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England’s team selection for tomorrow’s match against Japan tells you that Eddie Jones wants much more pace in his side. They looked lacklustre when losing 30-29 to Argentina in their opening Autumn Nations Series fixture last weekend but the inclusion of Jack van Poortvliet and Sam Simmons in the starting XV should add much-needed tempo. [...]
Here it is – the day has finally arrived: England are set to field a 10,12,13 axis against Argentina on Sunday of Marcus Smith, Owen Farrell and Manu Tuilagi. This is the kind of backline team sheet we thought we’d see early on in Jones’ tenure – albeit a different No10 would have been in [...]
I have steered clear of talking about Premiership clubs Wasps and Worcester Warriors thus far given the uncertainty surrounding the futures of the players, but I feel like I should offer some thoughts. Look at the talent across the two clubs: Ollie Lawrence, Jack and Tom Willis, Alfie Barbeary and the rest. The players are [...]
Last Sunday’s storming contest in which Exeter Chiefs edged Harlequins 43-42 was, in my opinion, a perfect example of where the tectonic plates of rugby are starting to move. Gone are the days of overly structured play and coming in are sturdy defences paired with incredible counter-attacking moves. I think that’s where we have seen [...]
I’m going to call it: I think Bath will pick up their first Premiership win of the season this weekend against Wasps. While they struggled against Bristol Bears and Sale Sharks in their opening two matches, I get a sense that they could be about to snap out of their losing habit. There’s an opportunity [...]
Last week’s Premiership action further convinced me that the English Premiership is the best league in the world. Other than Worcester Warriors’ loss at London Irish, where the troubled away side were understandably rusty, I really couldn’t have called which way the other matches would go. How Gloucester turned around a 21-point deficit was astonishing, [...]
I’ve spent a lot of my life involved in rugby sevens but I haven’t taken on many challenges as big as the one I have just embarked on with China. I am heading up the coaching team for China’s sevens programme, and will be heading out there shortly for the next few months. I am [...]
Let’s be frank: the quality of rugby we have seen across this month of internationals hasn’t always been high – it’s been stop-start, mismatched and controversial at times – but it has been competitive. Heading into the final round of their Test series, Ireland are level with New Zealand, Scotland are equal with Argentina, England [...]
Tomorrow’s match against Australia is a must-win for England, having been well beaten in the opening Test of the series in Perth last weekend. They were on top for the majority of the game but just failed to capitalise in the moments where it was pretty even – their two late tries saved face in [...]
The season is over, Leicester Tigers are champions and I have enjoyed it completely. The lack of relegation has created new interest for me, and we’ve seen some real bolters, like Henry Arundell, earn an international chance on the summer tours. But now that all has been said and done, here are my Premiership awards. [...]
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