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England’s Clubs in Europe: What Went Wrong?

With just three English clubs remaining in European competition, many are questioning what happened. Saracens are the only English club in the European Champions Cup. Newcastle and Gloucester round out the English party in the Challenge Cup. With six clubs in...

The Decline of the French Powerhouses

A quick look at the Top14 table will tell you one very important thing. It tells you that several of the Top14's big boys are outside the top 4. Toulon, Clermont, and Stade Francais are just a few of the...

The Effect of Mass Imports on Talent Development

In this article we will look at the scale of foreign imports in rugby. We will also find out if there are lessons to be learned from the scale and nature of imports found in football. English football - too...

Marcus Smith – Wonderkid

Marcus Smith is one of the biggest stories of the season so far. He just signed a new contract with Harlequins until 2022. The reported £230,000 a year wages make him, according to the Independent, the highest paid teenage rugby...
Could Faf de Klerk be South Africa's superman?

The Faf de Klerk Dilemma

South Africa is a proud rugby nation, one that has often been a breeding ground for top rugby players. Known for big, powerful forwards and lightning quick backs, they have always been an entertaining side to watch. But there have...

Northampton Saints Update

This article is a follow up from my piece on Northampton Saints, written after the sacking of Jim Mallinder. For those who haven't yet read it, the link is here. Who is new boss Alan Gaffney? Alan Gaffney has been appointed to...
Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt: An All-Round Disappointment

While the rugby world remains fixated on the, admittedly superior, European domestic leagues, the Australian Rugby circus has kicked up again, with Karmichael Hunt's arrest over drug possession. Karmichael Hunt has been charged with drug possession again, after previously being...
The USA Rugby team from 1991. The question of when, not if, has been around a long time.

Can USA Rugby be a global powerhouse in the years to come?

It is a frequently discussed subject in the international rugby community. The question always seems to be when, not if, the sleeping giant will finally awaken. But having personally experienced the rugby scene in the land of the free, I...
La Rochelle flag

Why La Rochelle Works

In any sport, the key to being the best team is to have a perfect balance, which is why La Rochelle works. Examine history, teams with an excellent attack, but a poor defence rarely get anywhere, and vice versa. 2015 All...

Guinness Pro14 – the League Everyone Loves to Hate

Dismissed by coaches, disowned by fans, slated by pundits and sneered at by outsiders. The Guinness Pro14 is a professional league containing some of the most historic clubs and exciting players in Europe but seems to attract little more...

How to Fix Northampton

What's going on at the Saints? Jim Mallinder took over in 2007 when Northampton were in the Championship. They were promoted in his first season. Over the course of his decade-long tenure, Northampton had the third highest winning percentage in...
MLR. Is this the one?

Major League Rugby. Potential success story of 2018?

Major League Rugby (MLR) could become one of the rugby success stories of 2018. The new professional competition in the United States is set to kick off in April. The season is ten weeks in length plus finals and features...

Rugby IQ Series: Part 3 (Leicester v Worcester 25/11/17)

Part 1 of the Rugby IQ Series looked at the different ways England and Australia slowed down the drift defence and preserved space on the outside. The article can be found here. Part 2 showed how Exeter and Harlequins took...

Fairness of Super Rugby

How much fairer is the new Super Rugby Competition? First of all, this difficult article took a lot of thought to write, so I would be keen to answer any questions in the comments section to help people understand my...
French Rugby head coach Guy Noves in happier days in the Top 14? Photo: Pierre-Selim, via Wikimedia Commons

French Rugby vs Top 14. Startling numbers to support current state

So I’ve had some time on my hands and thought I’d explore the title of this article a little further. Admittedly the only source I have used is Wikipedia and yes, I know it’s like going to McDonalds for...

A scary tackle safety study, and what is Activate?

We all know you are asking for trouble by putting your head in the wrong place when making a tackle. But are you aware just how dangerous it can be? A Japanese study published in the November 2017 issue of the...

Rugby IQ Series: Part 2 (Exeter vs Harlequins 19/11/2017)

Part 2 of the Rugby IQ series will look at 4 tries from the Exeter vs Harlequins game on 19th November 2017. The game can be found here. If you haven’t seen Part 1 of the Rugby IQ series, you...

Tactics: Variations of the pod

What is a pod? A pod is a group of players who will attack the same space together. When it is used correctly, defenders don't know which attacker will get the ball. Support is available for offloads and to resource...
Kingsholm, the home of Gloucester. cisko66, via Wikimedia Commons

A Gloucester Revival?

Formed in 1873, Gloucester is one of the most prestigious rugby clubs in the world. They have finished top of the English Premiership table three times, losing in the playoffs on each occasion. Gloucester did win the playoffs in 2002....

Using Super Rugby home advantages to reflect the state of franchises

Warren Gatland, in his latest book In the Line of Fire, talks about Forsyth Barr Stadium. He says, “It’s the hardest pitch in New Zealand by a long way. Opposition players often struggle and cramp up, because they’re not used...

Women’s Rugby Since World Cup 2017

What has been going on in Women's rugby since the World Cup? Let's take a look: Tyrrells Premier 15s The Tyrrells Premier 15s is the new top level domestic competition in England with Harlequins and Saracens battling it out at the...
Saracens win the title back in 2011. Could they be joined at the top table in England?

Why more means less for the English Premiership

I think the English Premiership should be expanded to 16 teams. I think player welfare demands having fewer games with a longer offseason. And I think there is a way we can have both. Switch to a conference system, and...
MLR. Is this the one?

Why the new professional rugby attempt in the US will be the one

In 2016, the United States finally had its first taste of professional domestic rugby in the Pro Rugby competition. This was the first World Rugby sanctioned league in the US. It was also highly touted as the solution to the...

Community: Westoe RFC

Paul Futers is a legend of The 1014 Rugby community, of that there is no doubt. His comments on YouTube, first masquerading under the guise of his wife's account, and more recently as a combined account, are excellent. His insights...
What it's all about. The Currie Cup. Steeped in history.

Why the Sharks should win the 2017 Currie Cup

The Sharks are playing the Western Province in this weekend's Currie Cup final. Everyone seems to agree that they will win. Here is a list of some predictions: Home ground advantage One of the reasons for the Sharks’ position as the favourite...

Cheetahs shock Leinster

Congratulations to the Cheetahs on their convincing victory over Leinster in Bloemfontein’s Free State Stadium 38-19. This game is bound to be used as a yardstick to compare the Pro 14 to Super Rugby. The Cheetahs have had a mixed...
Any new South Africa rugby franchises would be coming up against the likes of Maro's Saracens. By Clément Bucco-Lechat (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Evaluating the Addition of the New South Africa Rugby Franchises

In a surprising turn of events over the past week, South Africa has introduced the concept of another two rugby franchises. The proposed addition of these two franchises is a move that has shocked many South African and rugby fans...
Wimbledon RFC

Community: Wimbledon RFC

What a tremendous pleasure it was to visit our post box and find a parcel addressed to Gareth and Steven. Ever since we started The 1014 we had dreamed of joining the global rugby community together in one place. A...
Andrew Forrest. The Force behind The Force? Photo: By Chatham House via Wiki Commons

Forrest’s Indo-Pacific Revolution: Game Changer or Doomed Failure

Andrew Forrest introduced the new Indo-Pacific league on Tuesday in response to the ARU's Supreme Court victory. The Western Force lost their appeal at the Supreme Court of NSW on Tuesday. This will result in a decision to axe the Western...
Western Force in happier times. Initial capping ceremony. Photo: Christian Sprogoe/PHOTOSPORT

Forcing them out makes little sense

The 55-6 scoreline appeared damning for the endangered Western Force when the Highlanders ran rampant at NIB Stadium. Despite the outcome of the game being predictable from the beginning, the sea of blue was out in force to watch a...
London Welsh home ground

A thriving community at London Welsh

Today an email arrived from London Welsh Rugby Club. Alas, it was not asking me to buy a season ticket for fixtures against Bristol, Nottingham and London Irish. Instead, it was urging me to become a member (£60) thereby entitling...

Will the Pro14 draw in new fans?

In-depth scrutiny over various elements of the Pro12 expansion has been intense. But one question remains; will the Pro14 draw in new fans to rugby? South Africa The most obvious answer to this question is yes. An increased TV viewership from...
The 1014 Rugby Numbers Logo

Surely the Lions won’t make the same mistake twice

This weekend the Lions have a chance to secure home-field advantage for the playoffs - an opportunity they’ve squandered before. Rugby Power Index rankings update At the start of round sixteen our Rugby Power Index (RPI) model rated the Waratahs and...

Super Rugby has picked up where it left off

The Super Rugby season resumed on Friday, picking up where it left off with two upsets and a one-sided hiding. Rugby Power Index rankings update The Lions’ eighty-seven point win over the Sunwolves is one of the largest margins in Super...
Are the Southern Kings heading north to the Pro12? Copyright Photo by Marty Melville / www.Photosport.nz

Pro12 Will Expand with South African Teams

Rumours have begun that the Pro12 will expand with South African teams; the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings. This could be as soon as September 2017, meaning that they would compete against teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales next...
The Southern Kings could be removing the smiles of Waratahs supporters before too long. Photo : Joseph Johnson/PHOTOSPORT

Rugby Numbers: The Kings could make the Waratahs’ season a lot worse

Look at the Super Rugby standings during the June break and you’ll notice something a bit unexpected. There’s almost nothing separating the Waratahs and the Southern Kings. In fact, despite having so far played one less match, traditional strugglers the...
Geoff Parling scoring against the Western Force in 2013 for the Lions.

Rebels secure services of Parling. What now for the Force?

The under pressure Melbourne Rebels have secured the signing of recent Aviva Premiership champion, Geoff Parling. Parling was a member of the British & Irish Lions tour to Australia four years ago. Not only was he a member, he was...
James Lowe

James Lowe reflects on missing chance with All Blacks

Chiefs winger James Lowe will sign off from New Zealand Rugby at the conclusion of the 2017 Super Rugby season, and naturally, the decision was a long time in coming. The 24-year old is enjoying another impressive season under Dave...
Super Rugby - Round 14.

Quiz: Super Rugby – Round 14

Super Rugby - Round 14 is upon us. This week all of the Kiwi sides are in action. From a Kiwi perspective, the big game has to be the local derby between the Blues and the Chiefs to see who...
Hurricanes' player TJ Perenara seen during the Super Rugby match between Hurricanes v Stormers, Westpac Stadium, Friday 05th May 2017. Copyright Photo: Raghavan Venugopal / www.photosport.nz

Game of the Weekend – Crusaders vs Hurricanes

There is one game every rugby supporter is waiting for this weekend. The Crusaders vs Hurricanes local derby supersedes all other matchups for New Zealand fans. A top of the table clash which may also decide who gets home...

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