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Category: Rugby union

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London Irish end their 10-year wait for a win at much-changed Exeter

Exeter 19-22 London IrishAgustín Creevy scores decisive third try in 70th minuteBy the time the biggest month in Exeter’s history is over few will remember this minor blemish on their record. Bigger contests, with bigger prizes at stake, loom in the no…

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Bristol thrash Leicester but need help to reach Premiership play-offs

Bristol 40-3 LeicesterHome side score six tries in dominant winBristol went into the evening as the only one of the four teams tilting for the three remaining play-off places not in charge of their own destiny and despite a record Premiership victory o…

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Sale march on but Tuilagi and Lawes give England injury headache

Northampton 14-34 SaleTuilagi injures achilles and Lawes damages ankleManu Tuilagi and Courtney Lawes are major injury concerns for England’s autumn campaign after both limped off in the early stages of Sale’s emphatic win against Northampton, potentia…

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Pat Lam happy for Bristol’s England players to miss 11 Premiership games

Key players available for only three of first 14 club gamesQuins v Exeter to kick-off next season on 20 NovemberThe new Premiership season will start on 20 November when Exeter visit Harlequins but England players are unlikely to feature in more than t…

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Wallabies’ generosity cannot mask depth of Rugby Australia’s financial hole | Bret Harris

From RA’s perspective the new interim pay deal was a smart play but it is only a short-term fixRugby Australia has moved to ring-fence key Wallabies in its latest interim pay deal with the players, but it is hardly an equitable arrangement for the vast…

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Rugby players fear for future as Covid ‘typhoon sweeps through sport’

Rugby Players’ Association has warned the pandemic threatens to crumble rugby union’s professional structure in monthsThe Oxford dictionary definition of a crisis is a time of danger. Alternatively just listen to the words of Damian Hopley, chief execu…

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Late surge by Wasps ruins Chris Robshaw’s home farewell to Harlequins

Harlequins 23-32 WaspsThey brought out the fireworks, if not the adoring fans, for Chris Robshaw’s final match at the Stoop, but Harlequins could not quite honour the occasion with the win.A dramatic turnaround in the last 10 minutes clinched a bonus-p…

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Exeter’s Rob Baxter calls for end to coronavirus tests for rugby players

Coach believes there are medical and cost reasons to stopPremiership Rugby recorded five positives in latest 1,056 testsExeter’s Rob Baxter believes it is time to stop testing professional rugby players for Covid-19 amid growing evidence that few posit…

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Jacinda Ardern: All Blacks will not be granted quarantine leave pass

Team face spending Christmas in isolationPlayers ‘uncomfortable’ with special treatmentNew Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has poured cold water on the All Blacks’ hopes of avoiding Christmas in quarantine after the Rugby Championship, saying t…

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Saracens face uncertain Championship future after Champions Cup loss

Saracens face Bath in final Premiership game on SundayDate for start of Championship is yet to be decidedAs Saracens made for the airport on Saturday night after losing to a late Racing 92 try in Paris, Exeter were booking their ticket to the Champions…

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Rob Baxter steels Exeter for ultimate peak after 10-year journey to the top | Robert Kitson

Momentum is with Exeter after their win against Toulouse but they know they can take nothing for granted against RacingIt will soon be the 10th anniversary of Exeter’s inaugural trip to France to play the first European away fixture in their history. T…

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Exeter show of strength puts them in final and proves too much for Toulouse

Exeter 28-18 ToulouseSam and Joe Simmonds star in superb performanceThere will be a new name on the Champions Cup this season and on this evidence Exeter will take some knocking from the podium. As Toulouse can testify after this pulsating semi-final t…

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Saracens era ends in agony as Russell and Imhoff shine for Racing 92

Semi-final: Racing 92 19-15 SaracensRussell and Vakatawa set up Juan Imhoff’s crucial late tryJuan Imhoff’s try five minutes from time after Finn Russell had broken free of his shackles eliminated Saracens, the defiant holders, who found the loss of th…

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Saracens’ Mako Vunipola: ‘We don’t know when we’ll get a chance again’

England prop says Sarries need to raise their level again to beat Racing and secure a last shot at glory before relegationMako Vunipola spends part of his leisure time watching reruns of old Saracens matches. One of his favourites is the 2016 European …

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‘We’ve waited a long time’. Exeter’s two Jonnys relish Toulouse test

Devon club’s Jonny Hill and Jonny Gray will pose a formidable challenge to Toulouse in their European semi-finalThe best rugby players live for weekends like this. Playing for your country is a huge honour but a major European club semi-final, alongsid…

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‘I surprise myself’: Sidestepping Cheslin Kolbe turns sights on Exeter | Michael Aylwin

The Toulouse wing is aiming for Champions Cup glory after honing his speed running from gang wars in South AfricaThere is a phenomenon in tennis whereby a player is so good at a particular skill the opponent does not even bother trying to respond. This…

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Premier League told to help smaller clubs as government outlines sport plan

Oliver Dowden will be ‘asking sports to help themselves’Leicester Tigers chairman, Peter Tom, warns of disasterThe government has ramped up the pressure on the Premier League by confirming for the first time that it expects them to help lower league cl…

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Never waste a crisis: Covid-19 trauma can force sport to change for good | Barney Ronay

Elite sport will be fine in the end but the entire structure needs rethinking and taxpayers’ money should go to the grassroots Pack up the flags. Close the turnstiles. Cover the plastic seats with an inspirational tarpaulin. The gates are being closed….

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The Breakdown | Alex Goode delivers as Saracens keep chasing Champions Cup miracle

Wounded champions will look to defy odds again at Racing 92 and are a team at its most dangerous when backed into a cornerA dejected Leinster supporter was to the point a few hours after his side’s Champions Cup quarter-final defeat to the holders. “I …

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Christmas in quarantine: All Blacks cry foul over Rugby Championship schedule

Final Bledisloe Cup Test to be played on 12 DecemberNew Zealand Rugby say they did not agree to date changeNew Zealand rugby officials are “disappointed” over the Rugby Championship schedule, saying they did not agree to a change in dates which could m…