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Author Archive for Dan Lucas

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England v Scotland: Six Nations – live!

Updates from the 4.00pm GMT kick-off at TwickenhamFour wins since 1911: will Scotland end their hoodoo?Send Dan an email or tweet @DanLucas86 12.10pm GMT Afternoon, once more, folks. Thanks to Wales, this one is simple. Forget the tier one record of 18…

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England v Scotland: Six Nations – live!

Updates from the 4.00pm GMT kick-off at TwickenhamFour wins since 1911: will Scotland end their hoodoo?Send Dan an email or tweet @DanLucas86 12.10pm GMT Afternoon, once more, folks. Thanks to Wales, this one is simple. Forget the tier one record of 18…

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Italy v France: Six Nations – live!

12.56pm GMT

A quick tribute to Padovani’s tattoo – the best in the Six Nations by a distance.

12.51pm GMT

One point of interest is Francois Trinh-Duc’s return to the France bench. I’ve liked Lopez so far but the Toulon man is Guy Noves’ stated favourite, so I imagine he’ll be on around the hour mark at the latest.

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Wales v Ireland: Six Nations – live!

7.14pm GMT

The only injury worry tonight is right here at Guardian Towers, where your MBMer got a phone call on the way in to say that the x-ray he had three days ago showed his ankle is broken – and has been since last Saturday – after all. But anyway, predictions!

@DanLucas86 huge battle of the back rows awaits that’ll be the key area all top class & on form. An Ire win even if Sexton only lasts 65mins

10.27am GMT

Evening, folks. Did you have a nice time off? Good. Now settle down because this one is, as the kids say, an absolute doozy.

Both sides are desperate for a win here, for different reasons. Wales, if they lose, are in danger of slipping out of the top eight in the World Rugby rankings and the likelihood therefore is a pool of death in the World Cup draw later this spring. Admittedly that happened at the last World Cup and we all know what happened then, but it’s not exactly a situation they would be happy with.

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Wales v Ireland: Six Nations – live!

7.14pm GMT

The only injury worry tonight is right here at Guardian Towers, where your MBMer got a phone call on the way in to say that the x-ray he had three days ago showed his ankle is broken – and has been since last Saturday – after all. But anyway, predictions!

@DanLucas86 huge battle of the back rows awaits that’ll be the key area all top class & on form. An Ire win even if Sexton only lasts 65mins

10.27am GMT

Evening, folks. Did you have a nice time off? Good. Now settle down because this one is, as the kids say, an absolute doozy.

Both sides are desperate for a win here, for different reasons. Wales, if they lose, are in danger of slipping out of the top eight in the World Rugby rankings and the likelihood therefore is a pool of death in the World Cup draw later this spring. Admittedly that happened at the last World Cup and we all know what happened then, but it’s not exactly a situation they would be happy with.

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France v Scotland: Six Nations – live!

• Live updates from the 3pm kick-off at the Stade de France

• Email dan.lucas@theguardian.com | Tweet @DanLucas86

3.34pm GMT

30 min Vahaamahina and Atonio carry it on before the enormous prop offloads brilliantly to Gourdon. Out wide to Vakatawa then Spedding, 10 metres short but somehow Scotland’s scrambled defence makes the necessary tackles.

3.34pm GMT

29 min But there’s yet another turnover, Picamoles at the heart of things again, and France spread it wide before making ground down the right. Scotland’s backs recover but a few phases later Fickou proves so slippery, getting out of one tackle and making ground into the 22 down the right.

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Wales v England: Six Nations – live!

4.39pm GMT

An email! “Think it would be good to have Care and Haskell on early to help get in front,” writes

Henry
Pat Paul. “Hope we have good game.”

4.38pm GMT

Troll.

Not sure who I want to win.. #ENGvWAL #6nations2017 pic.twitter.com/sf091RX0St

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Italy v Ireland: Six Nations – live!

3.09pm GMT

Scannell overthrows, Henshaw knocks on and that, to Italy’s relief, is the half.

3.08pm GMT

40 min Jackson kicks the penalty to touch down the right, finding it midway inside the Italian half with 15 seconds to go in the half. Time for one last play.

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Italy v Wales: Six Nations 2017 – live!

1.25pm GMT

A bit more on Italy.

@DanLucas86 Yep, it’s still not ideal but their average points conceded for R1 is 27, by R5 it leaps to 38.

1.24pm GMT

Happy 40th birthday, by the way, to this stone cold classic album. And the greatest breakup song of all time.

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England v France: Six Nations – live!

4.52pm GMT

2 min Uini Atonio is 6’6” and well over 24 stone. And Vahaamahina is behind him. Good lord.

Wales’s Matt Dony is with us. “Such happy memories of 2005. A Welsh Grand Slam (including THAT Henson penalty), the Ashes, and Istanbul. Oh yeah, and I got married. As I’m refusing to acknowledge any football has taken place, I’m investing everything in another upset here. Scotland showed the way against one favourite. Now come on France!”

4.51pm GMT

Owen Farrell kicks off and Vakatawa takes on his 22. Back to Lopez and he clears to Hughes, who comes flying into the line at pace. Launchbury takes it on and Hughes has another look, 30 metres out. Youngs then throws a poor pass to his No8 who can’t take it off his bootlaces. Scrum France midway inside their own half.

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Scotland v Ireland: Six Nations – live!

3.08pm GMT

39 min Taken by Wilson at the front and Scotland form the maul before Seymour comes off his wing and through the middle. Russell flings a huge pass wide to Hogg and it’s on to Maitland, who carries into the 22. Richie Gray drives through the middle and the forwards make more headway. Ireland manage to slow it down before Strauss smacks McGrath out the way.

3.07pm GMT

38 min Hogg kicks to touch down the right, midway inside the Ireland half. Ireland look very short on ideas: I imagine a lot of people in Ireland are praying for Jonny Sexton right now. The tackle count is 84-37.

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Scotland v Ireland: Six Nations – live!

3.08pm GMT

39 min Taken by Wilson at the front and Scotland form the maul before Seymour comes off his wing and through the middle. Russell flings a huge pass wide to Hogg and it’s on to Maitland, who carries into the 22. Richie Gray drives through the middle and the forwards make more headway. Ireland manage to slow it down before Strauss smacks McGrath out the way.

3.07pm GMT

38 min Hogg kicks to touch down the right, midway inside the Ireland half. Ireland look very short on ideas: I imagine a lot of people in Ireland are praying for Jonny Sexton right now. The tackle count is 84-37.

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India v England: second T20 international – live!

12.57pm GMT

You’re all still caught up in the tennis, aren’t you? Well, if not then I have some recommended reading: Ali Martin caught up with poor old Ben Duckett.

Related: Ben Duckett: ‘I was on the verge of being dropped – I did what the captain said’

6.29pm GMT

Afternoon/evening/whatever it is wherever you are, folks. Forget your FA Cup drama and Liverpool morphing into Crystal Palace. Forget Federer v Nadal, Serena v Venus and the 5000 to one Australian Open finals. Forget Bell and Bresnan winning the Big Bash. Put down your sumptuous Six Nations preview and stop the conspiracy theories around Eddie Jones’s black eye. This Sunday is about one thing and one thing only: the second T20 international between India and England from Nagpur!

Being dismissive is easy, though. True, this is a slightly odd series tacked on the end of the most gruelling of tours. No, neither side is likely to learn a huge amount that will help them in the Champions Trophy in England this summer. But, as I learned from reading my esteemed colleague Barney Ronay last night, England have not won a bilateral limited overs series in India since 1985, when our own Vic Marks – whose record as the most economical off-spinner ever in ODI cricket, with a qualification of 250 balls bowled, is unlikely to ever be broken – was the unsung hero. Win here and Eoin Morgan’s boys will go down in history, sort of.

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Calum Clark set to leave Northampton Saints at end of Premiership season

• Versatile forward tipped to join European champions Saracens
• The 27-year-old has found first-team chances limited at Saints

The Northampton and England flanker Calum Clark is to leave the club at the end of this season. The versatile forward, who is equally comfortable on the blindside or openside and has filled in at lock and No8 in the past, is likely to join the Premiership and European champions Saracens, according to reports.

Clark, who was Northampton’s 2014-15 player of the season, won a solitary international cap in a warm-up match against France before the 2015 World Cup but was a regular member of Stuart Lancaster’s training squads and has long been tipped as a promising back-row option for England; he was a particular favourite of Lancaster having worked with the deposed England coach in the junior ranks at Leeds. This season, however, his opportunities have been limited and he missed the whole of the last campaign with a serious shoulder injury.

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Christian Wade scores hat-trick and breaks records as Wasps beat Bath

• Wasps 40-26 Bath
• Wade scores record 18th try of calendar year

This was ostensibly a showcase for current England and Wales internationals but, in unseasonably fine Coventry conditions, it was a man best known for his three-years-and-counting absence from the England team who caught the eye.

Christian Wade has just a solitary 2013 cap to his name but just 47 minutes had passed when he took Kurtley Beale’s fine pass – after Elliot Daly’s searing break had carved Bath to shreds – to seal Wasps’ bonus point and complete his hat-trick with a record-breaking 18th try 2016. With a century of tries for the same time period also racked up, as well as going through it unbeaten at home, this was a record-breaking day for the Coventry club.

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Adam Byrne leads Leinster’s nine-try thrashing of Northampton

• Leinster 60-13 Northampton
• Leinster inflict record European defeat on struggling Saints

“I’m not sure easy is the right word,” said Leinster’s coach, Leo Cullen, after his side won this Pool 4 match. It was.

Northampton suffered their biggest ever defeat in Europe and their heaviest under Jim Mallinder, the director of rugby whose job will come under increasingly heavy scrutiny after a 60-13 humiliation at the hands of Leinster in Dublin.

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Premiership round-up: Bath’s defeat to Harlequins sends Wasps second

• Harlequins 21-20 Bath
• Wasps 34-24 Sale; Saracens 24-20 Gloucester

On a day that amply demonstrated the ludicrousness of playing a full Premiership programme on international weekends, with squads decimated by call-ups, Wasps overhauled Bath to go second in the  table.

A late penalty from the Harlequins replacement fly-half Tim Swiel condemned the west countrymen to a 21-20 defeat at the Stoop, while Wasps held off a late, albeit inevitably futile, fightback from Sale to win 34-24. They remain four points behind Saracens at the summit as the double-winners beat Gloucester 24-20 in a match one suspects they might have won more comfortably with a full squad available.

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Premiership round-up: Bath’s defeat to Harlequins sends Wasps second

• Harlequins 21-20 Bath
• Wasps 34-24 Sale; Saracens 24-20 Gloucester

On a day that amply demonstrated the ludicrousness of playing a full Premiership programme on international weekends, with squads decimated by call-ups, Wasps overhauled Bath to go second in the  table.

A late penalty from the Harlequins replacement fly-half Tim Swiel condemned the west countrymen to a 21-20 defeat at the Stoop, while Wasps held off a late, albeit inevitably futile, fightback from Sale to win 34-24. They remain four points behind Saracens at the summit as the double-winners beat Gloucester 24-20 in a match one suspects they might have won more comfortably with a full squad available.

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London Welsh dealt blow in fight for future as investment fails to materialise

• Championship club face third winding-up order in three months in December
• Club said on Thursday they had not received funding from potential backer

The future of London Welsh, one of England’s oldest rugby clubs, has been thrown into deep uncertainty once again.

The Championship club announced on Thursday that the Phoenix Group, the Californian investment consortium they had hoped would secure their long-term financial security, had yet to put in any funding. They are also being investigated by the Rugby Players’ Association over whether or not they have paid their players.

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Wales v Argentina: rugby union autumn internationals – live!

5.14pm GMT

An email! Simon McMahon, somehow still sober after watching Scotland’s heartbreaking defeat, writes: “Evening Dan. Good luck to both teams. Hope it’s a great game. I mean that most sincerely. Scotland teams have obviously angered the gods. At least we’ll always have Andy Murray. And Gary Anderson. God knows we need them. And whisky. Though I hear the Japanese do that better now.”

Related: Scotland suffer agonising defeat as Bernard Foley kicks Australia to late win

5.08pm GMT

This is embarrassing but having noted Argentina’s lowly ranking of sixth, after a disappointing Rugby Championship, I have just seen that Wales are, er, seventh. Still, the choir in Cardiff is in fine voice.

Awkward start to BBC’s coverage of Wales v Argentina: Gabby Logan + pundits all but drowned out by PA announcer and choir music.

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