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Author Archive for Nick Evans

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Six Nations’ team of the tournament: Wales and England dominate best XV | Nick Evans

Alun Wyn Jones was arguably the pick of the bunch as grand slam winners Wales and England dominate our columnist’s listA big part of what Saracens do well and exactly the same with Wales, Williams has been brilliant throughout and his ability to play o…

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England showed their best moves but how will they play in bigger games? | Nick Evans

There was much to admire in England’s attack against Italy although the big backs did show defensive frailtiesTwickenham seemed strangely subdued on Saturday – that’s what happens when 80,000 people already know the outcome before the match – but for t…

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Bringing on George Ford could have helped England unlock the Wales defence | Nick Evans

Owen Farrell’s kicking game was not enough in Cardiff and Eddie Jones missed a trick in ignoring the Leicester fly-halfEngland had a plan B against Wales – the problem was it stayed on the bench. Owen Farrell is one of the best fly-halves in the world,…

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The breakdown will be a key to who gets into the fast lane at Cardiff | Nick Evans

England will miss Mako Vunipola on Saturday but they have enough ball-carriers to turn on the power against WalesIt is not uncommon to introduce themes every now and then – we often use them at Harlequins – and one we’ve used recently is called decapit…

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England kicking on but strategy for Wales could include power game | Nick Evans

France caved under pressure from kicking but Eddie Jones may mix it up with Tuilagi and the Vunipolas against WalesFrance’s death by a thousand kicks at Twickenham started the week before in Paris. England have been extremely well coached in both match…

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England need to be physical and adaptable to realise a winning formula | Nick Evans

Adopting a strategy of squeeze and strangle, Eddie Jones’ team gave Ireland little room to handle the constant pressureThere was so much to like about England’s performance in Dublin but of the things that impressed me most, the way they handled the br…

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Owen Farrell has got away with it twice – he won’t a third time | Nick Evans

England will fear Farrell shoulder-tackling makes him a marked man for officials. It could cost his side a match that mattersOwen Farrell has got away with it twice this autumn but we can be sure of one thing – he will not get away with it a third time…

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Ireland defeat could be pre-World Cup tipping point for All Blacks

This loss may not prove to be such a good thing for rugby for simple reason New Zealand are going to get better because of itWhen I was playing for the All Blacks we would always talk about making sure that after the November series we did not have “a …

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England’s tactical superiority shows All Blacks’ rivals are closing the gap | Nick Evans

The precision of Eddie Jones’s side put New Zealand on the back foot, making them look defensively vulnerable and reliant on individual creativityNew Zealand are not a very good wet?weather team so grinding out this victory, having got themselves in a …

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Target the lineout and slow it down: how England can beat the All Blacks

Chris Ashton’s sixth sense for where the ball is going will also be vital if the world’s No 1 side are to be beaten at TwickenhamSteve Hansen’s team selection gives us an idea of where New Zealand’s mindset is. I know they have been wanting to field tw…

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England will need more than resilience to get better of New Zealand | Nick Evans

Eddie Jones’s side dodged a bullet against South Africa but All Blacks will be a different proposition – although I think the game will be closer than many thinkIf there is one thing England can be sure of against New Zealand it is that the All Blacks …

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Six Nations 2018 report card: how the teams and coaches rated | Nick Evans

Joe Schmidt’s attention to detail underpinned Irish success but Eddie Jones needs a Plan BI’ve read about how it was meant to be for Ireland on St Patrick’s Day – but make no mistake, they earned their grand slam. They fully deserved it. The players, c…

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England face biggest character test as losses raise eyebrows in New Zealand | Nick Evans

England need to learn how to adapt after two defeats that have raised interest in the Six Nations, and further admiration of Ireland, in All Black countryMaybe the Eddie Jones factor plays a part – the old mate from across the Tasman Sea – but whenever…

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England’s wet-weather game and power will be too much for France | Nick Evans

Six Nations collision in Paris to be a huge struggle for France but England must not allow them to be in with a sniff late onI know precisely what it’s like to play against a France team in the mood. It may be 11 years ago now but I can still vividly r…

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England have yet to replace Neil Back at openside and it is a big problem | Nick Evans

Hamish Watson was outstanding in Scotland’s win at Murrayfield and the visitors must hope Sam Underhill can become that kind of playerAs a contrast to England’s repeated failure to find a successor at openside flanker to Neil Back one has only to look …

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Nathan Hughes’s 15-20 carries will have England’s backs licking their lips | Nick Evans

If Eddie Jones does decide to put Nathan Hughes straight into the starting lineup against Scotland on Saturday, my guess is he will play for 60 minutes before the cavalry come onIt comes as no surprise to hear England’s coaches have been glowing about …

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The beauty of Ford-Farrell is you have another 10 to see the space | Nick Evans

Combination of George Ford and Owen Farrell gives England a lot of options and spares Eddie Jones the need for a backs coachSpeaking from the point of view of a backs coach, I find it no surprise Eddie Jones does not have a permanent one in his England…

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The beauty of Ford-Farrell is you have another 10 to see the space | Nick Evans

Combination of George Ford and Owen Farrell gives England a lot of options and spares Eddie Jones the need for a backs coachSpeaking from the point of view of a backs coach, I find it no surprise Eddie Jones does not have a permanent one in his England…

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Autumn internationals: a team-by-team verdict of the tier-one nations | Nick Evans

With one international to go this autumn New Zealand and Scotland will be delighted, while Australia’s tour nosedived and South Africa are in a sorry stateThey have definitely got a rock under their towels when it comes to their holidays now. The red c…

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Warren Gatland is strong enough to keep faith with new Welsh style | Nick Evans

Wales will be put under plenty of pressure but if they can limit New Zealand to one or two tries they have a chance of causing an upsetDespite everything that has been said in the past few weeks, and everything written in Warren Gatland’s book, the Wal…