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England1South AfricaEngland U20  (31) 39 / 17 (3) Junior Springboks U20 (Final Score)

England Under 20 and South Africa’s Junior Springboks Under 20 did battle in the World Rugby Under

20 Championship 2016 (semifinals) at Manchester, at 20:45 SA Time (18:45 GMT, 19:45 UK Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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IrelandArgentinaIreland U20  (21) 37 / 7 (7) Argentina U20 (Final Score)

Ireland Under 20 and Argentina Under 20 did battle in the World Rugby Under

20 Championship 2016 (semifinals) at Manchester, at 18:30 SA Time (16:30 GMT, 17:30 UK Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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New ZealandWalesNew Zealand U20  (35) 71 / 12 (5) Wales U20 (Final Score)

New Zealand Under 20 and Wales Under 20 did battle in the World Rugby Under

20 Championship 2016 (5yh Place Play-off) at Manchester, at 16:15 SA Time (14:15 GMT, 15:15 UK Time).

This was the live match discussion Article.

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

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SaracensSaracens beat Exeter Chiefs to win the Premiership final and become the first English side to complete a domestic and European double since 2004.

Exeter, in their first play-off final, were blown away by a dominant first half from Sarries, who led 23 / 6 through Duncan Taylor and Chris Wyles scores.

Jack Yeandle and Jack Nowell crossed after the break as a rejuvenated Chiefs reduced the deficit to 3 points.

But Alex Goode’s late try secured the title for the defending champions.

Victory also means Mark McCall’s side, who won the European Champions Cup 2 weeks ago, become the first English club since Wasps 12 years ago to win the top-flight and European titles in the same season.

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World Rugby Under 20 ChampionshipEngland Under 20 Head Coach Martin Haag has named his 28-man squad for the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Manchester (7 – 25 June).

The home side face Italy, Scotland and Australia in Pool B and several players with Premiership experience have been included: Theo Brophy-Clews, Will Evans, Harry Mallinder, Joe Marchant, Ollie Thorley and Johnny Williams.

Jack Walker will play in his 3rd World Rugby Under 20 Championship, while George Perkins and Josh Bainbridge both featured in Italy last year.

England have a strong record in the tournament having reached 6 finals in the last 8 years but this squad have a unique opportunity to play in front of their home supporters.

“This group will only play together for this tournament.  It will be a proud moment when they pull on the white jersey and run out in front of family and friends in a home World Cup,” said Haag.

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Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones has a well-deserved reputation for psychological warfare but, 10 months before the next Calcutta Cup, the voluble England coach has started early even by his standards. In an interview with a mass-circulation Japanese paper,  Jones talked about his very 1st Six Nations game against Scotland at Murrayfield and was dismissive of the hosts.

“It was a game I always thought we’d win,” the Australian told the paper’s London corespondent. “I don’t see Scotland being a strong team. You look at Scotland at the World Cup, who did they beat? They were lucky to beat Samoa, they beat USA, they beat us (Japan), and we had 4 days’ preparation, and they were beaten by Australia and South Africa.

“So, they didn’t have a great World Cup, but everyone was talking as though they were a fantastic team. England didn’t have a good World Cup but we’re a stronger team than they are.”

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Joe Marler

Joe Marler

England prop Joe Marler has been banned for 2 matches and fined £ 20 000.00 by World Rugby for calling Wales forward Samson Lee “Gypsy boy”.
Marler, 25, had avoided punishment by The RBS 6 Nations organisers, but World Rugby conducted its own investigation.

He made the comment in England’s RBS 6 Nations win over Wales in March and had an apology accepted by prop Samson.

The Rugby Football Union said Marler would not appeal against the decision and considered the matter closed.

World Rugby, the sport’s global governing body, said it had “Exercised its right to take appropriate action before an independent judicial committee in the absence of such a process by Six Nations Rugby in accordance with the regulations”.

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RBS 6 Nations trophyWho was your standout player of the 2016 RBS 6 Nations? Read the profiles below for a reminder of the achievements of our nominees.

 

Gareth Davies:

The Wales scrumhalf took the opportunity that Rhys Webb’s injury presented and impressed throughout the Championship.

He scored a stunning try in their victory over Scotland in Round 2, was RBS 6 Nations Man of the Match in Round 3 against France and claimed the final score of Wales’ Championship when he came off the bench against Italy on Super Saturday.

 

Guilhem Guirado:

Guy Novès’ France side might have finished with 3 defeats but their captain Guirado led by example throughout.

The hooker was superb, crossing for tries against Wales and Scotland, driving his pack forwards and demonstrating brilliant tackle and breakdown work in every match.

 

Stuart Hogg:

The Scotland fullback’s scorching try in the final Round against Ireland will live long in the memory but Hogg’s influence throughout the Championship was apparent.

He made 2 tries as Vern Cotter’s side ended their winless run in downing Italy, scored 1 and he scored 1 and made 1 in their historic win over France – while also adding a penalty from his own half. All that before his fantastic solo score in Dublin on Super Saturday.

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Joe Marler

Joe Marler

England prop Joe Marler has avoided any sanction for striking an opponent during his side’s RBS 6 Nations win over Wales at Twickenham.

A Six Nations disciplinary committee found he struck prop Rob Evans in the 15th minute of Saturday’s match.

But it said in a statement: “The disciplinary committee found that the offending would not have warranted a Red Card and so imposed no sanction.”

Marler could now play in England’s final game against France on Saturday.

However, that could still be in doubt as the 25-year-old Harlequins forward may yet face action for calling Wales prop Samson Lee “Gypsy boy” in the same game.

Marler apologised to Lee – who is from the Traveller community – for that comment, and Lee has said he accepted the apology as “banter”.

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Joe Marler

Joe Marler

England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler has been cited for striking Wales prop Rob Evans in England’s 25 / 21 RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales at Twickenham.

Harlequins prop Marler appeared to land a forearm in the face of Evans while trying to assist Dan Cole ground the ball over Wales’s try-line.

“Joe Marler has been cited by the independent citing commissioner for allegedly striking an opponent in the 15th minute of the 1st half of the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham,” said an RBS 6 Nations statement.

If found guilty at a disciplinary hearing later this week, Marler will face an “entry-point” ban of 2 weeks, which would rule him out of England’s attempt to seal a 1st Grand Slam since 2003.

Officials have yet to decide whether a separate incident of verbal abuse, in which Harlequins prop Marler called Wales’s Samson Lee “gypsy boy” during the 1st half of England’s 25 / 21 win at Twickenham last Saturday, warrants disciplinary action.

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RBS 6 NationsWales head coach Warren Gatland has named his team to face England in Saturday’s key RBS 6 Nations match at Twickenham.

Gareth Davies retains the scrumhalf spot ahead of Rhys Webb, who is named among the replacements.

Webb, 27, was recalled to the squad after 6 months away from international rugby with injury.

Lock Luke Charteris is on the bench where Paul James comes in to cover the injured loosehead prop Gethin Jenkins.

We’ve named a pretty experienced side for Saturday,” said Gatland.

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StretcherMore than 70 doctors and academics are calling for a ban on tackling in rugby matches played in UK and Irish schools.

In an open letter to ministers, they say injuries from this “high-impact collision sport” can have lifelong consequences for children.

They argue 2 3rds of injuries in youth rugby and most concussions are down to tackles and urge schools to move to touch and non-contact rugby.

Supporters say rugby builds character and other forms are less challenging.

The concerns have been raised as a 7-year programme headed by the Rugby Football Union is on target to introduce rugby to a million children in state schools across England.

The RFU’s programme, which began in 2012 and is running until 2019, has so far reached 400 schools, with 350 to follow.

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Elliot Daly could make his England senior debut against Ireland

Elliot Daly could make his England senior debut against Ireland

Wasps centre Elliot Daly is set for his England debut after being named in Eddie Jones’ 23-man squad for Saturday’s match against Ireland.

Daly replaces lock Courtney Lawes in the only change from the squad that beat Italy.

“Elliot Daly has impressed in training and is now ready to be part of the matchday 23,” Jones said.

England won their opening 2 matches and top the table, while Ireland lost to France and drew with Wales.

Daly, 23, has played 4 times for England Saxons and also represented England at Under 18 and Under 20 level.

Ireland could also bring a debutant into midfield, with Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey in contention for a 1st cap if fitness-doubt Jared Payne is ruled out.

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SIX NationsThe Under 20 SIX Nations, not as glamorous as the SIX Nations for the senior teams, is intensely contested.

Last year England were the unbeaten winners followed, in order, by France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy.

Like their senior team, England’s Under 20 captain is a hooker – Jack Walker, whose brother Chris captained the 2012 side which retained the championship.

Coach John Callard said: “The 1st game of any Championship is always tough, especially playing away in Scotland, but the players are excited about getting started.

“We’ re looking for them to use this competition to continue developing their all-round game.  For example, we want functionally fit forwards who, as well as having a strong set piece, are ball handlers and good decision makers right across the field.

“You can always come back to a tighter game but we want players to see this as an opportunity to express themselves and enjoy playing for their country.”

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Women's 6 Nations 2016

Women’s 6 Nations Team Captains

It will be a campaign brimming with sub-plots. New talent will emerge, reputations will need to be restored and everyone will need to put on a show as the 15-a-side game fights for attention in an Olympic year.

With the gaps between teams ever decreasing, this year’s Women’s 6 Nations is expected to be the most open we have seen.

Defending champions Ireland will fight to retain their title, although France and England will severely test their grit.

Last season the Red Roses faltered, with the world champions finishing 4th, and the combination of retirements and a number of their players focusing on the Sevens for Rio 2016 means they will have much to prove.

But it is not only England who must adjust and discover new talent, because most nations have withdrawn their Sevens players to focus on this summer’s Olympics.

Amid such uncertainty, who will prevail?

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John Hardie

John Hardie in World Cup action for Scotland

He doesn’t know what possessed him to visit the old Lockhart Hotel that day, but it was an experience John Hardie is never likely to forget.

“The most scared I’ve ever been,” says Scotland’s openside flanker.

The setting is a building in Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island – a holiday resort about an hour and a half from Dipton, the farming country where Hardie was born and reared.

Legend has it that there was a fire in Lockhart’s place in the late 1800’s. Three generations of the family perished.

Only a girl called Mary survived – and she haunts the place to this day. Many Kiwis have gone there over the years and many talk of the sense of foreboding that exists behind that main door.

Hardie’s now one of them. Chilled to the bone, he says. “Never going back. Never ever.”

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Dylan Hartley

Dylan Hartley has been appointed England captain and will lead the team during their Six Nations campaign despite having one of the worst disciplinary records in English rugby.

Hartley has spent a total of 54 weeks on sidelines through suspension over the years. Some of the offences he served suspensions for include eye-gouging, biting, punching and head-butting.

Despite these blemishes, England head coach Eddie Jones said he has faith in Hartley’s abilities as a leader.

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Sergio Parisse, Sam Warburton, Rory Best, Dylan Hartley, Greg Laidlaw and Guilhem Guirado (from left to right)

Sergio Parisse, Sam Warburton, Rory Best, Dylan Hartley, Greg Laidlaw and Guilhem Guirado (from left to right) at yesterday’s RBS 6 Nations 2016 launch

The 2016 RBS 6 Nations launched in style on Wednesday morning at the Hurlingham Club and the 6 captains present an intriguing mix of the old and the new.

There are 3 brand new skippers for this year’s Championship, which gets underway in 10 days’ time on Saturday 6 February when France welcome Italy to the Stade de France – and they are all hookers.

Rory Best takes the armband for 2-time defending champions Ireland after Paul O’Connell’s retirement, Eddie Jones’ England have Dylan Hartley at the helm and France under Guy Noves will be led by Guilhem Guirado.

Those 3 were joined by Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw, Wales’ Sam Warburton and Italy’s Sergio Parisse on Wednesday – 3 captains that have led their country with great distinction for many years.

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ScotlandHead Coach Vern Cotter  named uncapped props Zander Fagerson and Rory Sutherland in a 35-man Scotland squad for the 2016 RBS 6 Nations.

Glasgow Warriors’ tighthead prop Fagerson turned 20 yesterday (Tuesday 19 January) meaning he could become the 4th youngest prop in Scottish history, and the youngest to represent Scotland for more than half a century (since Bill Black debuted against France at Murrayfield 1948).

Fellow propping prospect Sutherland (23) plies his trade at the opposite end of the M8 and earns selection through his increasingly impressive showings for Edinburgh since signing from Gala last season.

The young pair are among 4 changes to Scotland’s front row options originally named for Rugby World Cup 2015, with 29-times capped Exeter Chiefs tighthead, Moray Low, and 6-times capped Glasgow Warriors hooker, Pat MacArthur, earning selection for the 1st time since the summer of 2014.

Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter, said: “We’ve selected a mixture of experience with some exciting young players coming through, some of whom have experienced the Rugby World Cup and are eager to move forward, take the RBS 6 Nations head on and show that we can develop our game and be competitive.”

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Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

England boss Eddie Jones admits an afternoon spent watching rugby fan Pep Guardiola conduct a training session at Bayern Munich left him embarrassed about his own coaching ability.

Jones met Guardiola soon after overseeing Japan’s greatest World Cup performance in hope of learning from the most in-demand manager in football, who is to step down from his post at the German champions at the end of the season.

The Australian was enthralled by the sight of Guardiola making some of the game’s biggest stars toil in freezing conditions, confirming his own view on the capacity of players to be pushed to their limits.

“I talk to a lot of people. I try to meet people who are smarter than me. Last year in November was one of the best meetings I had,” Jones said.

I went to Bayern Munich and met Pep Guardiola. It was absolutely fascinating.

“I watched him taking a training session and it made me embarrassed by my coaching – he was so bloody brilliant.”

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EnglandDanny Cipriani will be overlooked when England head coach Eddie Jones names his first elite player squad before next month’s Six Nations Championship.

Jones will name a 33-man squad on Wednesday, but is not set to reveal his captain for another 2 weeks.

Northampton hooker Dylan Hartley is a leading contender to replace Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw as skipper, despite a poor disciplinary record.

Jones, 55, recently said he will select players who “express themselves”.

However, Sale flyhalf Cipriani is not expected to be a part of the Australian’s initial plans.

The 28-year-old, who has won 14 caps since making his debut in 2008, missed out to Saracens’ Owen Farrell and Bath’s George Ford in England’s doomed World Cup squad.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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Carlisle tweet

 

Carlisle United players have offered to help people in their community affected by flooding caused by Storm Desmond.

Tens of thousands of homes across northern England and parts of Scotland are without power after the floods and Cumbria is one of the worst-hit areas.

Carlisle’s players volunteered their services after winning 5 / 0 at Welling on Sunday in the FA Cup 2nd Round.

The club’s home ground, Brunton Park, close to both the rivers Petteril and Eden, has been engulfed by flood water.

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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.”

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Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones will most likely not be coming back to Cape Town to assist the DHL Stormers in their pre-season preparation work, but he will be in Los Angelos this week.

Newly appointed England coach Jones will be addressing a World Rugby workshop on the success of the Japan team at the Rugby World Cup, who won 3 games despite failing to make the play-offs under his guidance.

Jones was unveiled as the new DHL Stormers coach earlier this month, before being made an offer he could not refuse by the English RFU which saw him leave Cape Town after just 2 weeks.

Stormers director of rugby, Gert Smal, claimed that Jones would return to Cape Town in December to assist with the planning for next season, explaining that the experienced coach felt bad for the way things had transpired with the Stormers.

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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.

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