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Author Archive for Ben Ryan

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England’s varied attack to give them the edge in Rugby World Cup final | Ben Ryan

Eddie Jones’s team have the ability to break down South Africa’s traditional power game and win a tight contestI think England will beat South Africa in the World Cup final. I feel it not because of hard statistics, nor because emotions are getting the…

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Rugby World Cup: four players who can light up semi-final weekend | Ben Ryan

England will rely on Owen Farrell’s pragmatism to topple Beauden Barrett’s New Zealand while Wales flanker Justin Tipuric will be out to stop flying Bok wing Makazole MapimpiIt can all be cart before the horse in the days preceding such big games as we…

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Japan’s speed and skill sets an example but Springboks threaten to smother them | Ben Ryan

Brave Blossoms’ slick style shows what is possible within existing laws – now World Rugby should clamp down on breakdown infringementsThe breathtaking match between the hosts Japan and Gregor Townsend’s Scotland was effectively a knockout game with a l…

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Pendulum swings as final group games ramp up Rugby World Cup risks | Ben Ryan

With the knockout stages in sight, losing a key player to a red card could now completely derail a team’s tournament chancesTen red cards or subsequent bans in Japan has dwarfed anything that’s happened before in a Rugby World Cup. However, get a ban n…

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Best-laid plans need to be flexible as Rugby World Cup reaches crunch time | Ben Ryan

For South Africa, Australia and Ireland it is a case of tweaking blueprints having already scrutinised every tournament detailJamie Joseph, Japan’s head coach, talked about planning for the Ireland game over two years ago. Eddie Jones has taken England…

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Why this World Cup is bereft of talented teenagers when once they were legion | Ben Ryan

Physicality has become imperative in international rugby and few young sensations possess enough of it in those early daysWith only 11 Super Rugby appearances under his belt, 19-year-old Jordan Petaia is in the Australia squad. In a group that has more…

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Humidity to home heroics: five things to look out for at the Rugby World Cup | Ben Ryan

The All Blacks could lose their opener and win the tournament, Fiji have a shock in them, while cancellations could play a partThe phoney war is over and on Friday there will be no more warm-yourself-up-but-nobody else games. The World Cup is upon us a…

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Fiji pose World Cup threat but Pacific Islands need a much fairer deal | Ben Ryan

Fiji, Samoa and Tonga export masses of rugby talent but need more resource sharing and better domestic managementBehind sugar, rugby players are the second biggest export from Fiji. Combined with Samoa and Tonga they provide almost 20% of the world’s p…

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Kearnan Myall’s brave testimony must trigger profound cultural change in rugby | Ben Ryan

Negative environments are creating huge problems with mental wellbeing in elite sport – it is time to change thatA young academy player at a top European club who needs to shift some excess weight snaps a picture of his dinner and sends it to his fitne…

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Firefighting ability and tightest of margins will decide Champions Cup final | Ben Ryan

When so much quality exists across the board, the team that controls the game in all its elements for its duration will winYou can trawl though the archives and statistics to preview how Saturday’s Champions Cup final may pan out but I wouldn’t bother….

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Eddie Jones’s ‘hit and hurt’ comment shows rugby’s mixed up messaging | Ben Ryan

World Rugby wants to reduce injuries and make the game easy to understand to attract new fans, yet the opposite is happening“Whenever you pick a side you are always looking for the biggest, fastest, most skilful guys who like to hit and hurt people.” E…

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England’s risk-averse game blunts their threat and Six Nations ambitions | Ben Ryan

A lack of freedom and adaptability in Eddie Jones’s gameplan allowed Wales to emerge victorious in CardiffThe truth shall set you free. As a coach I have thought a lot about the Wales-England game in the last round of the Six Nations and in particular,…

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Warren Gatland ensures Wales leave nothing to chance against England | Ben Ryan

The head coach’s inside knowledge means a greater insight into what to expect in the crucial Six Nations encounterWhen you have already coached the world-class talent in the team you are playing against at the weekend, it’s fair to say it won’t do you …

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Forget the Paris implosion – France are building a force to be feared | Ben Ryan

Les Bleus have learned from their mistakes and the team of tomorrow could be forged at Twickenham on SundayIn the aftermath of France’s second-half implosion against Wales, there was an explosion of a lazy stereotype with “typically French” uttered loi…

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Depth charts show way to Six Nations title and could give Ireland the edge | Ben Ryan

With injuries inevitable, coaches need to know who their next cab off the rank is in each key position and Ireland have the system best placed to succeedWhen the Six Nations starts we’ll all enjoy picking and poking over team selection and tactics, how…