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Author Archive for Paul Rees

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Covid and dementia leave rugby union fretting over an uncertain future | Paul Rees

The pandemic and pending legal action mean the sport is fractured at the top tier and fearing for the existence of its grassroots levelWhen World Rugby’s chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont, launched his re-election campaign a year ago, he said he was excited …

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The Breakdown | René Crabos, the Napoleon of rugby, pioneered France’s enduring flair

Centre won only 17 caps but was the architect of the attacking style that came to symbolise Les Bleus after the first world warGabriel Ibitoye, who last summer joined Agen from Harlequins, was asked recently whether he felt he had made the right move i…

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France will play opening Six Nations game but others to depend on Covid

France will travel to Rome for tournament opener on 6 FebruaryFrench government says Ireland and England games in doubtThe Six Nations will be able to start on time but whether it is played to a finish on time hinges on whether the British and Irish go…

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London Irish keen to get back on the pitch following Covid outbreak

“I would not wish the illness on anyone,” says London Irish director of rugby Declan Kidney ahead of return to action against HarlequinsDeclan Kidney knows only too well that Covid-19 can badly affect rugby players, regardless of the perception that th…

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French government move leaves European club rugby in limbo

French sides advised not to play cross-border matchesSoaring Covid infection rates in Britain prompt actionThe major European club cup competitions are set to be suspended after the French government advised its clubs not to take part in cross-border m…

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Ruan Ackermann finds room for Gloucester growth after father’s exit

The back-row, whose side visit Newcastle on Saturday, backs the Premiership strugglers to kick on under George SkivingtonRuan Ackermann considered leaving Gloucester when his father, Johan, ended his contract as head coach at Kingsholm prematurely to m…

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Ruan Ackermann finds room for Gloucester growth after father’s exit

The back-row, whose side visit Newcastle on Saturday, backs the Premiership strugglers to kick on under George SkivingtonRuan Ackermann considered leaving Gloucester when his father, Johan, ended his contract as head coach at Kingsholm prematurely to m…

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Ruan Ackermann finds room for Gloucester growth after father’s exit

The back-row, whose side visit Newcastle on Saturday, backs the Premiership strugglers to kick on under George SkivingtonRuan Ackermann considered leaving Gloucester when his father, Johan, ended his contract as head coach at Kingsholm prematurely to m…

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Ruan Ackermann finds room for Gloucester growth after father’s exit

The back-row, whose side visit Newcastle on Saturday, backs the Premiership strugglers to kick on under George SkivingtonRuan Ackermann considered leaving Gloucester when his father, Johan, ended his contract as head coach at Kingsholm prematurely to m…

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Women’s Six Nations in jeopardy over Covid-19 but London Irish get go-ahead

Date still not set for start of 2021 Women’s Six NationsPremiership avoids more cancellations despite rise in casesThe Women’s Six Nations is in doubt because of the rising number of Covid-19 infections, but the Premiership has avoided more cancellatio…

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Women’s Six Nations in jeopardy over Covid-19 but London Irish get go-ahead

Date still not set for start of 2021 Women’s Six NationsPremiership avoids more cancellations despite rise in casesThe Women’s Six Nations is in doubt because of the rising number of Covid-19 infections, but the Premiership has avoided more cancellatio…

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Women’s Six Nations in jeopardy over Covid-19 but London Irish get go-ahead

Date still not set for start of 2021 Women’s Six NationsPremiership avoids more cancellations despite rise in casesThe Women’s Six Nations is in doubt because of the rising number of Covid-19 infections, but the Premiership has avoided more cancellatio…

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The Breakdown | Blackett’s Wasps and Ford’s spiral bombs light up the Premiership

The Premiership’s second youngest coach is making a name for himself, while Leicester are using a high kick with a differenceLee Blackett is a head coach going somewhere and Leicester are on an upward spiral. Two thoughts after last weekend’s Premiersh…

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The Breakdown | Blackett’s Wasps and Ford’s spiral bombs light up the Premiership

The Premiership’s second youngest coach is making a name for himself, while Leicester are using a high kick with a differenceLee Blackett is a head coach going somewhere and Leicester are on an upward spiral. Two thoughts after last weekend’s Premiersh…

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Worcester director gives backing to ringfencing of Premiership this season

Alan Solomons highlights impact of rising Covid casesNorthampton’s match against Leicester in doubtAlan Solomons, the Worcester director of rugby, believes the recent crop of cancellations in the Premiership because of players testing positive for Covi…

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Steve Borthwick misses out on Bath reunion due to Covid self-isolation

Leicester head coach will miss Sunday’s game at Welford RoadBorthwick wants fitter Tigers to pull away from relegation zoneSteve Borthwick will watch Leicester’s match on Sunday against Bath, the club where he made his name as a second row, at home on …

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Paul Deacon welcomes switch of focus as he settles into role at Sale

Sharks head coach admits responsibility has affected his sleepDeacon looking forward to visit of Wasps in PremiershipPaul Deacon admits he has had sleepless nights since becoming Sale’s head coach on an interim basis this month and is hoping a change o…

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My 2021 wishlist for rugby: Lions success and action on head injuries

Warren Gatland will complete his hat-trick as head coach of the Lions if trip to South Africa goes aheadThe international game, in Europe at least, is trapped in a kicking cycle, as it invariably is when referees are told to make the breakdown more of …

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Alex Dombrandt wants Harlequins’ home fires burning against Racing 92

Captain keen to buck trend of Stoop defeats with spirited but disciplined performance against French side in Champions CupThese are strange times and no club sums them up more than Harlequins. The lack of crowds has made venturing away less hazardous, …

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Wasps beat 14-man Montpellier, Toulon refuse to play Scarlets over Covid-19

Wasps prevail 33-14 after Henry Immelman is sent offToulon refuse to take field after Scarlets player tests positiveMontpellier have one of the biggest packs in European club rugby, but their combined might was nothing compared to the 20-year old Wasps…