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Author Archive for Gerard Meagher

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Wasps’ Dai Young speaks out as pressure builds on Premiership coaches

• Young has sympathy for sacked Leicester coach, Matt O’Connor• Bath’s Todd Blackadder among coaches under early scrutinyAt last month’s Premiership launch the Saracens director of rugby, Mark McCall, remarked on the number of new faces among his conte…

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Billy Vunipola: ‘A lot of people still have injuries and try to hide it’

The England forward reflects on his fitness struggles and rugby’s problem with players masking their own physical painBilly Vunipola has a reputation as one of the most disarmingly honest players around, but even by his standards his latest admission i…

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Worcester’s Cornell du Preez unable to talk after throat injury

• Fractured cricoid suffered in collision with Wasps’ Launchbury• Back-row must remain in hospital for about four weeksThe Worcester and Scotland back-row Cornell du Preez has revealed he is unable to talk and must remain in hospital for the next four …

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Money in European rugby is too good to resist, says Wasps’ Lima Sopoaga

• Sopoaga: More New Zealanders will give up All Black hopes• Brad Shields out for up to five weeks after surgeryThe Wasps fly-half Lima Sopoaga believes the player drain from New Zealand to Europe will increase because the lure of the All Blacks jersey…

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Premiership Rugby agrees selling majority share is ‘not preferred option’

• Private equity firm CVC offered £275m for 51% share• Clubs want to keep control, says chairman, Ian RitchiePremiership Rugby has declined to accept a £275m offer from the private equity firm CVC for a 51% share because the clubs are fearful of handin…

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George Ford defiant over battle with Danny Cipriani to be England No 10

• Ford denies loss of England place was ‘wake-up call’• Leicester fly-half delighted with display against NewcastleGeorge Ford believes he has sharpened his attacking instincts after he was ousted by Danny Cipriani as England’s fly-half, but denied tha…

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Geordan Murphy appointment is Leicester sticking to an old routine

Irishman faces first game in charge after the sacking of Matt O’Connor and is another head coach promoted from withinAs Leicester lurch from one mess to another, one head coach to the next, England’s best supported and most successful club is faced wit…

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Brad Shields piles on the pounds and prepares for belated Wasps debut

England’s New Zealand-born flanker had a tough time of it in South Africa during the close season and only now is he ready to rumble with his new clubAs understatements go, Brad Shields describing his whirlwind summer with England as “unusual” takes so…

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Leicester sacking of Matt O’Connor described as ‘grossly unfair’ by union

• O’Connor fired after one game of Premiership season• Coaches’ union calls dismissal part of ‘disturbing trend’Leicester’s decision to fire Matt O’Connor one match into the Premiership season has been described as “grossly unfair” and part of “a distu…

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Bristol Bears’ success key to future of promotion, says Nigel Melville

• Well-funded Bristol have spent heavily on three players• Melville: ‘To be a yo-yo club is not a good thing’Bristol’s first season back in the Premiership is likely to have a significant bearing on whether the top flight is ring-fenced, according to t…

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Eddie Jones addresses England breakdown with head of referees

• England head coach met Tony Spreadbury• Jones: ‘We won’t get better at it until the next World Cup’Eddie Jones has held talks with the Rugby Football Union’s head of referees in an effort to solve England’s breakdown woes after a run of five defeats …

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Saracens have the look of champions and Bristol can make their mark

Premiership club-by-club guide: Mark McCall’s men and Exeter may lead the way again but Worcester could face a hard winterDirector of rugby Todd Blackadder Continue reading…

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Eddie Jones suffers new blow with loss of England’s sports science head

• Dean Benton the latest member of backroom team to leave• John Mitchell set to replace Paul Gustard as defence coachEngland have been dealt a significant blow just over a year before the World Cup with another key member of Eddie Jones’s staff set to …

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Pat Lam moved by ‘vision’ to deliver on Bristol’s ambitious spending

After signing Charles Piutau for a reported £1m, the Auckland-born coach is convinced the Premiership new boys should be aiming for the top sixAt this time of year, the action on the field cannot begin quickly enough. We have been told that the coming …

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Owen Farrell tips ‘brilliant’ Dylan Hartley to resume England captaincy

• Fly-half says Hartley did an ‘unbelievable job’ before injury• Hooker has not played for England since the Six NationsOwen Farrell has given Dylan Hartley a ringing endorsement to resume the England captaincy after the Saracens fly-half assumed the r…

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Sam Underhill eager to make up for lost time after torrid start for Bath | Gerard Meagher

The England flanker saved a certain try against Wales but there were few other highlights in his injury-hit first seasonOn the face of it Sam Underhill endured a torrid first season at Bath. He managed only eight matches for the club, two starts for En…

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Chris Ashton’s England recall in doubt after seven-week ban for tip tackle

• Sale player banned by RFU for incident in pre-season friendly• Eligible for only one game before Eddie Jones names squadChris Ashton’s hopes of winning an England recall this autumn have been dealt a hammer blow after he was hit on Thursday night wit…

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Chris Ashton’s England recall in doubt after seven-week ban for tip tackle

• Sale player banned by RFU for incident in pre-season friendly• Eligible for only one game before Eddie Jones names squadChris Ashton’s hopes of winning an England recall this autumn have been dealt a hammer blow after he was hit on Thursday night wit…

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Gloucester’s Johan Ackermann urges Eddie Jones not to drop Danny Cipriani

• ‘You can only judge him on how he performs,’ says club’s coach• Cipriani set for Gloucester debut after escaping RFU sanctionEddie Jones has been urged by the Gloucester head coach, Johan Ackermann, to hold talks with Danny Cipriani and judge the fly…

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Danny Cipriani avoids ban as RFU decides to take no further action

• ‘Conduct prejudicial to the interest of the game’ charge upheld• RFU hearing settles on rebuke but no further sanctionDanny Cipriani is free to make his first Gloucester appearance on Thursday after avoiding any further punishment from the Rugby Foot…