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Author Archive for Gerard Meagher

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Bloodied Tom Curry channels spirit of Terry Butcher to stake England claim

The 20-year-old flanker has quickly become a vital part of the team and now looks forward to testing himself against WalesPerhaps it should not be surprising Tom Curry did not know who Terry Butcher is. It is a sure-fire way to make one feel old, yes, …

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Ellis Genge an injury worry for England’s Six Nations date with Wales

• Leicester loosehead injures ankle in training• Eddie Jones without Mako Vunipola for rest of Six NationsEngland have encountered further problems at loosehead prop in the build-up to their Six Nations match with Wales a week on Saturday after Ellis G…

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England’s Mako Vunipola faces ankle scan in build-up to Wales eliminator

• Tighthead prop hobbled off against France with injury problem• Morgan Parra breaks ranks and questions coach’s methodsEngland were last night on Monday waiting on the result of a scan on Mako Vunipola after he suffered an ankle injury against France …

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France cannot roar away from their blocks, warns England’s Billy Vunipola

• England No 8 says visitors will be dangerous• ‘When they get momentum they are hard to stop’Billy Vunipola has urged England to fly out of the blocks at Twickenham on Sunday, warning his teammates they cannot afford to let France build up a head of s…

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Chris Ashton: ‘A year ago I’d never have thought I’d be playing France’

The Sale wing was working as a pundit during last year’s Six Nations but will start at Twickenham after impressing Eddie Jones with his desire to return to the England foldIt does not take long in Chris Ashton’s company to get the feeling he is still p…

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Six Nations: Chris Ashton returns to face France as England go on the attack

Ashton’s try-scoring threat earns him a spot over Jack NowellLawes replaces Itoje in only other change to winning formulaChris Ashton has been recalled to the England starting line-up to face France in one of two changes made by Eddie Jones. Ashton com…

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Manu Tuilagi casts aside roguish image to give England sense of calm

The centre is back in the Six Nations fold and relishing the chance to occupy a more senior role in Eddie Jones’ squadManu Tuilagi has mixed memories of playing against France. His two Six Nations matches against England’s opponents on Sunday have ende…

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How beers, soap and a stepladder laid way for Eddie Jones’ Ireland triumph | Gerard Meagher

Team night out and an array of leftfield training drills provided perfect preparation for England’s best display of coach’s tenureAfter a performance such as England’s in Dublin on Saturday there is always the temptation to look back on it in the conte…

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England sweat on the fitness of Maro Itoje following knee injury

• Lock limped out of England’s 32-20 victory against Ireland• Concerns he could be out for the rest of the Six NationsEngland are sweating on the fitness of Maro Itoje amid concerns he could be ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations tournament, whil…

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‘We are nowhere near our best’: Eddie Jones says England can get better

• England coach says win over Ireland is just the start• ‘We will be better in the next game – we are still growing’Eddie Jones says England’s stunning bonus-point victory in Dublin is merely a start in a year that culminates with the World Cup in Japa…

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Ireland seek added flexibility and take leap of faith with Robbie Henshaw

Ireland’s bullish coach had one eye on this autumn’s World Cup as he named a side to take on England in Dublin on SaturdayIf Dublin is to witness the battle of the skies as widely expected on Saturday, the team announcements came on Thursday with no li…

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Six Nations relegation not on the agenda, tournament organisers say

• Six Nations chief executive says major changes not planned• There have been calls for Georgia to replace Italy in tournamentRelegation from the Six Nations has been dismissed as “absolutely not on the agenda” by tournament organisers despite ongoing …

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Brutality, home wins and drop goals: what to expect from the Six Nations

Away wins are likely to be rare, drop goals less so and the women’s competition looks to be between England and FranceDiscounting matches against Italy, there were two away wins last year, both by Ireland. Twelve months before that just one, by England…

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Six newcomers to watch during the 2019 Six Nations | Gerard Meagher

This year’s most exciting potential debutants, from the lightest player in the championship to France’s brightest young thingsCurry has five caps but has never before appeared in the Six Nations after missing out last year with a long-term wrist injury…

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England women hoping investment will deliver grand slam glory

Sarah Hunter’s squad of full-time professionals know that France will be biggest rivals in Six NationsWith investment comes expectation for England. As the first full-time XVs squad in women’s rugby, a move their captain, Sarah Hunter, has called revol…

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Greig Laidlaw: ‘Italy always believe they can beat Scotland’

The Azzurri at Murrayfield should be the kindest start the Scots could have, but Gregor Townsend remembers only too well a famous upset in the same fixture 19 years agoGregor Townsend remembers only too well the last time Scotland began their Six Natio…

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England call up Jonathan Joseph to Six Nations squad for Portugal trip

• Centre in contention to play against Ireland in opener• No place for Danny Cipriani despite Owen Farrell injuryJonathan Joseph has been added to England’s Six Nations squad despite making only one appearance in the past nine months with Eddie Jones o…

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Wasps scrum-half Dan Robson to stake England claim with overdue first cap

• Robson is one of only two scrum-halves in Six Nations squad• ‘Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can cement my place’For a sense of just how long overdue Dan Robson’s first England cap is, Dai Young’s explanation for taking him off in the latter…

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Danny Cipriani waiting on England call after Owen Farrell hand surgery

• England captain and fly-half had operation on a thumb• Brad Shields and Joe Launchbury also concerns for JonesDanny Cipriani will find out in the coming days if Owen Farrell’s thumb injury leads to an England reprieve and a place in the squad to prep…

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Champions Cup pool-by-pool preview: Saracens’ Brad Barritt chases home tie

Barritt returns to captain Saracens on the weekend that decides the pools as his side seek to set up a home quarter-finalJonathan Joseph makes his first appearance for Bath since April after recovering from a long-term foot injury. Joseph, who was left…