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Author Archive for Paul Rees

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Billy Vunipola faces three-month absence after surgery on broken left arm

• Problem for Eddie Jones and England with shortage of No 8s• Mako Vunipola and Nick Isiekwe also injured in win at GlasgowBilly Vunipola, who has started only three of England’s past 19 Tests, will miss the four-match series at Twickenham next month a…

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Glasgow aim to stun Saracens by hitting the ground running in Europe

Trip to the seaside has Dave Rennie’s side ready to turn the tide in European Champions Cup opener at ScotstounGlasgow spent last week in Largs, a seaside town on the Firth of Clyde, preparing for their opening match of the European Champions Cup on Su…

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Glasgow aim to stun Saracens by hitting the ground running in Europe

Trip to the seaside has Dave Rennie’s side ready to turn the tide in European Champions Cup opener at ScotstounGlasgow spent last week in Largs, a seaside town on the Firth of Clyde, preparing for their opening match of the European Champions Cup on Su…

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French rugby soul-searches before Newcastle’s visit to Toulon | The Breakdown

Europe has not always been the country’s priority and there are concerns over the health of the game at home, but France’s clubs still tend to shine in the Champions CupNewcastle’s last appearance in the European Cup was against Stade Français in Paris…

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All Blacks fearing autumn fall after Rassie Erasmus’s surprise lesson | Paul Rees

New Zealand’s stuttering Rugby Championship form means they could be toppled from No 1 spot by Ireland next month, while South Africa and Argentina have reasons to look upNew Zealand have looked down on the rest from the top of the world rankings for m…

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Jonny May’s sore shoulder will not rule him out of England autumn Tests

• Leicester wing may miss two Champions Cup matches • Marland Yarde faces six months out with dislocated kneecapJonny May is set to be fit for England’s four-Test autumn campaign, which begins against South Africa next month, but the shoulder injury he…

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England’s finest seek Champions Cup atonement at feet of Leinster | Paul Rees

Wasps have the first shot at the imposing holders in Dublin on Friday but Saracens look ready to wrest back the trophyThe pressing question in European rugby union as the Champions Cup starts is how do you stop Leinster winning it for a record fifth ti…

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Premiership provides entertainment but is struggling to boost attendances | Paul Rees

The Premiership’s aim at the start of the decade was to rival English football’s second tier for gates. It is some way from thatSome years ago at Cardiff Arms Park, a man was considering a question from a young boy about the difference between the two …

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Sale captain Jono Ross: it’s far too early to talk about relegation

• Bottom side focused on Leicester rather than table• Ross: ‘There are no weak teams in the Premiership’It may be too early in the season to describe Sunday’s meeting of Leicester and Sale at Welford Road as an eight-pointer but with the Manchester clu…

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World Rugby’s Sydney committee meetings will struggle to resolve anything | Paul Rees

Beaumont and Pichot, chairman and vice-chairman respectively, are leading the push for reform with the latter declaring that international rugby is heading for the scrapheapMore than 75% of the income generated globally by rugby union comes from the in…

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Warren Gatland wants to go out on a high with Wales over next 12 months

• ‘I am bricking myself about the next year,’ says head coach• Longest-serving coach feels they have a chance at World CupWarren Gatland may be entering the final year of his contract with Wales but he is determined to go out at the very top and believ…

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Warren Gatland hopes to have Rhys Webb available for Wales at World Cup

• Scrum-half in exile due to WRU rules on overseas players• ‘I would like to think common sense will prevail’Warren Gatland has not abandoned hope of being able to select his Lions scrum-half Rhys Webb for the World Cup next year.Under an agreement bet…

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Danny Cipriani faces Owen Farrell but his real England rival is George Ford

Cipriani’s Gloucester meet Farrell’s Saracens on Sunday but Ford is the man the man standing between the 30-year-old and a recall by Eddie JonesA montage on the wall of the Gloucester team room at their Hartpury training base is centred around the acro…

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Eddie Jones says old foe John Mitchell will get England thinking differently

• Former New Zealand coach has joined until after World Cup• ‘He has improved every one of his teams enormously‘Eddie Jones says he is testing himself by hiring the former New Zealand coach John Mitchell until the end of next year’s World Cup.Just as E…

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World must march in union to secure future of international rugby | The Breakdown

A World Rugby conference in Sydney next week will discuss how to reinvent the international game, something that can only be achieved by working with clubs tooThe Welsh Rugby Union chief executive, Martyn Phillips, has backed calls by Agustín Pichot fo…

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Freddie Burns insists that Todd Blackadder rumours are nonsense

• Bath fly-half says team are united• Joe Cokanasiga nudges Eddie JonesFreddie Burns has dismissed as “nonsense” speculation that Todd Blackadder was facing the sack as Bath’s director of rugby following a player revolt after the defeat against Bristol…

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Leicester legend Geordan Murphy on a mission to restore Tigers’ bite

The interim head coach is determined to land his ‘dream job’ on a permanent basis and bring back the glory daysWhen Geordan Murphy took over as Leicester’s interim head coach after the sacking of Matt O’Connor a couple of days into the season, he gathe…

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CVC’s Premiership bid may have been rejected but it could signal change | The Breakdown

The takeover’s threat to club independence and existing regulations may have prompted its failure but it has opened up a debate about how the game can brand and run itself betterThe response of one Premiership club official to the takeover bid of the l…

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Duncan Weir: ‘An opponent’s size doesn’t bother me. I love tackling’

Recruited by Worcester to bring calm and consistency, the battling 5ft 8in fly-half is hoping a fresh start will lead to a Scotland recallDuncan Weir is not a fly-half who illuminates matches with eye?catching moments but he is what Worcester have long…

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Duncan Weir: ‘An opponent’s size doesn’t bother me. I love tackling’

Recruited by Worcester to bring calm and consistency, the battling 5ft 8in fly-half is hoping a fresh start will lead to a Scotland recallDuncan Weir is not a fly-half who illuminates matches with eye?catching moments but he is what Worcester have long…