rss

Author Archive for Michael Aylwin

0

Ireland and Andy Farrell left with much to ponder after defeat by England | Michael Aylwin

Problems with scrum and lineout were punished ruthlessly by Jonny May as Ireland were manhandled out of the gameA first glimpse of a future without Ireland’s longstanding think tank at half-back, a first glimpse of a side that cannot quite summon the f…

0

Premiership’s swift return should benefit Exeter and others in form

Domestic rugby’s return feels more like the resumption of a tennis match after rain than a whole new seasonLess than a month after the conclusion of the 2019-20 Premiership season, English domestic rugby cranks itself up again this weekend for the star…

0

Duhan van der Merwe makes his mark as Scotland fight back to beat Italy

Italy 17-28 ScotlandAway side overturn half-time deficit to win five in a rowFive wins in a row. In Florence, of all places, Scotland have underlined their latest renaissance, stretching a string of victories further than they have since 2011. It would…

0

Q&A: Why are so many former footballers suffering from dementia?

Following the death of Nobby Stiles and Sir Bobby Charlton’s diagnosis of dementia, the spotlight is once again on football and its links with the conditionThe science is in its infancy, but, yes, a link was officially asserted when Jeff Astle was rule…

0

France take win but not title as Dupont and Ntamack sparkle against Ireland

France 35-27 IrelandAntoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack impress for runners-upNo miracles in Paris, but France were almost more impressive in winning by less than the 31-point margin that would have brought them the title. They were happy to let that gon…

0

Bristol sweep Toulon aside to clinch their first European Challenge Cup title

Bristol 32-19 ToulonHarry Randall and Max Malins tries help to seal victoryDown Bristol way, they reckon they live in the biggest rugby city in the world. Now they have some tangible evidence of the show the team’s prowess, to complement all that cultu…

0

‘I surprise myself’: Sidestepping Cheslin Kolbe turns sights on Exeter | Michael Aylwin

The Toulouse wing is aiming for Champions Cup glory after honing his speed running from gang wars in South AfricaThere is a phenomenon in tennis whereby a player is so good at a particular skill the opponent does not even bother trying to respond. This…

0

Owen Farrell red card cost Saracens dear against resurgent Wasps

Saracens 18-28 WaspsEngland captain sent off for high tackle on Charlie AtkinsonOwen Farrell has always trod a fine line with his tackling technique; now it threatens what is left of Saracens’ season. A red card on the hour for a high tackle on Charlie…

0

Akker van der Merwe helps Sale to power-packed win against Bristol

Sale 40-7 BristolDominant pack sets platform for six-try winJust a casual perusal of the team sheets beforehand ought to have given pause. Squad rotation is a fact of life at the moment, but it seemed fairly obvious that Sale were targeting this match …

0

Northampton cut loose at London Irish to move within a point of the play-offs

London Irish 3-27 Northampton SaintsSpectacular final try by Ahsee Tuala seals bonus pointIt took them a while, two hours if you count last week’s home defeat by Wasps, but Northampton cut loose in the second half to move to within a point of the play-…

0

Bath stay in contention as Spencer and Dunn inspire victory over London Irish

Bath 34-17 London IrishDunn scores twice in bonus-point victoryThey started the weekend in sixth, then the match in eighth, but Bath finished the day in fourth, in the play-off zone. They hold that precious seat courtesy of a bonus-point win over Londo…

0

Premiership restart: club-by-club guide to rugby union’s return | Michael Aylwin

The season will resume on Friday and, with nine rounds left and two play-off weekends to follow, there is plenty to play for Position 6thSlap in the middle of the table, the play-offs are five points one way and Leicester (or relegation any other year…

0

Rugby players of both codes have increased risk of osteoarthritis

Durham University study found 51% of retirees have conditionMajority of elite players had at least one concussion in careerA new study has found that elite rugby players of both codes in the UK typically suffer more than five times the number of injuri…

0

The man behind deal that launched rugby union’s professional era

Michael Watt’s company brokered the deal between Murdoch and Sanzar that changed rugby for ever, for better or worseTwenty-five years ago this Wednesday, rugby union supplied the backdrop to one of the most famous images in history. Nelson Mandela and …

0

Richard Parks: from record-breaking solitude in Antarctica to flat isolation

After a successful rugby career, including four appearances for Wales, Parks is now a world record holder in endurance skiingAs each of us languishes in isolation, one man is about to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for being on his own. When …

0

Rugby needs to wake up to the slow strangling of the grassroots game

The RFU is midway through its latest review to better cater for the needs of the 1,500 rugby clubs in its membership and they urgently need nurturingLiverpool St Helens: a case study in community rugby It has been a bad month for the RFU. The furore sp…

0

Liverpool St Helens: a case study in community rugby

They are the world’s oldest open rugby club but in 2018 they joined 23 others in breaking away from the RFU league systemRugby must wake up to slow strangling of grassroots game“I went along the terraces before a game,” says John Williams, press office…

0

Rugby needs to wake up to the slow strangling of the grassroots game

The RFU is midway through its latest review to better cater for the needs of the 1,500 rugby clubs in its membership and they urgently need nurturingLiverpool St Helens: a case study in community rugby It has been a bad month for the RFU. The furore sp…

0

Liverpool St Helens: a case study in community rugby

They are the world’s oldest open rugby club but in 2018 they joined 23 others in breaking away from the RFU league systemRugby must wake up to slow strangling of grassroots game“I went along the terraces before a game,” says John Williams, press office…

0

France’s Paul Willemse thankful knock-on effects were not too severe

The lock’s infringement could have been punished by a penalty try and a yellow card had it been judged deliberatePaul Willemse, France’s try-scoring lock, has confessed he was on tenterhooks as the officials deliberated over his knock-on in Cardiff. Wa…