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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...
Who will guide Scotland around Murrayfield if Russell goes down? Photo: Edinburgh Blog, via Flickr

Who is behind Finn Russell?

Currently, an injury to Finn Russell has to be Scotland's biggest concern as there is an obvious drop off in talent in anyone behind him. Behind Finn Russell Peter Horne is probably who Townsend would look to next; this is often...

Ode to a referee

When I made that decision, to become a Referee, I thought that my life would be filled with glee, But, alas, after that whistle I did borrow, my life, has been filled with grief and sorrow. It seems, I just can't make any...
Paying for the player drain.

Keeping our players down south

While watching some Top 14 and Aviva Premiership matches this past weekend I noticed there always seems to be players from outside of Europe plying their trade. No real surprise there. Be it Pacific Islanders, South Africans, Kiwis, Aussies...

Springboks versus South African Rugby: Part Five

Quotas are not right, and in this case, it reeks of correcting an old wrong with another wrong, in the hope that two negatives make a positive. The biggest positive at the moment is that people in South Africa are...

Why French rugby is in disarray (Part 2)

Yes, French rugby is suffering from a variety of problems that are not reducible to the two I am going to discuss here. But I feel these are the core issues that need to be resolved if French rugby wants...

Springboks versus South African Rugby: Part Four

An Open Letter to Springbok fans Living in SA and reading so many comments after every loss or draw can really warp one’s view of the landscape. But if we were to take a coaching course we might view the...
rugby politics

Springboks versus South African Rugby: Part Three

Deep down, the further you go into SA Rugby is like uncoiling a knot, and just finding more knots, or peeling an onion – you get the picture. But moving forward, all the stalling has been due to the previously...

Why French rugby is in disarray (Part 1)

Not so long ago, playing France was a real challenge for every team on the planet. Even the All Blacks would be nervous before meeting their nemesis. When I say not so long ago, I mean 2011. And that...

Springboks versus South African Rugby: Part Two

In 1995, the Springbok team was maybe the 4th best team at the Rugby World Cup, with no major stars to boast of. In many ways that year, with Nelson Mandela leading it, circumstance changed the identity and mandate...
South Africa cap

Springboks versus South African Rugby: Part One

South African rugby, much like the nation in many ways, has always been at war with itself, masked by a rugged veil and almost autocratic fraternal institution. What is real Springbok rugby? Here’s my look behind the thick green curtain that...

5 Rugby Clichés (and what they actually mean)

When someone new to rugby watches a game on TV or goes training at their local club, they will hear a whole new set of clichés peculiar to the sport. But what do they mean in practice? This article will...
How long will the house last? By Станислав Коненко, Анатолий Коненко, via Wikimedia Commons

Professional Rugby – A House of Cards – Part Two

In my previous article, I wrote about how a small number of loss-making French and English clubs are causing a wages arms race. This arms race is threatening the competitiveness and financial sustainability of professional rugby worldwide. I believe that...

Who is the World’s Best Club Team?

Unfortunately in rugby this is only a hypothetical question. These teams will not play each other unless the global season changes a lot. But that's no fun, so let us take a look at the contenders anyway! Crusaders The Crusaders are Super...

Out of Order: Stop Accusing Refs of Bias!

Does rugby have a problem dealing with referees? The days of amateur era home town refereeing are over. At least in the professional game! Referees are human, they make mistakes. I think we can all agree that those mistakes are...

One year on, can Italy repeat their win over South Africa?

Italian rugby might appear to be struggling. However, if we look under the surface there are some promising signs. Below international level, Italian teams have been doing quite well. Benetton, Zebre and Italy U20 Benetton have beaten Edinburgh, Ospreys and the...
Scrum training. ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

SOS – Save Our Scrum

For a long time there has been a worrying erosion of one of the unique facets of our beloved game - the scrum. The scrum is an exercise of mental and physical collaboration unlike anything else in sport. It combines...
How long will the house last? By Станислав Коненко, Анатолий Коненко, via Wikimedia Commons

Professional Rugby – A House of Cards – Part One

Traditionally, success in rugby has usually come from good player and coach development at all levels, underpinned by effective governance. In New Zealand, we have some excellent examples – the All Blacks, the Crusaders, Canterbury. Nearly every major national...
Times have changed. Let's define test rugby. By Archives New Zealand from New Zealand (1904 All Blacks team to face British Lions), via Wikimedia Commons

Time to define test rugby

We instinctively know what it is. That great one-off match. That two or three match test series between two top teams at the international level. This year's Lions test series against New Zealand was the ultimate in test match...

Two laws, two games

If one day you decide to watch an old game of rugby, look no further than the legendary Barbarians v New Zealand game of 1973. You probably remember what was called the Try of the Century, scored by Gareth Edwards...

Let’s thank the refs for the quality of The Rugby Championship

After the great tournament that has been this year’s Rugby Championship, nearly everything has been said about teams, coaches and players. But officials should also get huge credit for the quality of the contests. Yes, the most important actors in the...
Will the All Blacks make it three in a row? Graham Crumb/Imagicity.com, via Wikimedia Commons

Why the All Blacks losing is bad for world rugby

Yes, you read that right. The All Blacks losing is bad for World Rugby. And this is why I think so... Among all the pain and heartbreak felt on Saturday night throughout New Zealand, it's only now, days after their loss,...
Truro Touch Rugby. Skills learned in teams like this are invaluable moving into the 15s world.

Touch is key to realising Europe’s rugby potential

Touch rugby in England is somewhat of a joke. It is an odd feeling having to describe “real” Touch Rugby (or “Touch” to give its official name) to rugby fanatics. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in Europe. Genuine surprise...
By Warren Rohner, via Wikimedia Commons

The “deception of the tape”

Deception of the tape is a phrase I’ve coined to help explain things that our eyes have watched but not actually seen. Against the All Blacks in Cape Town, the Springboks were unrecognisable. Unrecognisable from the side that played the...
Can Eddie Jones lead England to World Cup glory? Photo by Dave Rogers - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

England 2017/2018: Can they catch the All Blacks by RWC2019?

This is a battle I've been looking forward to for a while. The title question is one that has been on the minds of quite a few Kiwis I've talked too, especially at my club. So I'd like to talk...
NZ Media has left fans disgruntled and looking for alternatives. And it alienates potential foreign visitors. COPYRIGHT: FOTOSPORT/DAVID GIBSON

NZ Media Hurts Our Image, but Fans Hold Key To Change

In New Zealand, Rugby’s heart lies in community, family and friendship. While many foreigners don’t get our humour, passion or our pride for rugby, I think what is having a profound affect on our image, is the way our...
Ollie Campbell and Tony Ward, greatness personified.

Tantalisingly Close to Greatness

Any Irish rugby fan of a certain generation will be aware of the great rivalry between two of the greatest out-halves ever to play for Ireland: Ollie Campbell and Tony Ward. Both superb players, but very different in the...
Scottish rugby fans. Photo: Richard Hood/Photosport.co.nz

Scottish Rugby, Underrated or simply not good enough?

The 2017 Lions tour to New Zealand was in many ways a success for the home nations, only losing once to New Zealand in the three-game test series. This achievement is something every person in Britain and Ireland should...
World Rugby needs a global season. Without it the game may fall away.

Open letter: World Rugby and a global season

Hi lads, Great to see The 1014 growing in strength since your videos on the Lions tour. I have been watching your show regularly and have kept up with The Rugby Championship low-down with coverage just from your show....
Jerome Kaino celebrates a try in 2016 against the Wallabies. Photo: www.Photosport.nz

Jerome Kaino: is he still New Zealand’s number 6?

Jerome Kaino. Is he still New Zealand's number 6? After a momentous effort from the All Blacks against a previously impenetrable Springboks side, there are few questions that need answering. Yes, they haven't been put under significant pressure in The...
Is the All Black dominance good? We have found opinions divided here at The 1014. © Copyright Photo: Paul Seiser / www.Photosport.nz

Is the All Blacks dominance bad for rugby?

We need to consider the impact of the All Blacks' dominance on the popularity of the sport. The recent victory over South Africa highlights the obvious superior skill set of the All Blacks and the lack of excitement for the...
Ellis Park, the home of many a great test. But why is it always SA v NZ in the 6th round in SA? The itinerary needs to be looked at. By Leglo09, via Wikimedia Commons

The Rugby Championship itinerary – is it fair?

Why on earth is the itinerary for The Rugby Championship (TRC) largely the same year on year? Longtime community commenter Dusty Pink raised this point recently; "TRC has had - more or less - the exact same schedule since the...
The great Gareth Edwards during the 1974 tour. I'm suggesting tours that are months long. But tours that branch out from just Test matches. Connect with the community. PHOTO: Fotosport/Photsport

What has happened to the great rugby tours?

There is so much rugby available to watch nowadays. We have numerous international tournaments; the 6 Nations, the Rugby Championship, mid-year tours, year-end tours, to name but a few. But where are the tours of old, travelling to another country...

The Wallabies Outside Back Conundrum

In recent times, the back three of the Wallabies has been extensively questioned. Currently, the Wallabies are using a combination featuring NRL convert Israel Folau at fullback, with bruising winger Henry Speight and Australia's long range sharpshooter, Reece Hodge on...
I bet these Georgian fans would love to be involved in the 6N or even a promotion/relegation match. Photo Martin Seras Lima

The Georgian Question

On Monday a question popped up on our You Tube channel regarding Georgia in what I am referring to as The Georgian Question. This question came out of the blue, without prompt, which makes me think it is like the...
Some of the questions and concerns around Beauden Barrett's goal kicking.

Beauden Barrett’s Goal kicking

In a recent video that we posted there were a number of common threads running through the comments; one was Beauden Barrett's goalkicking. Before we go any further, I think Beauden Barrett is one of the finest players ever to...
The great Richie McCaw owned the number 7 jersey for the best part of 15 years. But who now? COPYRIGHT: FOTOSPORT/DAVID GIBSON

Number 7

Since the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the number 7 jersey has been one of the most greatly contested jerseys in the modern All Black era. Following the departure of McCaw, there have been great hopes for a revolutionary openside to...

Critique the All Blacks

In our last video, which was the review of round three of The Rugby Championship we suggested that the All Blacks would not have been happy with their performance. This seemed to stir the ire of a number of people,...
Why should 23 fit into 15

Why should 23 fit into 15?

My favourite sport by far is International Rugby. Unfortunately, in my opinion, its potential is being eroded by the use of the numerous replacements allowed in modern Tests. In broad terms, I favour going back to 15 on 15. 15...

Why are French Referees so Controversial?

Following the end of the British and Irish Lions' tour there was a spate of articles, comment and analysis of Romain Poite's refereeing. More accurately, the decision at the end of the 3rd Test to award a scrum rather than...

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