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Author Archive for Robert Kitson

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Calcutta Cup crucible can reveal real England and test Scotland resurgence | Robert Kitson

England’s winning run has not wholly banished doubts about their standing under Eddie Jones but the picture should be clearer after a keenly anticipated Murrayfield showdownSeveral lively debates are raging around English rugby. Some reckon the nationa…

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Eddie Jones pleased with progress on his second anniversary | Robert Kitson

Thirteen of the match-day 23 are back at Murrayfield after two years of serious improvement, according to the England coachEddie Jones has a vivid recollection of the buildup to his first game as England coach against Scotland in Edinburgh. Two years o…

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England plan to target Scotland’s Finn Russell, says Courtney Lawes

• ‘He’s a quality player and we don’t want him to have a sniff at all’• English also looking to minimise Greig Laidlaw’s kicking chancesEngland’s forwards will head north on Thursday vowing to give Finn Russell another torrid day at the office in the C…

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France’s Marseille date with Italy shows benefit of taking Six Nations on the road | Robert Kitson

England should venture outside their London moneypit and take a big game to rugby lovers otherwise disenfranchised by geography and, in some cases, historyIt is October 2007 and the clear Mediterranean sky is turning from sapphire blue to purest velvet…

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Nathan Hughes may return to replace injured Sam Simmonds for England

• Joe Marler and James Haskell also back after suspension• Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw ruled out for rest of Six NationsEngland have lost one No 8 but gained another before the Calcutta Cup match against Scotland in Edinburgh next week. Exeter’s Sam …

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‘We don’t use history, we don’t look at trends’: inside the mind of Dylan Hartley

• Captain’s more mature approach in preparing for internationals• ‘History is history. We can only affect what happens on Saturday’Many people believe Dylan Hartley is fortunate still to be captain of England. Maybe he is in some respects but every foo…

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Wales eager to make England’s ‘Jones the Gob’ rue his trash talk | Robert Kitson

A quietly upbeat Wales travel to Twickenham stinging words of England coach Eddie Jones to give them added incentiveFor hundreds of thousands of noisy neighbours on either side of the Severn Bridge this remains the most eagerly anticipated weekend of t…

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Wales eager to make England’s ‘Jones the Gob’ rue his trash talk | Robert Kitson

A quietly upbeat Wales travel to Twickenham stinging words of England coach Eddie Jones to give them added incentiveFor hundreds of thousands of noisy neighbours on either side of the Severn Bridge this remains the most eagerly anticipated weekend of t…

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Eddie Jones targets Rhys Patchell and turns up the heat on Wales

Not for the first time, England’s coach has targeted an opposition No 10 before a big Six Nations match, adding further spice to what is set to be a fiery occasionWhen Wales head for Twickenham the odds on a passive, entirely silent pre-match buildup u…

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Maro Itoje puts friendship on ice in heat of battle with Alun Wyn Jones

The England youngster’s duel with his Lions second-row partner could hold the key to victory in the Six Nations match against Wales at TwickenhamLast summer’s Lions tour to New Zealand is history but the unlikely friendships it forged endure. The partn…

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A great Six Nations weekend – but where were the Saxons and Wolfhounds? | Robert Kitson

The A teams used to provide supporting roles to the main event but also offered valuable international experience to fringe players looking to make the step upAll the best Six Nations championships start with a bang and, encouragingly, this one has bee…

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Richard Wigglesworth shows benefit of age with focus on England future

The 34-year-old scrum-half has shrugged off pain of rejection after last World Cup and has hopes of playing in Japan next year after recallThe last time Richard Wigglesworth won a cap for England it coincided with “one of the worst weeks of my life”. S…

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Eddie Jones tells England to be ruthless against Italy or face the axe

• Ben Te’o back after impressing in no-holds-barred training session• Jones wants England to raise their intensity for Rome openerBack when Eddie Jones rose early to watch Six Nations games in his native Australia one thing always caught his eye. The m…

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England’s bid for Six Nations hat-trick serves as motivation to rivals | Robert Kitson

Eddie Jones has attempted to ease the pressure on his side by downplaying history but the collective desire to stop them winning a record third successive outright title is intenseSo here is a question: does history have any bearing on the outcome of a…

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Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown recover to give England a lift for Six Nations

• Jack Nowell also declared available to face Italy on Sunday• Eddie Jones upbeat after ‘best training week we’ve had as a team’Physically and mentally England are suddenly in a better place than they were a few days ago. Eddie Jones, 58 on Tuesday, ha…

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Six Nations 2018: six tournament newcomers to watch out for | Robert Kitson

France have a back-row who makes even Maro Itoje appear sluggish, while another brilliant Leinster product can shineSekou Macalou (France): Pretty much everyone has given up on French rugby. Even when they are not sacking their national coach or having…

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George Ford: ‘You play rugby because you enjoy it. It’s easy to lose sight of that’

England fly-half George Ford says he has mellowed but admits to having an obsessive perfectionist side that needs to be harnessedIf George Ford could be granted three wishes on the eve of a potentially gripping Six Nations he would make the following r…

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Shaunagh Brown: ‘I run in a straight line. If there’s someone in my way … sorry’

The Harlequins and England back-row, who is compared to Forrest Gump by her coach Gary Street, took a remarkable, meandering route into rugbyIt is still early in the year but the search for Test rugby’s most remarkable newcomer is already over. Actuall…

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Casualty list forces Eddie Jones to appeal to England’s ‘hunger’ | Robert Kitson

Instead of parading the captains and coaches at the Six Nations launch the six team doctors might have been betterThe 2018 Six Nations Championship does not start for another 10 days but is already shaping up to be the survival of the fittest. England …

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Mike Brown: ‘The World Cup – I’m absolutely desperate to be there’

The England and Harlequins full-back is now the oldest player in the current Six Nations squad – but he is hungrier than ever and not ready to let his younger rivals take his shirt just yetAs Mike Brown considers the perfect finale to his long England …