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Author Archive for Robert Kitson

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England providing ‘public service’ to other nations, says Eddie Jones

• Comments come after Gary Graham switched to Scotland• ‘We are providing players to Scotland, Wales, Ireland’Scotland, Ireland and Wales should be grateful to England for supplying them with ready-made Test players, according to Eddie Jones, following…

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Rugby won’t flourish as it should while its laws remain so twisted

Hairline TMO decisions such as that which led to Sam Underhill’s try being disallowed against New Zealand risk alienating new audiences and ruining the gamePart of the allure of the ceaseless puzzle that is rugby union lies in its multiple possibilitie…

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Maro Itoje aims to curb ill-discipline but not his aggression against All Blacks

• England lock knows New Zealand will exploit lack of discipline• Itoje tasted victory over All Blacks with the Lions last yearThe last time Maro Itoje beat the All Blacks thousands of people stood chanting his name at the final whistle. The eventful s…

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England seeking a box office display to beat All Blacks’ A-listers | Robert Kitson

If Eddie Jones can conjure victory over New Zealand it would be a win of epic proportions and worthy of a blockbuster moviePlans are still afoot to make a feature film of Eddie Jones’s finest tactical masterclasses. Even Saturday’s Twickenham blockbust…

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Eddie Jones challenges England to rewrite history against All Blacks | Robert Kitson

Chris Ashton brought in to boost try ratio for an England side who have puncher’s chance against New ZealandOn the list of rare black and white occurrences, England beat the All Blacks only slightly more often than giant pandas give birth in British zo…

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England look to profit from Brad Shields’ inside info against All Blacks

• Former All Blacks Under-20 knows secrets from Hurricanes• Shields ‘in the conversation’ for selection before England moveBrad Shields knows the messages will start arriving soon. Having left New Zealand provincial rugby last summer to chase his dream…

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Eddie Jones: ‘New Zealand will always expect to win. It’s in their blood’

England’s coach has said there is no ‘magic formula’ to overcome the All Blacks but can call upon plenty of experience from his time in charge of AustraliaAs Eddie Jones was keen to stress, there is a big difference between knowing how to beat New Zeal…

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Eddie Jones leans on England’s Lions to build dossier on defeating New Zealand

• Jones told touring England players to take notes last summer• ‘When you beat New Zealand, you climb Everest’, Jones addsEngland have compiled a dossier on how to beat the All Blacks based on information from the British & Irish Lions players who …

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Brad Shields’ long England journey goes to Twickenham via Wembley

England’s flanker has never been to the venue where he makes a home debut against South Africa on SaturdayIt is a great piece of sporting trivia: name the England rugby international who has played at Wembley but has never visited Twickenham, until now…

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No hiding place for Eddie Jones and Twickenham is getting restless | Robert Kitson

South Africa and New Zealand are about to ask searching questions of the England head coach and a side that have been hit by a run of injuries to key playersSometimes international sport feels less like a game than a game show. Supply the right answers…

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Mike Brown dropped by Eddie Jones for England Test against South Africa

• Full-back omitted for first time in the Jones era• Brown has been a virtual ever-present since 2012Eddie Jones has omitted Mike Brown, Ben Morgan and Michael Rhodes from his England squad to face South Africa on Saturday, with Courtney Lawes also rul…

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Eddie Jones’ England to prepare for World Cup in heat of Italy

• Treviso training base to replicate conditions in Japan • ‘We have to get used to heat physically, mentally and skill-wise’England will break new ground in their bid to win the Rugby World Cup by heading to Italy next year for two training camps in in…

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Storm clouds gather as rugby’s summer becomes the new winter

The game’s calendar is expanding with the next Lions tour to South Africa stretching into AugustTheresa May would have felt right at home at Twickenham on Tuesday. Even a workable Brexit deal sometimes feels more achievable than locating the solution t…

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Christian Wade’s exit hints at a future where only bulk will matter | Robert Kitson

Wasps’ elusive wing is heading for the US as rugby in England, for whom he won a single cap, gets ever more size-istPeople love rugby union for different reasons. Some relish the contact, the physical challenge, the survival-of-the-fittest mentality. O…

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England’s domestic rugby union season to extend deep into summer | Robert Kitson

• Premiership will include mid-season breaks• Apologies to Cardiff Blues and Glasgow for colour clashThe much-debated changes to England’s traditional domestic rugby calendar will be announced on Tuesday at Twickenham. Rather than lasting from early Se…

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Jake Polledri: ‘Being rejected by Bristol spurred me on even more’

Gloucester’s Jake Polledri, who faces Munster this weekend, is a flanker who slipped through England’s fingersTalent-spotting is not an exact science, particularly in rugby. Some players develop late or fail to tick the obvious physical boxes, others a…

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Just when England rugby needs clarity the waters have been muddied | Robert Kitson

Eddie Jones was at his complicated best as he shared the thinking behind his 36-man squad for the autumn internationalsThe big problem with coaching England, believes Eddie Jones, is the media. In a nutshell they ask too many questions. “Anywhere else …

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Chris Robshaw injury has England’s back row looking paper thin

• Knee operation rules out flanker for eight weeks• Gloucester’s Ben Morgan may be in line for No 8 spotEddie Jones’s mounting problems showed little sign of easing before England’s autumn squad announcement on Thursday. The latest casualty is Chris Ro…

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‘Doing a Freddie’ is the sure way to make yourself a pantomime villain | Robert Kitson

Freddie Burns’s showboating blunder that cost Bath the match is a reminder to players to stop behaving like 12-year-oldsAt least Freddie Burns is in good company. Virtually every sport, at some stage, has produced a fall guy whose ill-advised showboati…

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Luke McGrath shines as Leinster romp to runaway win over Wasps

• Leinster 52-3 Wasps• McGrath and James Lowe score two tries eachEven by their usual high standards Leinster could not have launched their defence of the Champions Cup in more emphatic style. This runaway eight-try win over a depleted Wasps represente…