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Sure, Leicester’s win in Bordeaux was impressive and Exeter looked comfortable against Montpellier, but I still don’t see an English team challenging for the Champions Cup. Toulouse put out a strong XV against a makeshift Cardiff and proved they weren’t there to play along with the Welsh region’s fairytale game. Racing 92, meanwhile, absolutely dominated [...]
Cardiff and Munster’s youngsters and fringe players may be dreaming of famous upsets this weekend in the Champions Cup but, for me, the situation has tainted European club rugby’s big kick-off slightly. It’s nobody’s fault that the two teams have dozens of players unavailable after being caught up in the omicron breakout while playing in [...]
The international players are back at their clubs and so is the Premiership, and in this blockbuster weekend of games we have the hottest match-up of the season so far. Chiefs vs Saracens There is no love lost between Exeter Chiefs and Saracens. Tony Rowe was shouting from the rooftops about Sarries deserving relegation after [...]
I have been really impressed with how the northern hemisphere in general has performed across this autumn, and I truly believe we’re on top now. I had a pop at picking my Six Nations-based XV based on this November. Forwards 1 CYRIL BAILLE – FRA The power Baille possesses is simply incredible. He is very [...]
In tomorrow’s match with South Africa, England have their hardest test. Why? Because they know exactly what they’ll be coming up against. The Springboks don’t often play exciting rugby – it’s simple, boring rugby. They try to bully you, outmuscle you and, when in doubt, send the ball skyward and harass the catcher. It’s not [...]
He is a mercurial talent who was destined to be in an England jersey and tomorrow against Australia Marcus Smith will get his first taste of top-level international rugby. Smith’s previous two England starts have come in under-strength sides who played the USA and Canada during the summer. This weekend he will wear No10 against [...]
The Premiership is producing some of the best rugby that it ever has, and the lack of England internationals over the coming weeks will make games even more unpredictable. Eddie Jones’s autumn squad is already at a training camp in Jersey, meaning a host of stars are unavailable for selection on a weekend full of [...]
Marcus Smith is the name on everyone’s lips as Eddie Jones prepares to name his England squad for the Autumn Nations Series on Monday. The Harlequins fly-half was on fire on his first Premiership appearance of the season last Friday, coming off the bench to help Quins surge from 21-0 down to beat Bristol 52-24. [...]
Harlequins and Bristol love playing expansive, broken-field rugby but I think the Bears will continue their rocky start when the teams meet tonight. Last year’s Premiership semi-final between the two sides was the best game of the season, and definitely the best comeback I’ve seen in my life. Quins and Bristol specialised in chucking the [...]
Two of the most likely contenders to succeed Eddie Jones as England coach face off on Saturday when Steve Borthwick’s Leicester Tigers host Mark McCall’s Saracens. Speculation over who could get the job when Jones departs in 2023 resurfaced this week when England forwards coach Richard Cockerill ruled himself out of the running. Borthwick and [...]
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