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Author Archive for Robert Kitson

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Decision on British & Irish Lionesses to come before end of this year

Study into possibility of women’s touring side under way‘We think women’s sport is riding a crest of a wave’A decision is to be taken before the end of the year about the possible launch of a female British & Irish Lions touring team. A feasibility…

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The Breakdown | Refereeing rows have polluted the Lions narrative – enough is enough

Changes need to be made immediately if we ever want to see a tour where the players live in less fear of officiating confusionIt is Saturday evening in Cape Town Stadium and up goes the final restart. There is no audible roar around the empty arena, ju…

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The Breakdown | Warren Gatland calls on calm trio as Lions brace for South Africa storm

Lions head coach knows the Springboks will throw everything at his team and has picked a side to absorb that pressureThe last time the British & Irish Lions lost a Test series having taken an initial 1-0 lead was in Australia 20 years ago. They ha…

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The Breakdown | World Rugby makes encouraging start with ‘six pillars’ to build a new game

A new mission statement from rugby’s global governing body covers everything from player welfare to potentially fundamental law trials and certainly looks like a fresh beginningAs with certain politicians, reality TV shows and the weather, many people …

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Lions tour hits new snag with Siya Kolisi among six Springboks to test positive

Three South Africa staff members also go into isolationTour already blighted by one-sided warm-up gamesThe British & Irish Lions have swapped the harsh landscape of the highveld for the spectacular Western Cape, but on this tour that simply means s…

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Anthony Watson turns on the style to help Lions polish off 14-man Sharks

Sharks 31-71 LionsTwo tries each for Watson, George and BeirneThese remain uncertain days for the British & Irish Lions, despite a second heavy sandbagging of the Sharks in four days. The first Test against the Springboks, scarily, is now less than…

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Lions tour teeters but pandemic could push it off tightrope at any time

Warren Gatland’s side cleared to play on Saturday Rest of itinerary in southern Africa remains at mercy of the virusIt pays to celebrate the tiniest piece of good news on this British & Irish Lions tour because no one knows what is lurking round th…

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Adams hat-trick fuels Lions win but Covid chaos puts tour on brink

Sharks 7-54 British & Irish LionsLions win well but questions mount about Tour’s viabilityPressing ahead with the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour was always going to be a calculated risk but its ongoing viability is now teetering on the brink. …

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The Breakdown | Luke Cowan-Dickie knockout invites fresh questions on concussion rules

Lions insist protocols were scrupulously followed after prop’s injury but can we be sure they are safe enough?It is less than a fortnight since this correspondent asked the Lions and England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie if charging head first into human br…

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New stars of Lions and England ratchet up the Emma Raducanu Effect | Robert Kitson

Uplifting home-grown exploits in rugby, football and tennis have shown the value of our emotional connection to sportThere is nothing in sport quite like the unexpected emergence of an unaffected new star. It is the novelty that never wears off: the wi…

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Lions have little time to reflect on promising start in South Africa | Robert Kitson

Josh Adams and Hamish Watson boosted their Test hopes but the fixtures keep coming, starting with Sharks on WednesdayTime for reflection is about to become a precious luxury for the British & Irish Lions as they enter the most frenzied stage of the…

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Josh Adams scores four tries as British & Irish Lions start tour in style

Sigma Lions 14-56 British & Irish LionsTourists run in eight tries in emphatic victoryThe grand old Springbok citadel of Ellis Park has rarely been more achingly empty but the British & Irish Lions will take significant heart from this opening …

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Josh Adams scores four tries as British & Irish Lions start tour in style

Sigma Lions 14-56 British & Irish LionsTourists run in eight tries in emphatic victoryThe grand old Springbok citadel of Ellis Park has rarely been more achingly empty but the British & Irish Lions will take significant heart from this opening …

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Artist Finn Russell can add a splash of abstract magic to Lions’ blank canvas | Robert Kitson

Warren Gatland has been rich in his praise of a maturing player whose skill can counter the power of the SpringboksWinning a series in South Africa is hard at the best of times, never mind during a pandemic. For a British & Irish Lions side hurtlin…

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Stuart Hogg to captain British & Irish Lions in opening South Africa tour game

Scotland captain gets nod for encounter with Lions at Ellis ParkFinn Russell also handed first Lions start in No 10 jerseyStuart Hogg will captain the British & Irish Lions for the first time when the touring team play their opening provincial fixt…

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Lions will miss ‘16th man’ in the stands, believes former Boks assistant Gold

Absence of travelling fans will help South Africa, says USA coachGary Gold was part of victorious Springboks setup in 2009The British & Irish Lions will face a major struggle to win their forthcoming Test series against the South Africa, according …

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Conor Murray will be ‘amazing’ Lions captain, says Jamie George

Ireland scrum-half has replaced injured Alun Wyn Jones‘He’s an unbelievably popular member of the group’Conor Murray has been backed to do “an amazing job” in his new role as the British & Irish Lions captain as the touring side seek to overcome th…

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The Breakdown | Conor Murray and his Lions face test of resolve in unique South Africa tour

Covid restrictions plus empty stands for matches make this trip more than the usual test of physical and mental toughnessHistory is littered with rugby tours that ended up eroding the resolve of all involved. England’s trip to the southern hemisphere i…

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The Breakdown | Conor Murray and his Lions face test of resolve in unique South Africa tour

Covid restrictions plus empty stands for matches make this trip more than the usual test of physical and mental toughnessHistory is littered with rugby tours that ended up eroding the resolve of all involved. England’s trip to the southern hemisphere i…

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Lions arrive in South Africa but rising Covid rates threaten tour plans

Rise in infections in the province of Gauteng may move matchesAll three Tests and other major matches could be in Cape TownThe British & Irish Lions have arrived safely in South Africa but uncertainty still hangs over their tour itinerary, with ris…