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Category: Rugby World Cup

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Conor Murray: ‘Winning the European Cup with Munster means the world to me’ | Donald McRae

Ireland and Lions scrum-half faces Saracens on Saturday and, with the World Cup looming, is ready for a ‘career-defining’ six months‘I’m in the real world now,” Conor Murray says with amusement soon after he opens the front door to his house in Castlet…

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Waratahs’ smarts point way for Wallabies in World Cup year | Bret Harris

NSW ended the Crusaders’ long winning streak and in doing so delivered a lesson Michael Cheika can learn fromThere was a time not so long ago when Australian rugby teams were regarded as the smartest in the world. The Wallabies won the 1999 World Cup a…

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Failed cash grab leaves Sunwolves on Super Rugby cutting room floor | Bret Harris

The Japanese franchise should never have been admitted to the competition, but Sanzaar now risks compounding the mistakeThe Super Rugby axe has swung once again, this time falling on the neck of the Tokyo-based Sunwolves, following a decision made in t…

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Failed cash grab leaves Sunwolves on Super Rugby cutting room floor | Bret Harris

The Japanese franchise should never have been admitted to the competition, but Sanzaar now risks compounding the mistakeThe Super Rugby axe has swung once again, this time falling on the neck of the Tokyo-based Sunwolves, following a decision made in t…

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Ben Te’o and Billy Vunipola escape World Cup punishment over late night

• England pair apologised to squad after breaking protocol• Tuilagi set for first Leicester start since signing new contractEddie Jones will not hold the breach of team protocol against Ben Te’o and Billy Vunipola when selecting his World Cup training …

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Hint of fresh Wallabies approach may have Waratahs sweating | Bret Harris

Coach Michael Cheika can be ruthless. Is he planning to cut the umbilical cord with his NSW favourites for the World Cup?Michael Cheika has promised the Wallabies will have “a few new tricks” up their sleeve for the World Cup in Japan and, intriguingly…

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Gareth Anscombe calls for resolution to Welsh rugby’s domestic mess

• Six Nations and Grand Slam winner wants end to uncertainty• Bath and Harlequins keen on Cardiff fly-halfGrand Slam winner Gareth Anscombe has called on the power-brokers to sort out Welsh rugby’s domestic mess.Anscombe’s 20-point haul steered Wales t…

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Ireland ’employed British military intelligence officer’ after Rugby World Cup leaks

New book claims union feared bugs had been planted at HQIRFU said in response that the claims were ‘fictionalised’Ireland’s rugby authorities were so worried about media leaks after a disastrous World Cup campaign that they employed a former British mi…

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Making Maro Itoje captain could give England a new dimension | Robert Kitson

Recent World Cups and Six Nations have been won by sides led by talismanic forwards at the heart of the actionWhenever England flatter to deceive the mind drifts back to Brighton sea front. The date was 19 September 2015 and the beach was packed with f…

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Georgia’s Rugby World Cup dream partly sown by a Llanelli punch-up | Andy Bull

In Moscow in 1957 Llanelli players were in a match marred by ‘hideous violence’. They could not have known their more silky skills would leave a lasting legacyOf course rugby has an old law about what goes on tour. Which is why, 62 years later, we can’…

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Pacific Island players set to vote on Rugby World Cup boycott

• Leaked World League proposal left out Fiji, Samoa & Tonga• ‘Now is the time for the voice of Pacific rugby to be heard’Top Pacific Islands players will vote on whether to boycott the 2019 World Cup over World Rugby’s controversial World League pl…

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The Breakdown | Warren Gatland’s ability to get best from Wales bodes well for World Cup

Wales, England and Ireland have a chance of glory in Japan – the Six Nations trumps the Rugby Championship for preparationBefore the start of the Six Nations this month, Ireland were regarded as Europe’s prime challengers in the World Cup. Then it was …

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Eddie Jones must do his doomsday prep if England are to win World Cup | Andy Bull

England missed some big guns in Cardiff but in modern rugby a fully fit squad is a dream scenario – Eddie Jones must copy Graham Henry’s 2011 All Blacks ‘What if?’ preparationIn the run-up to the 2011 World Cup, the All Blacks held a series of “What if…

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Eddie Jones: I won’t try to talk Manu Tuilagi out of making France exit

• Tuilagi set to sign for Racing 92 in £800,000-a-year deal• England coach says it’s ‘not his job’ to change player’s mindManu Tuilagi will bring a premature end to his England career with Eddie Jones’s blessing if he makes a lucrative move to Racing 9…

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Crucial World Cup year set to make or break Australian rugby | Bret Harris

The fortunes of Australia’s Super Rugby sides and the Wallabies are inextricably linked – more so than ever before this seasonThis year will be a year of living dangerously in which Australian men’s rugby will either begin to recover lost ground on and…

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The Breakdown | Bold England are contenders for World Cup but don’t write off Ireland

Eddie Jones’s positive selection and tactics in Dublin showed his side have hunger and desire, while Joe Schmidt’s team have overcome adversity beforeEddie Jones has been around long enough to appreciate that destiny lies at the end of a road blighted …

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Michael Cheika seizes back control of Wallabies as Stephen Larkham exits | Bret Harris

The head coach misjudged his man but is now free to set a new course after a disastrous year There were no bland euphemisms to describe Stephen Larkham’s departure from the Wallabies coaching staff just eight months out from the World Cup in Japan. In …

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Wallabies assistant Stephen Larkham axed after disagreement with Michael Cheika

‘We couldn’t agree on key points,’ says LarkhamAttack coach moves to new high performance roleStephen Larkham has been axed as Wallabies assistant coach by Michael Cheika, eight months out from the Rugby World Cup. The former Wallabies five-eighth says…

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Shadow of the World Cup will give this Six Nations an extra-special edge

With three of the four top-ranked teams in action and Japan 2019 looming, focus and intrigue will be at fever pitchIn January spring still feels far away, never mind the summer beyond it. But the start of the Six Nations, like the first green shoots, i…

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Ireland’s calling: a journey to the heart of a rugby powerhouse | Donald McRae

Ireland are favourites for the Six Nations and are serious contenders for the World Cup this year, with a spirit that transcends national boundaries. How have they done it? “It just wouldn’t happen today,” Willie John McBride says on a rainy morning at…