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Author Archive for Robert Kitson

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Six Nations and Sanzaar edge closer to joint deal on global calendar shift

Six Nations could move back a month to March-AprilUnprecedented joint statement sets new tonePlans to shift the Six Nations’s traditional slot by a month to March and April and play the Rugby Championship in the same window as part of a synchronised gl…

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Fear among Premiership players that some clubs could go bust by Christmas

Players union chief calls for clear leadership over financesConcerns over welfare should league resume in early JulyThe country’s leading rugby players are calling for clearer leadership from the game’s top administrators amid fears some Premiership cl…

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Who will get a kick out of Champions Cup silence when rugby returns? | Robert Kitson

Away sides and Irish kickers could be the beneficiaries if teams ever get back on the road to Marseille, where the final should have been this weekendThis should have been one of the grand weekends of the rugby year. The Champions Cup final was due to …

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Rugby’s factions must pull together or coronavirus crisis could tear sport apart | Robert Kitson

Clinging to the concept of survival of the fittest could bring the game to its knees, even in areas once thought to be strongestFuture historians will pinpoint the past few days as the moment global rugby union came face to face with stark reality. Lik…

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Review recommends change in attitude to restore trust in Premiership clubs

Lord Myners says cheating clubs should be stripped of titlesReport warns against cherry picking from list of improvementsEngland’s leading clubs have been warned that a fundamental change in attitude is needed to restore public trust in the wake of the…

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English youth rugby’s obsession with size stunts the progress of talent | Robert Kitson

Replying to our article last week, Mike Umaga questions why his son Jacob was artificially bulked up and laments how skill can be treated in the junior ranksLast week we highlighted the problem of England’s wasted rugby youth and wondered if the topic …

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My favourite game: Derbyshire v Northants, 1981 NatWest Trophy final | Robert Kitson

For a sport-obsessed teenager who had a perverse obsession with Derbyshire, this nail-biting final was a chance of validationNot every childhood highlight stands the test of time. Were Curly Wurlys really that good? Or Toffos? Or Puffa Puffa Rice? It p…

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What a global rugby season should and shouldn’t look like in the future | Robert Kitson

Bill Beaumont, World Rugby’s chairman, wants the best for his sport but is a safe pair of hands when innovation is neededEvery household in the world is currently playing the same game. Where would you most like to go when all this is over? How does th…

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What a global rugby season should and shouldn’t look like in the future | Robert Kitson

Bill Beaumont, World Rugby’s chairman, wants the best for his sport but is a safe pair of hands when innovation is neededEvery household in the world is currently playing the same game. Where would you most like to go when all this is over? How does th…

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Lost youth: RFU face questions with up to 20% of academy talent at risk | Robert Kitson

Up to a fifth of the most promising teenagers may be overlooked or ignored while the pressure of being an academy player could be negatively impacting on exam resultsLeading age-group, academy and school rugby coaches say blinkered management, flawed d…

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World Rugby chair Bill Beaumont plays down idea of Six Nations moving

Promotion and relegation from Six Nations also unlikelyBritish Olympic Association chair to lead independent review Within 24 hours of being re-elected as World Rugby’s chairman, Sir Bill Beaumont has admitted there is no sign of Six Nations officials …

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Vested interests win battle for World Rugby but the sport’s problems remain | Robert Kitson

With the re-election of Sir Bill Beaumont as the chairman of World Rugby, the sport has missed a chance to moderniseFamiliar English white smoke is once again billowing from the chimneys of World Rugby. Those who had hoped for a dash of Argentinian sky…

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Premiership and Champions Cup hang by thread as France ends Top 14 season

Champions Cup unlikely to finish in satisfactory fashionPremiership in serious limbo with one club under threatAny chance of a neat and tidy end to this European club rugby season looks increasingly forlorn following the decision in France to cancel th…

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Rugby’s journeymen were reaching the end of the road before this crisis | Robert Kitson

Ben Mercer’s thought-provoking new book offers an insight into the life of an itinerant rugby union player, a lifestyle likely to become a thing of the pastIf the penny is not already dropping for the majority of English rugby’s professional rugby play…

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European clubs on collision course with World Rugby over ‘unacceptable’ plans

July Tests would clash with club games if moved to autumn EPCR intends to stage Champions Cup final in October European rugby’s governing body has told World Rugby it intends to stage the Champions Cup final in October and says it is “unacceptable” to …

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Rugby union’s administration needs to work for the many and not the few

World Rugby elects its chairman on Sunday and Agustín Pichot offers something different and potentially more democraticThere are various schools of thought about leadership. Some people are perfectly clear: they wouldn’t touch responsibility with a dis…

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Exeter have most to lose in limbo but Rob Baxter urges perspective

Exeter lead the Premiership and are in European contention, but their director of rugby says those worries ‘seem rather petty’ amid the bigger pictureNo one needs telling that rugby is a long way down the list of current global priorities. A lot of peo…

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Northampton Saints worried for staff in self-isolation and over money

One player among quintet self-isolating, CEO revealsFinancial concerns for loss-making club ‘a real challenge’Coronavirus – latest updates | All our coronavirus coverageThe uncertainty and financial pressure caused by the shutdown of all rugby is alrea…

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Northampton Saints worried for staff in self-isolation and over money

One player among quintet self-isolating, CEO revealsFinancial concerns for loss-making club ‘a real challenge’Coronavirus – latest updates | All our coronavirus coverageThe uncertainty and financial pressure caused by the shutdown of all rugby is alrea…

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More questions than answers in rugby union’s land of coronavirus confusion

Rugby union does not have the financial muscle of football and the prolonged shutdown is asking some searching questions of the game’s administratorsThere are far more important things in life than a few weeks or, perhaps, months without rugby. It is g…