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Author Archive for Paul Rees

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Saracens will be relegated at end of season, Premiership Rugby confirms

• Club will be playing in Championship next season• Repeatedly failed to adhere to Premiership’s salary capSaracens will be relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season following a fourth salary cap breach.The club, which in November was fin…

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Eddie Jones’ England rebuild complicated by future of his Saracens | Paul Rees

Youth will be added for the Six Nations to a core group distracted by impending relegation at their clubEddie Jones names his England squad for the Six Nations on Monday and at least he does not have to fret about some of his Saracens contingent being …

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Champions Cup preview: five clubs fight for three best runners-up spots

• Saracens, Saints, Gloucester, Glasgow and Ulster can progress • Exeter can seal home quarter-final, Gloucester go to ToulouseLeinster will be the top seeds for the quarter-finals if they win in Treviso and don’t have to fret about a bonus point. Last…

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Alun Wyn Jones can make a fifth World Cup, says Wales’ Jonathan Humphreys

• Captain ‘has such an influence on teams,’ says forwards coach• Martyn Phillips to step down as WRU chief executive Alun Wyn Jones will turn 38 when the 2023 World Cup starts, but Jonathan Humphreys expects the Wales captain to be competing in what wo…

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The Breakdown | Saracens’ spirit is remarkable but cost-cutting threatens strength

Saracens’ win at Ospreys further demonstrated their resilience but some top players may have to go to meet salary cap rulesIf Saracens could distil the spirit they have shown for the past decade that helps them turn adversity into gain, and then bottle…

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Wayne Pivac names four Premiership players in Wales’ Six Nations squad

• Nick Tompkins among uncapped quartet chosen from England• ‘We are pretty excited with the group we have got’ says PivacWayne Pivac has raided England for his first Six Nations squad, naming four uncapped Premiership players among the 38 who will defe…

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Louis Rees-Zammit signs up to new long-term contract for Gloucester

• Move comes ahead of expected Wales call-up for 18-year-old• Mark Jones agrees deal to become Crusaders’ defence coachGloucester have moved to secure the future of their 18-year old wing Louis Rees-Zammit, who is expected to be named in Wales’s squad …

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England add Matt Proudfoot and Simon Amor to coaching team for Six Nations

Proudfoot leads forwards, Amor is in charge of attackSteve Borthwick shifts role to become skills coachTen weeks and three months after South Africa’s pack laid the foundation for World Cup victory over England, Eddie Jones has turned to the Springboks…

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Champions Cup triumph would be extraordinary – Saracens’ Alex Lozowski

• Club could defend trophy only if they avoid relegation• ‘If we make quarters, not many teams would want to play us’Alex Lozowski believes that, if Saracens retain the European Champions Cup, it would rank as the club’s greatest achievement after the …

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Champions Cup preview: Exeter’s Hogg heads to Glasgow to meet former club

• Munster seek to deny Racing 92 top spot in Pool Four• Leinster host Lyon, Toulouse travel to face ConnachtLeinster are already guaranteed to finish top of the pool and their focus is on securing a home draw in the quarter-finals with two points separ…

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The Breakdown | Is rugby union losing its way by becoming a numbers game?

A study by the University of Bath says the emphasis on performance data is producing mechanical players and taking away instinct, emotion and unpredictability from the sportThe coaches of the eight quarter-finalists in last year’s World Cup had at leas…

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Stephen Myler insists Exiles feel good before visit of leaders Exeter

Fly-half sanguine but London Irish need a win after a respectable start to their Premiership campaign gave way to a slumpExeter may have spent a huge amount of physical and mental energy in overcoming Saracens last weekend but London Irish expect no dr…

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Body fat recordings and mood scores: has technology gone too far in rugby? | Paul Rees

A research project has found that professional rugby union players are being so closely monitored they are starting to think more about their own results than those of the teamThis year marks the 25th anniversary of the decision to end more than a cent…

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Body fat recordings and mood scores: has technology gone too far in rugby? | Paul Rees

A research project has found that professional rugby union players are being so closely monitored they are starting to think more about their own results than those of the teamThis year marks the 25th anniversary of the decision to end more than a cent…

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The Breakdown | Five winds of change stirring rugby union as the sport enters 2020s

The scrum is going the way of the dodo and CVC is altering the food chain as the game continues to evolveWhen Wayne Pivac announced six weeks ago that Sam Warburton would be joining his Wales management team as breakdown coach, he broke the mould. On r…

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Northampton hold out for win despite Rees-Zammit’s hat-trick for Gloucester

• Northampton 33-26 Gloucester• Cobus Reinach’s two tries decisive for SaintsNorthampton returned to the head of the table after squeezing out Gloucester in an indulgent festive romp at Franklin’s Gardens. The visitors scored four tries to three, with …

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Premiership’s four fallen giants face up to very real relegation risk | Paul Rees

Leicester, Bath, Wasps and Saracens have won 27 of the last 32 titles between them but know they are fighting for their league placesGlance quickly at the Premiership table and it looks upside down. The bottom four clubs have won 27 of the 32 titles si…

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The Breakdown | Leicester Tigers are like Arsenal – stuck in the past desperate for reinvention

Resources and reputation mean little at the end of the decade in rugby union – no one is too big to fail“Our story is not an imaginary adventure.” They are the concluding words in a short history of Lourdes Football Club on its website, although the ru…

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Rob Howley banned from rugby for 18 months after placing bets on Wales

Howley used WRU mobile and email to place online betsBan relates to 363 bets over 45 months – some on Wales teamAttack coach can return on 16 June with half of ban suspendedThe former Wales attack coach, Rob Howley, has been banned from rugby union for…

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Garry Ringrose scores hat-trick as Leinster overwhelm Saints again

• Leinster 50-21 Northampton• Saints can still qualify for last eightLeinster became the first team to qualify for the knock-out stage with two rounds to go after overwhelming Northampton for the second time in a week, again scoring seven tries. Despit…