Dan Cole and Joe Launchbury facing fight for World Cup spots

Joe Launchbury and Dan Cole face a weekend of tension before England’s World Cup squad is named on Monday — knowing their experience offers no …

Rush defence to dominate Rugby World Cup, Rassie Erasmus says

Rush defence will be grim reality in the biggest games at the Rugby World Cup, according to Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus, who predicts tries will …

Peter O’Mahony: Munster can’t copy what Saracens did to Leinster

This time last year, Munster may have had similar feelings as Leinster returned to domestic action following another Champions Cup final, yet Racing …

All Blacks great Dan Carter laughs off World Cup talk

Two-time World Cup winner Dan Carter has laughed off suggestions he could make a surprise return to the All Blacks squad for this year’s tournament …

The Breakdown

It has been a season when No 10s have come back in from the outside. This weekend’s European Champions Cup semi-finals will, if Joey Carbery recovers from a hamstring injury to spearhead Munster against Saracens, be instances of masters and apprentices. Owen Farrell, the England captain and one of …

The Breakdown

When Leicester sacked Dean Richards at the beginning of 2004, the reaction was seismic. Not only had 23 years at the club as a player and the director of rugby been abruptly terminated but the Tigers had won four Premiership titles and two European Cups under the former England No 8 who paid for …

Wallabies legend Gregan tips Eddie’s England to lift World Cup

Former Wallabies captain George Gregan on Wednesday backed England to win a wide-open Rugby World Cup in Japan this year and defended his old coach …

Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership’s weekend action

Jonathan Joseph has been back from his long injury layoff for a while but judging by his performance against Bristol, and in his previous outing against Exeter, he is nearing a return to his best form. In the past it has been a criticism that, because he is so naturally talented, Joseph has a …

New Zealand rugby’s Crusaders to mull name change after mosque massacre

The White House said on Sunday President Donald Trump may still meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, despite the US accusing Iran of… Steve …

I will miss Six Nations but now it is all about Japan, says Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland will this week turn his attention to the World Cup after celebrating the grand slam and Wales’s fourth Six Nations title since he took over as head coach at the end of 2007. “I am excited about the World Cup,” said Gatland, whose contract is up at the end of the tournament. “We will …

Rugby: Wales jump up rankings to second behind All Blacks after securing Six Nations crown

Wales have moved to number two in the latest World Rugby rankings following their Six Nations title clinching victory over Ireland this morning. With …

‘Don’t give up on us’ – Schmidt’s plea to fans after Cardiff horror show

The Welsh wrapped up a third Grand Slam in 11 years under Warren Gatland and can look forward to the World Cup with optimism. Ireland, with a …

Finn Russell: Half-time ‘argument’ with Gregor Townsend sparked Calcutta Cup fightback

Finn Russell admitted he was “gutted” not to have beaten England at Twickenham after Scotland came back from 31-0 down after 29 minutes to lead 38-31 …

Warren Gatland’s brilliant dig at Eddie Jones on live TV as he celebrates Six Nations Grand Slam in the rain

Wales are the Six Nations champions and Warren Gatland couldn’t resist a cheeky dig at Eddie Jones Warren Gatland took a cheeky swipe at England coach …

Eddie Jones reveals three problems with England after thrilling draw with Scotland in Six Nations

Eddie Jones admits England’s players struggle with composure after they threw away a 31-0 lead in a thrilling 38-38 Six Nations draw with Scotland at …

What. Just. Happened? England-Scotland was sublime, ridiculous and everything in between

TWICKENHAM, London — This was the maddest of matches on the maddest of days, but that’s the magic of Super Saturday in the Six Nations. The title had …

England women tilt level playing field of Six Nations as slam beckons

If there is a racing certainty at the end of Cheltenham week it is that around 9.15 on Saturday night, at a dark and slightly echoey Twickenham, England’s women will be completing one of the most one-sided grand slam triumphs in the 23-year history of the Six Nations. One-horse races are not exactly …

This is what a Wales-Ireland Grand Slam team of the century looks like

There are some fantastic players in our Wales-Ireland combined side, but some big names fail to make the cut Wales and Ireland have won five Grand …

Johnny Sexton says Ireland are aiming to end Wales’ winning run just like they did to England and New Zealand

Their previous few months had given them a bullet-proof feeling and they produced a stunning performance to complete the job. Twelve months on, they …

Six Nations: Three key Scotland stars ruled out of England clash

Sean Maitland is set to take the Scotland No 15 jersey in Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham. He was named as available for selection on the …

It would be wrong to read too much into England’s dominance during Six Nations mismatch against Italy

What can you say, really? England won handsomely, as was expected. They scored a stack of tries, as was expected. They utterly out-classed Italy, as …

Joe Cokanasiga entertains as England crush Italy

The 21-year-old wing was at his swashbuckling best as England scored eight tries. England routed Italy 57-14, scoring eight tries along the way to a …

Wales stay on course for grand slam by holding off battling Scotland

Turmoil off the field, domestic game in chaos but at international level Wales continue to break new ground. Their 13th consecutive win duly came in Edinburgh and on they march back to Cardiff, a third grand slam of the Warren Gatland era still very much on. Only Ireland stand between them and a …

Rugby: Michael Cheika says Wallabies door open again for Quade Cooper

Mercurial fly-half Quade Cooper will be in “strong contention” for a surprise recall to the Wallabies if he keeps up his impressive early season …

England stars brawl with Georgia counterparts in front of kids

England’s training camp was marred by mass brawls with Georgia players in front of schoolchildren on Wednesday. In a session at St Edward’s School in …

Brumbies forward Lachie McCaffrey’s story a lesson for all

He’s had to do things the hard way, but Brumbies back-rower Lachie McCaffrey is a lesson in point for any young Australian rugby player for whom …

World Rugby’s radical new global test shakeup set to meet staunch resistance

World Rugby’s radical proposal to create an annual global 12-team championship appears to have been rushed through much faster than expected, and is …

Gregor Paul: Rugby bosses have just killed the game as we know it with new World League

Rugby executives will sell anything if the price is right. They won’t care that they spend a small fortune on PR flunkies to create glossy documents …

All Blacks: World rugby set for biggest change in modern history with 12-team World League

• 12-team World League from 2020<br>• Japan and USA to join Rugby Championship<br>• Deal worth $10-14m a year for each nation<br>• Pacific Island nations locked out<br>• Six …

Pro14: Georgia in talks to join competition

Georgian rugby is in talks to join the Pro14 in a bid to break into the top tier of the international game. Los Lelos have consistently been one of the top tier-two teams in Europe, without being given regular exposure at the highest level. But head coach Milton Haig told BBC Sport that discussions …

Wales 21-13 England: talking points from the Six Nations match

Two years ago England used their bench in the final quarter to come from behind to defeat France and Wales, but the half-backs Dan Robson and George Ford never left it on Saturday. Dan Biggar was the replacement who turned into a game finisher and it raised a question about Eddie Jones’s scrum-half …

One England star definitely did not deserve to be on the losing side

Less carries, more tackles, fewer possession and playing most of the opening 40 minutes in their own half. And yet England went into the break …

Eddie Jones finds a back-row trio who are singing from same song sheet

In the beginning Eddie Jones made it look easy. He had an idea what was wrong with England’s back row, had even explained the problem in a column for the Daily Mail while Stuart Lancaster was still in charge, and he knew a quick fix for it too. When Jones took over as head coach he moved Chris …

Weakened Scotland bidding to expose self-belief of unpredictable France

Having failed to win in Paris so far this century, Scotland will attempt to end that trend on Saturday with something akin to a second-string side. Of the team’s key quartet, only the captain, Greig Laidlaw, is in the squad, Finn Russell having joined Stuart Hogg and Willem Nel on the injury list …

Six Nations: Wales will not target Kyle Sinckler – Warren Gatland

Wales coach Warren Gatland says England prop Kyle Sinckler can “emotionally be a bit of a time bomb”, but says his side will not target him in Saturday’s Six Nations showdown in Cardiff. Harlequins forward Sinckler, 25, has been involved in controversial incidents during the tournament. “I am not …

2019 Six Nations Injuries Update

The Scottish back-rower will play in France despite losing the important travel document. According to the Scottish Rugby Union, Sale Sharks …

Rugby: The All Blacks World Cup starting XV according to the bookies

The Rugby World Cup is still seven months away but speculation about who will make the All Blacks team is already in full force. The most likely All …

Post-World Cup player exodus is a ticking time bomb for southern hemisphere

OPINION: Player exodus will deeply wound southern hemisphere rugby, writes Brendan Venter.

Rugby – England warned to expect hateful ‘welcome’ in Cardiff

LONDON (Reuters) – England’s players must be prepared to brave a cauldron of hate when they take on Wales in what could be a decisive Six Nations battle in Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday. FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union – Six Nations Championship – England Training – Pennyhill Park Hotel, …

Beauden Barrett wary of Toulon after Mourad Boudjellal’s blast

Beauden Barrett says the savaging of former All Blacks teammate Julian Savea by Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal would make him think twice about …

Paul O’Connell pinpoints the year and team that kickstarted a golden generation for Irish rugby

Paul O’Connell has pinpointed the Munster team who narrowly lost the Heineken Cup final in 2000 as being instrumental in changing the path of Irish …

Wales gladiator Alun Wyn Jones rages against the dying of the light

Some statistics in rugby are barely worth collating. The “most carries” column, for example, does not necessarily reveal whether a player had a good or even a moderate all-round game. “Metres made” does not show the speed or subtle angles at which they were covered. The number of passes a team …

Joe Marler has no regrets over England absence despite pull of Wales tussle

Joe Marler has admitted he would love to be playing for England against Wales on Saturday but insists he has no regrets over his international retirement despite Mako Vunipola’s injury-enforced absence. England head to Cardiff light on experience at loosehead prop after Vunipola was ruled out for …

Toulon boss Mourad Boudjellal turns on Rhys Webb

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has told scrumhalf Rhys Webb that he is free to leave the French club and go back to Wales. Following Boudjellal’s …

John Mitchell and Warren Gatland forget friendship for Cardiff evening

Just occasionally in sport there is no escaping one’s past. Once upon a time Warren Gatland and John Mitchell were house-mates in Hamilton, sharing car rides to training and much else besides. Little did either of them guess they would one day be reunited as rival coaches in the cauldron of a Six …

Rugby World Cup: Sean Fitzpatrick says England and Ireland genuine threats to New Zealand

“I just think that England and especially Ireland have got our number in terms of the way we (New Zealand) play the game. They play the game similar …

Why the English media are saying George North will be facing the world’s best wing in Cardiff on Saturday

He lit up round two of the Six Nations Not so long ago those looking for the meaning of “harum-scarum” might have opened a dictionary and found a …

Where Wales v England will be won and lost – Sir Ian McGeechan outlines what Warren Gatland’s side have to do

McGeechan offers his analysis of Wales v England Six Nations battle Rugby legend Sir Ian McGeechan has told Wales they need to stand up to a huge …

Gregor Paul: It’s time to address the All Blacks’ (lack of) kicking game ahead of 2019 Rugby World Cup

It’s no secret that the All Blacks want to have a strong and clever kicking game when they go to the World Cup later this year. The big problem for …

Former Bok captain Pienaar is giving back to SA

From leading his team to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup and leaving his footprint on the country’s rich history, Francois Pienaar has new goals …

Why the Jones and Gatland rivalry will fuel passion for Cardiff showdown

Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland are going to have some fun next week. So far we’ve heard them both desperately vying to be the underdog – it’s the only time coaches ever compliment each other – but when we get into Test week we’ll see a few grenades launched from each side of the border. Personally, …

Six Nations: Farcical French face player revolt on eve of Rugby World Cup

Outrageous claims emerge in wake of horror loss to England as players attack coach Jacques Brunel.

Jonny May shreds France with first-half hat-trick for England

England winger Jonny May racked up his first international hat-trick with a devastating series of scores against France at Twickenham on Sunday May …

Ireland need Welsh favours if Six Nations defence is to stay on track

Ireland now know they need to lean on others if they are to defend their Six Nations title. They finish their campaign in Cardiff and will require England to stumble in the Welsh capital a week on Saturday. The champions recovered from their chastening defeat by England by going back to basics to …

France switch between implosion and height of accomplishment

The temptation is to throw arms skywards, to pronounce the death of a once-mighty rugby nation, but the truth is this feels all too familiar. Only France among rugby’s top nations are capable of this sort of implosion, just as they can on occasion come back from the dead. France are no more dead …

England humiliate France at Twickenham with biggest win against old rivals in over a century

England 44 France 8 May sealed his reputation as world rugby’s deadliest finisher inside half an hour, capitalising on brilliant home kicking but also …

Townsend backs Scotland to bounce back against France

EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scotland coach Gregor Townsend bemoaned a game of two halves as his side slipped to a 22-13 Six Nations loss to Ireland at Murrayfield on Saturday, but has backed the team to bounce back with a win against France in two weeks. Scotland head coach Gregor Townsen Action Images …

Ian McGeechan: ‘Scots miss opportunity to punish ordinary Irish’

Scotland had easily as many opportunities as their visitors yesterday. In fact, they probably got across the gain line more often and created more …

Gregor Paul: Why the All Blacks have reason to be concerned about the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan

COMMENT For a fleeting moment last week everything felt right about the world. It’s World Cup year, Super Rugby is about to start and there were Richie …

The Italy v Wales player ratings as new faces fail to take their chance

Wales were 26-15 victors to equal the record 11-match winning streak of the team of 1907-10 Wales have beaten Italy 26-15 in Rome. Here’s how rugby …

Ireland outmuscle Scotland and storm to precious away victory

Joe Schmidt is not a coach who is deflected by a defeat, no matter how comprehensive. Chilly gusts greeted Ireland in the Scottish capital a week after they had been blown away by England, but they were not winds of change as the champions adopted their familiar formula of establishing a lead and …

Dai Young admits he’s in ‘a dark place’ during brutally honest interview, as son Thomas makes Six Nations debut

Things have not been going well for Dai Young Welsh rugby coach Dai Young has given a brutally honest interview about his current struggles, as son …

England must ignore looming Wales showdown to avoid letting complacency creep in against unpredictable France

In the leafy confines of Bagshot, it must feel like the stars are starting to align. For England go into today’s Guinness Six Nations clash with …

Ireland hold most of the cards but Scotland aim to raise a storm

One defeat is damaging enough. Two in the space of eight days would surely end Ireland’s hopes of retaining the Six Nations, and perhaps also of regaining the affections of some of those fans who felt so cruelly disillusioned by their loss to England in Dublin a week ago. Joe Schmidt’s team will be …

Six Nations: Do England Have A Diversity Problem?

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone with a basic knowledge of rugby union to hear that it isn’t very diverse. The game was invented by and for the wealthy middle classes of the south of England and, by and large, it remains orientated around that social group. In 2019, however, the …

England Rugby nutritionist on the essential muscle-building foods you need

As the nutritionist behind England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup triumph, Matt Lovell knows the importance of ditching a dodgy diet if you’re looking to …

‘Why not have a look?’ Mitchell calls on Giteau Law re-think

The other benefactor of the Giteau Law has called on Wallabies coach Michael Cheika to consider tweaking it as he assembles his World Cup squad this …

Are you allowed to tackle? The questions NOT to ask a women’s rugby player

England players Natasha Hunt and Emily Scarratt reveal the most awkward questions regularly faced by women’s rugby players. Follow live text & BBC Radio 5 live sports extra coverage of England v France in the Women’s Six Nations on Sunday 10, February from 12:35 GMT here. You can also watch Scotland …

BBC v ITV Six Nations pundits rated as Brian O’Driscoll reins in English euphoria in Dublin

Apart from the irritating commercial breaks, it was a hands-down victory for the heavyweights in the ITV studio On the opening weekend of the Six …

Scotland vs Italy: Player ratings from a comfortable Six Nations win at Murrayfield

The bonus point was secured within 60 minutes and in that time frame Italy had only registered the one opening penalty from the boot of Tommaso …

Scotland start brightly but leave coach with mixed emotions

EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scotland scored five tries and claimed a bonus point but Saturday’s 33-20 victory over Italy at Murrayfield in their opening Six Nations game left coach Gregor Townsend with mixed emotions. Rugby Union – Six Nations Championship – Scotland v Italy – Murrayfield, Edinburgh, …

Wales eye history after clawing to France victory

George North says Wales plan to build on their 10-match winning streak after they produced a record second-half comeback to beat France in the …

Six Nations Championship: England thoroughly beat Ireland at their own game

ANALYSIS: This was a serious statement of intent by England, who completely dominated the collisions in attack and defence against Ireland.

Blair Kinghorn scores hat-trick in Six Nations try-fest

From stalling Ireland to super Slade – and a game of two halves, we reflect on the opening round of the 2019 championship Ireland’s slow starts a …

Eddie Jones warns England can still improve after thumping Six Nations win over Ireland

England coach Eddie Jones says his side are improving but still nowhere near their best after a thumping 32-20 victory over holders Ireland on …

Eddie Jones gets a glimpse of England’s nasty side in Dublin victory

So this is England. Three years in, this felt like the first good look at the side Eddie Jones has been dreaming about, the one he had always imagined he would pick when everybody was fit, the one he’s been whipping and hounding his players in training for, the one that, he believes, can win the …

Eddie Jones makes joke when asked if Ireland are still ‘best in the world’

Sky Sports tried to tee up Eddie Jones for a boastful response but the England coach was all business Two years ago, when Ireland tore into England to …

Chris Rattue: England’s Six Nations win turns the world upside down

Huh? Just about everyone suddenly loves the England rugby team. Seriously. This is a very odd day in the history of New Zealand sport. Okay, love might …

Six Nations 2018: Eddie Jones warns England may not escape ‘bad habits’ until the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Eddie Jones has warned that England may not fix their “bad habits” until the 2019 Rugby World Cup due to the lack of time that he gets with the …

Rugby Insight: Matt Dawson’s Key Targets

• George excited for Scotland test – more As England prepare to travel to Murrayfield to take on a Scotland, former England scrum half Matt Dawson says …

Nathan Hughes returns to England side for Calcutta Cup vs. Scotland

Eddie Jones has made one change to his side for England’s Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland as Nathan Hughes returns at No. 8. The Wasps forward missed …

Neil Francis: I have a bad feeling about this – Wales are a settled side and more dangerous from behind the scrum

He has faced down the doubters and used anger as an energy and turned a lot of negativity thrown in his direction into a catalyst for success. His …

Precedent is everything in the murky, confused world of TMO decisions

The rumbling row over the decision not to award a try to Wales’s Gareth Anscombe against England highlights another grey area in the game’s laws Warren Gatland decried a “terrible mistake” by the TMO after Wales’s defeat to England last weekend and prompted an admission from World Rugby that the law …

A Six Nations super computer just predicted every result this year and these are the exact scorelines being forecast

So who is going to win the Six Nations? How will Wales fare? Will anyone take the Grand Slam? Mathematicians have used a complex scientific formula by …

Scotland are not dark horses – this Six Nations is a genuine three-horse race

A lot of people have already decided that the Six Nations will be a two-way fight between England and Ireland, but I would put Scotland right into that mix. It is time to stop treating them as dark horses. This is a proper team who play the best brand of rugby anywhere in the northern hemisphere. In …

Scotland are not dark horses – this Six Nations is a genuine three-horse race

A lot of people have already decided that the Six Nations will be a two-way fight between England and Ireland, but I would put Scotland right into that mix. It is time to stop treating them as dark horses. This is a proper team who play the best brand of rugby anywhere in the northern hemisphere. In …

Six Nations injury crisis: A full and comprehensive list of the global stars missing this year’s Championship

It’s been dubbed the battle of the last men standing as the start of the Six Nations Championship edges ever closer. The launch of the tournament this …

Six Nations injured players: A full and comprehensive list of the global stars missing this year’s Championship

It’s been dubbed the battle of the last men standing as the start of the Six Nations Championship edges ever closer. The launch of the tournament this …

Saracens 14-46 Clermont: Record European defeat for Champions Cup holders Saracens as angry Clermont run riot

Saracens were left to count the cost of their worst ever defeat in Europe after being destroyed by ‘furious’ Clermont last night. A day after losing …

RFU considers scrapping promotion and relegation for Premiership

• Changes on the way as game grapples with global calendar • Chief executive Steve Brown says RFU ‘looking at all options’ The Rugby Football Union is open to the possibility of getting rid of promotion and relegation to and from the Premiership, according to its chief executive, Steve Brown. The RFU …

RFU considers scrapping promotion and relegation for Premiership

The Rugby Football Union is open to the possibility of getting rid of promotion and relegation to and from the Premiership, according to its chief executive, Steve Brown. The RFU has traditionally been against ring-fencing the top flight but Brown conceded that as discussions continue over how the …

Boks slip below Scots in rankings

2017-12-04 14:13 Who’s next? There appear to be no readily available, suitable replacements for under-fire Bok coach Allister Coetzee. (Nic Bothma, …

Maro Itoje poised to find out his Six Nations fate

Saracens and England will learn on Tuesday whether one of their key players, Maro Itoje, will be available for their key European Champions Cup games against Clermont Auvergne in the short-term and the 2018 Six Nations championship in the longer-term after the 23-year-old was referred to a …

Maro Itoje poised to find out his Six Nations fate

Saracens and England will learn on Tuesday whether one of their key players, Maro Itoje, will be available for their key European Champions Cup games against Clermont Auvergne in the short-term and the 2018 Six Nations championship in the longer-term after the 23-year-old was referred to a …

Depleted Wales taught a lesson by ruthless All Black finishing as autumn internationals threaten to unvravel

For all the optimistic pre-match talk of New Zealand being vulnerable it was Wales who were handed a lesson in finishing on Saturday by two …

Depleted Wales taught a lesson by ruthless All Black finishing as autumn internationals threaten to unvravel

For all the optimistic pre-match talk of New Zealand being vulnerable it was Wales who were handed a lesson in finishing on Saturday by two …

Depleted Wales taught a lesson by ruthless All Black finishing as autumn internationals threaten to unvravel

For all the optimistic pre-match talk of New Zealand being vulnerable it was Wales who were handed a lesson in finishing on Saturday by two …

Autumn Internationals: Talking points from week three

England, Scotland and Ireland saw off southern hemisphere opponents in their final autumn Test, but defeated Wales still have work to do. We look at …

Autumn Internationals: Talking points from week three

England, Scotland and Ireland saw off southern hemisphere opponents in their final autumn Test, but defeated Wales still have work to do. We look at …

Autumn Internationals: Talking points from week three

England, Scotland and Ireland saw off southern hemisphere opponents in their final autumn Test, but defeated Wales still have work to do. We look at …

How much are Wales lagging behind Six Nations rivals and what does Warren Gatland need to do about it?

The good news for Wales is that they won’t have to face two wings as good as Rieko Ioane and Waisake Naholo for some time. The New Zealand pair shared …

How much are Wales lagging behind Six Nations rivals and what does Warren Gatland need to do about it?

The good news for Wales is that they won’t have to face two wings as good as Rieko Ioane and Waisake Naholo for some time. The New Zealand pair shared …

Scotland surge under Gregor Townsend with their most exciting side since 1999

This current Scotland team have won nothing yet but on this form they will at least be contenders for next year’s Six Nations title Scotland’s optimistic autumns have too often been followed by despondent springs in recent seasons but this time, surely, they can look forward to the Six Nations …

Scotland surge under Gregor Townsend with their most exciting side since 1999

This current Scotland team have won nothing yet, but on this form they will at least be contenders for next year’s Six Nations title Scotland’s optimistic autumns have too often been followed by despondent springs in recent seasons but this time, surely, they can look forward to the Six Nations …

Scotland surge under Gregor Townsend with their most exciting side since 1999

Scotland’s optimistic autumns have too often been followed by despondent springs in recent seasons but this time, surely, they can look forward to the Six Nations Championship with real self‑belief. They may have been rusty, above all in defence, in their first outing this month against Samoa but …

The night Beaudenism became a religion

The dawn of the Barrett era took many by surprise. No established player has had such a rapid ‘second’ ascension and change of public perception as …

England’s Dan Cole on why £22,000-a-game stars are right not to share match fees with skint Samoans

Dan Cole says England’s players chose not to give money to cash-strapped weekend foes Samoa as it could be misconstrued as a bribe. Cole’s fellow Red …

England’s Dan Cole on why £22,000-a-game stars are right not to share match fees with skint Samoans

Dan Cole says England’s players chose not to give money to cash-strapped weekend foes Samoa as it could be misconstrued as a bribe. Cole’s fellow Red …

Chris Robshaw and George Ford to share England captaincy against Samoa as Dylan Hartley is benched

Jamie George finally gets his first England start on Saturday – with George Ford and Chris Robshaw sharing the captaincy vacated by Dylan Hartley …

Chris Robshaw and George Ford to share England captaincy against Samoa as Dylan Hartley is benched

Jamie George finally gets his first England start on Saturday – with George Ford and Chris Robshaw sharing the captaincy vacated by Dylan Hartley …

Wales v Georgia – Five things we learnt

Wales shuffled the pack too vigorously, Rhys Priestland made a welcome return to Test rugby and it was a shambolic end to a poor test. All are …

Wales v Georgia – Five things we learnt

Wales shuffled the pack too vigorously, Rhys Priestland made a welcome return to Test rugby and it was a shambolic end to a poor test. All are …

Eddie Jones’ marginal gains show value of keeping man in the middle on side

England coach’s pre-match charm offensive towards referee Ben O’Keeffe looks a canny move after five tight decisions against Australia favour his side An hour after the match, Eddie Jones snapped. Four questions into his press conference, Jones was asked how he felt about the marginal calls made by …

Eddie Jones’ marginal gains show value of keeping man in the middle on side | Andy Bull

An hour after the match, Eddie Jones snapped. Four questions into his press conference, Jones was asked how he felt about the marginal calls made by the referee, Ben O’Keeffe, and whether he felt England had been lucky to get the better of them. It was a fair question, but it set off Jones’s …

November Internationals 2017: England vs. Australia, 5 things we learned

England’s Rugby World Cup preparations took another step in the right direction on Saturday as they recorded their biggest ever win over Australia. …

November Internationals 2017: England vs. Australia, 5 things we learned

England’s Rugby World Cup preparations took another step in the right direction on Saturday as they recorded their biggest ever win over Australia. …

All Blacks honour Motor Neurone Disease stricken Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir

The All Blacks have played their part in honouring former Scottish rugby lock Doddie Weir who is battling Motor Neurone Disease.

All Blacks honour Motor Neurone Disease stricken Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir

The All Blacks have played their part in honouring former Scottish rugby lock Doddie Weir who is battling Motor Neurone Disease.

Rugby World Cup 2023: England ‘always answer Ireland’s call’

They say hard times will always reveal true friends, and that is exactly what Irish rugby authorities have taken away from their failed bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Some of Ireland’s closest allies (both in spirit and geography) took part in the poll, but only England backed Ireland. Their …

Rugby World Cup 2023: England ‘always answer Ireland’s call’

They say hard times will always reveal true friends, and that is exactly what Irish rugby authorities have taken away from their failed bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Some of Ireland’s closest allies (both in spirit and geography) took part in the poll, but only England backed Ireland. Their …

All Blacks: Stuart Hogg v Beauden Barrett, the play that decided the test

Stuart Hogg versus Beauden Barrett; a match-deciding play that will go down in rugby folklore.Pinpointing one moment from such a memorable test seems …

All Blacks: Stuart Hogg v Beauden Barrett, the play that decided the test

Stuart Hogg versus Beauden Barrett; a match-deciding play that will go down in rugby folklore. Pinpointing one moment from such a memorable test seems …

French newspapers on Springboks’ 18-17 win against France

What the French newspapers are saying on Sunday about the Springboks’ 18-17 win against France. The French press batter Les Bleus this morning. …

‘Sorry advert for the game’

What the French newspapers are saying on Sunday about the Springboks’ 18-17 win against France.

Autumn Internationals: Talking points from week two

Scotland almost pulled off a miraculous win over New Zealand, England capitalised on their luck against Australia while Wales and Ireland just inched …

Autumn Internationals: Talking points from week two

Scotland almost pulled off a miraculous win over New Zealand, England capitalised on their luck against Australia while Wales and Ireland just inched …

Heroic Scots, but this was a great chance missed to finally beat New Zealand

Sign up to our Daily newsletter It seems harsh in the circumstances – incredibly harsh – but the fact remains. Glorious failure is still failure. For …

Heroic Scots, but this was a great chance missed to finally beat New Zealand

Sign up to our Daily newsletter It seems harsh in the circumstances – incredibly harsh – but the fact remains. Glorious failure is still failure. For …

Eddie Jones hits out at Australia for trying to influence the referee

• England head coach responds to bullying claims before Twickenham clash • ‘Obviously Australia like the media more than the referee,’ says Jones Eddie Jones has hit out at Australia for trying to influence the referee, Ben O’Keeffe, through the media in the build-up to Saturday’s Test at Twickenham. …

Gregor Townsend ready to rewrite history as Scotland tackle All Blacks

Scotland have never beaten New Zealand in a Test but the victory over Australia in June has fired his players’ belief that a landmark upset is possible New Zealand defeats on European soil are not quite as rare as Scotland wins at Twickenham, but their scarcity highlights the mountainous task facing …

Gregor Townsend ready to rewrite history as Scotland tackle All Blacks | Bryn Palmer

New Zealand defeats on European soil are not quite as rare as Scotland wins at Twickenham, but their scarcity highlights the mountainous task facing the hosts at Murrayfield on Saturday. There have been a paltry four – two by France, two by England – in more than 50 Tests since 2000. And the All …

Wales’ selection gamble offers Georgia the chance to show they belong on the Test stage

Warren Gatland rolled the dice on Thursday when he made 14 changes to the Wales side which lost to Australia in a move which has the potential to …

Stuart Hogg knows vast improvement needed for his unfinished business with All Blacks

© SNS Sign up to our Daily newsletter Stuart Hogg wants the shot at New Zealand he was denied through injury in the summer but admits if Scotland stand …

Springbok coach and player changes on the horizon regardless of end-of-year Test results

No matter what the results may be over the remainder of the Springboks’ end-of-year tour, considerable changes to the current coaching and player …

AUDIO: We didn’t realise penalties would hurt us so much, says Allister

After stating on Saturday there were no excuses for the heavy defeat, Allister Coetzee seemed to look for every excuse under the sun on Monday.

Australia v England rugby: Eddie Jones angry at media and in trouble with his mum

ENGLAND coach Eddie Jones is furious that rugby’s secrets act has been breached with photos taken of classified information at his team’s hotel base …

Wales v Australia: Five things we learnt

Wales lost a thirteenth consecutive time to the Wallabies but the way they played gave hope that a change of style was finally up and running A loss, …

Impressive Ireland thump South Africa in record-breaking win to begin autumn internationals with a bang

Ireland were too good for South Africa in Dublin, scoring four tries in a convincing 38-3 victory on Saturday. South Africa look likely to beat …

Wales fans sense this could be the start of a new chapter, please let’s NOT go back to the old way of playing

Wales came second to Australia yet again – but on this occasion it was a kind of solid and wonderful second best, offering far more promise for the …

Eddie Jones defends foul-mouthed outburst over England’s lifeless display

• Head coach caught on TV swearing during ‘grindathon’ against Argentina • ‘I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be frustrated,’ said Jones Eddie Jones has defended his foul-mouthed outburst during England’s win over Argentina after he was caught by TV cameras venting his fury at his side’s …

England vs Argentina: Autumn internationals more important than meets the eye in Eddie Jones’ grand plan

A glance at the autumn schedule suggests that England may just be taking it easy after a demanding year, but the games against Australia, Samoa and …

England vs Argentina: Autumn internationals more important than meets the eye in Eddie Jones’ grand plan

A glance at the autumn schedule suggests that England may just be taking it easy after a demanding year, but the games against Australia, Samoa and …

Autumn internationals should pose no problems for England and Ireland, but trouble ahead for Wales and Scotland

Eddie Jones will be the first to tell his England squad that he expects three wins from three this month, otherwise they can kiss any hope of winning …

Twenty questions for rugby union’s autumn internationals

Can Wales beat All Blacks for the first time since 1953, will Eddie Jones continue to work his magic at Twickenham and how heavy will injury toll be for the competing nations? 1) Can Wales defeat the All Blacks? The last time it happened was in 1953, so don’t hold your breath. But Warren Gatland’s …

England delighted after ‘Battle of Bristol’ training session against Wales that includes something of a surprise

The England coaching staff are delighted with how the ‘Battle of Bristol’ training session against Wales went on Monday after stepping up there …

Are the Springboks doomed in Dublin (again)?

The Springboks begin their tour of Europe and Great Britain on Saturday when they take on Ireland in Dublin. But it’s a city where South Africa …

Three quick lessons we can already take from the full-on scrum session between England and Wales

England head coach Eddie Jones publicly urged his players to ‘rip into’ their Welsh counterparts, while his skipper Dylan Hartley conceded that he was expecting some ‘edge’ at this morning’s set-piece training session in Bristol. You cannot imagine that Warren Gatland, nor indeed his forwards coach …

Toby Flood: There is ambition here at Newcastle Falcons, the culture is right and the young guys want to challenge

In the summer Toby Flood walked back into Kingston Park for the first time since he left for Leicester almost a decade ago and looked around. Same old sights and sounds for the most part. Musty old smell in the gym under the west stand. No daylight, clothes strewn about. Several familiar faces …

Charlie Hodgson: ‘Rugby union is unrecognisable from when I started’

The former England fly-half, now coaching at London Irish, fears the physical demands on young players may be too great with more matches being played As one of English rugby’s sharpest brains, not to mention finest playmakers, it is a great shame that Charlie Hodgson does not intend to take the …

The Other (and Less Popular) Rugby World Cup Gets Underway

There’s a rugby World Cup going on right now, but it isn’t the Rugby World Cup. Not exactly. The sport being played for the next month in Australia and New Zealand is known as rugby league. To an outsider, it may not look a whole lot different from rugby union, the more popular form of the game. In …

Wallabies Indigenous jersey can stay on one condition — match it with real action

As the Wallabies upset the All Blacks on Saturday night a seemingly rejuvenated line-up not only played with a passion and purpose that lifted the …

WATCH – Huge uproar as Morgan Parra returns to play after being ‘knocked unconscious’

Referee Ben Whitehouse has come under fire after his performance in Clermont’s 24-7 victory over Northampton at the Stade Marcel Michelin.

Epic win over All Blacks shows the Wallabies have come of age and are no longer reliant on David Pocock

IT took an eternity — but the Wallabies have at last joined the adults and arrived at the dinner table. After months of dibble-dabbling the Wallabies …

Rob Andrew: ‘I’m not being alarmist … the game is getting worse, not better’

After 30 years in rugby union, the former England fly-half has written a book about his decade at the RFU and why the game needs major changes to the way it is run Rob Andrew’s parting shot to rugby after spending 30 years in the game as a player, director of rugby and administrator was a book on …

Wallabies no longer just believe they can beat the All Blacks – they know it

Australia’s first win against their trans-Tasman rivals in two years was an indicator of how far they have come in just a few months It was perhaps appropriate the Wallabies upset the All Blacks at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, the very arena where Australian boxer Jeff Horn stunned Manny Pacquiao in …

Brian Ashton exclusive: ‘I think we have only scratched the surface of what is possible in rugby coaching’

Brian Ashton is the great lost prophet of English rugby. Even at 71, the man who coached the two of the greatest attacks of the modern era, the all-conquering Bath side of the 1990s and the 2000-2002 England team, still fizzes with ideas and innovations, all captured in his trusty blue lever arch …

It’s tough on Rhys Webb but strict rules are needed to save future of Test rugby

Wales have to keep making a stand in an attempt to galvanise the regional game which, the Scarlets aside, remains in a depressed state Rhys Webb wants to have his Welsh cake and eat it. The Ospreys and Lions scrum-half signed for Toulon earlier this month, days before the Welsh Rugby Union announced …

Could Saracens win the Six Nations if they were allowed to enter it?

If you took the Saracens players out of their national sides and put the team in the Six Nations, their hammering of Northampton suggests they could win it Awaiting its UK cinema release next month is the Battle of the Sexes, the film based around the famous 1970s tennis duel between Billie Jean …

Brian Moore has a potential solution to the alarming rate of injuries in the Guinness PRO14 and Aviva Premiership

Former England hooker Brian Moore has come up with a possible solution to cut down on the alarming rise in Aviva Premiership and Guinness PRO14 …

Glut of injuries could be caused by new rule changes, RFU research shows

The glut of injuries in this season’s Aviva Premiership may be a consequence of more collisions created by recent rule changes in international …

George Ford: League can show union how to unlock packed defence

George Ford is in the process of getting up to conclude a press conference – a duty he performs with all the relish of a trip to the dentist – when he is asked whether he watched the Super League Grand Final on Saturday night. The Leicester Tigers and England fly half instantly sits back down, his …

The Rugby Debate: Eddie Jones should pick Sam Simmonds this autumn – the Exeter No8 is not too lightweight for international rugby

Remember how Vaea Fifita rescued New Zealand against Argentina last month with an eye-popping sprint to the corner? Well, the latest in Sam Simmonds’ collection of spectacular scores, which arrived at Sandy Park on Saturday, came from 10 metres further out. He steamed in from just beyond the halfway …

Springbok ‘spine’ is strong, but some elements still need work

The Springboks finally played to their full potential against the All Blacks, but is the current team good enough to win the World Cup?

Cape Town thriller just what world rugby needed

Oct 10, 2017 Craig Dowd played 60 Tests for New Zealand between 1993 and 2000, including in two World Cups, and he was part of the All Blacks team …

Burgess rugby selection a blunder

Ex-England boss Stuart Lancaster made an “almighty blunder” selecting Sam Burgess for the 2015 World Cup, according to the Rugby Football Union’s …

Springboks embracing proactive approach with signs of tactical evolution

The Springboks’ varied approach in the final two Rugby Championship Tests speaks to a tactical evolution that does provide cause for encouragement, …

Sport24.co.za | Mallett: All Blacks are ‘irritatingly great’

Nick Mallett was impressed by the quality of rugby on display in the Test between the Springboks and All Blacks at Newlands.

An English successor to Eddie Jones? Don’t hold your breath

There was no natural English successor to [coach] Martin Johnson in 2011, and we had not moved an inch in this direction by the time Stuart Lancaster left the Rugby Football Union after the 2015 World Cup. And I would not put so much as a penny of my savings on there being one when Eddie Jones, the …

Ambitious Eddie Jones reveals all in fascinating two part interview

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has had an eventful few years, and now holds one of the most scrutinized positions in world rugby. It’s gone well …

New Zealand trounce Argentina on same day All Blacks sealed Rugby Championship

New Zealand trounced Argentina as they retained the Rugby Championship with two games to spare. Though it was not necessary for them to seal the …

How the scrum-half is becoming the most important player in English rugby 

The French have always let their scrum-halves run the show. Le Petite Générale, the small general with a lot of power. Many of their scrum halves can also double up as fly-halves when needed. It is not an irregular sight to see a French club team or even national team line up with two number 9s in …

England will play ‘unpopular’ rugby to win the World Cup, insists Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones says he is not afraid to make his England team play “unpopular” rugby in order to win the 2019 World Cup. The England head coach, who …

Welshman Nigel Owens once again proves why he’s the world’s best rugby referee

Welshman Nigel Owens has long been regarded as the best rugby referee on the planet. And during Glasgow’s Guinness PRO14 clash with Munster, he’s once …

Eddie Jones omits four British and Irish Lions from England’s three-day training camp

Jonathan Joseph is among four British and Irish Lions omitted from England’s squad for their three-day training camp in Oxford. George Kruis, Kyle …

Harlequins fly-half Marcus Smith catches England selectors’ eye — on day former ‘No10 to watch’ Danny Cipriani is crocked

Danny Cipriani has been sidelined for three months — leaving the stage clear for English rugby’s new fly-half wonderkid. A decade on from being the …

France promises to prevent ‘death of rugby’ if awarded 2023 World Cup

• France bidding for 2023 tournament with Ireland and South Africa • French bid leader: ‘I think rugby will die in five-10 years if we do nothing’ France has promised to prevent the “death of international rugby” if it is awarded the 2023 World Cup and has claimed a successful bid would help in …

Dai Young is right about penalising provocateurs, but James Haskell and Joe Marler incident needs to be forgotten

The sight of England teammates scrapping and brawling in the Premiership is nothing new, yet Sunday’s incident between Wasps flanker James Haskell …

Two years to Japan’s World Cup and rugby union is in a state of confusion

Empty stadiums, threats to the 15-a-side game and the decline of the Springboks and Wallabies means that the possibility of only two teams being genuinely in contention come Japan 2019 is very real Exactly two years from Wednesday, the Rugby World Cup will kick off in Japan, and World Rugby is …

Internet goes meme-crazy after Boks’ worst Test loss

2017-09-17 21:28 Cape Town – The Springboks suffered a humiliating record-breaking defeat against the All Blacks in their Rugby Championship clash on …

Damp squib in Philadelphia exposes distance of American rugby dream

Only just over 6,000 turned up to watch Saracens and Newcastle to illustrate that the Premiership’s American adventure still has a long way to go The Premiership Rugby chief executive, Mark McCafferty, put a brave face on a poor crowd for Newcastle v Saracens in Philadelphia, saying: “Obviously we …

Wasps call for crackdown after England team-mates Marler and Haskell fight

• James Haskell sent off for grabbing Marler by the throat • Wasps’ Dai Young incensed by Joe Marler behaviour Wasps have called for rugby’s authorities to take further action following Sunday’s angry flare-up between the Lions and England team-mates James Haskell and Joe Marler. Haskell was sent to …

All Blacks irresistible in remarkable 57-0 drubbing of South Africa

• Rugby Championship game ends in eight-try whitewash • Springboks suffer the heaviest defeat in their history Nehe Milner-Skudder scored two of the All Blacks’ eight tries as they destroyed South Africa 57-0 at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday to post a record points margin against the …

England to play New Zealand as part of 2018 autumn international series

England will play world champions New Zealand for the first time since 2014, as part of next year’s autumn internationals at Twickenham. Eddie Jones’ side host South Africa in the first match of the series on 3 November, before the All Blacks match on 10 November. They also face Japan on 17 November …

All Blacks unleash ‘the beast’ to down Argentina

The All Blacks unleashed “the beast” as they came from behind to beat a fired-up Argentina 39-22 in a Rugby Championship Test in New Plymouth on …

All Blacks player ratings from 39-22 win over Argentina in New Plymouth

IT was there for Argentina’s taking, but with the Test in the balance New Zealand’s class shone through as they ran away to seal a 39-22 win over the …

Wallabies draw with Springboks in Western Force protest Test

The Wallabies surrendered a 20-10 lead in the 47th minute Western Force jerseys dominated and ‘Force’ chants were heard throughout The Sea of Blue turned out in their droves as the Wallabies fought out an enthralling 23-23 draw with South Africa in Saturday night’s Rugby Championship Test in …

Manu Tuilagi ruled out of England’s autumn internationals as Leicester centre’s injury hell continues

Manu Tuilagi will miss England’s autumn internationals after suffering yet another injury setback, just one game into his latest return. The Leicester …

Manu Tuilagi granted one more chance by Eddie Jones with England career on the line

Eddie Jones will give Manu Tuilagi one more chance to resurrect his England career after he was sent home for turning up to a training session drunk …

Aviva Premiership 2017-18: Week 1 power rankings

It is never too early to rank teams based on their performance. The important note with these power rankings is that they are not based on preseason …

Schalk Brits won’t budge on retirement plan despite Saracens masterclass as he prepares to give it one last go

Saracens’ age-defying hooker Schalk Brits has no intention of performing a U-turn on his decision to retire from rugby at the end of the season, …

Jack Nowell takes his time for success to sink in but Exeter Chiefs wing ready to start from the bottom and build up

Count this on your fingers. How many players last season won the Aviva Premiership, the Six Nations and drew the British and Irish Lions …

Ten things to look forward to in the new rugby season

Player tiredness and availability could be key; there are six new laws to consider and Warren Gatland does battle with Steve Hansen again 1) Lions tour could take its toll Ireland broke the mould in 2014 but before that, as sure as death and taxes, France would win the first Six Nations championship …

English rugby set for new concussion test

Aug 30, 2017 The Aviva Premiership and RFU Championship are set to trial a saliva test this season with the hope that it will diagnose concussion and …

England Women find heartbreak at end of road as sevens focus returns

New Zealand’s Black Ferns proved too good in the Rugby World Cup final and, with the 15-a-side players’ contracts up in favour of the Olympic format of sevens, it is all change It had all the drama of the women’s cricket final at Lord’s last month. But this time there was no happy ending for …

Springboks pummel Argentina

Inspirational flanker Siya Kolisi scored two tries as the Springboks convincingly beat Argentina 41-23 in their Rugby Championship clash played in …

Cheika optimistic after improved Wallabies display

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was still downcast after his side’s narrow Rugby Championship loss to New Zealand but the match showed him his team could play at the same level as the world champions. The Wallabies were embarrassed by the All Blacks in Sydney last week when they …

All Blacks coach Hansen defends Retallick after Cheika spray

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has defended lock Brodie Retallick for his clash with Wallabies flanker Ned Hanigan during the Rugby Championship match in Dunedin. Retallick upended Hanigan as they were getting to their feet following a tackle in the first half, prompting an …

Lack of Lions at big kick-off but plenty to savour in new Premiership season

Saracens are again the team to beat, champions Exeter must not rest on their laurels, Leicester look strong once more, but club v country rows will grow He is far too laidback to acknowledge it but Jamie George provides the ideal case study to best explain the tangled web that is the domestic season …

Late Barrett try seals Bledisloe Cup for All Blacks

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Beauden Barrett scored a brilliant 78th-minute try to ensure the All Blacks retained the Bledisloe Cup with a 35-29 victory over Australia in a classic Rugby Championship encounter in Dunedin on Saturday. Barrett’s second try of the match came just two minutes after Wallabies …

Cohesion is key for England as giants of game do battle in Women’s Rugby World Cup final

New Zealand have a standout player in Portia Woodman but Simon Middleton’s side are a well-oiled machine as they target back-to-back triumphs Two enormous yellow shipbuilding cranes dominate the Belfast skyline and are impossible to miss. Situated in the Titanic quarter and looming large over the …

New Zealand defeats Team USA in Women’s Rugby World Cup semifinal

Despite an inspiring first-half run, the United States couldn’t keep up with New Zealand in the Women’s Rugby World Cup semifinal on Tuesday. The …

Resolute England reach World Cup final after digging deep to overcome France

Holders England booked a Women’s Rugby World Cup final appointment with New Zealand after beating France 20-3 in Belfast. Prop Sarah Bern and …

5 talking points: Boks v Argentina

2017-08-21 08:00 Elton Jantjies (Gallo Images) Cape Town – Sport24’s Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points following the Springboks’ 37-15 Rugby …

Joe Marler: ‘I learned how to drink on British and Irish Lions’ New Zealand rugby tour’

England prop Joe Marler says he learned “how to drink” on the British and Irish Lions “old school” tour of New Zealand.

South Africa power past the Pumas in Rugby Championship opener

South Africa strong-armed their way past Argentina to secure a four-try win in their Rugby Championship opener. The Springboks ground past the Pumas …

Hansen explains why the All Blacks fell off in the second half of Bledisloe

New Zealand roared into a 54-6 lead in Sydney before losing focus. “We probably got a little seduced by the scoreboard,” said Steve Hansen.

All Blacks rack up record score against Australia as New Zealand make flying start to Rugby Championship

A second-half rally was not enough for Australia as they lost the opening Rugby Championship clash to New Zealand, with the All Blacks clocking up a …

Rugby Championship ready to launch with Sanzaar sailing into troubled waters

Financial woes, political tumult and a spate of high-profile departures have left southern hemisphere rugby needing to prove that it is not circling the abyss Three shockwaves hit southern hemisphere rugby within the space of 24 hours last week: Bristol announced the capture of Charles Piutau on a …

Jonny May: ‘I’m not the sort of guy to jump ship, it’s purely a rugby decision’

Winger admits he left Gloucester on terms he would not have liked but says he joined Leicester to improve his England prospects rather than for money Jonny May’s head is still spinning. Despite the giddy anticipation of starting his Leicester career, the England winger cannot shake the remorse he …

Super Rugby: The Future of this Disastrous Competition

Well, that’s it, another season of Super Rugby has concluded with the Crusaders taking out a well-deserved title in Johannesburg. Whilst most of us …

Canada’s Women’s Rugby World Cup title hopes dashed by New Zealand

When you’re playing New Zealand in rugby, just like when you’re playing Canada in hockey, you just can’t afford to make mistakes.Up against the …

Defending champions England move into Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals

England Women 47 USA Women 26 Marlie Packer led the charge with two tries as defending champions England swatted the USA aside 47-26 to book their …

Mark Reason: Why Sam Whitelock should be All Blacks captain

All Blacks captain Kieran Read may have some lessons to learn from Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock. OPINION: The All Blacks have a number of questions …

Springboks eye different test teams for different hemispheres

The Springboks believe they now have the ability to select two different test teams, one for each hemisphere.

England remain on course at Women’s Rugby World Cup with rout of Italy as New Zealand demolish Hong Kong 121-0

England maintained their 100 per cent record at the Women’s Rugby World Cup after scoring 10 tries for the second match in succession, securing a …

Leicester Tigers are delighted to announce the signing of England international Jonny May

Leicester Tigers are delighted to announce the signing of England international Jonny May from Gloucester Rugby for the start of the 2017/18 …

Guinness PRO14 v Aviva Premiership: Which all-star composite team would have the best players?

One has had to expand simply to survive, the other is a financially robust closed-shop powerhouse seemingly going from strength to strength. No prizes …

Manu Tuilagi’s England return in doubt after drunken night out at camp

• Tuilagi and wing Denny Solomona sent home by furious Eddie Jones • England coach stressed importance of centre’s return only last week Manu Tuilagi’s hopes of resurrecting his England career are hanging by a thread after he and Denny Solomona were sent home from a pre-season training camp by Eddie …

Analysis: Germany’s national team

As you may have seen, if you’re a Northern Hemisphere reader, there’s not all that much rugby going on up here at the moment. Given that slight …

Crusaders win first Super Rugby title since 2008 with competition’s future still uncertain

Crusaders beat Lions 25-17 in Johannesburg Tamanivalu, Goodhue and Read tries propel New Zealand side to win There is nothing more traditional than the Canterbury Crusaders as Super Rugby champions but a record eighth title for the New Zealand powerhouse will do nothing to remove the question marks …

Eddie Jones says rugby can learn to improve fitness from other sports

• England coach spent time with team Orica-Scott during Tour de France • ‘I am not saying rugby is soft but that we do not know how far we can go’ As he approaches the halfway mark of his contract as England’s head coach, Eddie Jones has spent the summer watching other sports and talking to coaches …

Is Super Rugby really worth saving? I’ve got a better idea

Super Rugby is done and dusted for 2017 and for the Australian franchises the end of the season couldn’t have come soon enough. But while the season …

Five of rugby’s talking points from July

The bold new era of the Pro14, Italian teeth troubles, rule changes and the introduction of the player sabbatical are all covered Pro 12 shows its …

Five things we learnt from the Crusaders’ Super Rugby win over the Lions at Ellis Park

THE Crusaders are kings of Super Rugby for the eighth time after defeating the Lions 25-17 at Ellis Park. In beating the Lions in Johannesburg, the …

Manu Tuilagi returns to England squad as Eddie Jones names 37 players to prepare for autumn internationals

Eddie Jones warned England that they still have “a big step” to make if they are to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup after naming his first training camp …

Leigh Halfpenny joins Scarlets to give Wales and Gatland a boost

• Wales full-back signs national dual contract after leaving Toulon • Halfpenny will be available for 2019 World Cup under selection policy Leigh Halfpenny has signed a three-year contract with the Scarlets, bringing an end to months of speculation over the Wales and Lions full-back’s …

All Blacks dominate list of the 30 best players in world rugby

With the mid-year international break in the rear view mirror and the Rugby Championship right around the corner, now seems like a good time to …

Michael Hooper becomes new Wallabies skipper

Moore announced last week he would hang up the boots following the Wallabies’ Spring Tour, but confirmed he would hand over the captaincy effective …

How will law amendments affect rugby?

Aug 1, 2017 The six law amendments approved by World Rugby last week come into effect in the Northern Hemisphere on Tuesday. Designed to make the game …

Guinness PRO14 issues press release with new structure

Celtic Rugby and the South African Rugby Union have today confirmed that the Toyota Cheetahs and the Southern Kings will join an expanded Guinness …

Scottish Rugby ponders creation of six semi-pro clubs

Scottish Rugby is planning to create six semi-professional franchise clubs as part of a radical restructuring of the game in Scotland. Chief executive Mark Dodson will unveil the proposal at the union’s annual general meeting next Saturday, 5 August, BBC Scotland has learned. The SRU would invest at …

The worst rugby kits ever made as Northampton reveal an absolute shocker

It’s that time of year again when rugby clubs across Europe release their new jersey for the season ahead – ready for their fans to excitedly rush to …

Eddie Jones’ aim of usurping the All Blacks is more than just talk

While Michael Cheika will be wary of facing an angry All Blacks side in Bledisloe I, there is at least one Australian coach who might be feeling …

How this secret Adam Jones ‘trick’ helped the Lions stop All Blacks

Tadhg Furlong has revealed the secret behind him returning from the Lions tour this summer lauded by the New Zealand media as the best tighthead prop …

Stephen Moore to quit Wallabies at the end of the year

The 120-Test veteran hands captaincy to Michael Hooper immediately Hooker aims for one more season with Queensland Reds Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore will retire from international rugby at the end of the year and is handing over the captaincy to Michael Hooper effective immediately. Moore told his …

Dan Biggar poised to quit Welsh rugby and sign major English deal

Dan Biggar looks set to agree a deal that would see him leave Welsh rugby at the end of the coming season. The 27-year-old scorer of a mountainous …

Sport24.co.za | Plans to reduce rugby’s laws 50%

World Rugby has reportedly commissioned a technical group to overhaul its law book, which could see half of the game’s laws abolished.

What I learned about justice while watching the All Blacks take on the Lions

The rugby referee, unavoidably, now adjudicates as much as he officiates. I was at Lord’s two and a half hours before the start of play on the third …

Five players who can make the All Blacks better by 2019

All Blacks fullback Jordie Barrett scores a try against the Lions on Saturday. OPINION: The All Blacks do not need to reinvent the wheel. Despite the …

Lions did themselves proud against New Zealand – a draw was a fair result

Honours deserved to be even as tourists weathered the expected All Blacks onslaught with a superior kicking game and superb defence Like most people I had a sense of anticlimax at the final whistle. It was a strange feeling. I couldn’t help but think: “Even if they flip a coin, surely it can’t end …

Stalemate blues: a New Zealander’s perspective on the final Lions Test

With the All Blacks missing three golden opportunities and a questionable late decision going against them, the crowd left Eden Park feeling deflated It rained on Sunday morning in New Zealand. Absolutely teemed down in Auckland, so it was tough to see if the sun rose on the morning after the night …

British & Irish Lions series man marks

Maro Itoje and Sean O’Brien were outstanding performers in a squad of players that showed up strongly across three Tests and seven other tour matches Backs Greig Laidlaw After replacing Ben Youngs in sad circumstances the scrum-half, who moves to France this summer, added some invaluable experience to …

Warren Gatland’s achievements make case to be the next All Blacks coach

Critics attack his teams for playing Warrenball but as the only unbeaten Lions coach of the professional era Gatland has shown yet again he gets results He would not rule it out, but nor was he chomping at the bit for another shot. Warren Gatland refused to be drawn on the prospect of another Lions …

Lions and All Blacks fight to a standstill after the most intense battle

The sides had grown obsessed with winning the physical contest and in the series decider it produced the most brutal match in recent memory When it was all over, Sam Warburton had one word left in him: “Wow.” It echoed around the ground, the crowd quiet until they realised that Warburton did not …

The remarkable scenes of sportsmanship at the end of the brutal Lions v All Blacks series

The series ended all square after a 15-15 draw in the deciding Test in Auckland

Scottish fans who’ve turned on the Lions are an embarrassment

The Scottish rugby fans in uproar over their minority representation on the 2017 Lions tour are spectacularly missing the point and it’s getting …

Daly: Lions backs can cut open All Blacks

Elliot Daly believes the Lions’ backline full of playmakers has the fluidity to cut open New Zealand in Saturday’s Test series decider.

Referee Romain Poite will be strict but fair in final Test of Lions tour

Romain Poite is one of the best referees in world rugby and has shown he is not afraid to take difficult decisions in decisive Tests French referees used to have a reputation for being homers, one reason away victories used to be so rare in the Top 14, but there are few officials New Zealand …

Anthony Watson warns Lions to ‘expect the unexpected’ from the All Blacks

To say that Anthony Watson didn’t see what was coming last weekend is an understatement. The Lions wing was attempting to wriggle his way out of …

Warren Gatland trusts his gut instinct and his Lions of Wellington

The Lions head coach has picked an unchanged side against the All Blacks who are looking a little uncertain with their three changes for the Eden Park decider For a glimpse of what might lie ahead for the British & Irish Lions in the closing 80 minutes of their New Zealand tour, it is worth …

Sky is not falling in for All Blacks coach Hansen

AUCKLAND (Reuters) – New Zealand coach Steve Hansen called for a sense of perspective about this weekend’s test against the British and Irish Lions on Thursday and said the All Blacks would end up an improved side whatever the result of the match. The Lions handed the All Blacks a home defeat for …

Corry on Lions third Test with All Blacks

• Martin Corry won seven Lions caps<br>• Was part of 2001 & 2005 tours Former England captain and British & Irish Lion Martin Corry looks back on the Lions’ …

Concussions still ‘slipping through the net’ despite treatment progress

The treatment of concussion in rugby is taken more seriously than ever due to a combination of player welfare and a fear that a failure to try and …

Why we haven’t seen the best of Beauden, yet

Jul 4, 2017 Sam was brought up on long drives and the dusty fields of north-west New South Wales, where he developed his love of rugby from an early …

Finishers such as British and Irish Lions forwards Courtney Lawes and Kyle Sinckler can hurt teams from the beginning, so why not start them?

England head coach Eddie Jones coined the term “finishers” to ensure those who did not make the cut for his starting XV felt of greater value to the …

All Blacks itching to tear into Lions but Hansen has a midfield problem to solve

Aaron Smith is impatient to avenge the second Test defeat but Steve Hansen will appreciate the time he has to find the right combination to tighten his defence Around 10 minutes into Aaron Smith’s press conference, it suddenly became obvious that this was the very last place he wanted to be. It is …

Austin Healey calls on Warren Gatland to drop Sam Warburton

Former England star Austin Healey has risked incurring the wrath of Welsh rugby fans by calling on Warren Gatland to drop Lions skipper Sam Warburton …

Five key issues ahead of decider between New Zealand and the Lions

The British & Irish Lions have momentum after their memorable win in Wellington, but the All Blacks will be charged up by defeat 1) Momentum New Zealand rarely lose and hardly ever at home. Just as the British & Irish Lions burned with desire and determination in Wellington, knowing they had to win …

Five reasons the pressure is on the All Blacks ahead of the Third Test

The All Blacks are in the unfamiliar position of going into the Third Test on the back of a loss and they know the onus is on them to right the …

TV View: Sky falls in on Sonny Bill and the All Blacks

‘Some of us wondered when there are so many men on a rugby pitch, would one be missed?’ 13 minutes ago Sky had done the most Sky thing ever by …

The New Zealand press react: ‘This was not a fair fight’

Kiwi media particularly scathing of Sonny Bill Williams after second Test loss to Lions

British & Irish Lions 2017: Lions take chances against 14-man All Blacks

And so, just like in 1993 when the Lions visited New Zealand, the series is heading for a decider at Eden Park. The tourists may have won the second Test at Westpac Stadium, and there may be a climatic decider to come, but the post-match debate must start by looking back at the actions of one All …

Hansen sees Lions series decider as great for world rugby

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The second test loss to the British and Irish Lions has ratcheted up the pressure on the All Blacks ahead of what promises to be a historical series decider, New Zealand coach Steve Hansen has said. The Lions took full advantage of a man advantage for 55 minutes after Sonny …

England take professional approach to retaining Women’s World Cup

• Simon Middleton names 28-stong squad for August in Ireland • There is a responsibility, it’s not a free ride, head coach adds Simon Middleton’s side are ranked No1 in the world and have just shown the British & Irish Lions precisely how it is done but the coach of England’s women believes there is …

‘It’s an absolute mess’ – Brian O’Driscoll says Warren Gatland’s Lions call-ups were a big mistake

Two weeks ago Gatland had called up Wales internationals Cory Hill, Kristian Dacey, Gareth Davies and Tomas Francis, as well as Scottish duo Allan …

Concussed All Blacks vice-captain Ben Smith ruled out of Lions series

BEN Smith’s life after the All Blacks has been placed above his potential impact against the British and Irish Lions, ruling him out of the rest of …

New Zealand rugby streaker asks fans to pay his fine for him, hardly anyone donates

If you’re going to commit a premeditated crime, you’d better be willing to pay the price. (Or at least Google the law beforehand.) A man who went …

Rugby – Warburton choice a nod to physicality

| WELLINGTON The decision to start British and Irish Lions tour captain Sam Warburton in Saturday’s crucial second test is a reflection of coach Warren Gatland’s desire to attack the breakdown more and match the physicality of the All Blacks. Warburton was not included in the starting side for last …

Matt Stevens interview: British and Irish Lions are too good to be whitewashed by New Zealand

Former British and Irish Lions prop Matt Stevens believes the modern-day vintage possesses too much talent to endure the same ignominy as the 2005 …

Lions’ Six Nations roots mean they cannot match the All Blacks’ verve

The Lions do not lack ambition and they would be too strong for South Africa and Australia but they have reflected the Six Nations – full-blooded yet limited The Lions have been here before, trying to recover the series after losing the first Test in New Zealand. The last time they did so …

Warren Gatland’s curveball Lions picks put All Blacks on notice for second Test

The selection of both Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton signal positive intent from the Lions head coach and we can expect a more assertive approach in Wellington This has already proved an eventful British & Irish Lions tour in all kinds of ways but the most gripping 80 minutes may still be to come. …

Exclusive: Jonny Wilkinson believes Lions coach Warren Gatland’s gamble is not as big a risk as Clive Woodward’s in 2005

A Lions tour to New Zealand, and a head coach under extreme pressure rolls the dice with a controversial selection in midfield. For Warren Gatland 2017 read Sir Clive Woodward 2005, only this time it is Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell who are filling the roles played 12 years ago by Jonny …

The seven Lions players whose tours now look to be over

The ‘Gatland Six’, better known as Gareth Davies, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Kristian Dacey, Allan Dell and Finn Russell have run their Lions race …

Five players who put their hand up for selection against the All Blacks

The British and Irish Lions let a 14-point lead slip as the Hurricanes fought back to earn a deserved draw in Wellington. With the second Test is on …

Lions’ ‘Geography Six’ have no regrets but confess to wanting more game time

• Finn Russell and Alan Dell enjoy ‘good experience’ of Lions tour • Dell dismisses rumours unnamed Scottish player turned down call-up Two of the temporary British & Irish Lions replacements in New Zealand say they will forever cherish their brief encounter with the squad which has now ended. Finn …

Lions look for more grunt up front in second test

| WELLINGTON Warren Gatland wants more physicality from his British and Irish Lions in this weekend’s second test against the All Blacks and that desire looks likely to inform his selection for a match they need to win to keep the series alive. The All Blacks forwards won the battle of the breakdown …

British Lions vs New Zealand first Test: All Blacks player ratings – RealSport

The All Blacks beat the Lions through their standard route. Their bench depth is the envy of the world and they just wore the tourists down in the …

Lions let slip 31-17 lead as Hurricanes force draw in final midweek match

• Hurricanes 31-31 British & Irish Lions • Hurricanes fight back but Dan Biggar last-gasp drop-goal is short When the definitive story of the 2017 British & Irish Lions is written it will be the outcome of the Test series with the All Blacks that will largely determine how Warren Gatland’s squad are …

Liam inspired incredible Lions score, but these are top six international tries

Within seconds of Sean O’Brien crossing for his try in the first Test for the Lions against New Zealand, the certainty is that many fans, as they …

New Zealand v British and Irish Lions – First Test analysis

Analysis of the First Test between the British & Irish Lions and New Zealand makes for sobering reading but there are positives ahead of next …

Owen Farrell is having to make do without father-son pep talks in New Zealand

Owen Farrell should have had a far more straight-forward Father’s Day than his team-mates. Because, unlike the rest of the Lions – who had to resort …

The reasons NZ always pull something out of the hat to win

I was going to start this column with the words ‘Guess who is going to be playing full-back for Wales next season?’ Then, Liam Williams dropped a high …

Fiji 27 Scotland 22: Fijian ambush ends Gregor Townsend’s clean sweep hopes

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was bitterly disappointed after seeing his dream of an unbeaten tour to launch his term in charge blown apart by the vibrant running and tackling of Fiji – with his protege at Glasgow Warriors, Leone Nakarawa, his torturer-in-chief. The Scots won the try count by three …

Steve Hansen keeps it clean while praising down and dirty All Blacks

New Zealand coach remains respectful of dogged opponents but the truth remains that Warren Gatland’s Lions fell far short of requirements in Auckland It’s an immutable truth that anyone who says “I don’t mean to brag” is about to do exactly that, just as the words “with the greatest respect” will …

No Lions sleep tonight: buzz builds ahead of first All Blacks Test in Auckland

Some 25,000 British and Irish fans have descended on the city for the first test match against the rugby world champions For the last two nights newsreaders and radio announcers in New Zealand have been ending their broadcasts with the same words: “Go the All Blacks!”. The first Test of the Lions …

How defence expert Dave Ellis switched sides to become All Blacks’ Lion tamer

Dave Ellis was rejected for a coaching role by 2005 Lions so the then Gloucester coach threw in his lot with the All Blacks, who coasted to a 3-0 series win If the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005 is best summed up as a circus then perhaps Clive Woodward’s lingering regret is …

Martin Johnson interview: Losing a Lions series rankles with you…we’re still talking about it 16 years later

Few rugby players have ever enjoyed the ecstasy of victory more frequently than Martin Johnson yet even after a career of unparalleled achievement, …

British & Irish Lions have gone for a side to keep the All Blacks guessing

Warren Gatland and his staff have had their selection meeting and come up with a cussed-looking team with a no-nonsense physical edge for Saturday’s first Test It is so long since the All Blacks lost a Test at Eden Park that Maro Itoje was not even born the last time it happened. In July 1994 Wet …

Warren Gatland opts for form not reputation in first Test against All Blacks

• Elliot Daly and Alun Wyn Jones picked, with Maro Itoje on Lions bench • Peter O’Mahony is captain but George North missing from 23-man squad It is hard to overstate the importance of Saturday’s first Test at Eden Park and the purposeful British & Irish Lions team named by Warren Gatland to face …

Lions tour: Rush defence will look to bury All Blacks ‘quarterback’ Beauden Barrett

Beauden Barrett got plenty of space to run against Samoa but it will be a different story against the Lions. OPINION: The Lions defence will rush …

Andy Farrell says the Lions are brimming for a big challenge

• Assistant coach confident team can show requisite steel against All Blacks • ‘We’re going to have to take ourselves to a place we’ve not been to before’ This was the perfect week to unveil a 2.7 metre-high bronze statue of the legendary former All Black captain Colin Meads in his home town of Te …

Wallabies drop down World Rugby rankings but slide not as dramatic as first feared

THE new World Rugby rankings have been released and the Wallabies, as expected, have dropped in the rankings. But the slide is not as dramatic as …

All Blacks skipper Read in line to face Lions – Foster

All Blacks captain Kieran Read took part in a first full contact training session since injuring his thumb on Tuesday and New Zealand coaches are confident the back rower will be fit to face the British and Irish Lions at the weekend. Read has not played since breaking the base of his right thumb …

Lions teammate describes Peter O’Mahony and Sean O’Brien as ‘completely mental’

Sean O’Brien and Peter O’Mahony boast the qualities to rattle the All Blacks for the British and Irish Lions, according to James Haskell.

Purring Lions leave Warren Gatland bullish before All Blacks showdown

A rampant win over the Maoris in Rotorua means the tourists head to Eden Park on Saturday with momentum, confidence and the potential to spring a surprise In rugby, as in politics, a week can be a long time. One minute Steve Hansen is the strong and stable All Blacks guru looking down on poor Warren …

U20 World Championship: New Zealand 64-17 England

How New Zealand’s Baby Blacks secured a record sixth Junior World Cup title By Aaron Tillyer New Zealand beat England in emphatic style to become World …

Lions team to play Chiefs suggests Sam Warburton in frame to face All Blacks

• Tour captain and Jonathan Joseph among those omitted from Tuesday’s game • Warren Gatland ‘confident about Owen Farrell being fit’ for the first Test The British & Irish Lions have given a clue to their thinking for the first Test against New Zealand at Eden Park on Saturday by omitting both their …

Castleford and Sale reach £200,000 settlement over Denny Solomona

• Winger walked away from Tigers contract and rugby league last year • Solomona scored try on England rugby union debut last week Castleford and Sale have agreed a settlement over the dispute surrounding the England international Denny Solomona and his switch to rugby union last year. The Super …

Made in Wales…Eddie Jones’ new England star enters Test arena

Eddie Jones has wasted little time doing what every Ospreys supporter expected him to do and handing Sam Underhill a full England cap at the earliest …

Warren Gatland defends Lions call-ups and says Hansen ‘is a little bit worried’

• ‘I’ve been surprised by Steve Hansen, who is normally pretty calm’ • Lions coach insists late cover for squad is not ‘devaluing the shirt’ Warren Gatland has claimed his All Black counterpart Steve Hansen will be a worried man after the British & Irish Lions’ commanding 32-10 win over the Maori …

Lions tour: Lions call-ups should be ‘on merit rather than geography’ – Eddie Jones

England coach Eddie Jones is leading the criticism of Warren Gatland should he “devalue” the famous red jersey by calling up players based on …

Lions and Maro Itoje too strong for Maori All Blacks on niggly night

• Maori All Blacks 10-32 British & Irish Lions • Tourists capitalise on yellow card and secure second-half shutout They know a thing or two about geothermal activity in Rotorua and this British and Irish Lions tour is hotting up nicely. While New Zealand remain the most formidable force in world …

REPORT: Classy Cuthbert try helps Wales to scrappy victory

Wales kicked off their summer tour with a scrappy 24-6 win over Tonga in Auckland on Friday morning. The visitors started brightly and were almost …

Owen Farrell’s injury looms large over the Lions’ Test match build-up

First Billy Vunipola, and now possibly Owen Farrell, the two players that the Lions could ill-afford to lose if they were to really take the game to All Blacks in the test series that begins in eight days’ time at Eden Park. Vunipola’s loss was a fait accompli before the squad departed but news …

Lions need to step up against Maori as tests loom

| AUCKLAND Warren Gatland’s focus has always been squarely on the three matches his side will play against New Zealand but Saturday’s clash with the Maori All Blacks has taken on greater importance as the British and Irish Lions stutter towards the test series. The Rotorua match is billed as an …

Lions call on six replacements to provide cover for midweek games

• Warren Gatland anxious to maintain cover for his Test 23 • Eddie Jones criticises coach for drawing on only nearby Welsh and Scots The British & Irish Lions have called up six replacements to join the tour party in New Zealand as cover for their final midweek fixtures. The players – four Welsh and …

Opinion: Lions still have work to do

WATCH: @wnaholo was unstoppable close to the line for the Highlanders vs the Lions in Dunedin. FULL HIGHLIGHTS: https://t.co/CPr57NrKqE …

Mistakes giving my Lions a mountain to climb admits frustrated Warren Gatland after loss to the Highlanders

Warren Gatland accused his Lions of ­pushing the self-destruct button as they fell to their ­second defeat of the tour, writes Alex Spink in …

Lions facing inquest after Highlanders loss as Rory Best labels the defeat ‘unacceptable’

The British and Irish Lions are facing an inquest just 10 days before the first Test against New Zealand after their second defeat of the tour, against the Highlanders in Dunedin on Tuesday was labelled “unacceptable” by Ireland captain Rory Best. A late penalty by Highlanders replacement fly-half …

If Lions want to win Warren Gatland should send for Mike Brown

I never thought I would be writing these words, but if the Lions want to win the Test series against New Zealand then not only should Warren Gatland bring Mike Brown into his squad, he should put the England full-back straight into his team. I have not always been Mike’s biggest fan. But if the …

The Lions player ratings as Dan Biggar shines but others flop

The Lions suffered their second defeat of their New Zealand tour when they lost 23-22 to the Highlanders in Dunedin. They had been leading 22-13 …

Five things we learned from the Highlanders vs British and Irish Lions

Gulf in teams proves clear despite Gatland’s claim The side that faced the Crusaders at the weekend resembled a Test side, whereas this one against …

The Lions must learn to be more ruthless – and quickly, says Rory Best

• Letting lead slip against the Highlanders was ‘not acceptable’, says hooker • Best: ‘We had enough class on the pitch to see that game off’ The British & Irish Lions have been accused of not being ruthless enough and told they must improve sharply if they want to upset the All Blacks in the Test …

Gatland hits out at ‘illegal’ NZ scrum tactics

Jun 12, 2017 Warren Gatland has lit a fuse under the scrum battle when his British & Irish Lions face the All Blacks after denouncing Kiwi techniques …

Slade kick for corner score is Tom May’s play of the week

• England beat Argentina 38-34<br>• Jones impressed by side’s character<br>• May won two caps for England This was a great piece of individual skill from Henry …

Positives from Wallabies’ win over Fiji rendered moot by catch-and-pass woes

Poor execution of this basic skill set has been a blight on the Australian game for nigh on a decade and the the All Blacks have never looked further adrift Only the foolish would celebrate too hard the Wallabies’ 37-14 win against a spirited Fijian outfit in Melbourne on Saturday. Yes, of course …

Lions’ stoic defence sets up morale-boosting win over formidable Crusaders

• Crusaders 3-12 British & Irish Lions • Owen Farrell kicks four penalties to help secure victory Every successful Lions tour needs a rallying cry and “remember Christchurch” will now be the mantra of the 2017 expedition. New Zealanders, at the very least, will have to readjust their opinion of the …

How the Lions beat the Crusaders and why Warren Gatland has a decision to make over his captain

How did the Lions beat the Crusaders? By playing sensible, composed rugby and cutting out the mistakes that led to their loss to the Blues in midweek. The Lions conceded 13 penalties on Wednesday but just seven in Christchurch as they concentrated on doing the basics right and eventually completed a …

Lions must improve out wide to get grip on All Blacks’ organised chaos

Gatland’s men need to break the shackles but Test series will be defined just as much by how they cope with an attacking style almost never seen in Six Nations When Ian McGeechan coached the Lions in New Zealand in 1993 his policy with the media was simple: say nothing in a polite way. He knew, even …

Saracens paired with Clermont in Champions Cup draw

Saracens face an early repeat of their Champions Cup final against Clermont after being drawn in the same group as the newly crowned French champions for the 2017-18 tournament. Mark McCall’s men became the fourth team to defend their European title after toppling Clermont 28-17 at Murrayfield last …

Lions named to face the Crusaders this Saturday

Three-time tourist Alun Wyn Jones will lead The British & Irish Lions into their third Tour match against the Crusaders at AMI Stadium on …

Blues defeat leaves Warren Gatland little time to instil identity into Lions

Defeat against the Blues means the Lions need to ditch ‘rugby chaos’ and develop a clearer plan with tougher challenges ahead Drawing conclusions this early in a British & Irish Lions tour can be dangerous but there is one that can already be made with certainty: the phrase “rugby chaos” must be …

British and Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017: If the visitors are tamed by the Blues, the bells will begin to toll

You fear for the Lions. Not because of their downbeat, out-of-kilter, flat-footed display in Whangarei on Saturday. Giving players a kick up the …

Maro Itoje is having a tough time looking after BIL the Lion

Maro Itoje is not one to shirk responsibility. The lock is a two-time European Champions Cup winner, a two-time Six Nations champion and has also won …

The Anatomy of a Try – Watson vs New Zealand Provincial Barbarians

Anyone who watched the opening game of the lions tour can’t have failed to be disappointed with the manner in which the Lions limped over the finish …

Lions name powerful team to play the Blues

The British & Irish Lions team to play the Blues on Wednesday has been announced with Wales hooker Ken Owens captaining the side. The Team to Play the …

Former Lion Ben Kay says New Zealand fans ‘among the most arrogant in the world’

FORMER British and Irish Lions second-rower Ben Kay has hit out at supporters of the All Blacks, labelling New Zealand sports fans the “most arrogant …

Wales hooker Ken Owens to captain British and Irish Lions in second tour match against Auckland Blues

Ken Owens, the Wales hooker, will captain the British and Irish Lions side to face the Auckland Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday as Warren Gatland fields a completely new-look starting XV after the narrow victory over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians. It is a double boost for Owens, whose …

Ben Te’o admits most recent Lions side now at a disadvantage

Having played a prominent role in the British and Irish Lions narrow victory over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians to get their tour of New …

Dylan Hartley puts Lions behind him to lead young England side in Argentina

The England captain insists he has no regrets over missing the Lions squads in 2013 and 2017 and is focused on guiding a youthful squad on tour If he had a cap for every week he has been banned, Dylan Hartley would still be a veteran, on 60. As it is, the England captain – barring injury, Lions …

OPINION : It’s shapes as a long six weeks for the Lions.

Their first game in Whangarei against the Provincial Barbarians was meant to be a chance for the Lions to lay down a marker, to make a statement of …

Warren Gatland laments ‘suicidal’ Lions touring schedule that has left players needing sleeping pills

After labouring to a 13-7 victory over a scratch New Zealand Provincial Barbarians side, Lions head coach, Warren Gatland, hit out at what has been described as the ‘suicidal’ touring schedule when revealing that several players are taking medication to help them sleep. The Lions only landed in the …

Sir Clive Woodward urges British & Lions players to force their way into Warren Gatland’s side for opening Test

Former England coach Sir Clive Woodward has urged the British & Irish Lions players to force their way into Warren Gatland’s side for the opening …

Why Lions dirt-trackers’ captain is the most important man on tour 

More than the coach, captain or goalkicker, the most important person on a Lions tour is the midweek captain. Warren Gatland’s choice will play a large part in determining this tour’s success. At this point, everyone is still heady with being part of the tour and acclimatising to their new …

British and Irish Lions superfan Kyle Sinckler ready to follow footsteps of the greats

“I think I’ve watched that about 100 times, I remember watching that as a kid all the time, him sitting down talking to Martin Johnson, Lawrence …

Lions Tour: 5 players to watch

3:44 PM BST Following years of anticipation the wait is almost at an end for fans of the British & Irish Lions. On Saturday, Warren Gatland’s men will …

Lions expect a win and much more from tour opener

| WELLINGTON Win. That’s all British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said he expected from his side in the tour-opening clash against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday. That may be Gatland’s bottom line but much more will be expected of a vastly experienced squad for the …

Rugby’s Must-Watch Global Matchup

Welshman Sam Warburton is a rugby player with a physical and emotional presence far greater than his 6-foot-2, 227-pound frame. As captain, he will …

I didn’t really mean it! Eddie U-turn over Welsh Lions criticism

England boss Eddie Jones has done a dramatic U-turn on his criticism of Welsh influence and tactics for the Lions and claimed he was only joking to …

Don Armand: all you need to know about the Man of the Aviva Premiership final

Fresh from winning Man of the Match in the Premiership final, Don Armand has joined England’s squad for the tour to Argentina. Learn more about the …

Lions have the early advantage, concedes All Blacks captain Kieran Read

Kieran Read stoked the flames ahead of the British and Irish Lions squad’s arrival in Auckland on Wednesday morning by admitted that the tourists …

Domestic rugby union season 2016-17 review: our writers’ highs and lows

Exeter’s Premiership victory has won plaudits as has Saracens’ in the Champions Cup but British & Irish Lions players need careful management next season Team of the season Exeter Chiefs. Saracens are back-to-back European champions but neither they nor Wasps could topple the Chiefs when it mattered …

How not to win a Lions series: Discord & disarray, 12 years on

Selection rows and tactical confusion. Discord and disarray in the ranks. Horrific injuries and endless rows about them. Strange songs, lost and lonely players, a head coach sinking under a toxic mix of expectation, miscalculation and hubris. Twelve years on from that disastrous British and Irish …

Tom Curry stands out in pragmatic England’s win over Barbarians

Eddie Jones is looking for young players to force their way into his England team and Tom Curry impressed, as did the abrasive Ellis Genge Considering that Eddie Jones has admitted to feeling “filthy” for more than a month after England’s defeat by Ireland, this stilted if spirited victory can at …

Wasps 20-23 Exeter: Five talking points from the Premiership final

The most gripping Premiership final proved a more accurate reflection of English rugby than any Twickenham international 1 Most gripping Premiership final ever The Premiership has known some staggering finales but never such a roller-coaster of emotions. Chiefs looked to have taken control when they …

Scarlets put on brilliant display to take Pro12 title

Six-try Scarlets swept Munster’s meek challenge aside to win a one-sided Guinness PRO12 final 46-22 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Wayne Pivac’s men …

Nathan Earle gets inexperienced England started in win over Barbarians

• England 28-14 Barbarians • Barbarians dominated possession but Eddie Jones’s team held firm Eddie Jones said before the game that the days of matches involving the Barbarians being swashbuckling, thrill-a-minute affairs that owed more to the Harlem Globetrotters than William Webb Ellis were long …

Exeter Chiefs: Premiership title win ends long journey to success

It has the back story, the overcoming of adversity, the players who have been there through the journey and countless other subplots. But according to Exeter Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter, who has been associated with the club for more than 20 years, beating Wasps 23-20 to win their maiden …

Sam Underhill has chance to become answer to England’s No7 problem

• Twenty-year-old flanker under spotlight against Barbarians • ‘He has got a nice mature way about him,’ says Eddie Jones Not long after Eddie Jones was appointed by England he called a meeting at the RFU to address the dearth of openside flankers. Publicly, he played down the need for a specialist …

England’s Chris Robshaw amazed to be captain again less than 2 years after World Cup humiliation brought axe

Chris Robshaw has told of his surprise at getting back the England armband he thought he had lost for ever. Flanker Robshaw, was sacked as skipper …

Lions defence will be paramount against deadly All Blacks, says Andy Farrell

Andy Farrell accepts that defence will be “a massive part” of the British and Irish Lions’ game as they prepare to tackle world champions New Zealand. …

Exeter have the edge over Wasps in what will be a classic Premiership final

Four key battle grounds will decide Saturday’s showpiece and in the end team-work will tell. Here, we break down where the Aviva Premiership final will be won and lost. Back play Even if Wasps lose Kurtley Beale to his hamstring injury, they still have a ridiculous amount of talent to call upon in …

The Rugby Pod on Tour

It’s official! Jim Hamilton Andy Goode are taking The Rugby Pod on Tour. RugbyPass will be filming their journey as they venture down to New Zealand …

‘Fantastic’ Haskell deserves Lions shot

4:56 PM BST James Haskell has been backed to do much more than merely make up the numbers when he joins the British & Irish Lions squad for next …

This is Scott Quinnell’s Lions Test XV and it includes 7 Welshmen

Scott Quinnell rates the unforgettable Lions’ first Test victory over then world champions Australia at The Gabba in 2001 as one of the high points …

The 2017 Barbarians have the talent to trouble England at Twickenham

Vern Cotter has recruited a team of highly talented expendables for his mission to storm Twickenham and the watching crowd are in for a treat… The …

Cryotherapy chambers and trying to forget Billy: welcome to Lions training

Vunipola’s injury has left a big hole in Gatland’s plans but, as bruised squad members assemble in Ireland, an opportunity beckons for those still standing The mood at the British and Irish Lions stately training base in Maynooth, County Kildare was neatly reflected by the two dozen swans on the …

The All Blacks face fitness concerns of their own

With Billy Vunipola ruled out of the tour, the All Blacks fans cannot afford to gloat as they have a number of fitness concerns ahead of the …

Warren Gatland fears Lions will lose up to 10 players to injury

• Coach tried to convince Billy Vunipola to have second medical opinion • Sam Warburton says he is ‘fully fit’ following his knee injury Warren Gatland fears the Lions will lose up to 10 players to injury over the next month following Billy Vunipola’s withdrawal from the squad heading for New …

London Sevens: Scotland upsets hosts England in season finale

Twickenham Stadium, London (CNN) — In a final between two of rugby’s greatest rivals, Scotland upset home favorites England 12-7 to win back-to-back London Sevens titles at Twickenham Stadium. Having lost to South Africa in the final of the Paris Sevens last week, Scotland went one step further in …

Joe Launchbury hails battling Wasps as they put barren years behind them to seal final spot

Joe Launchbury punched the air and let out a primal scream as Wasps sealed their return to the place they once called home. “People were asking if we …

Amor excited by England sevens future

• England beaten in HSBC London sevens final<br>• How social media reacted to day two of HSBC London sevens England head coach Simon Amor says they will be a …

Billy Vunipola to miss British and Irish Lions tour with shoulder injury as James Haskell is called into squad

The British and Irish Lions have been hit with an enormous blow just a week ahead of leaving for New Zealand with the news that the Saracens No 8, Billy Vunipola, has been forced to withdraw with a shoulder injury. Wasps’ James Haskell has been called into the squad but will not join the party until …

Five things we learned from the Premiership semi-finals

Baxter right to talk up Exeter mentality change The build-up to Saturday’s Sandy Park encounter stood out in Rob Baxter’s claim that his side now had …

Rhys Webb hands Lions early injury scare

Rhys Webb handed Warren Gatland a Lions worry after being forced to pull out of the Ospreys’ Guinness PRO12 semi-final against Munster at Thomond …

Harry Mallinder scores 16 poimts to take Northampton past Connacht

• Northampton 21-15 Connacht • Jim Mallinder’s men will play Stade Français for final Champions Cup spot The back door to the Champions Cup remains open for Northampton who squeezed home thanks to 16 points from the impressive Harry Mallinder but, as has been the story of their season, Saints did …

Wasps squeeze past defiant Tigers with late try to reach Premiership final

Josh Bassett’s late try sent Wasps into their first Aviva Premiership final for nine years as they edged out Leicester Tigers 21-20 at the Ricoh …

Saracens’ dreams of ‘double-double’ shattered as Sam Simmonds’ late try sees Exeter through to Premiership final

Saracens’ dream of the “double double”, winning both the domestic league and European titles in successive seasons, came to a heart-breaking end in …

Exeter’s Jack Nowell respectful but not afraid of all-conquering Saracens

• European champions face tough Premiership semi-final at Sandy Park • Nowell: ‘What they have done is awesome but we focus on ourselves’ Saracens may be European rugby’s dominant power but they will still do well to conquer Devon on Saturday. To say Exeter are looking forward to welcoming the …

Leinster 15 Scarlets 27: 14-man Welsh region secure famous win

What a night in Dublin for history boys in red shirts. When the Scarlets secure victories of this calibre they tend to be talked about west of the …

Chris Robshaw ‘excited about being a senior guy’ on England’s Argentina trip

The former England captain insists the team’s training camp in Brighton is worthwhile and is keen to embrace his elder statesman role in a raw squad Amid the debate about the rights and wrongs of calling up foreign-born players for England duty, perhaps the most pertinent question asked of Eddie …

Gopperth cleans up at Premiership awards

10:30 PM BST Jimmy Gopperth has swept the board in English rugby’s top awards by being named the Aviva Premiership player of the season. The Kiwi …

Watch: Hilarious Celebration From The Jed-Forest Sevens

The 2017 Kings of Sevens tournament took place over the weekend in Jed Forest RFC. The home club came up against Watsonians in the final, narrowly …

Schmidt challenges Ireland’s youngsters on tour

2:48 PM BST Ireland have named eight uncapped players in a 31-man squad for their summer tour of the United States and Japan. John Cooney, Dave …

British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand 2017: Visitors will struggle in New Zealand, says Steve Hansen

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has turned up the heat on the British and Irish Lions ahead of this summer’s tour, warning the expectation on …

The full 2018 and 2019 Six Nations fixtures

Wales will kick off the 2019 Six Nations Championship on a Friday night in Paris as the fixtures for the next two years are confirmed. Welsh rugby …

Crusaders’ title would be their best yet

2:44 AM BST Sam was brought up on long drives and the dusty fields of north-west New South Wales, where he developed his love of rugby from an early …

Saracens’ classy display cements their place as Europe’s finest

With talents such as Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje in their ranks, they look unstoppable about 18 hours ago Everyone talks about winning being a habit. …

Saracens plan for longevity at the top reinforced by Owen Farrell’s focus

• European Cup final win hints at a lot more silverware to come • Billy Vunipola: ‘It’s amazing for someone so young to be so driven’ As Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell triumphantly hoisted the European Champions Cup skywards there was no question Saracens had just achieved something truly special. …

Saracens fortify European aristocracy with Murrayfield masterclass

How British & Irish Lions could use magic of a team orchestrated by their coach Mark McCall to produce stunning, incisive finishing Everyone talks about winning being a habit. In rugby it is more complicated than that: nothing comes easy and conquering Everest always has to be done the hard way. Not …

Clermont Auvergne vs Saracens: Player ratings

Saracens kept alive their hopes of the double-double after beating Clermont Auvergne 28-17 to win the European Champions Cup for the second …

Saracens’ bond sees them through again

It is sometimes said that team spirit is the privilege of the victor but there seems absolutely no question, even though they are serial winners, that Saracens possess that intangible sporting trait in abundance. In Saturday’s see-saw European Champions Cup final the London club kept believing in …

Eddie Jones out to unearth bigger England backs on tour of Argentina

• Coach wants ‘more size in the backs’ for 2019 Rugby World Cup • ‘We’ve got a very small backline and don’t have any player over 94kg’ Eddie Jones has decided he needs more monster backs capable of smashing his England team through all obstacles en route to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. Jones …

Watch: Remembering The Greatest Rugby Commercial Of All Time

When it comes to commercials, they really don’t get much better than this… As we count down to the Lions tour of New Zealand this summer, many have …

Eddie Jones expects England to turn Japanese for 2019 World Cup

• Coaches and players to visit 2019 hosts beforehand to acclimatise • ‘Japan climate will make it a World Cup of two halves,’ says Jones Eddie Jones has pledged to leave no Japanese stone unturned in his attempt to help England mount a successful challenge for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The head …

Sonny Bill adds to All Blacks injury concerns ahead of Lions series

Double World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams is the latest injury concern for the All Blacks ahead of the British and Irish Lions series with the Auckland Blues inside centre set to miss Friday’s Super Rugby clash with the Cheetahs due to concussion. The 31-year-old was injured in last week’s 40-33 …

The two other teams likely to be in Wales’ World Cup group

Warren Gatland headed back to Britain from Japan on Wednesday to resume his British and Irish Lions coaching commitments knowing half of Wales’ Rugby …

England in World Cup “Group of Death” again

Once again England have drawn the team ranked ninth in the World in their World Cup pool to create another “Group of Death”. England, ranked 2 in the …

The lowdown on the 13 uncapped players named in the Wales squad

Caretaker Wales coach Robin McBryde will be hoping 13 is his lucky number when the summer squad was announced on Tuesday for the Tests with Samoa and …

Flood returns to Newcastle after nine-year absence

10:05 PM BST Newcastle Falcons have announced the re-signing of former England fly-half Toby Flood from French side Toulouse. The 31-year-old will …

Eddie Jones plans ‘bulletproof’ England for tough 2019 Rugby World Cup pool

• England drawn in same 2019 Rugby World Cup pool as Argentina and France • Ireland and Scotland will face Japan while Wales face Australia Eddie Jones has warned his England side they need to be “bulletproof” in Japan after being handed arguably the toughest pool at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. England …

England to face France and Argentina in 2019 Rugby World Cup pool stage after draw in Japan

England will face France and Argentina in what is again being dubbed the 2019 Rugby World Cup’s ‘pool of death’ after the draw in Japan on Wednesday …

Rugby World Cup 2019 draw – as it happened

The pool draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup takes place on Wednesday morning where 12 confirmed teams will find out who they will face in Japan in two …

Saracens disruption may be exactly what Clermont need

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall may have had good reason to express his frustration with having to release six of his first team squad to …

Premiership 2016-17: team-by-team review of the rugby union season

Bath fell short of their lofty aspirations, free-scoring Exeter have racked up record points, Leicester never cease to amaze and Bristol go down with regrets Bath On and off the field this has been another uneven season for a Bath squad with loftier aspirations. Injuries have been savage at times – …

STARTING XV if the All Blacks we’re picked today!

By Michael Pulman Welcome back to my weekly “Best All Blacks Starting XV” column – right here on Rugby Rampage.<br>There was a lot of feedback to my squad …

George Kruis warns Clermont Auvergne Saracens know how to turn up in finals

• Saracens aim to become second English club to retain Champions Cup • Benjamin Kayser says Clermont Auvergne can have ‘best attack in Europe’ Saracens will be appearing in their sixth major final in the past four seasons when they battle Clermont Auvergne for the European Champions Cup in Edinburgh …

Ben Youngs pulls out of Lions tour to New Zealand with wife of brother Tom suffering from terminal cancer

Leicester and England scrum-half Ben Youngs has pulled out of the British and Irish Lions squad due to family illness. The Tigers announced on their website that the wife of Youngs’s brother Tom, who is also a Leicester player, is suffering from terminal cancer, prompting the 27-year-old to withdraw …

Northampton Saints face fight to keep Louis Picamoles with Montpellier interested

Northampton Saints face a desperate fight to keep Louis Picamoles with Montpellier, backed by the French rugby union, determined to capture the outstanding No 8. With two years left on Picamoles’s contract which is thought to be approaching £500,000 a year, Montpellier would have to offer a …

Hansen not panicking as Squire joins injury list

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has moved to ease concerns over the depth of his playing stocks after Liam Squire became the third loose forward to be sidelined by injury before the British and Irish Lions tour next month. The 26-year-old back row forward broke his thumb in the Otago Highlanders’ …

Plenty to play for in Premiership’s final round

Bristol vs Newcastle Falcons, Ashton Gate, Saturday 16:00 Bristol are likely to know if there relegation to the Championship is confirmed by the time …

Powerful report on mental and emotional health in rugby

Just two months the rugby world came to a standstill with the shock news that former Wallaby Dan Vickerman had died, aged just 37. Varous reports and …

New Zealand will target British and Irish Lions ‘key man’ Maro Itoje says Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland says New Zealand will target Maro Itoje on this summer’s British and Irish Lions tour but backed his man to have what it takes to …

How about a play-off between top two in Premiership and Pro 12?

System would provide a link between the two leagues that supply the Lions with players and would certainly be welcomed by Pro12 For once, the European club campaigns are aligned. The regular league seasons in England, France and the Pro12 finish this weekend, although if Premiership Rugby has its …

The Rugby Debate: Has Nick Evans been the best overseas signing in the Premiership?

Who is on the podium for the best overseas signing in the Premiership? It was only when writing up an interview with Harlequins’ Nick Evans last week that it came to mind the former All Black fly-half would be right up there in terms of contenders. It was something of a surprise to discover that …

Saracens to rest big names at Wasps with McCall prepared to risk away trip

• Billy Vunipola, Farrell and Itoje set to miss final regular Premiership game • ‘If I thought the home semi-final was all-important we’d send a different side’ Saracens will rest a raft of key players including Billy Vunipola, Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje from Saturday’s final regular Premiership …

Lions 2017: Who’s in the team, who’s on the bench and who will be lining up for the midweek side?

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Pumas must restore image against England, Pichot says

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina must beat England in next month’s two-test home series to restore the image formed at the 2015 World Cup and erase the memory of a poor 2016 season, former Pumas captain Agustin Pichot told Reuters. Pichot, World Rugby’s vice-president, also said in an interview in …

Life in Europe a ‘culture shock’ for Pacific Islanders, says Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi has called for greater support for Pacific Islands stars in Europe, to end the kind of honest mistakes that almost saw him deported from the UK in 2010. England centre Tuilagi has joined the Pacific Rugby Players Welfare (PRPW) board to help stars of Islands heritage cope with the …

Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s action

Taulupe Faletau will form a menacing raft of Lions back-rowers against the All Blacks, London Irish near promotion and Northampton must either stick or twist 1) Faletau on song to give Lions boost The chances are that Bath will miss out on the top four unless Leicester make a complete mess of their …

Lions 2017: Left at home XV

Nine players were additions to the 2013 Tour – we pick out a starting XV from the best players who will be eager for the call-up in June. 1. Ken Owens …

Gatland’s Wales-heavy Lions squad flawed by simple numbers

After months of speculation Warren Gatland has announced his squad to tour New Zealand this summer and there have been many eyebrows raised at the …

Dylan Hartley’s England career will be over after the summer, believes Lewis Moody

Dylan Hartley’s British and Irish Lions snub is the beginning of the end, and former England captain Lewis Moody believes this summer’s tour of …

Anglo-Welsh Cup: Premiership Rugby looks at inviting South African teams

Premiership Rugby is investigating the possibility of introducing South African teams into the Anglo-Welsh Cup. The competition currently features the 12 English Premiership clubs and the four Welsh regions. But changes to rugby’s calendar post-2019 would offer English rugby bosses the chance to …

Holding 2023 Rugby World Cup in Ireland would capture hearts and minds

As Irish fans have amply demonstrated there is a deep well of passion for rugby in the country which the sport’s premier tournament would do well to tap into Imagine, for a moment, it is 2023. People have had enough of politics and onrushing global warming and need something more fun to talk about …

Lions omission will “eat away” at Haskell, says Wasps Young

England and Wasps flanker James Haskell’s omission from the British and Irish Lions squad for their upcoming tour of New Zealand will “eat away at him”, Wasps director Dai Young has said. The 32-year-old Haskell, who has 75 caps for England, returned to action in January after being sidelined for …

Why Saracens should be praised and not criticised for their success

Saracens took their latest step towards a historic double-double last weekend by seeing off European heavyweights Munster with consummate ease, …

New Zealand must beware taking Lions lightly – ‘Warrenball’ barbs are well wide of the mark

There are some very short memories around at the moment. Some of the barbs emanating from New Zealand about ‘Warrenball’ and the Lions only being capable of playing one way leave me scratching my head. Can people really have forgotten some of the Lions’ more recent performances that quickly? Have …

Warren Gatland’s Lions stock up for brutal schedule in New Zealand

The tourists have a mountain to climb but they have supplemented their squad and, despite claims their programme is ‘suicidal’, they relish the task ahead Touring New Zealand is rugby union’s equivalent of climbing Everest. As the Lions start to prepare for their latest assault, having barely got …

Barrett challenging Carter’s status as best No. 10

1:45 AM GMT After more than 30 years with The Sydney Morning Herald and Fairfax Media in Australia, Greg Growden now writes exclusively online for …

Clermont through to Champions Cup final as they blitz past Leinster

A fabulous final of the European Champions Cup lies in store between Clermont’s ‘yellow army’ and the self-styled ‘wolf pack’ of Saracens at …

Saracens and Munster serve up feisty tie to keep Warren Gatland on edge

Any notion that Lions tourists would exercise restraint were dispelled in Dublin as Saracens won a raucous encounter with quality at a premium Top-level rugby can shatter dreams as quickly as they materialise. One minute your lifelong ambition of British and Irish Lions selection comes true, the …

Leinster’s Stuart Lancaster ready for the heat of Clermont’s cauldron

The former England head coach has overseen an impressive revival with the province but knows the French club will offer a formidable attacking threat The last time Leinster won the European Cup they defeated Clermont Auvergne in the semi-final in France before overwhelming Ulster in the 2012 final …

Saracens intent on ending English rugby’s Dublin jinx as they fear up for Munster clash

Saracens insist they are ready to smash ­English rugby’s Dublin jinx and end Munster’s emotional ­European journey. A sold-out Champions Cup …

Gatland’s Lions will follow Ireland and look to feed off All Black mistakes

Eddie Jones’s glorious England revolution has come too late for this tour. Like Ireland and Wales, the Lions will seek territory and set-piece mastery John Kingston was in a state of shock when he was invited to stand in front of a camera last Friday night minutes after Harlequins had lost to Exeter …

Introducing quotas in Lions party isn’t the answer. There are plenty of dangers that would come with it

Is it time to introduce quotas or a minimum number of players that each country should have in the Lions party? Instinctively I would say no. Picking the best team should be the coach’s only priority. Yet we have all seen the furious reaction north of the border to just two Scots, Tommy Seymour and …

Former France rugby captain Thierry Dusautoir to retire

Thierry Dusautoir captained his country a record 56 times Former France captain Thierry Dusautoir will retire at the end of the season, the Toulouse …

Denny Solomona and Sam Underhill named in England squad for June tour to Argentina

Even as his boss works behind the scenes to extend the residency rule from three to five years, England head coach Eddie Jones had no hesitation in selecting New Zealand-born league convert Denny Solomona among 15 uncapped players in his squad to face Argentina. Rugby Football Union chief executive …

Introducing England’s uncapped players ahead of Argentina

• England play Argentina on Saturday, 10 June<br>• Find out who else made the 31-man squad, here<br>• 16 England players make Lions squad, more England travel to …

Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s Premiership action

Alex Lozowski stakes further England claim, Ben Te’o gives reminder to Lions and Eddie Jones is busy casting his eye over options for tour of Argentina 1) England should take closer look at Lozowski Saracens made nine changes to their side with Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final in mind and, while …

Rugby Sevens World Series: Canada wins historic first title in Singapore

(CNN) — They say good things come to those who wait — and Canada’s rugby sevens team has done its fair share of waiting. The North Americans made history in Singapore at the weekend beating USA 26-19 in the final to clinch its first World Rugby Sevens tournament title in the series’ 18-year history. …

Super Rugby | VIDEO: All Blacks’ Japanese advert for AIG

What we learned from the sixth round of Super Rugby, according to CRAIG LEWIS. SIMNIKIWE XABANISA wonders how SA Rugby could appoint Springbok defence …

Pichot urges Six Nations to grow game

9:35 AM GMT World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot wants Georgia and other tier two nations to be given the chance to participate in the Six Nations …

George Smith shines in 150th Super Rugby match to lead Reds to important win over Kings

GEORGE Smith was even saluted on-field by a rival forward during Saturday’s rousing celebration of his enduring class when the desperate Reds became …

‘Wales has been awesome and I want to leave Ospreys on a high’

English flanker aims for one final fling as he prepares to leave the principality for Bath and sets his sights on a place in Eddie Jones’ squad for Argentina A year ago Eddie Jones said he expected to be naming Sam Underhill in the England squad within six months. Politics ruled that out, with the …

Sonny Bill Wiilliams gets backing in religious stand against bank logo on kit

New Zealand World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams will not have to wear Auckland Blues’ kit that includes specific logos. Williams’ Muslim faith means …

Barbarians reveal star players for England match

• England face Barbarians on 28 May<br>• Buy tickets for the game, here Head coach Vern Cotter has named the first group of players selected by the Barbarians …

A closer look at how Professionalism has changed Rugby

The latest in the series of Ricoh Rugby Change videos looks at arguably one of the most important events in the game, the dawn of professionalism. …

Super Rugby | Joel Stransky’s Perfect XV

Christian Cullen at fullback, Os du Randt at loosehead prop … former Springbok flyhalf JOEL STRANSKY picks his dream team for SA Rugby magazine. 15. …

Tom Youngs: Leicester Tigers captain says extended season ‘fills players with dread’

The proposed 10-month Premiership rugby season “fills players with dread”, says Leicester Tigers captain Tom Youngs. Following the announcement of the new global calendar in March, Premiership Rugby confirmed the 2019-20 domestic season will start in early September and finish at the end of …

Argentina confirm sacking of head coach Edgardo Bauza, Jorge Sampaoli lined up as replacement

Argentina Football Association’s newly elected president Claudio Tapia has confirmed the national team have parted ways with their manager Edgardo …

Rugby union talking points from the weekend’s Premiership action

Saracens show relentlessness of champions, Sale’s academy proves productive while Exeter fail to convince in victory again 1) Race for fourth is going to the wire The scramble for fourth place, and with it a trip to one of three clubs who have lost two home matches between them in the league this …

Rhys Webb: Past troubles temper Wales scrum-half’s Lions hopes

Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb says being selected for the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand would be the pinnacle of his career. But he is philosophical about the prospect after missing the 2015 Rugby World Cup through injury. Webb is a leading contender to be named in the Lions squad on …

Saracens smash old rivals Harlequins in front of Wembley crowd

Saracens may still be in third place in the Premiership table, just in behind Wasps and Exeter Chiefs but the reigning league and European champions …

Leicester fluff chance to cement top four berth as Bath blow Premiership race wide open

Leicester Tigers blew their chance to put themselves in the box seat for the fourth Premiership semi-final spot after shipping 14 unanswered points …

Brian Moore, former England player, suffers heart attack

Former England rugby international Brian Moore is recovering in intensive care at St George’s hospital in London after suffering a heart attack. The 55-year-old tweeted from the hospital in Tooting to thank the professionals who “saved his life”. Moore won 64 England caps between 1987 and 1995, …

Why wait for Venter? • All Out Rugby

Zelím Nel Allister Coetzee might not recognise a great defence coach if one crash-tackled him in the parking lot. We’re talking about a guy who had …

French rugby is in a dreadful state but the Aviva Premiership should consider crowd segregation 

Is it time to take aim at one of rugby’s sacred cows and ask whether it is worth introducing segregation into the Aviva Premiership? I was asked that very question on Sunday night by Nick Mullins, the velvet voice of rugby, after Clermont Auvergne’s 29-9 victory over Toulon at a raucous, bouncing …

British and Irish Lions ask Saracens’ unsung hero Phil Morrow to make them strong in New Zealand

The unsung hero of Saracens’ incredible success has been signed up by the British and Irish Lions. Phil Morrow, performance director for the English …

Welsh regions have no excuse for latest European implosion

What excuse are Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys going to make for another European calamity? They can’t use the standard of the Guinness Pro12 this …

Overseas skipper a possibility for Boks

2017-04-04 08:25 Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images) Cape Town – Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is yet to decide who his captain will be for the 2017 …

England want to make the Six Nations shorter but Wales say NO

Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies has announced the governing body will oppose any plans to reduce future Six Nations Championship tournaments …

Former All Black explains why Warburton shouldn’t be Lions captain

He’s odds-on favourite to skipper the Lions and some bookies have stopped taking money on Wales star Sam Waburton getting the top job. But former All …

It will take Ospreys some time to get over this defeat

How on earth did the Ospreys manage to lose this game? They had a one-man advantage for half the match with Stade Francais winger Josaia Raisque first …

Saracens into European Champions Cup semi-final after 38-13 win over Glasgow

• Saracens 38-13 Glasgow Warriors The best sports teams never sit around waiting to be overtaken. They take pride in raising the bar steadily higher, even if the last year yielded a European and Premiership double. Saracens are operating at a level beyond most clubs and there was nothing on a sunny …

Munster 41 Toulouse 16: Dream of honouring Anthony Foley lives on with place in Champions Cup semi-finals

By John Kennedy Munster’s dream of honouring their former coach Anthony Foley, who died suddenly on the eve of a pool game in Paris earlier this season, with a third European Cup title lives on after a four-try victory over Toulouse. The prize for their quarter-final triumph is either a home …

Leinster 32 Wasps 17: Willie le Roux howler compounds misery as Dublin again proves graveyard for English ambitions

The Aviva Stadium once again proved to be a graveyard for English ambitions as Leinster comprehensively dismantled Wasps in a Champions Cup quarter-final defeat that damaged the stock of several players, not least Willie le Roux. With the score at 8-3 to Leinster in the first half, the South African …

New Zealand’s ‘Adopt a Lions Fan’ scheme is already proving a success

New Zealand fans who extended a warm welcome to British and Irish Lions supporters struggling to find accommodation for this summer have received a …

Wasps must stick to their principles in season’s first real test against Leinster

Leinster vs Wasps has all the makings of a European classic. Some people may make parallels with the Ireland v England match in the Six Nations but for me this will be on a higher level in terms of pure quality. The Six Nations has the history, the rivalry and the emotion but too often intensity is …

Are rugby union and its calendar stretched to breaking point?

Now the tour schedule after 2019 has been agreed the devil will be in the detail, with the game at a point where firm leadership is required Now that the tour schedule after 2019 has been agreed, which is what the talks over a global calendar amounted to, the devil will be in the detail. New Zealand …

Rugby – Frenchman Maestri given heavy fine after criticising referee

France lock Yoann Maestri was handed a 30,000-euro ($32,000) fine for criticising referee Wayne Barnes after his team’s dramatic late 20-18 win against Wales in the Six Nations. Half of the fine had been suspended until the end of the 2017/18 season, the Six Nations said. Maestri, 29, admitted that …

Rugby – Warburton will be happy just to make Lions squad for NZ

Wales loose forward Sam Warburton will be happy just to earn selection for the British and Irish Lions side heading to New Zealand this year and has no concerns over his chances of being named as captain for a second time. “I’d love to be in that (Lions) squad and I can’t look past further than …

Chris Ashton: Saracens and England winger says ban played part in Toulon move

Chris Ashton says he still has a “burning desire” to play for England but decided after his ban for biting that it was time to move to France. “That was when I felt I needed to get out of England,” Ashton told BBC Sport. The Toulon-bound Saracens wing said “obstacles on both sides” meant he accepted …

Owen Farrell warns Saracens teammates to take nothing for granted against Glasgow Warriors

Saracens fly-half, Owen Farrell, has warned his teammates that they will have ‘to be ready for anything,’ as they look to defend their European Champions Cup title in the quarter-final against Glasgow Warriors at Allianz Park on Sunday. The double champions have left nothing to chance as they look …

Denny Solomona: Sale Sharks winger available for England

Sale Sharks winger Denny Solomona has declared himself available for England after completing his three-year residency period and signing the relevant paperwork. The 23-year-old cross-code convert represented Samoa in rugby league before his move to Sale. He is also eligible for New Zealand, having …

Legend Shane Williams, aged 40, helps local club reach cup final

Wales legend Shane Williams turned out for his local club this past weekend, helping them to qualify for the WRU National Bowl final, which takes …

Alex Goode happy to be back as Saracens return sends out a statement

Alex Goode could have been one of the England players returning from Six Nations duty that helped Saracens to an emphatic 53-10 victory over Bath on …

Adopt-a-Lion: New Zealand rugby fans offer to host British and Irish free of charge

Most hotel rooms sold out during tour, so rugby fan Adam Gilshnan set up Facebook page linking Lions supporters with generous locals New Zealanders are opening their homes to British & Irish Lions fans who have been priced out of affordable accommodation during the upcoming tour. About 20,000 Lions …

Gregor Townsend: ‘If we were to win at Saracens it would be the biggest result in our history’

He will take over at Scotland in the summer but for now the Warriors’ head coach is only focusing on knocking out the European champions on Sunday “I was hugely shocked,” Gregor Townsend says as he remembers how, 20 years ago, Glasgow faced Leicester in a play-off to decide which club reached the …

Rugby union talking points from the weekend’s Premiership action

Northampton display top-four credentials, Henry Slade’s time to shine for England and the future is bright for Bristol regardless of what happens 1) Up and under carries more risk than reward Bryce Heem’s red card for taking out Willie le Roux in the air was the only decision referee Luke Pearce …

All Blacks have nothing to fear, for all the fury of the Six Nations

England’s second title in a row said more about the weakness of the opposition in a tournament lacking the subtlety that will be needed by the Lions The Six Nations is the envy of the southern hemisphere – for its licence to print money rather than the quality of the rugby it inspires. England …

Harlequins 53 Newcastle Falcons 17: Chris Robshaw stars on impressive return

Warren Gatland may have to make a late adjustment to his provisional Lions squad, judging by this hugely impressive return by Chris Robshaw two weeks ahead of schedule from a shoulder injury that ruled him out of the Six Nations Championship. Dean Richards, the Newcastle director of rugby, and his …

Maestri faces misconduct complaint after referee comments

France vice-captain Yoann Maestri faces a misconduct complaint following an investigation into the extraordinary conclusion to the Six Nations Championship clash against Wales in Paris last weekend, tournament organisers said on Friday. Toulouse lock Maestri will have a disciplinary hearing after …

Chris Robshaw is pushing for a Lions spot, says Harlequins director of rugby

John Kingston, Harlequins director of rugby, has tipped Chris Robshaw to make a late challenge for a Lions spot as the England flanker makes his return after three months out with a shoulder injury against Newcastle tomorrow. Robshaw missed the entire Six Nations after suffering the injury on New …

England hooker George targets starting role

Hooker Jamie George was pleased with his cameos from the bench during England’s Six Nations campaign but is aiming for a starting role heading into the 2019 World Cup in Japan. George, who is often used as a second-half substitute for captain Dylan Hartley by coach Eddie Jones, said he expects to …

The Lions’ great missed opportunity in New Zealand

11:24 AM GMT • FT’s rugby writer from 1995 to 2009<br>• Also writes for the International Herald Tribune and the Sunday Herald The 1993 British Lions tour …

Danny Cipriani: England door open for every Wasps player under Eddie Jones

Danny Cipriani says catching England coach Eddie Jones’ eye is an added incentive for Wasps as the Premiership leaders approach the season’s climax. Going into this weekend’s return to Premiership action, Wasps remain top, with a European Champions Cup quarter-final at Leinster to follow. But …

Ireland ready to host 2023 Rugby World Cup, says Irish chief executive Philip Browne

IRELAND are in a unique position to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, says Irish Rugby Football Union’s chief executive Philip Browne. Browne was …

Scotland’s Hogg named Six Nations player of championship

Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg was named Six Nations player of the championship on Thursday for the second year in a row. The 24-year-old scored three tries, including a double during the opening weekend victory against Ireland. He continued to be his team’s main attacking threat throughout the …

RFU to admit defeat in its bid to stage England vs New Zealand Test this autumn

The Rugby Football Union board has today approved for the Barbarians to stage a match against New Zealand at Twickenham in November – ending any hopes of England facing the All Blacks this autumn. It is understood the RFU board explored the option of a game against the All Blacks, but the New …

England coach Eddie Jones suggests Lions pick four captains for NZ tour

ENGLAND coach Eddie Jones has a novel solution to the question of who should captain the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand this …

Six Nations below standard ahead of NZ tour

That was the view of former international first five-eighths Stuart Barnes in The Times. “It is hard to argue the standard of the tournament was …

How England succumbed to streetwise streetfighters Ireland in Six Nations 2017 finale

So, for the second time in five months, Ireland ousted a Test team looking for their 19th consecutive victory. This party-pooping occurred in sodden Dublin rather than sun-bathed Chicago, and – on the surface at least – the two matches seemed starkly contrasting. A 40-29 victory over the All Blacks …

No evidence Welshman North was bitten in France defeat

There was no evidence that Wales winger George North was bitten in the latter stages of their controversial 20-18 Six Nations defeat by France on Saturday, the citing commissioner has said. After reviewing evidence in the case of the alleged bite, including footage from several angles, the …

Stat Breakdown – Ireland vs England

We had an extremely close game today and both the scoreline and statistics reflect that. It was an epic encounter between two abrasive sides and …

Eddie Jones: If England played Ireland another 10 times they would win six of them

Head coach Eddie Jones insists that the Dublin defeat will leave “no scar at all” and that if England were to play Ireland another 10 times, they would win six of them. The day after the squad broke camp for the first time in eight weeks, Jones was also quick to defend his captain, Dylan Hartley, …

James Haskell struggles to hide disappointment amid Six Nations celebrations

England have been here before. Six years ago, they were left to lift the Six Nations trophy after failing to win the Grand Slam in defeat by Ireland. …

Emerald flytrap shuts on England once again in Six Nations

Ireland can toast wins against Eddie Jones’s side and the All Blacks – the top two sides in the world – inside four months after a super-charged show of defiance Say what you like about Ireland’s rugby men but they keep everyone guessing. This season they have been up and down more often than an …

Player ratings as Ireland brought England’s winning streak shuddering to a halt

IRELAND PUT THEIR best foot forward to demolish England‘s unbeaten run, denying them a Tier one world record and back-to-back Grand Slams. Here’s how …

Eddie Jones: right man at right time rescued England and saved his career

Coach was on the periphery of rugby until Japan’s shock victory in the 2015 World Cup propelled him into the England job Eddie Jones passed the audition for the England job at 6.40pm on Saturday 19 September 2015, eight weeks before it became available, nine weeks before he was appointed. That was …

Ireland vs England: Peter O’Mahony admits fears in Irish camp

Peter O’Mahony has admitted to a “fear factor” in the Ireland camp ahead of the clash with England on Saturday, especially having watched the way Eddie Jones’s team destroyed Scotland last weekend. But the Munster flanker, who has been backed for a recall to Joe Schmidt’s starting XV this weekend, …

England make two changes for Grand Slam decider against Ireland

Billy Vunipola and Anthony Watson return to the starting line-up for England’s Grand Slam decider against Ireland this weekend, with Eddie Jones …

England could face All Blacks at Twickenham in November

The Rugby Football Union are in discussions with their New Zealand counterparts about staging a Test match between England and the All Blacks at Twickenham in November – which would set up a showdown between the two top-ranked sides a year before they are next due to meet. England will surpass New …

England’s Elliot Daly set to hand Eddie Jones selection dilemma for Ireland Six Nations crunch

Elliot Daly remains on course to play for England against Ireland after being named in Eddie Jones’ 25-man squad. Daly suffered a broken nose and was …

How Ireland mood music has changed as record-chasing England loom

The theory was that Eddie Jones’ side would be weighed down by hunting a win milestone but it is Ireland who have so far failed to deal with Six Nations pressure In the gap between rounds three and four of this Six Nations Championship, the former Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy put together an …

Eddie Jones compares Steve Hansen’s praise to Little Red Riding Hood

EDDIE Jones compares the praise England have received from New Zealand coach Steve Hansen to the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood being deceived …

6 Nations Round 4: The Red Rose Rises

6 Nations Round 4: The Red Rose Rises In the penultimate week of the Six Nations, we have the English smashing records (and the Scottish) and claiming …

England Sevens through to Cup semi in Vancouver

• England were unbeaten after the pool stages<br>• Defeated Kenya and Chile on the way to the quarters<br>• England face Fiji in semis (10.30pm SS3) England are …

Bring back the fetcher, says Meyer

Simnikiwe Xabanisa Johannesburg – Former Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has cautioned South African Super Rugby sides against their newfound penchant …

England show Boks the way

England’s investment in intellect and tradition is at the heart of their record-equalling success, writes JON CARDINELLI.

Jonathan Joseph’s turnaround matches England’s change of attitude

Dropped against Italy, the centre returned to deliver stiletto blows to Scotland and earn a standing ovation in England’s Six Nations title triumph Three minutes past the last, England were still playing. They had nothing to gain now, except seven points on top of the 54 they had already scored. But …

Woodward warns of Irish ambush for grand slam chasing England

England turned in a long overdue performance to demolish Scotland and win the Six Nations title on Saturday, but have a lot of hard work ahead if they are to beat Ireland and secure a second grand slam in a row, former coach Clive Woodward said. Eddie Jones’ men were ruthless during their 61-21 home …

England celebrations on hold before grand slam decider

| LONDON England’s second straight Six Nations title secured after a 61-21 thrashing of Scotland, coach Eddie Jones said there would be “a few quiet beers” to celebrate before attention quickly turns to next week’s grand slam trip to Dublin. The Calcutta Cup will no doubt be tucked away safely in a …

How Wales’ game plan disrupted Ireland and why referee’s call to penalise Robbie Henshaw was correct

Welsh intensity sapped Irish legs Having been given a thorough kicking following their defeat by Scotland, Wales looked fired up for this game from the first whistle. The Principality Stadium roof was shut, the pitch was slick, and the atmosphere was electric. At times the hosts struggled to contain …

England need to make their familiar strengths pay against Scotland

Despite closing in on a world record for consecutive wins England have been unconvincing of late and the visitors will pose some awkward questions There appear to be two Englands out there, both coached by the same man. The first lot are unbeaten in 17 Tests, still have improvement in them and …

England need to make their familiar strengths pay against Scotland

Despite closing in on a world record for consecutive wins England have been unconvincing of late and the visitors will pose some awkward questions There appear to be two Englands out there, both coached by the same man. The first lot are unbeaten in 17 Tests, still have improvement in them and …

Rory Best: For the good of Six Nations Ireland have to beat Wales to take competition into final weekend

Never mind for the good of Ireland, Rory Best believes that an away win tomorrow night would be for the good of the competition. At the very least, it would ensure that the Six Nations would be decided on the final weekend. Of course, Wales do not see it like that and with so much riding on their …

What the All Blacks will have learned about Lions from this Six Nations so far

England have been below their best and, while Scotland have shown quality, it’s another thing to take on the world champions in a running game England are the only unbeaten team after three rounds of the Six Nations, but they are the only side that have not led at least once at half-time. A table …

Eddie Jones’s prickliness highlights England’s edginess as Scotland loom

The unspoken message before the Calcutta Cup is that the Six Nations title holders must harden up mentally, crank up the intensity and bristle a little more What should have been a serene week of Calcutta Cup preparation for England is proving to be the opposite. Even the beautiful spring weather in …

Eddie Jones’s prickliness highlights England’s edginess as Scotland loom

The unspoken message before the Calcutta Cup is that the Six Nations title holders must harden up mentally, crank up the intensity and bristle a little more What should have been a serene week of Calcutta Cup preparation for England is proving to be the opposite. Even the beautiful spring weather in …

WATCH: The BBC have just dropped a HILARIOUS Nigel Owens compilation

RUCK QUIZZES:  @Nigelrefowens – The Greatest Hits!  He’s back in the headlines, so turn up the sound and relive the quick-witted ref’s finest …

Wales hand George North warning after Six Nations defeats to England and Italy

Wales have handed George North a Six Nations warning. The British Lions wing has struggled to make a mark in defeats to England and Scotland and his …

England wing Anthony Watson: I am back and faster than ever

Players no longer shuffle back from injury, tentative and restrained, with Anthony Watson echoing others before him in the England camp in claiming that he feels ‘better than ever,’ as he prepares to return to the squad for the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham on Saturday. In what is a finely-poised …

Ireland to go with unchanged starting XV against Wales

Garry Ringrose set to hold off challenge of the returning Jared Payne at outside centre 10 minutes ago Updated: 9 minutes ago Joe Schmidt is expected …

Dan Cole is key to England’s quest for record win against Scotland

• Super-fit prop has played in all of England’s 17 consecutive victories • Billy Vunipola in line for return to Six Nations after three months out England may have confirmed that Billy Vunipola is ready for their pursuit of a record-equalling victory against Scotland, but spare a thought for the one …

Rugby – Wales need to win to avoid ranking slide

Wales must win one of their remaining two Six Nations matches to stay in the top eight of the World Rugby rankings and avoid a potential Group of Death at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Failure to win either game will see the Welsh drop to ninth and into the third pot in the World Cup …

Watch: Mako Vunipola making a case to start fly-half

06 Mar 2017 Steven 0 Comment Rugby Videos Who needs Owen Farrell? RUCK QUIZZES: How many of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning squad can you name?• <br>Name …

Six Nations: Scots take heart from Triple Crown charge as Twickenham crunch tie looms

Sign up to our Sport newsletter Whisper it softly, but many Scottish rugby fans are travelling to London this week with something unusual in their …

Alex Goode on England and the pain of being dropped: ‘It’s incredibly tough’

‘I know if I play unbelievably well there is a chance’ says the Saracens full-back who has fallen down the pecking order under Eddie Jones Alex Goode feels the sense of separation most intensely during the anthems. His coping mechanism is to avoid Twickenham on match days and, even at home in north …

Hamish Watson: ‘I hung a saltire in my bedroom to prove I was Scottish’

The Scotland back-row who grew up in England is lighting up the Six Nations despite his small stature and a debut to forget against Italy two years ago If Scotland’s Hamish Watson looks like he plays with a point to prove it is because he has been doing so since the age of eight. While his name …

Billy Vunipola returns to England squad after proving fitness

Billy Vunipola has been called up to England’s squad for the Six Nations clash against Scotland on Saturday, and faces a very good chance on being …

Ryan Jones opens up on the mental challenges facing retired athletes

Former Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones has spoken about the mental difficulties elite sportsmen and women face when their careers come to an …

Watch: Referee Nigel Owens BRILLIANTLY gives ball boy a yellow card

Referee Nigel Owens gives the ball boy a yellow card after being hit by a ball in Leinster’s win against Scarlets. READ MORE: This is why rugby is the …

Wales struggle for answers before must-win Six Nations game with Ireland

• ‘We are looking to put things right,’ says prop Rob Evans • Wales in danger of lowest Six Nations finish since 2007 It is 10 years since Wales suffered three successive Six Nations defeats, but after losing to England and Scotland, they are in danger of their lowest finish in the tournament since …

England vs Scotland: Boost for England as Billy Vunipola returns for Calcutta Cup clash

England are set to be handed a huge psychological boost ahead of next Saturday’s make-or-break Calcutta Cup clash against a resurgent Scotland with head coach Eddie Jones expected to name Billy Vunipola in his 23-man squad – as long as the Saracens No 8 proves his match fitness on his return to …

Scotland flanker Hamish Watson determined to stand tall in a land of English giants

When England sit down to analyse the footage of Scotland’s victory over Wales ahead of Saturday’s Calcutta Cup at Twickenham, the chances are that many of the frame-by-frame slow-motion segments they pore over will involve Hamish Watson. There will be the one of Watson jackalling the ball at the …

Why would anyone drop the All Blacks to play for Ulster? Charles Piutau explains

Charles Piutau missed out on winning the Rugby World Cup when he signed for Ulster but his move wasn’t about his success – it was about his family’s welfare By Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport Network Charles Piutau grew up as the youngest of 10 siblings in Māngere, …

England may streak past All Blacks, but Cyprus still the real benchmark

Eddie Jones’ goal for this England team was to be the best in the world. And to be the best in the world you have to get on the front foot. Right from …

Six Things from Six Nations- Round 3

Six Things from Six Nations- Round 3 Image Courtesy: RBS 6 Nations The Six Nations are back and served us some interesting bending of the rules, some …

Billy Vunipola poised for early return to hand Saracens and England a boost

The remarkable recovery powers of the Vunipola brothers appears to have struck once again after it emerged that Billy Vunipola is in line to return …

Ireland accidentally leave second-row star out of squad to play Wales

It was nowhere near the scale of the Oscars gaffe last weekend but could easily have sent fans of Irish lock Ultan Dillane into la-la land when Joe …

Why Italy’s defensive tactics should not be banned

The fallout from Italy’s ‘no-ruck’ tactics deployed in their 36-15 defeat by England shows no sign of letting up after it emerged that World Rugby is …

Exclusive: ‘As good as new’ Chris Robshaw sets his sights on Lions tour

Competition for back row places in the British and Irish Lions squad will now intensify further after England flanker Chris Robshaw revealed he is close to returning to action following a 10-week lay-off recovering from a shoulder surgery. Robshaw, widely regarded as one of England’s stand-out …

Scotland rise to highest ever World Rugby ranking

12:49 PM GMT Scotland’s win over Wales in the Six Nations has seen them reach fifth in the World Rugby rankings, their highest ever placing since they …

England Gain Bonus Point Win Despite Italy’s Disruptive Tactics

Conor O’Shea’s clever use of the laws around the breakdown had England in confusion for much of the first half at Twickenham. The law in question …

Six Nations team of the weekend – round three

With round three of the Six Nations in the bag, more talking points have arisen than anyone could have imagined following Scotland’s emergence as a …

World Rugby backs referee Poite over England v Italy ruck debate

• Governing body not looking to change rules at this stage • England coach Eddie Jones criticised referee after victory on Sunday • England’s players must develop quick wits however odd Jones’s complaints World Rugby has given its backing to the referee Romain Poite after Eddie Jones criticised the …

British Irish Lions team of of the week

7:35 PM GMT The battle for the British & Irish Lions jerseys was an interesting side note to a brilliant Six Nations weekend, but it must have caused …

Conor Murray’s Rolls-Royce show drives gutsy Irish

Perhaps mindful of what it would indirectly say about his other options at No 10, Joe Schmidt chose to sidestep the question. “Not unduly,” the Ireland head coach shrugged when asked whether he felt Conor Murray was more ‘comfortable’ at scrum-half with Jonathan Sexton outside him. “I think Conor is …

Ireland’s Six Nations destiny in own hands, says Schmidt

| DUBLIN Ireland’s Six Nations destiny is in their own hands after a battling 19-9 win over France on Saturday, coach Joe Schmidt said. Despite losing their first match to Scotland, Ireland went top of the standings with 10 points, buoyed by a two bonus-point advantage over England who won their …

Rugby in all its glory

Conor O’Shea’s clever use of the laws around the breakdown had England in confusion for much of the first half at Twickenham, but England eventually …

Six Nations: The bizarre plan Italy used to disrupt England, which had coach Eddie Jones fuming

THE Italian job. In the end, England prevailed 36-15 after going into the main break trailing Italy 10-5 in their Six Nations clash at Twickenham on …

Scotland 29 Wales 13 match report

A roller-coaster, error-strewn, breathless afternoon at Murrayfield brought a first Scottish win over Wales in a decade, as any such encounter always …

Ireland overpower France to top Six Nations standings

| DUBLIN Ireland overcame a stubborn France side 19-9 on Saturday to move top of the Six Nations standings and stay on course for a possible title showdown against defending champions England. Ireland, who last year beat all three southern hemisphere giants but suffered a surprise defeat in Scotland …

Rugby stars James O’Connor and Ali Williams arrested on drugs charges

Former Australia and New Zealand internationals accused of trying to buy cocaine Two professional rugby union players have been arrested in Paris …

England’s ‘finishers’ continue evolution of 23-a-side game against Italy

• England head coach submits novel teamsheet for Italy Six Nations clash • Danny Care, Ben Te’o and James Haskell will all start on Sunday England have taken the novel approach of announcing their matchday squad to face Italy and referring to their replacements’ bench as the “Finishers” in the …

How it was Scored: What Liam Williams’ Try vs England might Mean for the Lions

Hello again, everyone! In this series of posts, which I’ve rather unimaginatively called ‘How it was Scored’, I’m going to be taking a really close …

Jackson took benching ‘with a smile’ as Schmidt slips Sexton back in

IRELAND HEAD COACH Joe Schmidt says Paddy Jackson took his demotion to the bench with a smile and expects the out-half to still play a key role …

Six Nations: England to assess options against Italy and look for a plan B

Ben Te’o and Eliott Daly likely to be the centre pairing at Twickenham, with Owen Farrell moving inside to fly half The last cross-code international to wear England’s No12 shirt is now 10,000 miles away after being accused of not having “the stomach for the fight”, but Ben Te’o has been backed to …

Sexton straight back in, McGrath’s loosehead nod and Kearney at 15

JOE SCHMIDT HAS named his 23-man squad to face France at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday [KO 4.50pm]. Check out the squad in full here. Sexton …

England suffer when Billy Vunipola is not around, but Jonathan Joseph in particular thrives on that extra yard of space Billy gives the backline

Eddie Jones’s decision to drop Jonathan Joseph caught a lot of people by surprise. Joseph was one of England’s most dangerous attacking threats in 2016. Clearly he was not at those standards against France and Wales. So why the dip in form? The automatic assumption is that it is down to the …

Why being dropped should be the wake-up call Jonathan Joseph needs

Does the term “dropped” apply when an England player is left out against Italy? It’s hard to answer that question when Eddie Jones, the head coach, …

Eddie Jones’s rotation by instinct shows there’s no substitute for nous

How coaches handle their replacements is becoming increasingly decisive in the Six Nations, from England’s following his hunches to Wales’s use of data The growing strength of the bench The former footballer Rodney Marsh once said that the players a manager had to keep happy were the ones in the …

Six Nations: England omit Jonathan Joseph from squad to face Italy

• Elliot Daly expected to fill No13 shirt at Twickenham • Anthony Watson and Mako Vunipola both return to squad Jonathan Joseph has been omitted from England’s squad to face Italy on Sunday, with Elliot Daly likely to return to his preferred No13 jersey following his match-winning try against …

Too young to scrum – resurgent Scotland lack front-row maturity

| LONDON For all their youthful exuberance and attacking ambition, Scotland’s inexperience at the scrum – a rich seam of points in northern hemisphere international rugby – is holding them back from being Six Nations title contenders. Vern Cotter’s men held on to seal a famous win over one of the …

Toner looking forward to home comforts at the Aviva but wary of a ‘different’ French team

Thumbs up: Ireland’s last home game was the victory over Australia. Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO Thumbs up: Ireland’s last home game was the victory over …

Jones retains 24 players for Italy match

• England host Italy on Sunday<br>• Mako Vunipola, Anthony Watson and Henry Slade retained<br>• Marler boosted by Mako return, read more England head coach Eddie …

Fascinating insight to technology’s role in modern rugby

Modern-day rugby is a lot more than just 30 players on a pitch knocking ten bells out of each other and scoring tries. Technology now plays an …

Exclusive: Courtney Lawes reveals England’s toughest training session under Eddie Jones was three days after Wales win

England players faced the most brutal training session of Eddie Jones’s tenure just three days after their draining victory over Wales, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. Any hopes that the squad would be afforded some ‘down time’ in the wake of their dramatic victory in Cardiff – which was clinched by …

Johnny Sexton must earn the right to start for Ireland against France

Johnny Sexton must fight past Paddy Jackson and earn the right to start Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations clash with France, according to coach Richie …

Six things from Six Nations – Round 2

Jack Clifford tackled by Ken Owens – Photo credit RBS Six Nations Six things from Six Nations – Round 2 We take a look back at the second round of this …

The rugby debate: Why the Premiership is made richer by Six Nations absentees

Hello and welcome to ‘The Rugby Debate’, a weekly series in which our rugby writers get their biggest grievances about the game off their chests and invite you to wade in too. This week, Mick Cleary… No England players on view (bar Wasps’ prop, Matt Mullan) in the Aviva Premiership last …

Henry Slade back in the running for England after shining for Exeter in win over Worcester

Henry Slade has managed just 20 minutes on the international field since Eddie Jones succeeded Stuart Lancaster and started steering England towards record-breaking feats. There is no doubt what Slade is wishing for as an early birthday present when he turns 24 on March 19 – to be walking out at the …

Sale 34 Wasps 28: Denny Solomona scores hat-trick as Steve Diamond backs him to go ‘all the way’ in union

It’s no longer the Danny Cipriani show at Sale. The Wasps fly half found himself on the losing side on his return to his old club who were inspired by the latest try-scoring act from Denny Solomona. The Samoan rugby league international, who may qualify for England next month on residency, scored a …

Warren Gatland warning puts Lions on behaviour alert for New Zealand

The head coach wants his Lions to ‘mend some stuff’ from the 2005 tour in which Clive Woodward’s squad were mocked, goaded and whitewashed The last time Warren Gatland had a dig at New Zealand, one of their national newspapers put a cartoon of him dressed as a clown on the front page of their sport …

James Haskell: being on the England bench is hard but you still have a big role

Haskell is embracing the intensity of Eddie Jones’s regime and, after fully recovering from injury, is pushing for a starting place against Italy at Twickenham James Haskell is keen to start what he has finished. The England flanker spent the opening two rounds of the Six Nations Championship on the …

Six Nations: tactics, star players and Lions – Andy Robinson’s verdict so far

The former England and Scotland coach on the resurgent Scots, why Ireland will be kicking themselves and how round three could be one to remember The story so far England are the only unbeaten side left after the first two weeks with one point separating Ireland in second and Scotland in fifth Andy …

Under fire Dylan Hartley defended by Steve Borthwick after repeated early England departures

England forwards coach Steve Borthwick launched an impassioned defence of captain Dylan Hartley saying that his level of performance in the opening rounds of the Six Nations Championship has been “excellent”. England performed an opening training session at Twickenham in front of 12,000 spectators, …

Eddie Jones’s astute changes leave Six Nations rivals playing catch-up

England have harnessed the power of their squad as they close on the All Blacks record and it may come down to Scotland to halt their grand slam charge Eddie Jones will soon have a bigger record collection than the late John Peel. If England beat Italy at Twickenham next Sunday, and it is all but a …

Johnson: Cole is irreplaceable for England

2:23 PM GMT World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson thinks England would miss prop Dan Cole more than anyone in their current side. The Leicester …

Warren Gatland keeping cards close to his chest on Lions squad decisions

• Coach is ‘just going to and watching games … I haven’t written down a squad’ • Stuart Hogg singled out for praise after first two rounds of Six Nations games There are two months to go until the Lions squad is announced and Warren Gatland already has the careworn air of a man who is spending too …

Brilliant Owen Farrell is the only nailed-on selection for the Lions so far

If you were picking your Lions team tomorrow how many dead certs are there in the starting XV? You could make a good argument for Stuart Hogg at full-back and potentially Maro Itoje. But in my eyes there is only one nailed-on starter and that is Owen Farrell. You could argue that Warren Gatland …

Dylan Hartley’s poor form is not a worry, insists Lions coach Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland, the British and Irish Lions head coach, claims to be unconcerned by England captain Dylan Hartley’s indifferent start to the RBS Six Nations Championship. After serving a six-week suspension for striking Sean O’Brien, the Leinster flanker and a potential Lions team-mate, Hartley has …

Six Nations is showing that a shortened tournament would benefit no one

The idea of a five-week tournament has been backed by Clive Woodward but the likely outcome would be to lower a level of competition that is currently soaring Scotland will welcome a rest this weekend after their gruelling encounter against France in Paris, during which four players sustained …

Gustard on fitness, Hartley and Italy

• England face Italy on 26 February<br>• Watch the England squad bond over bowling England face Italy on 26 February in their third game of the RBS 6 Nations, …

Greig Laidlaw out of Six Nations while Wales send Alex Cuthbert to club

• Laidlaw sustained ligament damage in defeat to France • Cuthbert sent back to Cardiff by Wales after error cost win over England Greig Laidlaw has been ruled out of the rest of the Six Nations campaign after sustaining ankle ligament damage during the defeat against France. The Scotland captain …

England’s Owen Farrell may be captain against Italy with boss Eddie Jones set to shake up his team

Owen Farrell could mark his 50th cap by captaining England against Italy in their next Six Nations match. Boss Eddie Jones wants to play a “different” …

Maro Itoje eyes all-round England impact after Jones hails scrum ability

• Itoje alternated with second-row Courtney Lawes in Six Nations win in Wales • ‘I want to be the most complete player I can – and that involves scrummaging’ Eddie Jones could hardly be accused of half measures but closer inspection of Maro Itoje’s performance against Wales would suggest exactly …

Six Nations health check: England are making their own luck and Ireland are buzzing, but injuries could derail Scotland

Two rounds into the 2017 Six Nations, England sit top of the pile as the only team to have won both of their opening fixtures. Can they maintain their dominance to take overall victory? England England have set great store on their ‘finishers’ as Eddie Jones has dubbed them, the replacements that add …

Could a rugby union State of Origin be more than a glorified exhibition match?

We may find out soon enough as an enormous tweed jacket with leather patches has been thrown over Ballymore to reserve it for a potential 29 June match When, late last year, a NSW v Queensland State of Origin rugby union match was proposed in order to fill a calendar void in late June, the …

Eddie Jones considers ringing the changes for England’s match with Italy

• Jamie George’s form may see him replace captain Dylan Hartley • Mako Vunipola and Anthony Watson in line for returns Eddie Jones is poised to reshuffle his unbeaten England team for the home game against Italy, with Mako Vunipola and Anthony Watson close to returning to the Six Nations fray. …

England Steal the Show in Six Nations

Brian Smith’s Analysis: England Steal the Show in Six Nations This Eddie Jones coached England team keep finding a way to win. This time it was the …

Billy and Mako Vunipola set to give England Six Nations Grand Slam hopes a boost

England’s hopes of winning a second successive Grand Slam have been given a major boost with the news that Billy and Mako Vunipola are both expected to be fit for what could be the Six Nations decider against Ireland in Dublin. Prop Mako Vunipola is expected to return from a knee ligament injury …

Eddie Jones copies José Mourinho manual to keep England winning

After his side snatch a 21-16 win over Wales, England’s coach admits adopting Spanish practices used by Portuguese manager in bid to catch up All Blacks This year’s Six Nations has yet to reach the halfway mark but already the old tournament has a renewed sense of verve. When a game matches the …

France’s Camille Lopez keeps cool as bruised Scotland fall just short

• France 22-16 Scotland • Late penalties sink Scotland after injuries mount Another near miss to add to the collection. Bloodied, but unbowed, Scotland eventually succumbed to France’s suffocating power after giving Les Bleus an almighty scare on their own turf. It will be little consolation for …

Wales 16-21 England: how the Six Nations players in Cardiff rated

Joe Launchbury was in ferocious form for the victors, while Alex Cuthbert failed to convince for the hosts Wales 15 Leigh Halfpenny 6/10 He gets closer to his 2013 form as every match goes by, albeit slowly. Seems back to his best from the tee. Ever so reliable in defence and showed up on the wing, …

Pundits purr over Cardiff classic

| LONDON Rugby pundits queued up to rave over Saturday’s Six Nations Cardiff classic, where England battled back for a 21-16 win over Wales in a match played at a speed, intensity and with a level of entertainment rarely seen in the northern hemisphere. “That was an absolutely pulsating test match …

Six Nations: Eddie Jones’ England don’t know how to lose

Believing you will win when all around see a match that’s slipping away. Coming back for more when all game you have been turned over and picked off. Finding precision in the critical moment, having been imprecise in so much of what has gone before. England, despite the late larceny in Cardiff that …

Ireland claim record 6 Nations victory over woeful Italy

CJ Stander and Craig Gilroy both bagged hat-tricks as Ireland claimed a record RBS 6 Nations victory over Italy with a 63-10 thumping in Rome. Italy …

England sink Wales in thriller thanks to Elliot Daly’s flying finish

• Wales 16-21 England • Jonathan Davies’s poor clearance sets up late match-winning try It was the Dragons who were kept awake by demons on Saturday night. England were anything but petrified as they held their nerve five minutes at the end of a match of unremitting, ferocious endeavour and no …

Wales’ Scott Williams provides the lock-picker not the bulldozer

Inside-centre, who gives Wales a subtler style, is ready for one of the biggest games of his career against England in the Six Nations in Cardiff Scott Williams has spent most of his six-year international career trying to make himself visible in the long shadows cast in the midfield by Jonathan …

Wales vs England doesn’t really hold any hatred, just one of sport’s grandest rivalries

The renewal of rugby’s most heated rivalry, in the most volatile territory, and a potential Six Nations Grand Slam on the line. They don’t get much …

Dragon-sized demons await as England look to conquer Welsh fear factor

On the surface, a trip across the Severn should be no different to any other away day for Eddie Jones’s team but the scars of past battles have not yet fully healed There is a tongue-in-cheek line in Evelyn Waugh’s 1928 novel Decline and Fall – “We can trace almost all the disasters of English …

BBC Pulls Sports Video Mocking the English After Claims of Racism

The BBC has pulled a promo video which mocked England after it was accused of stoking racism. The Corporation axed a video meant to psyche up fans in …

Six Nations: England pick Clifford to face Wales with Nowell also recalled

Harlequins’ Jack Clifford will make just his second start for England in Saturday’s Six Nations match with Wales in Cardiff in one of two changes. Clifford, 23, replaces Tom Wood on the open-side flank and Jack Nowell comes in for Jonny May on the wing – with May and Wood named among the …

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Timing key to Eddie Jones’ England replacements strategy, reveals defence coach Paul Gustard

The impact of Eddie Jones’s replacement strategy in England’s 19-16 victory against France was no fluke. The England head coach times his use of the bench to maximum effect, not just to replace tiring legs but to negate any opposition changes. With France leading 16-12 at Twickenham, Jones was …

German rugby breaking new ground

Throughout Germany, soccer is all-encompassing. But in the town of Heidelberg, nestled between round-ball strongholds Stuttgart and Frankfurt, a forgotten ‘traditional’ sport is slowly trying to change the landscape. Walking through Heidelberg’s old town, visitors are immediately taken on a trip …

Eddie Jones worries about Cardiff fear factor but it is ancient England history

Having won on two of their last three Six Nations visits to Cardiff, the champions are hardly going to be all aquiver when they cross the Severn Bridge Battle of wits rather than nerves Eddie Jones said this week England were petrified of playing in Wales, citing what he described as their horrendous …

Staying quiet shows Wales have learnt from mistakes against England

While Eddie Jones is discussing daffodils, English phobias and Cardiff’s one ghostly part in his own career – the 20-22 defeat which saw an end to …

The Six Nations Team of the Weekend as three Welshmen make the cut

The first round of the 2017 Six Nations Championship is done and dusted with victories for Scotland, England and Wales keeping their Grand Slam hopes …

England’s win over France felt like a defeat, says Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones insists England’s victory over France feels like a defeat for which his RBS 6 Nations champions must atone against Wales in Cardiff. Jones …

Analysis: Basic folding and spacing problems cause Ireland’s defence failures

EVERYTHING WE ANALYSE in Ireland’s defeat in Murrayfield must be linked back to the mental malaise that seemed to overcome Joe Schmidt’s side on …

Lack of an openside flanker hurt us and Peter O’Mahony’s loss was evident

It wasn’t a typical Ireland under Joe Schmidt performance; in fact it was uncharacteristic. There were moments when I was wondering where the Ireland …

Davies display against Italy suggests Wales should say play again, Sam

The fly-half was involved in all three tries after his second-half introduction, leaving Rob Howley with a dilemma over whether to start him against England Rob Howley’s dilemma before Saturday’s potentially tournament-defining encounter against England in Cardiff is whether to say Sam again, twice …

Six Nations team of the weekend

The first round of the 2017 Six Nations championship is in the back with Scotland, England and Wales all recording victories, with Ireland and France …

Scotland’s Vern Cotter says defeat of Ireland is ‘great win – best yet’

• Scotland coach: ‘It changes dynamic if you start with a win’ • Ireland coach Joe Schmidt admits: ‘It’s pretty tough to take’ Vern Cotter described Scotland’s thrilling win against Ireland as the best of his tenure after his side claimed only their second victory on the opening weekend of the Six …

England set a new national record in a 19-16 triumph over France… but changes in personnel seem inevitable

How did England maintain their winning run? A bit of luck and a bit of inspiration. It has been a recurring feature of the Eddie Jones era that despite playing poorly in the first half, they have remained in touch with the opposition. Such was the case at Twickenham against France. Les Bleus, …

Eddie Jones: England were awful but I always thought we were going to win

• Jones says England must improve a lot before playing Wales • ‘Have I been too nice to the players? Maybe I need to be harder’ Eddie Jones said he took responsibility for what he described as an awful performance as England got the defence of their Six Nations title off to a winning start with a …

A 15th win for England and the France of old returns (for a half) – two treats in one for the Twickenham crowd

Eddie Jones framed it as the 21st war between the English and the French, and it was certainly like going back in time, to an age when France ran at teams rather than try to smash them into the mud, as they have throughout their wilderness years. England are in a new phase now; the one where …

How Scotland made most of Ireland’s wastefulness to end Joe Schmidt’s hope of Grand Slam at Six Nations

Ireland waste early scrum dominance Ireland’s scrum was expected to have the edge. The emergence of Tadhg Furlong over the last 12 months or so has been impressive and the Leinster tighthead gave Allan Dell a torrid time in the first half hour. Dell was twice penalised for popping up and Zander …

George Ford poised to rejoin Leicester Tigers in £450,000-a-year deal.. with Freddie Burns moving to Bath

England fly-half George Ford is reportedly on the verge of rejoining Leicester Tigers on a three-year contract. Bath No 10 Ford has been linked with a move away from The Rec since November last year after it emerged he was upset at the way his father, Mike, was dismissed. Sale Sharks were thought to …

Rugby’s Tackling Rules Aren’t Changing, but Referees’ Enforcement of Them Is

LONDON — Producing more of the same is what the Six Nations Championship, the biggest event in European rugby union, is mostly about. This year’s tournament starts Saturday and stretches over five of the next seven weekends to a conclusion on March 18. Its appeal rests on a sense of continuity …

Six Nations 2016: How Vern Cotter has restored swagger to Scotland

Vern Cotter absolutely loves stats, and his own numbers make for pretty impressive reading. With a win ratio of 52 per cent, Cotter has already eclipsed the records of his four immediate predecessors: Scott Johnson (29 per cent), Andy Robinson (43 per cent), Frank Hadden (41 per cent) and Matt …

Will Six Nations bonus points be a blessing or backfire? Our panel of experts gives its verdict

Rob Howley – Wales coach We hope bonus points will have an impact. We think sides might have an intent to play in the last 20, 25 minutes of the game. Ultimately, you want to win the game but there is no doubt there is a mindset shift in the last 20 minutes if you find yourself near a bonus-point …

Why the Six Nations will have a major impact on the 2019 Rugby World Cup

When is a number more than a number? When it’s a ranking, especially in the world of sport. No prizes are given out for finishing second and be it …

Six Nations 2017: Rhys Webb returns as Wales make five changes for Italy game

Wales have made five changes from the team that beat South Africa in November for Sunday’s Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome. Scrum-half Rhys Webb returns after injury, while former captain Sam Warburton is named on the blind-side flank by interim coach Rob Howley. Props Nicky Smith and Samson …

Six Nations 2017: Josh Strauss in for Scotland to play Ireland

Josh Strauss, Glasgow team-mate Fraser Brown and Stormers centre Huw Jones come in to Vern Cotter’s Scotland starting XV for the Six Nations opener at home against Ireland on Saturday. Strauss plays at number eight as Ryan Wilson moves to blind-side flanker. Henderson and O’Brien in Ireland team Jones …

Six Nations 2017 – England v France: Elliot Daly starts on wing

Elliot Daly has been named on the wing for England’s Six Nations opener against France on Saturday, with the in-form Jack Nowell on the bench. Nowell missed two days of training this week for personal reasons. Maro Itoje will start a Test for the first time on the flank, and is named alongside Tom …

Ireland fly-half Jonathan Sexton ruled of Six Nations opener with Scotland as Paddy Jackson waits poised

Paddy Jackson appears certain to start at fly-half for Ireland in their opening Six Nations fixture at Murrayfield on Saturday after Jonathan Sexton was ruled out on Tuesday. Despite Ireland team manager Paul Dean saying on Monday that everything was “fine” with Sexton and that he would resume full …

Six Nations 2017 team-by-team guide: flexibility key as injuries mount

Absences will test Eddie Jones’ champions while Ireland need Jonathan Sexton fighting fit and Wales look to Dan Biggar to be more adventurous England 2016 record: P13 W13 L0 Average points per match v tier one nations: 30.5 Six Nations: 1st Eddie Jones followed Joe Schmidt and Warren Gatland in winning …

Jonny Gray’s ‘scary’ potential at the forefront of a new dawn for Scotland

Scotland’s formidable young lock goes into the Six Nations in a rich vein of form with team-mates ranking him as one of the best in the world Those who really know Jonny Gray speak with total conviction. This, they say, is no ordinary 22-year-old rugby player. “Right now, without a doubt, I’d have …

England face anxious wait over George Kruis injury ahead of Six Nations opener against France

Fresh knee problem could scupper Eddie Jones’ plans to start Maro Itoje in the back row at Twickenham. England have been dealt a fresh injury blow …

Six Nations predictions: back Scotland if you’re brave but Ireland are in box seat

Ireland are the favourites to win the 2017 tournament but face competition from England, with Scotland an outside bet Who will win the title? Robert Kitson Ireland. Hard to see them folding at home to England on the final weekend with a potential title and Lions tour berths up for grabs. Paul Rees …

The Rugby Debate: Is it time to introduce relegation and promotion to the Six Nations?

Hello and welcome to ‘The Rugby Debate’, a weekly series in which our rugby writers get their biggest grievances about the game off their chests and invite you to wade in too. This week, Gavin Mairs … The romantics among us are already predicting a Grand Slam showdown on St Patrick’s weekend in …

A sport in flux: what does the future hold for rugby union?

Rugby union has always evolved but with many problems and questions unresolved it feels unsettled at present. The sport is changing but into what? On Friday 13 January, Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, met the press in the Members Lounge in the West Stand at Twickenham. …

Why is it so difficult to win away from home in rugby union?

In French club rugby there is an unwritten rule that defeats in away games are acceptable as long as home matches are won. This nonchalance baffles some of those involved. “I have played in France since 2005 and I still don’t understand why matches away are played like this,” says Italy captain and …

Brian Moore’s Full Contact with exclusive Eddie Jones interview – listen to episode one

Welcome to the first episode of The Telegraph’s new weekly rugby show Brian Moore’s Full Contact which is co-hosted by England and Lions international Alex Corbisiero and includes an exclusive interview with Eddie Jones plus guests from each of the Six Nations and the first of a weekly slot with …

Ben Ryan: ‘Mr. Fiji’ reveals the simple secrets to success

London (CNN)If you’ve ever wondered how much your life would change after winning an Olympic gold medal, just ask Ben Ryan. In the months since guiding Fiji’s rugby sevens team to a fairytale success at Rio 2016, the Englishman has been courted by an NBA franchise, Chinese investors are planning a …

Telegraph launches new rugby show: Brian Moore’s Full Contact, with Eddie Jones interviewed on first episode

Telegraph Media Group is adding to its highly respected rugby coverage with the launch of a new live-streamed show presented by Lions and England legend Brian Moore. The new weekly show – called Brian Moore’s Full Contact – will launch on Sunday January 29 and will cover all of the major rugby …

Six Nations 2017 Preview: Ireland chasing third Grand Slam

Following back to back titles in 2014 and 2015 Joe Schmidt’s Irish side experienced a down year last season as they finish in 3rd position. Heading …

Eddie Jones sounds warning for Six Nations where discipline will be key

The England coach predicts a rise in red and yellow cards as players get to grips with the new laws but says changes will be good for rugby’s future This is supposed to be the year when the Six Nations Championship becomes safer and people receive fewer whacks to the head. It did not necessarily …

Dylan Hartley confirmed as England captain for Six Nations by Eddie Jones

Dylan Hartley has been confirmed as England captain for the RBS 6 Nations – and was accompanied at Wednesday’s official tournament launch by a …

The Rugby Debate: Why tiresome football and rugby comparisons must stop

Hello and welcome to ‘The Rugby Debate’, a weekly series in which our rugby writers get their biggest grievances about the game off their chests and invite you to wade in too. This week, Julian Bennetts… If there is anything in sport more tiresome than the constant desire to compare football with …

European Rugby Champions Cup: talking points from the weekend’s action

A harsh call against Danny Cipriani could help Toulouse reach the quarter-finals, Glasgow are playing Leicester at the right time, and Alex Lozowski excelled for Saracens against Scarlets 1) Double jeopardy rule could prove crucial for Toulouse Football changed its rules this season, so that any …

The British and Irish Lions 2017 Part Three – The Backs

Having previously looked at squad composition and the likely makeup of the forwards we now turn our attention to the backs. In this article I have put …

The British and Irish Lions 2017 Part Two – The Forwards

As with all good teams you start up front with the big lads, so following on from my previous article discussing the split of next year’s Lions party, …

The British and Irish Lions 2017 Part One – The Squad by Nation

As the year of the Lions rolls around the makeup of the squad has unsurprisingly become one of the main topics of debate on social media and clubs …

Wynne Gray: High shots raise rugby risk

By design or accident, it doesn’t matter, rugby has decided to deal with the “high shots” which have become an increasing stain on the game and …

The Lessons We Must Learn From 2016

The Lessons We Must Learn From 2016 Australian rugby, we need to talk. 2016 was an absolute shocker. The team struggled. The media was ruthless. The …

RFU to spearhead calls for residency rule to be extended to five years in crackdown on ‘project’ players

The Rugby Football Union is to spearhead calls for a crackdown on the international residency laws that allowed Nathan Hughes to make his debut for England this season by demanding that the qualification period increases from three to five years. World Rugby is due to vote on the issue in May after …

Wales ask to play all Six Nations home games under closed Cardiff roof

• Rob Howley believes it leads to better games at the Principality Stadium • Wales host England and Ireland in Cardiff in 2017 Six Nations Wales have asked Six Nations organisers to classify the Principality Stadium as a closed-roof ground, meaning all matches in the tournament would be played under …

Jones needs more England leaders, but not Itoje

| LONDON England coach Eddie Jones has made developing more leaders in the team one of his top priorities but said forward Maro Itoje is not about to be fast-tracked towards captaincy. Jones raised a few eyebrows when he installed Dylan Hartley as captain at the start of his reign but was rewarded …

Eddie Jones forced to navigate pack injury crisis as Six Nations squad announcement looms

Australian will need to utilise England’s formidable strength in depth amid injuries to key forwards. One can scarcely believe that it is almost a …

Jones replaces Warburton as Wales Captain

| LONDON Lock Alun Wyn Jones was named as the new Wales rugby union captain on Tuesday, taking over for the Six Nations from flanker Sam Warburton who filled the role for six years. Rob Howley, standing in as coach while Warren Gatland is on British and Irish Lions duty, made the announcement when …

Bionic bone puts Leicester Tigers giant Mike Williams back in England equation

When Mike Williams takes to the field at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon for Leicester’s crunch clash with Wasps, the massive Zimbabwe-born, England-qualified flanker will do so fortified not only by a specially-modified guard to protect the arm he has cruelly broken three times in the last 12 …

Bradford Bulls’ demise should worry second-tier clubs in other sports

The news of Bradford Bulls’ liquidation did not come as a surprise but it should serve as a warning to other league, union, cricket and football clubs By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network The demise of such a famous name as Bradford Bulls may have come as a …

Rugby union’s new tackle laws: what are they and will they make a difference?

World Rugby’s new directives for punishing high tackles come into effect this weekend, but in truth they have left it up to coaches and players to figure out for themselves how to adapt What is this new law change? To call it a law change is the first disingenuous step from World Rugby. This is …

Manu Tuilagi ruled out for rest of the season with knee injury to end Six Nations and Lions hopes

Manu Tuliagi’s desperate run of bad luck shows no signs of abating as his latest knee injury has ruled him out for the rest of the season. The results of a scan have revealed significant ligament damage suffered in the 16-12 Aviva Premiership defeat to Saracens on Sunday that spelled the end of …

Watch: Nigel Owens Asks Replacement Front Rows ‘Is This Why You’re Not Starting The Game?’

Rugby has changed a great deal since the dawn of professionalism. In the modern game, the most attritional positions are in the front row, where it’s …