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England Rugby

England Rugby Upside Down

World Rugby is investigating reports that England’s coaching staff made an illegal approach to match officials at halftime in their loss to Australia.

According to media reports 2 England coaches made the approach as the 2 teams left the field at Twickenham on Saturday, with England trailing 3 / 17. Head coach Stuart Lancaster was not among them however.

“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials,” said a World Rugby statement.

“The protocol prohibits certain conduct on match days including coaches approaching match officials during a match or at halftime during a match,” the statement added.

Media reports have suggested that there is CCTV footage from the tunnel where the alleged incident took place.

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Danny Cipriani scoring against France

Sale flyhalf Danny Cipriani will be left out of England’s 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

The 27-year-old impressed off the bench in the defeat by France last weekend, but has not done enough to be included in Stuart Lancaster’s final party.

Owen Farrell and George Ford are set to be named as the 2 flyhalves, with Mike Brown and Alex Goode as the fullbacks, leaving no place for Cipriani.

The squad will be confirmed on Thursday at 14:45 SA Time (13:45 BST, 12:45 GMT).

The tournament, held in England and Wales, gets under way on 18 September.

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Chris Robshaw

Chris Robshaw

Regular England captain Chris Robshaw was restored to the side for the World Cup hosts’ 2nd warm-up match.

England play France in Paris on Saturday.

The Harlequins flank was 1 of 14 changes made by coach Stuart Lancaster to his starting side – with only try-scoring wing Jonny May retained from the 15 that ran out to defeat France 19 / 14 at Twickenham last weekend.

Robshaw will form a back row alongside veteran James Haskell and Billy Vunipola.

It is the same loose forward trio which started the final match of last season’s Six Nations against France, with 12 of that 15 – which won 55 / 35 at Twickenham 5 months ago, a result that still wasn’t good enough for England to clinch the title – lining up in Paris.

There was no place in the matchday 23 for either former Rugby League star Sam Burgess or fellow centre Henry Slade, who both impressed on their Test debuts against France last weekend.

Instead Lancaster has reverted back to his tried and trusted centre partnership of Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph, leaving open the question of who will provide midfield cover in a Rugby World Cup squad that must be named by 31 August.

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Sam Burgess

Sam Burgess

Springbok loose forward Francois Louw is backing his Bath teammate Sam Burgess to make his debut for England on the flank.

Rugby League convert Burgess has impressed since moving to the back row from the centres, and is widely tipped to be included in England’s pre-World Cup training squad – which will be named on Wednesday.

“I don’t think Sam will struggle at international level,” said Louw. “He will hold his own.”

“Stuart Lancaster has his hands full with loose forwards, but it’s not going to be too long before Sam makes his international debut on the flank.”

“Maybe it will be at this year’s World Cup and I’ll see him there.”

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Joe Marler

England prop Joe Marler has urged the 2015 World Cup hosts to channel the frustration, following their defeat by New Zealand, when they face South Africa in the second of four November internationals at Twickenham on Saturday.

England established a 14-11 half-time lead against World Cup champions New Zealand, but the All Blacks won 24-21 as they beat Stuart Lancaster’s side for the fifth successive match.

“Our levels of frustration are high and the game review was very honest. I can’t really use the words that I’d like to use!” Marler said.

“We knew what we had to do in that second half. We spoke about it at half-time. And then we came out and did the opposite. Now we expect a reaction from ourselves,” the Harlequins captain added.

“We’ll take the frustration into this weekend. From a personal point of view it’s important to use that frustration to spur you on that little bit more.”

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Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi

England centre Manu Tuilagi will miss the End Of Year Tours (November Internationals) after suffering a groin injury during Leicester Tigers’ first match in the new European Champions Cup, the Premiership club said on Tuesday.

The Samoa-born player hobbled off the field after 15 minutes of the 25-18 win over Ulster on Saturday.

Tuilagi was making only his second start after three weeks out with a groin problem but Leicester said it was not a recurrence of the same injury.

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Stuart Lancaster

Stuart Lancaster

Stuart Lancaster will be England Head Coach until 2020 after the Rugby Football Union decided to extend his contract.

Appointed permanent head coach in March 2012, his tenure in charge of the England team is now set to include the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Lancaster’s coaching team – Forwards Coach Graham Rowntree, Backs Coach Andy Farrell and Attacking Skills Coach Mike Catt – have also been contracted to the end of the 2019-20 season.

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Chris Robshaw

Chris Robshaw

It is 8 November.

England are about to tackle the All Blacks at Twickenham.

For captain Chris Robshaw, matchday starts with a lie-in; he has his own room due to his thunderous snoring. Then comes breakfast, a massage and some physio if required before the forwards go through a couple of plays while the backs play a passing game.

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Regrets: Former England manager Martin Johnson.

England legend Martin Johnson has finally broken his silence on the team’s World Cup embarrassments off the field in New Zealand, saying he lamented the way “rugby got dragged through the mud”.

Under Johnson’s command as coach, England’s 2011 campaign lurched from one disaster to another including: drunken players involved in a dwarf-throwing competition in a Queenstown bar, Mike Tindall being photographed with an ex-girlfriend, inappropriate comments being made to a female hotel worker, and Manu Tuilagi jumping off a ferry into Auckland’s harbour.

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Dylan Hartley

Dylan Hartley

When the World Cup kicks off in a little under a year’s time, England will have played all but one of the other nine sides in the top ten of the current IRB World Rankings. Psychologically, it is a huge 12 months for next year’s hosts.

In the past few seasons, they have made huge strides in the right direction – but they are not the finished product yet.

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The great Peter Cranmer makes a break against Wales in 1935

The great Peter Cranmer makes a break against Wales in 1935

International coaches – and selection panels before them – traditionally prize solidity at centre, and nowhere more than in England.

Which is not to say that they’ve not had great creative centres; Jeff Butterfield, Jerry Guscott and Will Greenwood had talents that would have been welcomed in any team in the world.

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Premiership clubs

Premiership Clubs have been given dispensation by the IRB to start playing on 17 October next year, during the World Cup’s knockout stages.

The Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby have settled their dispute over World Cup compensation, the governing bodies have announced.

England’s 12 clubs are likely to share £13 million provided by the RFU and have been cleared to play matches during the knockout stage of the tournament.

“It’s a reflection of the strength of the partnership that once again we have managed to come to an arrangement that benefits both the RFU and clubs,” RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said.

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England's rugby jersey

NEW DESIGN: England’s rugby jersey features a pattern of crosses resembling the Victoria Cross.

There’s no sign of a change in design, but the Rugby Football Union has issued an apology over the controversial new jersey England will debut against the All Blacks in London in November.

The jersey, manufactured by Canterbury, has drawn criticism for its use of rubber grips across the chest area in the shape of the hallowed Victoria Cross. They were intended to help deaden the impact of the ball and help with grip.

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England’s new alternate strip

England have broken the mould with their new kit as they have moved the rose to the centre of the shirt for the first time.

The kit will be worn by England throughout the 2014-15 campaign with a new strip unveiled before the start of next year’s World Cup.

In addition to the new-look home shirt, England have reverted back to a traditional red change strip which will be worn against Samoa in the autumn internationals.

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Tom Wood

Tom Wood makes ground against the All Blacks in the summer.

Northampton flanker Tom Wood has said that the England squad has been told they have to get much fitter in the light of their series whitewash by New Zealand in the summer.

In an interview in the Daily Telegraph, Wood said that one of the issues is that the week-in, week-out club game no longer prepares players well enough for the rigours of the international game.

“International level is dramatically different to the club game,” he said. “We have been shown data that illustrates that.

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Emily Scarratt

Feminine side: Emily Scarratt receives the England Women’s Player of the Year award in 2013.

The hostility Emily Scarratt suffered for wanting to play rugby as a teenager was made to look even more absurd when she sealed England’s World Cup triumph last Sunday with a superb individual try.

Like the rest of her team-mates, Scarratt is only too aware of the cliches surrounding women’s rugby.

‘Leave it to the men,’ the dinosaurs say. ‘The rugby field is no place for girls’.

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Jonny WilkinsonFormer England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson says it would be “amazing” to one day coach his country after announcing he will retire from playing this month.

The 34-year-old will play in the Heineken Cup and Top 14 finals for Toulon, at which point he will join the French club’s coaching staff.

Wilkinson played 91 times for England, famously kicking a winning drop-goal in the 2003 World Cup final.

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WalesWales coach Warren Gatland has warned that he might consider not selecting England-based players in future.

The Premiership clubs have said they may not release Welsh players for a trial game on 30 May in Swansea as it is not a Test match.

Negotiations are ongoing, but Gatland remains concerned by the continuing uncertainty over player availability for Wales duties.

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New ZealandIt was not the perfect weekend for the All Blacks, with France running them close. This begs the question whether Daniel Carter is still the flyhalf maestro he once was.

All Blacks coach, Steve Hansen, says the All Blacks will be better against England compared to how they went against France.

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EnglandArgentinaEngland (24) 31 / 12 (6) Pumas (Final Score)

England and the Argentinian Pumas did battle in the End Of Year Tours at

Twickenham, London at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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


Meanwhile, other Internationals in progress at the same time, here are the scores:

Italy (10) 20 / 50 (19) Wallabies (Final Score)

Scotland (11) 42 / 17 (3) Japan (Final Score)


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Ewen McKenzieGeorgina Robinson of the Sydney Morning Herald, a pleasant lady who sat next to me at Loftus Versfeld during Super Rugby… or was it a Test between the Springboks and Wallabies, wrote an article about Ewen McKenzie, Wallabies coach, complaining bitterly about the unfair treatment the Wallabies scrum gets, due to the perceptions of the quality or lack of quality of Wallaby scums of recent years.

Now understand me clear here, I do not moan over Georgina article, after all she has a duty to report the news when it presents itself – and generally she is a fair lass as far as rugby matters go, in my opinion one of the better rugby scribes from Down Under.

The beef that I have is the smoke and mirrors, the side-show that Ewen McKenzie is trying to conjure up and the smoke he is trying to blow up the IRB and our combined arses, to make up for absolutely woeful Wallaby scrummaging!

We’re going to look at Georgina’s Article in the Sydney Morning Herald first… thereafter we will look at a video clip analising all 17 scrums in the recent Test between England and the Wallabies (a must watch clip) and finally, each will come to his or her own conclusion, mine being to laugh at McKenzie’s antics in disgust and disbelief!

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End Of Year Tours - 2013Round 1 of the End Of Year Tours of 2013 is upon us and it is that time of the year where we see the teams from the South migrate to the North to go do battle with those from Europe and beyond.

The Test rugby games of the End Of Year Tours or November Internationals are always a nice spectacle to see. Some teams use this as an experimental base, whilst other teams use this competition to prepare for other competitions like the 6 Nations. The big thing here is that the 3 Southern Hemisphere giant teams are ranked No 1 to 3 in the world. So, every team wants to beat these sides for bragging rights and to also get an indication of where they stand in preparation of the next Rugby World Cup.

So let the battles begin!

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