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Category: Rugby Football Union

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Saracens pick Mako Vunipola despite mandatory rest period agreement

• England prop has played for four straight weeks since Six Nations• Saracens decision raises serious concerns over player welfareSaracens have named Mako Vunipola in their starting lineup to face Bath on Sunday despite being obliged to rest him accord…

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Maro Itoje’s agent banned for 22 months after breach of betting regulations

• Matt Hart found to have placed 1,476 bets on sport in 3.5 years• No suspicion agent used inside information or exerted influenceMaro Itoje’s agent has been suspended for 22 months by the Rugby Football Union after being found guilty of breaching bett…

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Injuries report reveals toll from Eddie Jones’ England training camps

• Data for 2016-17 shows injuries double that of previous campaign• Training accounts for 36% of all injuries across the English gameEddie Jones’s training sessions are likely to come under scrutiny after a report published on Monday revealed that the …

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Eddie Jones retains backing of RFU despite England’s dismal Six Nations

• RFU ‘deeply disappointed’ by Six Nations results• Jones backed as coach after England finish fifth in tableEddie Jones retains the backing of the Rugby Football Union despite England’s fifth-place finish in the Six Nations.Ireland were crowned Grand …

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Ireland’s Joe Schmidt relieved to seal Grand Slam with win over England – video

Ireland head coach, Joe Schmidt, relayed his sense of relief and pride after his side’s 24-15 win at Twickenham put the icing on the cake of their Six Nations crown. England’s Eddie Jones was pragmatic in defeat and insisted his side was due a dip in f…

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Eddie Jones: ‘We’ve played 23 Tests and only lost one to the scummy Irish’ – video

Eddie Jones has been left embarrassed after footage emerged of the England head coach making inappropriate comments about Ireland and Wales. The video shows Jones giving a talk on leadership for Fuso, the Japanese parent company of England sponsors Mit…

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Higher costs may lead to sporting events shunning Britain after Brexit

• International federations may look elsewhere to stage big events• Executives warn House of Lords over Brexit implications for sportMajor sporting events including rugby and cricket World Cups are less likely to be held in post-Brexit Britain, the Hou…

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Eddie Jones’ extended deal shows the RFU grasping succession planning | Robert Kitson

Orderly change has rarely been Twickenham’s strong point but with the Australian staying until 2021 the union has a clear post-World Cup planThe marriage between Mr Edward Jones of Sydney and English rugby has been so formidably successful that th…

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Eddie Jones signs contract extension as England coach till 2021

• Previous contract was due to end after 2019 World Cup• RFU board has also agreed process for appointing successorEddie Jones’ contract as England head coach has been extended by two years to August 2021, the Rugby Football Union has announced.Jones w…

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RFU considers scrapping promotion and relegation for Premiership

• Changes on the way as game grapples with global calendar• Chief executive Steve Brown says RFU ‘looking at all options’The Rugby Football Union is open to the possibility of getting rid of promotion and relegation to and from the Premiership, accordi…

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Premiership may be reduced to 10 teams in bid to avert player strike

• Idea to be discussed at Professional Game Board meeting on Wednesday• Plans would free up internationals to play more matches for their clubs Reducing the Premiership to 10 teams is one of a host of ideas being floated as a potential solution to the …

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The one cloud on England’s horizon – is there life beyond Eddie Jones? | Robert Kitson

Finding a successor to the World Rugby Coach of the Year in 2019 is already concentrating minds at Twickenham and the search may lead to the PremiershipThe choice of Eddie Jones as World Rugby Coach of the Year was hardly the most startling news ever t…

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England players will consider donating fees to Samoa, says Anthony Watson

• Pacific island’s union declared bankrupt by chairman and RFU to give £75,000• ‘Samoan rugby players are the most naturally gifted on the planet’Anthony Watson has revealed the England squad will consider donating some of their £22,000 match fees to t…

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RFU sets out ambitious aim to eclipse football as ‘strongest’ sport in England

• Union unveils five-year plan aimed at setting new standards• ‘Our definition of strongest isn’t necessarily biggest,’ says Steve BrownNo one could accuse the Rugby Football Union of not thinking big in the latest five?year mission statement announced…

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Rob Andrew: ‘I’m not being alarmist … the game is getting worse, not better’

After 30 years in rugby union the former England fly-half has written a book about his decade at the RFU and why the game needs major changes to the way it is runRob Andrew’s parting shot to rugby after spending 30 years in the game as a player, direct…

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England unveil new £95 kit that may be worn in only one Test

• Dark grey design is 10th strip released in just over three years
• Marc dal Maso named scrum consultant on a 12-month contract

England have unveiled a dark grey alternate kit – the 10th replica shirt released by the Rugby Football Union in a little over three years – which is likely to be worn in just one Test by Eddie Jones’s side.

The new kit, which follows the release of a new home jersey in August, replaces the blue strip worn by England in both summer Tests against Argentina as well as last autumn against Fiji and the Pumas.

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Naming rights are part of modern sport but Twickenham should resist | Robert Kitson

The financial benefits of stadiums having a sponsor are clear and the old cabbage patch has no divine right to remain sacred, but the RFU has the means to not follow the trend

Here are two lists, purely for purposes of comparison. The first is an evocative Who’s Who of instantly recognisable rugby arenas: Ellis Park, Ravenhill, Lansdowne Road, Murrayfield, Newlands. Now here is the second: Coca-Cola Park, Kingspan Stadium, Aviva Stadium, BT Murrayfield, DHL Newlands. Same stretch of turf, a far less romantic feel.

Do people’s sensitivities over such issues still count for anything? The Rugby Football Union clearly does not think so, judging by its apparent interest in flogging the naming rights to Twickenham. Welcome, one and all, to Hooters Twickenham? Or Twickenham brought to you by Carpetright? Or Twix Twickers? Talk about an idea that deserves two fingers stuck up at it.

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RFU’s Steve Brown will listen to player concerns in bid to avert strike

• Chief executive Brown: ‘If we have no players we have no England team’
• Brown refuses to rule out southern hemisphere successor to Eddie Jones

The new man at the helm of the Rugby Football Union has admitted averting a possible player strike is among his most pressing priorities. Steve Brown, who has taken over from the retired Ian Ritchie, says player welfare is at the top of his bulging in-tray and wants to see a swift resolution to the dispute over the future length of the domestic season.

Brown has been at Twickenham long enough as chief financial officer to know precisely how costly it would be if leading players took industrial action in protest against plans to extend the Premiership season to the end of June from 2020. “If we have no players we have no England team,” Brown said. “Our core business is seven big games a year … that would be a very challenging time for us. It is a concern and we can’t ignore it. The players have a voice and we need to listen to them. It’s not just the physical concerns but also the mental and psychological pressures players are under.”

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British & Irish Lions to reduce fixtures for 2021 South Africa tour

• Organisers believe there is not enough ‘meaningful’ opposition
• Premiership clubs concerned about workload of leading players

The British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021 will be cut to eight matches in a move that will be welcomed by England’s Premiership clubs, but future trips could be restored to 10 fixtures with the four home unions keeping their options open.

Talks with New Zealand, Australia and South Africa about an agreement to cover the three tours in the next 12 years are approaching a conclusion. The Lions have come under pressure from the Premiership, which secured the backing of the Rugby Football Union, to cut the duration of tours and reduce the load on leading players.

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British & Irish Lions to reduce fixtures for 2021 South Africa tour

• Organisers believe there is not enough ‘meaningful’ opposition
• Premiership clubs concerned about workload of leading players

The British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa in 2021 will be cut to eight matches in a move that will be welcomed by England’s Premiership clubs, but future trips could be restored to 10 fixtures with the four home unions keeping their options open.

Talks with New Zealand, Australia and South Africa about an agreement to cover the three tours in the next 12 years are approaching a conclusion. The Lions have come under pressure from the Premiership, which secured the backing of the Rugby Football Union, to cut the duration of tours and reduce the load on leading players.

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