rss

Category: Rugby union

0

Lions manager John Spencer hits back at Sean O’Brien criticism of drawn series

• ‘I was surprised and disappointed; it was a tour when everyone stuck together’
• Disciplinary action ruled out over view about coaches on New Zealand tour

John Spencer, the manager of the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand this summer, said he was “surprised and disappointed” at the critical remarks made by the Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien about Warren Gatland and one of the head coach’s assistants, Rob Howley, but ruled out initiating disciplinary action against the player, who started all three Tests.

The tourists drew a series they were widely expected to lose, becoming only the second Lions party not to lose a rubber in New Zealand, but in a radio interview O’Brien said he was critical of the management because he felt “we should have won it comfortably”. He claimed the players were overtrained on the Thursday before the first Test and said Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton took over the attack coaching for the second Test because Howley was struggling to get his message across.

Continue reading…

0

Lions manager John Spencer hits back at Sean O’Brien criticism of drawn series

• ‘I was surprised and disappointed; it was a tour when everyone stuck together’
• Disciplinary action ruled out over view about coaches on New Zealand tour

John Spencer, the manager of the British & Irish Lions in New Zealand this summer, said he was “surprised and disappointed” at the critical remarks made by the Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien about Warren Gatland and one of the head coach’s assistants, Rob Howley, but ruled out initiating disciplinary action against the player, who started all three Tests.

The tourists drew a series they were widely expected to lose, becoming only the second Lions party not to lose a rubber in New Zealand, but in a radio interview O’Brien said he was critical of the management because he felt “we should have won it comfortably”. He claimed the players were overtrained on the Thursday before the first Test and said Owen Farrell and Johnny Sexton took over the attack coaching for the second Test because Howley was struggling to get his message across.

Continue reading…

0

Warren Gatland to blame for Lions not beating All Blacks, claims Sean O’Brien

• Ireland flanker says squad was ‘over-trained’ before Tests
• ‘I think we should have won the tour – probably comfortably’

Seán O’Brien has blamed Warren Gatland and his coaching staff for the British & Irish Lions’ failure to win their series in New Zealand over the summer, insisting the tourists should have completed a 3-0 whitewash against the All Blacks.

Related: RFU’s attempt to reduce Six Nations to six weeks is defeated

Continue reading…

0

France promises to prevent ‘death of rugby’ if awarded 2023 World Cup

• France bidding for 2023 tournament with Ireland and South Africa
• French bid leader: ‘I think rugby will die in five-10 years if we do nothing’

France has promised to prevent the “death of international rugby” if it is awarded the 2023 World Cup and has claimed a successful bid would help in attempts to stop its Top 14 clubs luring southern hemisphere players to Europe.

France, whose bid includes a guarantee to World Rugby of nearly £500m, is vying with Ireland and South Africa to host the 2023 tournament and each will make presentations to the voting unions next Monday before a final decision is revealed on 15 November.

Continue reading…

0

Danny Cipriani’s hopes of England recall ended by knee ligament tear

• Cipriani out for eight to 12 weeks with injury suffered against Harlequins
• Wasps playmaker at best fifth in Eddie Jones’s fly-half pecking order

 Danny Cipriani may be out of action until December after sustaining a medial knee ligament tear in Wasps’ Premiership defeat by Harlequins. He is not expected to resume playing for between eight and 12 weeks, ending the fly-half’s already remote hopes of a recall to England’s preliminary autumn training squad.

Related: Joe Marler reprimanded but not suspended over James Haskell fight

Continue reading…

0

Joe Marler reprimanded but not suspended over James Haskell fight

• Harlequins prop escapes censure for antics against Wasps at Ricoh Arena
• England and Lions team-mates had to be pulled apart

Joe Marler has been reprimanded for his spat with James Haskell during Harlequins’ victory against Wasps but the England prop is not facing a suspension.

Marler has been given a citing commissioner’s warning for his role in the incident – pulling at Haskell’s scrum cap and squirting his England and Lions team‑mate with water – in an acknowledgement that the 27-year-old was deserving of a yellow card at the time. Marler’s actions were considered to be contrary to good sportsmanship.

Continue reading…

0

Damp squib in Philadelphia exposes distance of American rugby dream

Only just over 6,000 turned up to watch Saracens and Newcastle to illustrate that the Premiership’s American adventure still has a long way to go

The Premiership Rugby chief executive, Mark McCafferty, put a brave face on a poor crowd for Newcastle v Saracens in Philadelphia, saying: “Obviously we know the size of the task, and it’s a big one.”

The Talen Energy Stadium – actually in Chester, down the Delaware from Philly – contained only 6,271 fans, 12,000 short of its modest Major League Soccer capacity. McCafferty said the challenge of filling such a ground, quite likely, although not certainly, to be the Talen, for the three years left of the American Series deal, was “exciting, in a way”.

Continue reading…

0

Wasps call for crackdown after England team-mates Marler and Haskell fight

• James Haskell sent off for grabbing Marler by the throat
• Wasps’ Dai Young incensed by Joe Marler behaviour

Wasps have called for rugby’s authorities to take further action following Sunday’s angry flare-up between the Lions and England team-mates James Haskell and Joe Marler. Haskell was sent to the sin-bin for grabbing Marler by the throat with both hands but Wasps’ director of rugby, Dai Young, believes the sport needs to crack down on the players who spark such incidents.

Quins subsequently went on to win a niggly Premiership game 24-21, inflicting Wasps’ first defeat of the season, but Young’s sympathies lay with Haskell after Marler, following a prolonged tussle between the pair on the ground, apparently squirted water at his England colleague’s face. “If someone rips your hat off and squirts water in your face, what do you expect?” said Young.

Continue reading…

0

Owen Farrell seals Saracens’ American dream with win over Newcastle

• Newcastle 7-29 Saracens
• Farrell kicks five penalties and a conversion in Philadelphia

On a hot evening at the home of Philadelphia’s soccer team, a Saracens side featuring six 2017 Lions won “away” against Newcastle, with a try by Chris Wyles, a penalty try at the death and 17 points from Owen Farrell’s boot, to end the two teams’ week in Pennsylvania.

Mark McCall’s double European champions are back on track after a defeat at Bath. Dean Richards’ Falcons, who had a breakaway Vereniki Goneva try converted by Sonatene Takulua, will regroup, deal with jet lag and prepare for their own trip to the Rec.

Continue reading…

0

Northampton get their big guns firing to overpower lacklustre Bath

• Northampton 24-6 Bath
• Courtney Lawes, Dave Ribbans and George North on scoresheet

Two wins from three – and here a bonus point, to boot. What, Northampton must be thinking, is all the fuss about?

The jury waits. Such a summary glosses over the indignity of the one defeat – the humiliation, really – but consecutive wins over the two biggest names in English rugby is enough to be getting on with, should it be felt that rebuilding were required. “You remember what people say,” said Jim Mallinder, Northampton’s director of rugby. “You read things, and it hurts. We needed a reaction last week and got it. This week we’ve shown we’re a difficult team to beat.”

Continue reading…

0

England’s Billy Vunipola has no regrets over pulling out of Lions tour

• No8 withdrew because of a shoulder injury
• ‘My conscience told me I shouldn’t go’

Billy Vunipola has defended his decision to withdraw from the summer’s British & Irish Lions tour because of a shoulder injury, saying that “otherwise I’d be letting people down” and insisting “there are more important things in life”.

Writing in his new book, Wrecking Ball, Vunipola explains it was a long-standing shoulder injury that forced him to pull out of the touring squad, just hours before he was due to join a Lions training camp.

Continue reading…

0

Wallabies’ tactical evolution is both encouraging and discouraging | Bret Harris

There has been more attacking intent at turnover ball but it defeats the purpose of having such a strategy if turnover ball cannot be secured in the first place

The Wallabies have finally arrived at the party only to find the music has stopped and the revellers have finished their drinks and moved on to the next event. Are Australia doomed to continually play catch-up?

There is a long-standing argument that the Wallabies, as well as Australia’s Super Rugby teams, should be more alive to attacking opportunities from turnover ball when defence is unstructured, just as New Zealand sides do.

Continue reading…

0

Newcastle’s Dave Walder embraces Philadelphia challenge with spirits high

The Falcons’ well-travelled head coach is confident his side can showcase the club’s resurgence when they face Saracens in the US

Newcastle and Saracens are in Philadelphia, preparing to play at the Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday. The game may be more of a must-win for the Aviva Premiership than for either team, but whatever the crowd size or the American TV audience, early-season points are at stake.

“We had a day to rest and recover but some of the boys were off recreating Rocky, running up the steps,” said Dave Walder, the Falcons’ new head coach. Some Saracens also ran to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, up the stone slope made famous by Sylvester Stallone. As they did, Walder was plotting to bring them down.

Continue reading…

0

Six-team Indo Pacific Rugby Championship unveiled by Andrew Forrest

  • Mining magnate wants new competition to revive Australian rugby
  • ARU says it is working with Forrest and ‘exploring all options’

Mining magnate Andrew Forrest has launched the new Indo Pacific Rugby Championship to kick off next year. Forrest is in negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union to ensure players who compete in his competition will also be eligible to play Super Rugby and represent the Wallabies.

The billionaire’s actions come after his beloved Western Force were cut from Super Rugby. He hopes to have six teams in the competition, which is expected to start early next August.

Continue reading…

0

Wales’s Sam Warburton to miss autumn internationals with neck injury

• British and Irish Lions skipper in New Zealand faces four months out
• Misses Tests against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa

Cardiff Blues and Wales star Sam Warburton is to undergo surgery following the recurrence of a long-standing neck injury.

The Blues said that former Wales skipper Warburton, who captained the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand this summer, faces up to four months out.

Continue reading…

0

Harlequins’ Demetri Catrakilis remains in hospital after throat injury

• Fly-half sustained fractured bone in throat after a tackle
• Catrakilis stopped breathing and needed oxygen

Demetri Catrakilis, the Harlequins fly-half who stopped breathing after sustaining a broken bone in his throat when trying to tackle the Gloucester centre Andy Symons during the Premiership match at the Stoop on Saturday, remained in hospital on Monday but will not need surgery.

The 28-year old South African, a summer recruit from Montpellier, was injured in the 12th minute. Symons charged at him from a scrum and, as Jamie Roberts joined Catrakilis in stopping him, the centre was lifted slightly from the ground and his left shoulder caught the fly-half in the throat.

Continue reading…

0

Mike Brown adds to condemnations of extending Premiership season

• England international suggests extra work load will cause burn-out
• Brown worried about schedule younger players will have to face

Mike Brown is the latest England international to condemn publicly the Premiership’s proposal to expand the season as “ridiculous”, suggesting rugby union’s current rate of attrition will cause youngsters such as Harlequins’ 18-year-old fly‑half Marcus Smith to burn out before they reach the age of 30.

Premiership Rugby is steadfastly sticking to its proposal for the domestic campaign to run from September to June as of the 2019-20 season. With international summer tours moving to July, it would mean 11-month seasons for England players such as Brown, and such a relentless schedule has been met with widespread criticism.

Continue reading…

0

Draw leaves Wallabies in danger of Rugby Championship wooden spoon | Bret Harris

Michael Cheika’s team appear to be progressing and regressing simultaneously but one fundamental flaw in their game is becoming an alarming constant

There are still three full rounds to go and anything can happen, but the law of probability strongly suggests the Wallabies have already done their dash in this year’s Rugby Championship.

Saturday’s frustrating 23-all draw with South Africa in Perth means the All Blacks and Springboks are likely to compete for the title, leaving Australia and Argentina to battle it out for third and fourth.

Continue reading…

0

Rob Baxter pays tribute to unflappable Exeter after win over London Irish

• Exeter 37-7 London Irish
• Don Armand scores two tries to give champions their opening victory

Rob Baxter praised the Premiership champions’ composure as Exeter bounced back from defeat at Gloucester in the season’s opening match with a comprehensive 37-7 defeat of London Irish at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs’ director of rugby said: “We had overall control of the match for long periods and it was very satisfying to pick up five points and concede only seven. We were a bit more composed today against a London Irish side who put in a big emotional performance last week in beating Harlequins at Twickenham.

Continue reading…

0

Rob Baxter pays tribute to unflappable Exeter after win over London Irish

• Exeter 37-7 London Irish
• Don Armand scores two tries to give champions their opening victory

Rob Baxter praised the Premiership champions’ composure as Exeter bounced back from defeat at Gloucester in the season’s opening match with a comprehensive 37-7 defeat of London Irish at Sandy Park.

The Chiefs’ director of rugby said: “We had overall control of the match for long periods and it was very satisfying to pick up five points and concede only seven. We were a bit more composed today against a London Irish side who put in a big emotional performance last week in beating Harlequins at Twickenham.

Continue reading…