Twickenham outing as he was probably left scarred for life with a terrible gash to his face. It is not clear how this happened but it looks like he was on the receiving end of nasty rucking and on Saturday night Schonert tweeted a photo of the gaping wound and alluded to it being caused by 1 of the Saracens player’s boots.

Continue reading

European Rugby Champions CupFollowing the completion of discussions between EPCR, the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, Premiership Rugby and PRO12 Rugby to reschedule the six European club matches which were postponed due to the Paris attacks, it has been agreed by all parties that the games will be played on the weekend of 8 – 10 January 2016 in advance of Round 5 of the European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

EPCR would like to thank the 3 leagues and all the clubs involved for their collaboration and understanding during the rescheduling process.

The decision to play the postponed games on the 2nd weekend in January means that the Round 13 fixtures in the TOP 14 will now be played later in the season, as will the following Round 12 fixtures in the Guinness PRO12: Ulster vs Newport Gwent Dragons, Zebre vs Glasgow Warriors, and Cardiff Blues vs Munster.

The Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 9 match between Bath and Sale Sharks, which was due to be played on Friday 8 January 2016, will also take place later in the season on a date to be announced.

Continue reading

Magnus Bradbury

Edinburgh’s Magnus Bradbury one of Scotland 7s newcomers

Scotland 7s Head Coach Calum MacRae has named 3 new caps in his 12-man squad to compete in the opening leg of the 2015 / 2016 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series, in Dubai (Friday 4 & Saturday 5 December).

The squad, which will travel to South Africa for the 2nd leg of the Series following proceedings in Dubai, will include Edinburgh’s Magnus Bradbury; his capital club-mate Nick McLennan; and Scotland Under 20 wing Robbie Nairn.

MacRae said: “The extended Sevens off season, due to the Rugby World Cup, has afforded us time to develop aspects of our play and make gains in our strength and conditioning.  The players application has been excellent throughout.

“The mindset has been to improve and build on last years performances, not rest on them.  In addition to the core squad members, we have also targeted developing young, Scottish talent who have a lot of potential and a big future ahead in both the abbreviated game and in the 15-a-side set-up.

“The exposure they will have to the international stage, will hopefully provide the platform they need to continue their development and progression in the game, as it has with so many players previously.”

Continue reading

Nicole Sapstead

Nicole Sapstead – UK Anti-doping’s Chief Executive

Steroid abuse is “off-the-scale” in Welsh grassroots and semi-professional rugby, it has been claimed.

UK Anti-Doping figures reveal players from Wales make up 33% of all sportsmen and women serving drugs bans.

An ex-player, who took drugs, said he is surprised more have not been banned.

But WRU chief Martyn Phillips is not “overly concerned” because the number tested is proportionately higher than in other rugby unions and sports.

The player, who would not be named, said: “It’s totally off-the-scale. I think people are probably blind to it and if the truth came out I think there would be probably a lot more players who are banned from playing.”

The numbers caught are a small percentage of the thousands that play rugby, however 17 Welsh rugby union and league players, from grassroots to semi-pro, are currently banned, with the majority found to have traces of anabolic steroids in their systems.

10 Of those banned are from rugby union and form the majority of the 16 players banned from the sport across the UK.

UK Anti-Doping said the other 7 are among 14 players banned from rugby league.

Continue reading

Barbarians RugbyArgentinaBarbarians (12) 31 / 49 (28) Los Pumas (Final Score)

The Barbarians and the Argentinaian Los Pumas did battle in a Barbarians Rugby 125th aniversary celebration match at

Twickenham Stadium, London at 17:05 SA Time (15:05 UK Time & GMT, 12:05 Arg Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

*******************

Continue reading

Barbarians Rugby - Victor Matfield & Bakkies Botha

The world’s most famous invitation club, the Barbarians, will aim to entertain when they celebrate their 125th year of existence.

The BaaBaas will host a strong Argentinean Los Pumas team at Twickenham on Saturday.

However, coach Michael Cheika’s message to his Barbarians team was simple.

“Keep it simple, have a go and back yourselves,” Cheika told the BaaBaas players.

Argentina have a slightly different focus.

Having finished 3rd in The Rugby Championship – the 1st time hey did not finish last – and 4th in the Rugby World Cup, they hope to finish their year on a winning note.

Wing Santiago Cordero, 1 of the sensations for the Pumas at the Rugby World up, said it is going to be a “pretty tough” game.

Continue reading

European Rugby Champions CupMunster’s trip to Stade Francais this weekend has been called off but Irish rivals Ulster will kick things off at home to Saracens on Friday.

Stade revealed on Tuesday that their Pool 4 match had been postponed in a bid to avoid tying up important police resources so soon after the deadly Paris attacks.

It took the number of postponed matches in this season’s competition – which had already been delayed due to the Rugby World Cup – to 5.

Ulster, like many of the sides involved in this season’s competition, will thus be making their 1st appearance against the English Premiership leaders in Pool 1.

Saracens have had a stunning start to the season, winning all 5 matches they’ve played so far, including last weekend’s brilliant 32 / 7 dismantling of record 4-time European champions Toulouse in London.

The English outfit will also take a psychological advantage into the game having beaten Ulster in 5 of their 6 previous meetings, including the quarterfinals in 2013 and 2014.

Ulster’s New Zealander No 8 Nick Williams says those results have no bearing on this match, though.

Continue reading

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

It’s official, DHL Stormers head coach for an ever so brief spell, Eddie Jones (which included no games and lasted only from 1 November to 18 November 2015, after being introduced to the SA Media on 12 November) is now the new England head coach!

The RFU have revealed that they have appointed Eddie Jones on a 4-year contract, starting in December 2015 and he will take charge of his 1st international game with England when they meet Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations at Murrayfield on 6 February 2016.

The amount the RFU had to pay to Western Province for Eddie Jones’ release is still the subject of wild speculation and varies between rumours of £ 100 000.00 (R 2.1 Million) to £ 350 000.00 ( R 7.5 Million) and even up to £ 700 000.00 (R 15 Million).

Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) have issued the following media release:

 

Media Release:

WPRFU President Mr Thelo Wakefield and WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal will host a top table press conference at DHL NEWLANDS on Friday 20 November at 11:00 SA Time.

Western Province Rugby has agreed terms with the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) which will see Eddie Jones depart to take on an international coaching post with England.

There has been plenty of speculation about Jones’s future ever since his arrival in Cape Town earlier this month and he officially received an offer on Wednesday of this week which proved impossible to turn down.

Continue reading

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

UK bookmakers have stopped taking bets on newly appointed DHL Stormers coach Eddie Jones replacing fired Stuart Lancaster as supremo of the England rugby team. They are so convinced Jones will leave Newlands for Twickenham that betting on him doing so has been suspended.

But the Australian who guided Japan to rugby’s great giant killing act over the Springboks won’t come cheap. In the Times of London this morning, SA billionaire Johann Rupert says extracting Jones from his contract with the DHL Stormers will cost the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) R 15 Million (£ 700 000.00).

Richemont chairman Rupert, co-owner of the DHL Stormers through the 25% owned by 1 of his businesses, told the newspaper: “We have no influence” and confirmed the Cape-based franchise would not engage in a bidding war over the recently hired head coach.

In September, Eddie Jones signed a R 5 Million a year deal with the DHL Stormers which runs until the end of 2018. That made him the highest paid coach in South African rugby, ahead of Heyneke Meyer who guided the Springboks to 3rd in the recent Rugby World Cup.

Continue reading

Barbarians team members celebrate in the changeroom after the Gloucester game

Barbarians team members celebrate in the changeroom after the Gloucester game

Victor Matfield says his all-Southern Hemisphere Barbarians side is braced for Saturday’s clash with Argentina after his team swept aside English Premiership side Gloucester 62 / 14.

The BaaBaas’ backline was well directed by Springbok flyhalf Pat Lambie, who collected a 13-point haul in the 10-try win.

“Getting this game under our belts will definitely help us going into Saturday,” said Matfield, whose side played attacking rugby despite strong winds – reaching up to 88km/h.

“Conditions weren’t too easy but the boys played well and the Gloucester boys gave it their best shot too.”

Continue reading

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika

Australian Wallabies coach Michael Cheika insisted Monday he had no interest in taking over the vacant England position, as he joined a growing list of high-profile figures in ruling himself out as a successor to Stuart Lancaster.

Last week saw Lancaster quit as England coach, as he paid the price for a poor Rugby World Cup, which saw England become the 1st host nation to fail to get out of the group phase.

“No one from there (England’s governing Rugby Football Union) has contacted me and they know they can’t contact me because I am committed to Australia,” Cheika, who led the Wallabies to last month’s Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham Stadium, said.

“That’s where I want to be coaching.”

Continue reading

Connacht vs Enisei

Substitutes trying to keep warm in Siberia during historic Challenge Cup match between Enisei-STM and Connacht on Saturday (footage in article)

For the first time in the 2015 / 2016 season, teams from Europe’s top leagues were given a breather from domestic competition this weekend and turned their attentions to the Champions and Challenge Cup tournaments. After the horrific events that unfolded in Paris on Friday night, the matches scheduled to be played on French soil were postponed and so here is an abridged round-up of the results.

Continue reading

England Women vs Ireland WomenThe Ireland Women are back in action for the 1st time since regaining the Six Nations title in March, as Tom Tierney’s new-look side take on England at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday (kick-off 15:00 UK Time & GMT, 17:00 SA Time).

The Ireland Women’s team to play England in an historic 1st November international has been named. There are 6 uncapped players included in Tom Tierney’s starting line-up.

New caps Jeamie Deacon of Blackrock and Mairead Coyne from Galwegians have been named on the wings with team captain Niamh Briggs at fullback.

Cill Dara’s Aine Donnelly will win her 1st cap in the centre alongside the experienced Jackie Shiels, with Coyne’s club-mate Sene Naoupu donning the No 10 jersey for the 1st time alongside regular scrumhalf Larissa Muldoon.

Continue reading

Leicester TigersStade FrancaisLeicester Tigers (12) 33 / 20 (8) Stade Francais (Final Score)

Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais did battle in the European Rugby Champions Cup at

Welford Road at 21:45 SA Time (19:45 UK Time & GMT, 21:45 French Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & CSN on TV in SA.

*******************

Continue reading

AustraliaAustralia will embark on their 10th ‘Grand Slam’ tour in 2016, aiming to beat the Home Nations in 1 trip for the 1st time in 30 years.

After falling to New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham Stadium in London earlier this month, the Wallabies will return to the northern hemisphere next year for a 7-match, 5-Test tour, including France.

“The ‘Grand Slam’ is 1 of the rarest achievements in the game and has been a notoriously difficult one for the Wallabies over time, with only 1 successful attempt out of 9,” Australian Rugby Union chief Bill Pulver said.

The last time the Wallabies pulled off the feat was in 1984. In their most recent attempt, in 2013, Australia opened with a loss to England before defeating Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as Italy.

Continue reading

Jake White

Jake White

Jake White insists he won’t take part in another drawn out application process for the vacant England head coach role.

White, who coached South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning squad, is 1 of the leading candidates to replace Stuart Lancaster after he parted ways with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in the aftermath of England’s dismal Rugby World Cup campaign.

But the 52-year-old South African has twice been snubbed at the final hurdle by the RFU, when Martin Johnson took control in 2008 and when Lancaster was handed the reins in 2012.

Determined not to be messed around for a 3rd time, White has called on RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie to install him as the organisation’s Top choice before he will consider succeeding Lancaster, who was widely criticised for his lack of Top-level experience during England’s Rugby World Cup pool stage exit.

Continue reading

ScotlandWhen he took to the field as Scotland cap number 1 073, Josh Strauss became the 50th player to make his debut for the national side since the last Rugby World Cup in 2011. This is by far the highest number of new players for Scotland in any Rugby World Cup cycle – more, in fact, than the previous 2 combined (48 new caps). It requires going back to the 1950s to find a greater number of 1st caps in a 4 year period.

Despite having the smallest player base of any of the Six Nations, Scotland has had more debutants than any of their rivals:

  • England – 41
  • France – 40
  • Ireland – 37
  • Italy – 31
  • Wales – 37

In fact only 1 side who competed at this year’s Rugby World Cup awarded more new caps in the last 4 years. By a quirk of the global calendar Argentina didn’t have access to many of their 1st (or even 2nd) choice players when the South American Championship takes place and 54 of their 67 new caps (including 24 in the space of 5 days in 2013, the last year they appeared in it!) debuted in the annual iterations of this tournament.

Continue reading

Jake White at Montpellier

Jake White at Montpellier

Former Springbok coach Jake White has again signalled interest in the England head coaching position.

Stuart Lancaster on Wednesday stepped down as England coach after a torrid Rugby World Cup which saw the hosts knocked out of the tournament at the pool stages after defeats to Wales and Australia.

Bookmakers have made White favourite to replace Lancaster and when asked whether he would be interested, the South African said:

“If they genuinely think a foreign coach is the right way forward and it is genuine they think it is me, it would be naive of me to say I was not interested.”

Continue reading

UserOnline

Users: 5 Guests, 5 Bots


RugbyIQ


Bam Advert

Archives