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Category: Rugby union

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The Breakdown | Neath’s sad decline laid bare as they face judgment day in court | Paul Rees

In dire financial trouble off the pitch, short of players and bottom of the Welsh Premiership, the famous club faces a winding-up order in court on ThursdayBack in the day spectators used to clamber up the floodlight pylons at the Gnoll to get a better…

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Warren Gatland among candidates to succeed Eddie Jones with England

• RFU’s Melville plans to speak to Wales coach about his future• Jones’s predecessor Stuart Lancaster also a candidateThe Rugby Football Union interim chief executive, Nigel Melville, is planning to speak to Warren Gatland as part of his search for Edd…

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Premiership relegation will not be scrapped, says RFU’s Melville

• Tense relegation battle has led some to call for ring-fencing• RFU’s interim chief executive dismisses ‘wishful thinking’The Rugby Football Union has shut the door on Premiership promotion and relegation being scrapped this season. The RFU’s interim …

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Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership and international action

Gloucester’s Ollie Thorley and Harlequins’ Alex Dombrandt made their mark but scrums remain a mess – ask Jamie George Related: Pools of intrigue: how the Rugby World Cup groups stack up | Paul Rees Continue reading…

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Rugby union: talking points from the Premiership and international action

Gloucester’s Ollie Thorley and Harlequins’ Alex Dombrandt made their mark but scrums remain a mess – ask Jamie George Related: Pools of intrigue: how the Rugby World Cup groups stack up | Paul Rees Continue reading…

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Leicester must play ‘million times better’ after Bristol loss, says Spencer

• Tigers lock Will Spencer says display was ‘not good enough’• ‘We did not show up as a team or do things we worked on’The Leicester lock Will Spencer pulled no punches after the Tigers found themselves drawn into the midst of the Premiership’s relegat…

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Joe Cokanasiga crosses late for Bath to restrict bottom club Sale to draw

• Bath 7-7 Sale• Cokanasiga try in closing stages denies basement club victoryEngland wing Joe Cokanasiga struck late to secure an unlikely 7-7 draw for Bath just when it seemed Gallagher Premiership bottom club Sale would leave a rain-sodden Rec with …

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Pools of intrigue: how the Rugby World Cup groups stack up | Paul Rees

Now that the autumn internationals have been completed we take a look at the prospects for the opening stage in JapanIreland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa Continue reading…

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Saracens go top of table and stretch unbeaten run with win over Wasps

• Saracens 29-6 Wasps• Wasps overpowered after the breakOne of the Premiership’s runaway leaders falters, the other strides out with a certain inevitability. Saracens go top, the only team left unbeaten, nine from nine. Their unbeaten run in all compet…

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Elton Jantjies drop goal seals Barbarians thrilling comeback win over Argentina

• Barbarians 38-35 Argentina• Pumas led by 14 points at half-timeA bolt-on fixture to a bloated autumn produced a breathtaking finish as Elton Jantjies gave a timely reminder of just how valuable a late drop goal can be, completing a stunning comeback …

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Kyle Eastmond sees red as hapless Leicester crash to defeat at Bristol

• Bristol 41-10 Leicester• Tigers are humbled at Ashton GateLeicester were champions five years ago but a slow, gradual descent is gathering speed. They dropped into the bottom half of the table after a feeble, disjointed display against promoted Brist…

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Wales need strong attack to win World Cup, says defence coach Shaun Edwards

• Edwards believes formidable defence alone will not be enough• ‘Last World Cup was attacking, the next will be even more so’Shaun Edwards believes Wales’s formidable defence alone will not be enough to win next year’s World Cup but that the squad are …

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Nathan Earle’s double helps Harlequins stun Premiership leaders Exeter

• Harlequins 28-26 Exeter• Loss is away side’s first of the seasonHarlequins condemned league leaders Exeter to a first defeat of the Premiership season but had to withstand a late charge before coming through 28-26 at The Stoop.Despite scoring first t…

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Even Leicester are not free from the threat of relegation this winter | Paul Rees

Saracens and Exeter are on their own at the top of the Premiership but at the bottom things are hotting upPremiership clubs are swelled this weekend by the return of their international players, most of whom are thrust straight back into action in a se…

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Mario Ledesma has one eye on World Cup as coach bloods new Pumas | Andy Bull

There is plenty at stake for Argentina as they prepare to face the Barbarians at TwickenhamMario Ledesma has made 10 changes to his Argentina team for their match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on Saturday. Ten months out from the World Cup the h…

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South Africa World Cup winner Naka Drotske shot in attempted robbery

Reports say Drotske is stable after losing a third of his bloodEx-team-mate Os du Randt also caught up in Pretoria incidentWorld Cup-winning hooker Naka Drotske is said to be in a stable condition after the former South Africa international was shot th…

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Wales’ Ellis Jenkins heads for knee surgery and may miss rest of the season

• Cardiff confirm Jenkins suffered ‘a significant knee injury’• Flanker received late call-up from bench for South Africa gameThe Wales flanker Ellis Jenkins will require surgery after being hurt during the dying seconds of last week’s victory over Sou…

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The Breakdown | Eddie Jones’ tactical rethink plants Owen Farrell at heart of power game

Co-captain is blossoming at fly-half and embodies an England side that will go into Six Nations with a taste for winning uglyGraham Henry used to complain when he was in charge of Wales that rugby there was like a shower without a temperature control: …

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CVC cash may put Premiership clubs on trail of Racing 92 target Kieran Read

• Reports in France say English clubs want New Zealand captain• Paris club were confident of securing Read after World CupRacing 92’s bid to sign the New Zealand captain Kieran Read after next year’s World Cup on a £1m-a-year contract could be gazumped…

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How rugby and the NFL found common ground on concussion

Both rugby and American football have discovered that when it comes to head trauma, it is the tackler who is most in dangerIn an equation of physics and physiology, collisions plus big, fast, athletic bodies equals concussions. But while the risk can’t…