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Author Archive for Gerard Meagher

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Saracens to face Clermont Auvergne behind closed doors on Monday

• Rearranged Champions Cup match set for 5.30pm kick-off• Match at Allianz Park will be shown on BT SportSaracens’s Champions Cup match against Clermont Auvergne will take place on Monday behind closed doors at Allianz Park, 24 hours after it was postp…

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Ulster all but eliminate Harlequins with impressive show of strength in the snow

• Harlequins 5-17 Ulster• Away win means Quins almost certainly out and Ulster’s hopes are revivedIn the midst of a blizzard Harlequins’ European hopes were blown away. They were outthought and outfought by an Ulster side who adapted to the treacherous…

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Mako Vunipola fighting fit for Saracens’ Champions Cup rematch with Clermont

Extra conditioning at behest of Eddie Jones has given loosehead prop a keener edge as he prepares to meet the French side his team beat in last year’s finalMako Vunipola vividly recalls the moment Saracens finally broke Clermont’s resistance in May to …

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Rejuvenated Owen Farrell hungry to halt Saracens slump against Clermont

England fly-half says he feel stronger and quicker after spell on the sidelines and Champions Cup tie against Clermont is club’s chance to turn their season aroundSaracens may be reeling from the untimely loss of Maro Itoje to a broken jaw but in Owen …

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Sam Warburton to miss Wales’s Six Nations campaign after knee surgery

• Lions captain has ‘proactive’ procedure and will be sidelined for rest of season• Semesa Rokoduguni a doubt for England as Bath confirm shoulder operationSam Warburton has been ruled out of Wales’s Six Nations campaign after having knee surgery that …

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European Champions Cup: pool-by-pool guide to the weekend games

Joe Launchbury back for Wasps; Schalk Burger takes Maro Itoje’s role for Saracens; Exeter look to Henry Slade and Jonny Hill; Leicester boosted by return of Jonny May; Taulupe Faletau straight into Bath side after playing for WalesWasps welcome their c…

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England’s Ellis Genge to miss start of Six Nations after shoulder surgery

• Leicester prop damaged shoulder against Wasps• Genge blow deprives Eddie Jones of another England playerEllis Genge is set to miss the start of England’s Six Nations campaign after Leicester confirmed the loosehead prop requires shoulder surgery and …

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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, accordi…

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Saracens’ Maro Itoje a doubt for Six Nations after suffering broken jaw

• Forward will see specialist after injury during Sunday’s defeat to Harlequins• Itoje could miss up to 10 weeks, including England’s opener against ItalyMaro Itoje is a doubt for the start of England’s Six Nations campaign after Saracens confirmed he …

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Elliot Daly at the top of the class in England’s half-term report

• Wing has been side’s brightest star in autumn internationals• Eddie Jones named World Rugby’s coach of the yearA ninth victory of the year, seven more tries and one or two World Cup prospects now burnished in the heat of international battle, yet a n…

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England short of ball-carriers but not excitement against Samoa

Maro Itoje, Ellis Genge and Sam Simmonds to quicken the pulse in England forward line led by co-captain Chris Robshaw, who Eddie Jones says ‘understands his own game beautifully’Dylan Hartley had to be reminded this week that the last time he appeared …

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Easing eligibility rules would boost Samoa, says Tim Nanai-Williams

• Samoan urges following league’s example over dual-nationality players• League players not picked by tier-one nations can turn out for tier-two teamsTim Nanai-Williams believes Samoa could compete on an equal footing if rugby union’s authorities follo…

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Jamie George to make first England start but Dylan Hartley on bench against Samoa

• Hartley had captained England for all 22 Tests since Eddie Jones took over• George Ford and Chris Robshaw named co-captainsJamie George will make his first England start in Saturday’s match against Samoa, with Eddie Jones omitting Dylan Hartley from …

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Australia’s hardened edge energises Michael Hooper for England test

The Wallabies captain says the tough work is paying off and Michael Cheika’s men are gelling into a team that can win in different waysAs England talk of physical domination prior to their hardest assignment of the autumn, Australia speak of their hard…

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Eddie Jones accuses Australia’s Michael Cheika of showing a lack of respect

• England head coach hits back at bullying claims ahead of Twickenham clash• ‘Obviously Australia like the media more than the referee’ says JonesEddie Jones has accused Australia’s head coach Michael Cheika of showing a lack of respect by trying to in…

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Owen Farrell recalled at inside-centre for England’s clash with Australia

• Jonny May comes in on right wing having recovered from hamstring injury• Maro Itoje left on the bench for England’s hardest assignment of the autumnOwen Farrell and Jonny May have been handed starts against Australia on Saturday but Maro Itoje has be…

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World Rugby and Bill Beaumont face backlash after France named 2023 host

• Report had recommended South Africa as ‘‘clear leader’ but it lost 24-15• Chairman Bill Beaumont denies World Cup vote is a personal humiliationWorld Rugby was left embarrassed and in disarray on Wednesday night after France was announced as the surp…

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Ireland’s last-ditch lobbying has South Africa in a sweat over 2023 World Cup

• Council of rugby union’s governing body will announce hosts on Wednesday• South Africa’s perceived arrogance has emboldened Ireland and FranceSouth Africa remain the strong favourites to be awarded the 2023 Rugby World Cup on Wednesday but there is g…

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Sam Underhill told to be a defensive leader on second England cap

• ‘What I expect from Sam is a dominant performance,’ says defence coach• Underhill gets chance to build on fine club form and promising England debutSam Underhill has been challenged to produce a “dominant performance” for England against Argentina on…

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England players will consider donating fees to Samoa, says Anthony Watson

• Pacific island’s union declared bankrupt by chairman and RFU to give £75,000• ‘Samoan rugby players are the most naturally gifted on the planet’Anthony Watson has revealed the England squad will consider donating some of their £22,000 match fees to t…