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Category: Six Nations

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Maro Itoje will be available for England’s Six Nations title defence

• Player required surgery on fractured jaw in defeat at Harlequins this month• Saracens reveal he faces a maximum of four more weeks in rehabilitationMaro Itoje will be available for the start of England’s Six Nations title defence after Saracens revea…

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Wales’ Six Nations hopes hit by Taulupe Faletau’s knee injury

• Faletau likely to miss three or four months after knee ligament injury• Joins fellow back-rower Warburton in treatment room for tournamentWales will be without two of their Lions Test back-rowers for the Six Nations after the Bath No8, Taulupe Faleta…

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Sam Warburton to miss Wales’s Six Nations campaign after knee surgery

• Lions captain has ‘proactive’ procedure and will be sidelined for rest of season• Semesa Rokoduguni a doubt for England as Bath confirm shoulder operationSam Warburton has been ruled out of Wales’s Six Nations campaign after having knee surgery that …

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England’s Ellis Genge to miss start of Six Nations after shoulder surgery

• Leicester prop damaged shoulder against Wasps• Genge blow deprives Eddie Jones of another England playerEllis Genge is set to miss the start of England’s Six Nations campaign after Leicester confirmed the loosehead prop requires shoulder surgery and …

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Could Saracens win the Six Nations if they were allowed to enter it? | Robert Kitson

If you took the Saracens players out of their national sides and put the team in the Six Nations, their hammering of Northampton suggests they could win itAwaiting its UK cinema release next month is the Battle of the Sexes, the film based around the f…

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Six Nations sets tight deadline after struggling to find new sponsor for 2018

• Executives given until end of September to find replacement for RBS
• Brexit uncertainty is a factor in failure to match £11m-a-year deal

Six Nations executives have been given until the end of the month to find new sponsors for the biggest annual tournament in world rugby after struggling to find a replacement for RBS, which ended its backing last season after 14 years.

The Six Nations had been looking for a six-year, £100m deal, but having spent the past 12 months talking to a number of potential backers, there is only one firm offer on the table. That is understood to be less than the £11m a year paid by RBS at the end of its contract as the economic uncertainty blown up by Brexit deters sponsors.

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Six Nations keeps rest weekend as 2018 and 2019 fixtures are released

• 2018 tournament will start with Wales v Scotland
• 2019 tournament concludes with Calcutta Cup battle

The Six Nations organisers have resisted the urge to get rid of the tournament’s rest weekend in the 2018 and 2019 fixture lists, which have been announced on Tuesday.

The opening weekend of the 2018 Championship will feature Wales v Scotland in Cardiff, France v Ireland in Paris and Italy v England in Rome. The final weekend will mean a match between England and Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, though this one will be in Twickenham rather than in Dublin the day after as the 2017 fixture was.

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Six Nations keeps rest weekend as 2018 and 2019 fixtures are released

• 2018 tournament will start with Wales v Scotland
• 2019 tournament concludes with Calcutta Cup battle

The Six Nations organisers have resisted the urge to get rid of the tournament’s rest weekend in the 2018 and 2019 fixture lists, which have been announced on Tuesday.

The opening weekend of the 2018 Championship will feature Wales v Scotland in Cardiff, France v Ireland in Paris and Italy v England in Rome. The final weekend will mean a match between England and Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, though this one will be in Twickenham rather than in Dublin the day after as the 2017 fixture was.

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Six Nations keeps rest weekend as 2018 and 2019 fixtures are released

• 2018 tournament will start with Wales v Scotland
• 2019 tournament concludes with Calcutta Cup battle

The Six Nations organisers have resisted the urge to get rid of the tournament’s rest weekend in the 2018 and 2019 fixture lists, which have been announced on Tuesday.

The opening weekend of the 2018 Championship will feature Wales v Scotland in Cardiff, France v Ireland in Paris and Italy v England in Rome. The final weekend will mean a match between England and Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, though this one will be in Twickenham rather than in Dublin the day after as the 2017 fixture was.

Continue reading…

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Six Nations keeps rest weekend as 2018 and 2019 fixtures are released

• 2018 tournament will start with Wales v Scotland
• 2019 tournament concludes with Calcutta Cup battle

The Six Nations organisers have resisted the urge to get rid of the tournament’s rest weekend in the 2018 and 2019 fixture lists, which have been announced on Tuesday.

The opening weekend of the 2018 Championship will feature Wales v Scotland in Cardiff, France v Ireland in Paris and Italy v England in Rome. The final weekend will mean a match between England and Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, though this one will be in Twickenham rather than in Dublin the day after as the 2017 fixture was.

Continue reading…

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Six Nations keeps rest weekend as 2018 and 2019 fixtures are released

• 2018 tournament will start with Wales v Scotland
• 2019 tournament concludes with Calcutta Cup battle

The Six Nations organisers have resisted the urge to get rid of the tournament’s rest weekend in the 2018 and 2019 fixture lists, which have been announced on Tuesday.

The opening weekend of the 2018 Championship will feature Wales v Scotland in Cardiff, France v Ireland in Paris and Italy v England in Rome. The final weekend will mean a match between England and Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, though this one will be in Twickenham rather than in Dublin the day after as the 2017 fixture was.

Continue reading…

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Six Nations keeps rest weekend as 2018 and 2019 fixtures are released

• 2018 tournament will start with Wales v Scotland
• 2019 tournament concludes with Calcutta Cup battle

The Six Nations organisers have resisted the urge to get rid of the tournament’s rest weekend in the 2018 and 2019 fixture lists, which have been announced on Tuesday.

The opening weekend of the 2018 Championship will feature Wales v Scotland in Cardiff, France v Ireland in Paris and Italy v England in Rome. The final weekend will mean a match between England and Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, though this one will be in Twickenham rather than in Dublin the day after as the 2017 fixture was.

Continue reading…

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Six Nations keeps rest weekend as 2018 and 2019 fixtures are released

• 2018 tournament will start with Wales v Scotland
• 2019 tournament concludes with Calcutta Cup battle

The Six Nations organisers have resisted the urge to get rid of the tournament’s rest weekend in the 2018 and 2019 fixture lists, which have been announced on Tuesday.

The opening weekend of the 2018 Championship will feature Wales v Scotland in Cardiff, France v Ireland in Paris and Italy v England in Rome. The final weekend will mean a match between England and Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, though this one will be in Twickenham rather than in Dublin the day after as the 2017 fixture was.

Continue reading…

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Joe Marler says six-week Six Nations proposals are ‘ridiculous’

• England prop warns players may need to sit out summer tours
• ‘I can’t say that I would be in favour of it. I wouldn’t like it to happen’

The England prop Joe Marler has described proposals to reduce the length of the Six Nations to six weeks as “ridiculous” and warned that some internationals may need to sit out summer tours if the season is extended to 11 months.

The Rugby Football Union has backed plans to remove one of the tournament’s two rest weeks, as part of World Rugby’s new-look global calendar from 2020 but has met opposition from the Scottish and Welsh governing bodies, with player welfare among their chief concerns.

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All Blacks have nothing to fear, for all the fury of the Six Nations | Paul Rees

England’s second title in a row said more about the weakness of the opposition in a tournament lacking the subtlety that will be needed by the Lions

The Six Nations is the envy of the southern hemisphere – for its licence to print money rather than the quality of the rugby it inspires. England retained the title but were written off in New Zealand as clunky musclemen who live in a cave, a view compromised by the praise then lavished on Ireland, whose record of two tries in their final three matches was hardly a testament to their perceived verve and guile.

Bonus points were trialled this year in order to, in the words of the tournament’s chairman, Pat Whelan, “materially improve what we already have and enhance the competition as a spectacle”. The system made no difference beyond providing consolation in defeat and overall the 2017 tournament was summed up in the meeting between France and Scotland in Paris, when the physical onslaught of the home side subdued opponents who had tried to dance around the ring.

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All Blacks have nothing to fear, for all the fury of the Six Nations | Paul Rees

England’s second title in a row said more about the weakness of the opposition in a tournament lacking the subtlety that will be needed by the Lions

The Six Nations is the envy of the southern hemisphere – for its licence to print money rather than the quality of the rugby it inspires. England retained the title but were written off in New Zealand as clunky musclemen who live in a cave, a view compromised by the praise then lavished on Ireland, whose record of two tries in their final three matches was hardly a testament to their perceived verve and guile.

Bonus points were trialled this year in order to, in the words of the tournament’s chairman, Pat Whelan, “materially improve what we already have and enhance the competition as a spectacle”. The system made no difference beyond providing consolation in defeat and overall the 2017 tournament was summed up in the meeting between France and Scotland in Paris, when the physical onslaught of the home side subdued opponents who had tried to dance around the ring.

Continue reading…

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RFU keen to streamline Six Nations by scrapping one of the two rest weeks

• It would help with the broader narrative, says Ian Ritchie
• Any change to the calendar would be confirmed in May

The Rugby Football Union is seeking to reduce the length of the Six Nations to six weeks despite claims that the players are already at breaking point. The RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, also admitted he has not been consulted by England’s players about any change but insisted their welfare would not be affected by the removal of one of the two rest weeks.

“With the breaks it is good for the body,” the Harlequins prop Joe Marler said recently. “We are there or thereabouts [at] the limit of fixtures for the season.” He returns to Premiership action for his club this weekend along with 18 other members of the England squad who lost to Ireland last Saturday.

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Gregor Townsend will boost Scotland’s expansive game, says Stuart Hogg

• Full-back sure style favoured by Vern Cotter will continue under new coach
• ‘It’s exciting times for Scottish rugby,’ says Hogg

Stuart Hogg paid a glowing tribute to the departing head coach, Vern Cotter, but believes his replacement, Gregor Townsend, can continue Scotland’s upward trajectory after a Six Nations campaign that featured three victories for the first time in more than a decade.

Townsend takes over at the end of the season in a change that has looked increasingly surprising as the Six Nations has progressed with the New Zealander, now moving to Montpellier, signing off as the only Scotland coach of the professional era with a win ratio better than 50%.

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England’s defeat by Ireland a necessary wake-up call for Eddie Jones

There is no shame in losing 13-9 to Ireland but, regardless of the tricky conditions, England also made a major contribution to their own downfall

In 30 years’ time most people looking at the 2017 Six Nations table will assume England enjoyed a truly golden season. Dylan Hartley’s team retained their title, finished the tournament with their second-highest haul of tries since 2004 and equalled the world record for successive major Test victories. The squad is still mostly young and only New Zealand are placed above them in the world rankings.

Those with longer memories, though, will not forget the hefty dose of perspective dished out by Ireland on the concluding weekend in a contest that left numerous uneasy questions hanging in the drizzly Dublin air.

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New Zealand media on England loss: ‘Stuffed plastic bags in need of a trolley’

The two sides’ winning record battle has ended in a draw, but the reaction to England’s defeat has turned up the heat on this rivalry, with some claiming it is in fact Ireland that are New Zealand’s closest challengers

Eddie Jones has a habit of being at his most honest straight after matches. After England’s victory over Italy he was not playing ball but a better example was when, after beating Wales, he made his true feelings known about the Principality Stadium roof controversy, saying rugby union is “a winter sport.”

Jones is also always at pains to protect his players so when he talked on Saturday evening of how keen England were to face New Zealand later this year, it felt like an obvious way to deflect from being outfought and out-thought by Ireland – even though there was no doubt some truth in it.

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