Month: June 2021

  • Ireland 32-14 Scotland

    first_img Donnacha Ryan in action v Scotland By Bea Asprey, Rugby World WriterIn a nutshell Scotland knew they’d have to come out of the changing room firing if they were to beat Ireland at home, and some early pressure put them 0-6 ahead thanks to two penalty kicks from Greig Laidlaw. But Ireland responded by showing they meant business, opting to go for a lineout as a result of their own penalty, instead of taking a shot at goal. The gamble paid off, as captain Rory Best scored in the 14th minute, and the Scots were playing catch up for the rest of the game.Richie Gray touches down – but Scotland immediately conceded another tryKey moment Richie Gray scored his first Test try three minutes before the half-time break, taking them within three points of Ireland, but the hosts immediately hit back with a try from Andrew Trimble, a score that nailed down the lid of Scotland’s coffin.Star man It’s no easy task filling the boots of Paul O’Connell, but Donnacha Ryan today showed why he’s been picked in the starting XV ahead of Donncha O’Callaghan at Munster this season. A real force in the lineout, he contributed to the pressure heaped on the Scots throughout the game, and ensured their set piece had a torrid afternoon.Room for improvement Scotland must improve on their focus and composure if they are to start winning Test matches. The game in Dublin was an all too familiar story for the visitors, and despite a strong start and a good try from Richie Gray, their territory and possession – both on a par with that of Ireland – was not converted into more points on the board.Sexton was successful with four kicks out of five In quotes Ireland captain Rory Best: “We made a nervy start. Being 6-nil down in the first 10 minutes at home s not ideal. But all credit to the boys, they rallied round, and Johnny (Sexton) kicked a crucial conversion to put us ahead (after 15 minutes). It was something we talked about in the week – if the kicks aren’t kickable just kick for territory and keep the pressure on, so Johnny decided to kick for the corner.”Scotland coach Andy Robinson: “We knew Ireland’s kicking game would be good but we didn’t cope with it well today. The set piece, and the lineout in particular, didn’t go as well as we’d have liked it to. This is a step back. We didn’t put any shape together and turned over the ball after two or three phases. It’s not good enough.”StatsIreland started a Six Nations game without both Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell for the first time since 2001 – a fact that will make this result even more pleasing for the team. In contrast, Scotland have won just two and drawn one of their last 14 Six Nations games, and have lost their last six games. That all makes it a long plane ride home.Ireland: Rob Kearney (Fergus McFadden 73); Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Gordon D’Arcy (Ronan O’Gara 54), Andrew Trimble; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Redddan (Tomás O’Leary 54); Cian Healy (Tom Court 51-59), Rory Best (capt, Sean Cronin 54), Mike Ross (Tom Court 78), Donncha O’Callaghan (Mike McCarthy 78), Donncha Ryan, Stephen Ferris, Peter O’Mahony (Shane Jennings 62), Jamie Heaslip.Tries (4): Best, Reddan, Trimble, McFadden. Cons (3): Sexton. Pens (2): Sexton.Scotland: Stuart Hogg; Lee Jones (Matt Scott 62), Nick De Luca, Graeme Morrison, Sean Lamont; Greig Laidlaw (Ruaridh Jackson 56), Mike Blair (Chris Cusiter 50); Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford (capt), Geoff Cross (Euan Murray 46), Richie Gray, Jim Hamilton (Al Kellock 59), John Barclay, Ross Rennie (Richie Vernon 59), David Denton. Try: Gray. Pens (3) Laidlaw.Referee: Chris Pollock (NZ) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS not for featured last_img read more

  • Mike Blair picks his top five No 9’s

    first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Putting the boot in: Mike Blair dispatches a box kick for Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership Mike Blair is a HSBC ambassador who was talking ahead of the Glasgow Round of the HSBC Sevens World Series To read our exclusive review of the Hong Kong Sevens, pick up the June edition of Rugby World – on sale May 6! Best passer of the ball: Bryan RedpathBryan was always the guy you wanted to pass like. He was very sharp off both hands and had a real whip to his pass, which, let’s not forget is one of the key ingredients of the nine’s role. It was only recently I realised he was the highest scoring scrum-half in the Premiership, until Danny Care recently broke it with 35-odd tries. My Scotland career started at the tail end of his, so I spent a year with him. His relationship with Gregor Townsend was very important. He gave him that extra millisecond of time and his snappy service also helped the likes of John Leslie and Alan Tait run onto the ball. After he left the Scotland he had a fantastic few years at Sale, which showed his class.Mr Whippy: Bryan Redpath had a superb passBest for intelligence: Will GeniaWill Genia is a very clever rugby player. I first noticed him at 19 or 20, before he came to influence the Wallabies. At the breakdown, he’d produce these sumptuous Gregan-like flip-balls and bring Digby Ioane into play, that’s when I knew he had something about him. He has an uncanny knack of bringing others into the game, challenges the line really well and always picks the right options. He has adapted his game over the years. As nine’s are now expected to have a better tactical kicking game, and he’s adapted his game accordingly to move with the times. Imagine the perfect prototype scrum-half with the whippiest pass, most resolute defence, oodles of game intelligence and sheer force of will, well Mike Blair has done just that as he’s picked all-time top five No 9’s Experienced: Mike BlairHe’s Scotland’s most capped scrum-half, has played at three World Cups and is a British and Irish Lion. Throw in domestic stints in Scotland, France and England and you’d expect Newcastle Falcons No 9 Mike Blair to have a fair few options as he picks five of the finest No 9’s he’s faced…Best for physicality: Justin Marshall“Whereas Will Genia looks for space, Marshall loved taking the ball into contact and looking for offloads. He was a very smart rugby player who read the game extremely well. He didn’t have the most refined all-round skillset but he made up for it with his abrasive nature. In fact, his brawn around the breakdown was fundamental to the All Blacks success. He came over to the UK for his last few years of his career and I’m sure Mike Phillips would have picked up a few tips from him when he was at the Ospreys.”Best for bloody mindedness: Gary Armstrong “I was at my most impressionable stage between eight and 10 and that was when Armstrong was Scotland’s No 9 when they won the Grand Slam in 1990. He was absolutely key to that success and a really tough competitor. He hated losing. I actually played against him in 2004, when I was with Edinburgh at the start of my career and he was at the Borders. He’d lost his legs by then but I remember him punching me at the bottom of a ruck, as if to say, ‘I’ll show this young whippersnapper who’s boss’. He was giving me the treatment to see what I was made of which I’ll take as a compliment of sorts…”Defensive nine: Joost van der Westhuizen tacking Gary Armstrong. He redefined the No 9 positionBest for defence: Joost van der WesthuizenAlthough Joost was rightly renowned as a try-scorer – he was deadly from 5 metres out scoring something like 38 tries for the Springboks – I have clear memories of him taking Jonah Lomu down in the 1995 World Cup Final. Ask most aspiring young scrum-halves who they looked up to as a kid, and his was the name that came up more often than not. At the time, he was physically intimidating for a scrum-half so to see a scrum-half tackling like that was a real eye-opener. In a way, he redefined the role for others to follow. Like Justin Marshall, if you looked at his skill-set for a nine, it wasn’t the strongest, but as a competitor he was absolutely ferocious. TAGS: Highlight last_img read more

  • Saints and Sinners: The weekend’s talking points

    first_img TAGS: Munster LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS It was a weekend for the underdog to relish in rugby matches at home and abroad. But not everyone came up smelling of roses. The SinnersBT – Is that Bruce Television?English rugby fans were treated to a real TV treat on Friday when BT Sport screened the Bath v Saracens clash. It was a humdinger of a game, full of physicality and great skills and excitement. But dozens of armchair viewers took to Twitter to complain about one aspect of the programme – BT Sport’s apparent obsession with cutting away from the players to shots of Bath owner Bruce Craig watching the match.We had Bruce smiling, frowning, pensive, nervous, delighted…you name it, we saw it. The director clearly finds him irresistible.Among the viewers who lambasted BT Sport on Twitter was Dylan Hartley, who commented: “I think the BT camera man fancies Bath owner Mr Bruce Craig.”Former Gloucester flanker Andrew Hazell Tweeted to TV pundit and ex-Bath prop David Flatman: “How does Brucey get so much airtime?” to which Flatman replied: “He looks like Richard Gere.”Just in case you have forgotten what Mr Craig looks like in the intervening few days, here is a reminder.One for the BT Sport crew: Bruce Craig caught on camera (again)Stem the tideSummer has given way to autumn, with its brisk breezes and high tides. Some hatches certainly need to be battened down at the Old Deer Park training ground and the Kassam Stadium, as London Welsh have now leaked 33 tries in five games and have a negative points difference of 205.It’s one thing to lose your first few games after being promoted, it is quite another to get thoroughly battered in every one. Yes, London Welsh brought together an almost entirely new squad during the summer, so they need time to get organised, but that is no excuse for not being fit enough and for falling off tackles.London Welsh’s players and coaches need to find a way to at least make their games closer. If they continue to look so very far out of their depth, it will strengthen the argument of the people who say there should be no relegation and promotion between the Aviva Premiership and the Greene King Championship. I do not want to see the top tier becoming a closed shop.Not in our gameFor years, Argentina’s rugby officials lobbied and campaigned for their team to be allowed to join the Tri-Nations. Since that wish was granted, in 2012, Argentina’s players have given their all to try to claim their first win in the new Rugby Championship.This weekend they achieved that at last, but their win was tarnished by the disgraceful behaviour of the fans who shone lasers into the eyes of Australia’s goal-kicker Bernard Foley. The Wallaby missed a potentially match-winning penalty from 10m to the left of the posts, because a laser was directed at him from behind the goal.“It was happening all night on all the kicks,” said Foley. “I’m not too sure what you can do with the crowd there. It’s a bit like the soccer stuff that they do over here, the carry on.” Pumas power: Argentina celebrate their long-awaited first Rugby Championship win The SaintsPumas off the markAfter 16 losses and a draw in their first 17 Rugby Championship matches, Argentina are finally celebrating their first win. They came from 14-0 down in the first half to beat Australia 21-17, thanks to tries from Leonardo Senatore and Juan Imhoff and three penalties and a conversion from Nicolas Sanchez.The global game of rugby will benefit from having an Argentina side which can compete properly in the Championship. Congratulations to everyone involved with the Pumas – apart from the idiotic fans who feature among the Sinners, below.Toast LambSouth Africa hadn’t beaten the All Blacks since 2011 and New Zealand hadn’t lost to anyone since 2012, but 23-year-old replacement Springbok fly-half Pat Lambie didn’t let that spook him when he lined up a 78th minute, 55-metre penalty to win their Rugby Championship clash. He booted it long and strong through the posts at Ellis Park to take South Africa to a 27-25 win.The Boks had led from the 11th minute to the 69th, then Dane Coles’s first Test try put New Zealand 25-24 up. It looked like a trademark, late killer blow from the All Blacks, but then Liam Messan slammed his shoulder into Schalk Burger’s head as Coles made a tackle on the loose forward. After consulting his fellow officials and taking a good look at the replays, Wayne Barnes gave the penalty and Lambie stepped up to become the new national hero.The kid done great: Pat Lambie celebrates his match-winning penaltySam’s the manReplacement props don’t score match-changing tries very often, but Cardiff Blues front-rower Sam Hobbs had that honour at Connacht, as his touch-down at the base of the post helped his team end a three-match losing streak as they snatched a draw at the death in Galway.The half-time score had been 10-10, before Connacht stretched away to take a seemingly unassailable a 24-10 lead with two tries However, in the last ten minutes the Blues fought back with great character, and Macauley Cook dived in under the post for a try which Rhys Patchell converted. In the final minute the Welsh side turned up the pressure and recycled the ball through 32 phases until Hobbs grounded it at the base of the post, making the critical conversion easy for Patchell.Just great from TaitNewcastle Falcons last won a Premiership game on 27 October last year, but a sublime piece of skill from Alex Tait helped them beat Exeter Chiefs 29-24 and end their bad run.The Falcons trailed 14-15 at half-time at Kingston Park and Exeter were 24-17 up after 65 minutes, but then Tom Catterick scored a try for Newcastle and the conversion by Juan Pablo Socino leveled the scores.The Falcons attacked again and full-back Alex Tait came into the line, made ground up the left and produced the most sensational offload to Noah Cato as he was about to be tackled into touch. The pass came out of the side of Tait’s hand as he hit the deck and Cato scooted over to score. Socino missed the conversion but the Falcons held out for the remaining 11 minutes to seal the win.About turnReferee Nigel Owens is well known for his great rapport with the players and is recognised as one of the best officials in the game and this weekend he showed that while rugby’s core philosophy is that that referee is always right, sometimes he has to admit he is wrong.Owens showed a yellow card to Australia full-back Israel Folau for tackling Joaquin Tuculet in the air during the Test against Argentina, but when he saw the replay on the big screen in the stadium Owens changed his mind and called Folau back. It was a gutsy move, and while the Wallabies did not like some of his other decisions, they should give credit where it’s due.Step it up: Israel Folau on the charge, but it was his yellow card which proved to be a talking pointKing KeatleyMunster fans have seen their team lose two of their first four Guinness Pro12 matches this season, but they have a good reason to be cheerful this week as their team beat Leinster at the Aviva Stadium for the first time in six attempts.A week ago Munster were losing at home to the Ospreys, but seven days later a haul of 21 points from Ian Keatley helped them win 34-23 at their arch rivals’ home ground.While Keatley’s contribution was saintly, four of his team-mates blotted their copybooks by getting sin-binned. Somehow, Munster overcame their lack of numbers and gave their travelling fans a day to remember.Joost amazingJoost van der Westhuizen is fighting his battle with the deadly Motor Neurone Disease with dignity and bravery. This weekend he walked onto the Ellis Park pitch before the South Africa v New Zealand match, wearing a green Springbok jersey and accompanied by his children. He was a magnificent player and is now underlining what an extraordinary human being he is. All Blacks fly-half Aaron Cruden was awarded a re-kick when they same thing happened to him at La Plata last year. Foley did not ask referee Nigel Owens for another shot, which was a mistake on his part, but he should not have had to.Argentina needs to deal with these idiots, and fast.last_img read more

  • Wales’ hopes eased by Fijian absences

    first_imgFiji still have plenty of talent in their backline, as well as a dynamic pack of forwards, but in their last chance to cause an upset, these two key injuries are likely to be just as prejudicial to them as Wales’ many absentees.Fiji: Metuisela Talebula, Timoci Nagusa, Vereniki Goneva, Lepani Botia, Aseli Tikoirotuma, Ben Volavola, Nemia Kenatale, Campese Maafu, Sunia Koto, Manasa Saulo, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Akapusi Qera (c), Netani Talei.Replacements: Viliame Veikoso, Peni Ravia, Leeroy Atalifo, Nemia Soqeta, Malakai Ravulo, Henry Seniloli, Joshua Matavesi, Kini Murimurivalu. TAGS: Fiji Deprived of both Nadolo and injured Stade Français winger Waisea Nayacalevu, Fiji have turned to Harlequins’ Aseli Tikoirotuma and Montpellier’s Timoci Nagusa.Both are dangerous players, with Nagusa a prolific try-scorer, but neither provides Nadolo’s size out wide, as well as his goal-kicking ability which is important in a team without a consistent kicker.And yet Fiji won the Pacific Nations Cup without their big man out wide, however one man who did feature in that competition, particularly in the final, was Nikola Matawalu.Big miss: Nikola Matawalu possesses the game-breaking ability to trouble WalesHe also misses the Wales game, and his loss is a huge blow. The Bath-bound scrum-half is well-known to Welsh fans through his efforts in the Pro12 with the Glasgow Warriors over the last few seasons.Capable of winning and losing matches for his team, his gamebreaking ability will be sorely missed. Wales and Pacific Island teams have a long, painful history at World Cups but Warren Gatland’s men might have dodged a bullet ahead of their clash with Fiji on Thursday.John McKee’s side have not yet picked up a point in the World Cup, but pushed both England and Australia harder than the final scores in those games suggested.For much of the loss to England they were very much the equal of their hosts, while their defeat to Australia on the back of a short turnaround was in large part down to an inability to cope with the Wallabies’ rolling maul.Fresh from ten days off, and against a tired and depleted Welsh team, this looked like Fiji’s best chance of an upset before what should be a simple five points against Uruguay.Playmaker: Ben Volavola is an improving pivot in the Fiji teamExcept Fiji will be missing two of their key players in Cardiff, as well as another regular starter.Their biggest star, literally, is Nemani Nadolo, but he will be out because of a clumsy clearout of David Pocock in the Australia clash.Regardless of your views on whether he deserved a ban or not, there’s no question that his absence will be keenly felt. Tightening up: England struggled to handle the imposing figure of Nemani Nadolo LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Wales should breathe easier with the news that Nemani Nadolo and Nikola Matawalu will both be missing for Thursday’s crucial World Cup clash in Cardifflast_img read more

  • A week in the life of a Sale Sharks academy player, Part Two

    first_imgWell drilled: Mark Bennett looks after conditioning at Bristol TAGS: Sale Sharks In this follow-on from Charlie Pozniak’s diary of a typical week as a Manchester Grammar School pupil and a Sale Sharks U18 player, Mark Bennett – head of performance at Bristol – offers some advice on what the young back-five forward can improve upon.Sunday – matchIf Charlie is truly 10kg lighter than others playing in his position then he probably needs to gain this, or at least some of this weight to give him the best chance of becoming a professional rugby player. In order to do this he has to accept that improving his aerobic and game-specific fitness may need to be placed on the back burner for a while.A proverb states: “You cannot ride two horses with one ass.” This can be applied very well to sport and fitness. Trying to develop too many components of fitness at one time is difficult if you have four-hours a day to do so. For a teenager who wishes to be in academia, it is almost impossible. He needs to focus the majority of his physical training in one area (muscle gain) and only maintain other aspects for the time being. When his weight is acceptable then he can focus on aerobic and game-specific endurance.On guard: Bennett coaches a gym session with the Welsh Guard, when he was with OspreysMonday – 6am cycleSleep and nutrition are the basis of recovery from all activity and stress. What is the point in going into school early to cycle if he is short-changing his body and mind of its most important recovery resources? It is clearly shown in the relevant literature that the quantity of testosterone that men produce is positively correlated to the amount and quality of sleep they get. Increasing sleep by an hour or two will have a far more positive impact on his recovery than an early morning cycle at school. Long-term, this is also very likely to have a positive impact on his need to gain muscle mass and general health.The day post-game should be recovery- and rest-based only. His main focus should be on sleep, hydration and nutrition, if there is time in the day after these are satisfied then he may wish to think about an easy bike, cross-train or pool session. If there is too little time in the day, recovery work should be placed aside. Recovery work should mitigate, not produce, stress. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Training day: Bennett sets out bags for Wales trainingTuesday – back session in the gymHe is a busy young man with little time. I am not sure that following a “body building-style” weight training programme, split into body parts, is his best option. He needs to try and get into the gym on maybe two or three occasions a week, for 60-90 minutes at a time. This time should be spent doing basic, whole body weight training sessions that include exercises such as squats, deadlifts and standing press.Wednesday – three different training sessionsThis is a tough day for anybody. In the long term for Charlie to develop something has to give. I can imagine that both his school and academy feel its necessary to participate in the rugby sessions so he needs to look at what is being done in the gym that day. If he had a training plan from the academy that allowed his Tuesday lunchtime session to be his “hard, development session” then this session at Sale Sharks could possibly become a technical session – learning more complex lifts (like Olympic variations) or maybe prehab and rehab for his various hip and hamstring problems. Either option would be physically less taxing and help him become more robust.Shark attack: Charlie Pozniak takes the ball to Worcester (pic taken by Eugene Pozniak)Saturday – post matchWith exams around the corner the demands and stresses placed on Charlie will likely increase. Our body cannot separate out stressors and they all place the same demands on our ability to recover and stay healthy. If his school work and commitments have to increase then he needs to consider where to relax his efforts. He appears to already have little social life so this cannot give and his only option appears to be to lower his rugby commitments during this time. If Charlie has the ability to be a professional rugby player then quitting piano and water polo may be right actions, but individuals need to think hard and take good impartial advice before the place all their eggs in one basket. Early years in sport should be general in nature; a multitude of sports throughout teenage years produces individuals with well-rounded skills and abilities. Later specialisation also means that overuse injuries and injury risks form repetitive movements or lack of general strength and fitness are less likely to be present.To find out more about best practices for grass-roots rugby, check out the Rugby Innovation Summitlast_img read more

  • New Zealand Rugby Championship Squad

    first_imgArticle Continues below Collapse Some of the big names who missed out were the Crusaders trio of Bryn Hall, George Bridge and Matt Todd. The Hurricanes pair Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and Vaea Fifita also miss out.“It has to be noted that there are some very good players who have not made the squad,” Hansen added.“However, as we’ve seen in previous campaigns, a number of these players will get an opportunity through injury, just like Liam [Coltman] and Ngani [Laumape] already.”Coltman has been brought in as injury cover for Dane Coles and Laumape for Sonny Bill Williams.New Zealand Rugby Championship SquadForwards: Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Tim Perry, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Jackson Hemopo, Shannon Frizell, Kieran Read (capt), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Luke Whitelock. Take a look at the full squad the… Australia Rugby Championship Squad See the Pumas squad new coach Mario Ledesma… Take a look at the squad Steve Hansen has named for the upcoming Rugby Championship. Backs: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Beauden Barrett, Damian McKenzie, Richie Mo’unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Sonny Bill Williams, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioane, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Ben Smith.Don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook and Twitter. New Zealand Rugby Championship SquadSteve Hansen has named one of the strongest sides possible for the All Blacks contest with South Africa this weekend. The men in black are looking to avenge a shock defeat in Wellington last month and as a result players like Kieran Read and Aaron Smith return to the starting line-up. Owen Frnks also comes back in to replace Ofa Tu’ungafasi.Hansen said; “Test matches between the All Blacks and Springboks are always intense and dramatic contests, and we expect this weekend will be no different. It’s a Test match that everyone in New Zealand expects us to win. The fact that it’s an All Blacks-Springboks Test match makes it even more exciting and it’s one that we’re really looking forward to.”New Zealand team to face South Africa in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 6th OctoberTu’inukuafe, Taylor, Franks, Whitelock, Barrett, Frizell, Cane, Read, Smith, Barrett, Ioane, Williams, Goodhue, Naholo, SmithReplacements: Nathan Harris, Tim Perry, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Richie Mo’unga, Ryan CrottyNew Zealand team to face Argentina in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 29th SeptemberTu’inukuafe, Taylor, Tu’ungafasi, Whitelock, Barrett, Frizell, Cane, Whitelock, Perenara, Barrett, Ioane, Williams, Crotty, Naholo, SmithReplacements: Nathan Harris, Tim Perry, Angus Ta’avao, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Anton Lienert Brown.New Zealand team to face South Africa in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 15th SeptemberTu’inukuafe, Taylor, Franks, Whitelock, Barrett, Squire, Cane, Read, Smith, Barrett, Ioane, Crotty, Lienert-Brown, Smith, BarrettReplacements: Liam Coltman, Tim Perry, Of a Tuungafasi, Patrick Tuipulotu, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Jack Goodhue, Damian McKenzieNew Zealand team to face Argentina in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 8th SeptemberTu’inukuafe, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Barrett, Frizell, Savea, Read (captain), Perenara, Mo’unga, Naholo, Laumape, Goodhue, Milner-Skudder, SmithReplacements: Nathan Harris, Tim Perry, Ofa Tuungafasi, Sam Whitelock, Luke Whitelock, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-BrownNew Zealand team to face Australia in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 25th AugustMoody, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Whitelock, Squire, Cane, Read, A.Smith, Barrett, Naholo, Laumape, Goodhue, B.Smith, BarrettReplacements: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-BrownNew Zealand team to face Australia in the Rugby Championship – Saturday 18th August Moody, Taylor, Franks, Retallick, Whitelock, Squire, Cane, Read, A.Smith, Barrett, Ioane, Crotty, Goodhue, Naholo, B.SmithReplacements: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-BrownAs you would expect, New Zealand are the favourites to win the Rugby Championship again in 2018. Expand Expandcenter_img South Africa Rugby Championship Squad South Africa Rugby Championship Squad Argentina Rugby Championship Squad Argentina Rugby Championship Squad The Christchurch-based Crusaders are Super Rugby champions again, the All Blacks are world champions and just defeated the French 3-0 in their June series, and as always with Kiwi rugby, their strength in depth is the envy of every other rugby nation.Steve Hansen has named his training squad for the upcoming Rugby Championship and, despite some large omissions, it is still incredibly strong.When questioned on the squad, Hansen said: “Whilst last year was about growing depth, and we’ll need to continue to do that in some positions, this year is more about growing our game and our player combinations within that.“By the end of the year, we should have a clearer picture of who and what will be needed for next year’s Rugby World Cup campaign.” Australia Rugby Championship Squad Squad: Steve Hansen with the full Rugby Championship squad (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Michael Cheika has named his Australia squad for…last_img read more

  • Hotshot: Reds back-rower Harry Wilson

    first_img Pure joy: Harry Wilson celebrates scoring a try for the Reds (Getty Images) I think my attacking game. I have always loved attacking and have attacked naturally. I need to keep working on my lineout jumping and my defensive game.When did you link up with the Reds? The first year after school I joined the academy, in 2018, and then I joined the Reds’ full-time squad going into the 2019 season. Reds have done so much for my game and helped me as a person. The coaching staff have helped me a lot one-on-one, which has been awesome.Who has been the biggest influence on your career? My dad, by always being positive with me and being there in the good and bad times. Brad Thorn, our Reds coach, has also helped me a lot by making sure I train to a high standard and giving tips.What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? To win a Super Rugby title and I’d love to make my Wallabies debut and win some Tests.What do you do away from rugby? I’m studying for a business diploma with a few of my Reds team-mates and also catch up with my schoolmates outside of footy.RW Verdict: Wilson has impressed in Super Rugby 2020, particularly in a young back row with Fraser McReight and Liam Wright. Described as “special” by Reds coach Brad Thorn, expect to see him in Wallaby gold sooner rather than later. Reds back-rower Harry WilsonDate of birth 22 November 1999 Born Tamworth, NSW Position Back-row Team Reds Country AustraliaWhat sports did you play growing up? My main ones were cricket and rugby union. However, I loved every sport so played nearly all of them – tennis, soccer, rugby league, athletics, basketball, etc.When did you first get involved in rugby? At a young age – four. I lived in a country town, so my dad was the coach of our club team, Gunnedah Red Devils, and I played with my two older brothers.What do you most enjoy about rugby? Being around some of my best mates 24/7 and being able to go out there and try to beat the opposition with them.Who was your childhood hero? Probably Matt Giteau. I always loved watching the Wallabies play and he was always one of my favourites.What positions have you played? Mainly No 8 or blindside. However, I played a bit of second-row in school footy.What are your strengths?  This article originally appeared in the September 2020 edition of Rugby World magazine.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS This youngster has received plenty of accolades for his Super Rugby AU performanceslast_img read more

  • Paul O’Connell backs Owen Farrell as Lions captain

    first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “But it’s probably a bit of a challenge for him now going from the Six Nations to not having a lot of class rugby. England’s form isn’t a good thing, but it gives him perspective on how hard it is to get it right.”Addressing the other captaincy contenders, O’Connell also said: “If Alun Wyn Jones isn’t captain, he doesn’t change how he behaves. He’s still the same character.“He’s another standout candidate, but you just wonder sometimes if a guy who has captained an awful lot and who didn’t have an awful lot of games coming into a fantastic Six Nations, if it would be good for him not to be captain for once.“He’d be able to concentrate on his own game and support someone like a Farrell.“I’d love to see Maro playing great rugby. He’s already a line-out caller. Alun Wyn captains Wales but doesn’t call the line-out, it’s a stress they take away from him which allows him to do his job better. You might think the same of Maro Itoje.” Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Paul O’Connell backs Owen Farrell as Lions captainCaptain of the 2009 British & Irish Lions tour, Paul O’Connell knows a thing or two about playing the South Africans. And so when he talks about leadership contenders for the 2021 trip, it makes sense to listen. But since every Lions captain to play the Springboks since 1974 has been a second-row, not many will have expected him to name a back as a favourite for skipper.“I like Owen Farrell. He’s a real standout leader for me,” O’Connell told PA this week. “With matches being played without crowds, you can hear so much of what the players are saying during games. You can hear Owen barking at his own players and encouraging them. A lot of it is about getting off the line and the physical side of the game, but a lot of it is also coaching people into position as well.“He’s pretty experienced, he’s been on two tours already and he has a big leadership role with England. It wouldn’t be unfamiliar territory for him.“There are plenty of guys who could do the job, but for me in terms of experience and an appetite to lead, he’s the real standout.“When you pick a captain or leaders for the Lions tour, it’s about picking guys who are willing to take ownership of what the plan is. Owen is a guy who enjoys leading and enjoys taking ownership. He’s almost coaching.”Alun Wyn Jones for the Lions against New Zealand, 2017 (Getty Images)As it stands, Wales hero Alun Wyn Jones is the favourite to be named captain, with  Farrell, Maro Itoje, Stuart Hogg and Ken Owens other names being thrown around. But with England’s Six Nations results so poor, and with Saracens playing in the Championship this season, some have raised concerns over the form of frontline England stars. But O’Connell backs Owen Farrell despite this.“As a team England didn’t play as well as they’d have liked in the Six Nations,” O’Connell said. “Is that a reflection on Owen Farrell? I don’t really think so.center_img The former Lions skipper picks out the England captain for leadership role O’Connell tries to block Farrell in 2014 (Getty Images) last_img read more

  • RFU advertise for new England attack coach

    first_img We are so used to hearing about ‘global searches’ and headhunted hires, but the RFU have taken the step to post an advert for the next England attack coach. Talking today of the move to find his next assistant, boss Eddie Jones said: “At the end of the day we need to find the best coaches for England.”In the wake of a fifth-place finish in the Six Nations, England parted ways with assistant coaches Simon Amor (attack) and Jason Ryles (skills). Now, the RFU have released a job description detailing the skills needed to coach of England’s elite players alongside Jones, forwards coach Matt Proudfoot and defence coach John Mitchell.The description explains that the hire will be “responsible for leading England’s attack play and providing specialist skills coaching for all players selected in the senior EPS.“Leading the development and implementation of England’s attacking system will involve detailed analysis and review work to ensure all players fully understand the plan and can execute it accordingly.  You shall also be responsible for providing a systematic and progressive skill development programme to enhance skill levels in all EPS players.You will also be an excellent team-orientated coach with the ability to contribute and add value in areas outside of your immediate responsibility.” England on the attack during the 2021 Six Nations (Getty Images) Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For the time being though, according to Jones, the head coach will take on attack coaching for the summer Tests. He told the BBC: “I coached attack from 2016 until 2018, until (former attack coach) Scott Wisemantel took over. So we are just winding back the clock a little bit there, because I want our attack to be able to adapt to how the game is going.“The game is going in a quicker, more instinctive way, and I think at the moment I am probably the best person to do that.“I will need an assistant in the future and will maybe need someone to take it over in the future. But for this period of time, where I want to set some stones in place for the foundation, I think I am the best person to do it.” The job description was posted online for an assistant to Eddie Joneslast_img read more

  • Who is Deon Davids: Ten things you should know about the Springboks forwards coach

    first_imgMore about the South African’s coaching experience from Jon Cardinelli Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Who is Deon Davids: Ten things you should know about the Springboks forwards coachDeon Davids is a former head coach of the Southern Kings who was recently added to the Springboks back-room team following Matt Proudfoot’s decision to take up a job with the England national side.Here are a few more facts and stats about South Africa’s forwards coach.Ten things you should know about Deon Davids1. Davids was born on 11 February 1968 in Victoria West, South Africa.2. He played flanker and No 8 at club level for Boland, as well as for the University of the Western Cape.While playing for the latter, he earned an honours qualification in Human Movement Studies.3. Davids first made waves as a head coach for Currie Cup First Division sides such as Boland Cavaliers and South Western District Eagles.4. In the early stages of his career, he served as an assistant coach to the Emerging Springboks team that competed at the Nations Cup in Romania, as well as the South African U20 side.5. During apartheid, rugby was segregated along racial lines and people of colour were barred from coaching or playing for the ‘official’ provincial and national teams.While much has changed since South Africa became a democracy in 1994, very few black coaches have been granted opportunities as head coaches at franchise level.Davids is just the third person of colour – after Chester Williams and Allister Coetzee – to preside over a South African team (the Southern Kings) in Super Rugby or the Pro14.center_img Deon Davids coached Southern Kings before moving to the national set-up (Sportsfile/Getty Images) 6. When the Southern Kings returned to the Super Rugby fold in 2016, Davids was given the unenviable task of managing a team that was short on money and resources. The Kings won two of their 15 matches.In 2017, however, the Kings broke a number of franchise records. The plucky side from the Eastern Cape scored inaugural wins in Argentina and Australia, and even managed to finish ahead of the Bulls on the Super Rugby table.7. In late 2017, SANZAAR reduced the number of teams in the Super Rugby tournament from 18 to 15. The Kings, as well as the Cheetahs and Western Force, were relegated.Most of the top players left the region as a result, and Davids was forced to rebuild a new squad ahead of a challenging new venture into the Pro14.8. Davids is an admirer of the All Blacks and the culture the team has created during an era of dominance. He lists Legacy by James Kerr and The Jersey by Peter Bills as his favourite books. Both explore the correlation between culture and success.9. Many people in South African rugby circles believe that Davids has the makings of a future Springboks head coach.In the lead-up to the 2019 Rugby Championship opener in Johannesburg, Davids was spotted at a Springbok training session wearing a team tracksuit and chatting with the other coaches. Erasmus played down speculation at the time, stating that Davids had joined the session as ‘an observer’.10. Following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, SA Rugby confirmed that Davids would succeed Matt Proudfoot as the Springboks forwards coach.When the pandemic-enforced lockdown ended in September 2020, Davids was given the opportunity to coach the ‘Gold team’ in a Springbok trial match staged at Newlands.last_img read more