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Author Archive for Robert Kitson

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Lean Mako Vunipola hungry to return for England against Ireland

• Prop has been out since May with hamstring injury• Vunipola at lowest weight since 2016 Australia tourNo England player is keener to run around a rugby field this bank holiday weekend than Mako Vunipola, who is set to make his long-awaited comeback f…

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Players’ union urges action on mental health after Kearnan Myall speaks out

• RPA says 10% of Premiership players phone helpline every year• Majority have mental health problems after retiring – surveyRugby’s players’ union has called for urgent action to be taken to protect players’ mental wellbeing following stark warnings f…

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Kearnan Myall: ‘Several England players I know dread training camp’

The former Wasps lock sounds the alarm over the mental wellbeing of top players after intolerable pressure and scrutiny took him to the brink of suicideNo one is paying much attention to the tall man sitting quietly on a sunny hotel terrace in Richmond…

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Kearnan Myall: ‘Several England players I know dread training camp’

The former Wasps lock sounds the alarm over the mental wellbeing of top players after intolerable pressure and scrutiny took him to the brink of suicideNo one is paying much attention to the tall man sitting quietly on a sunny hotel terrace in Richmond…

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Eddie Jones’s England have cause for optimism in world of tight margins | Robert Kitson

The world’s top sides are so evenly matched a referee’s whim or the bounce of the ball can settle a match’s outcomeTwo warm-up games down, two to go for England on the long, meandering road to Japan. If their two August warm-up games against Wales have…

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Kyle Sinckler: ‘You think Eddie is tough? My mum put me in my place’

England’s rough diamond has not forgotten his south-London roots at Battersea Ironsides and the World Cup-bound prop wants more diversity in rugbyKyle Sinckler still needs to deliver off the bench in Cardiff on Saturday but England’s tighthead is alrea…

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England and Wales could battle it out to become world leaders

• Cardiff winners will top rankings if All Blacks lose to Australia• World Cup warm-ups ‘like poker’, says coach Scott WisemantelAccording to the number-crunching boffins who compile World Rugby’s rankings this could be the most significant weekend for…

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Eddie Jones ditches the England old guard for an injection of new blood | Robert Kitson

The coach has chosen an unexpected 31 for the World Cup with a host of experienced players falling by the waysideIs World Cup selection an art or a science? Sitting in a school language classroom on the outskirts of Bristol, Eddie Jones pondered the qu…

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Eddie Jones ditches the England old guard for an injection of new blood | Robert Kitson

The coach has chosen an unexpected 31 for the World Cup with a host of experienced players falling by the waysideIs World Cup selection an art or a science? Sitting in a school language classroom on the outskirts of Bristol, Eddie Jones pondered the qu…

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England’s experimental lineup looks to hit ground running against Wales

• England include five new caps to face settled Wales XV • ‘We need to start winning now,’ says George FordFor an assortment of reasons England’s first Rugby World Cup warm-up Test may prove the most instructive of the lot. By accident or design it pit…

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Eddie Jones’s England picture remains unclear as World Cup looms | Robert Kitson

The coach still seems unsure about his midfield, full-back and scrum-half options as he prepares to name his squad for JapanIt is one of rugby’s truisms that the best teams virtually pick themselves. England’s World Cup yardstick remains the all-conque…

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Experiment on ban on tackles above waist may be law by 2023 World Cup

• Trial expected to take place in France• Ban could help eradicate serious injuriesA ban on tackling above the waist is to be trialled in a radical attempt to make rugby union a safer sport. World Rugby is looking at ways to reduce the risk of head inj…

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World Cup success for Wales built on camaraderie rather than warm-ups | Robert Kitson

Ross Harries’ entertaining new book ‘Behind the Dragon’ delves into World Cup preparations and the role of team bondingIt is about now in a Rugby World Cup cycle, with just over 40 days and nights in the phoney war wilderness still to endure, that the …

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Danny Cipriani added to England’s squad for World Cup training camp

• The Gloucester fly-half given an opportunity to impress• Harlequins pair Smith and Sincker not involved in squadThe possibility of Danny Cipriani featuring at this year’s Rugby World Cup is still alive after the Gloucester fly-half was added to Engla…

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Warren Gatland to take Chiefs job after Wales but will take year out for Lions

• New Zealander will return to homeland to coach home province• Gatland will take 12 months out from August 2020 for Lions roleWarren Gatland is to split his role as British and Irish Lions coach with a new job in Super Rugby in charge of the Chiefs. G…

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England must sort off-field politics to fulfil potential, says Eddie Jones

• Head coach wants the RFU and clubs to work together• Jones admits to over-training players during Six NationsEddie Jones has claimed England will struggle to enjoy consistent success on the world stage unless the “battleground” of off-field politics …

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England Rugby World Cup training squad: Hartley, Robshaw and Care out

Hartley has not played since December due to knee injuryAlex Dombrandt and Lewis Ludlam named in squadEngland have omitted former captains Dylan Hartley and Chris Robshaw from their preliminary training squad for the Rugby World Cup. Senior players Dan…

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World Rugby scraps plans for Nations Championship due to lack of support

• Project dead after ‘lack of consensus on key issues’• Six Nations unions resistant to idea of promotion and relegationGlobal rugby union is braced for fresh turmoil after the governing body announced it had discontinued plans to introduce a Nations C…

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England’s Jack Nowell in fitness race for Rugby World Cup after ankle surgery

• Exeter’s Rob Baxter expects wing to be fit for tournament• Eddie Jones to name preliminary England squad on ThursdayEngland face a Rugby World Cup waiting game over the fitness of Jack Nowell, who has undergone surgery on the ankle he damaged in the …

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Saracens’ triumph stiffens Mark McCall’s resolve to rebuff a Test role

‘Dead on their feet’ Sarries stun Exeter and prompt director of rugby to admit, ‘Walking away would be a huge call’When the finale of the domestic rugby season proves more satisfying than the Champions League final and an Anthony Joshua world title fig…