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France v Ireland action areas. Ireland should have been out of sight by the time the hooter went.

No change with Ireland

41 phases of play and one big punt from the middle of the field, is what saved Irish blushes in Paris on Saturday. It should never have come to this. Ireland, clearly in control of the game from the...

Player height/weight + caps based Six Nations Week 1 predictions

Finally, the Six Nations has arrived, it's time to make some Six Nations Week 1 predictions. And for this Kiwi who has generally been disinterested and bored with the Six Nations (and northern hemisphere rugby in general), I’m truly excited...

DNA Series: What is the Welsh DNA?

What is Welsh DNA? Are the current Welsh team playing to their DNA? We ask these questions and more. Before we look at the Welsh DNA, a huge shout out must go out to Gareth Jones for taking the time...

DNA Series: What is the English DNA?

What is English DNA? Are the current English team playing to their DNA? We ask these questions and more. Before we look at the English DNA, a huge shout out must go out to Conor Wilson for taking the time...

DNA Series: What is the Scottish DNA?

What is Scottish DNA? Are the current Scottish team playing to their DNA? We ask these questions and more. Before we look at the Scottish DNA, a huge shout out must go out to Paul Futers for taking the time...

The tall backs and heavy forwards theory

An article from ESPN in 2012 discussed research performed by an exercise scientist regarding a tall backs heavy forwards theory which suggested that teams with these attributes have the most success. There have been other articles on the topic too. But...

DNA Series: What is the French DNA?

What is French DNA? Are the current French team playing to their DNA? We ask these questions and more. Before we look at the French DNA, a huge shout out must go out to Ambroise Blanluet for taking the time...
What will 2018 bring for Australian Rugby?

Saving Australian Rugby

While the Six Nations may be all anybody can think about at the moment, it’s worth noting that the Super Rugby season is only a month away. As a result, my post-traumatic stress has started to kick in, and I...

Rod Macqueen: Original flautist to the stirring English Giant

With teams that have been at the forefront of their game, we can always go back and see a moment, a point in time where that team did something. Introduced something to their team or made a change. However,...
Who has Gatland got in mind during this current Welsh fly-half crisis?

The Welsh Fly-Half Crisis

Despite the analogy of the fly-half factory of Wales, coming into the Six Nations Wales face a crisis at 10. During the final round of the Champions Cup pool stages, both Dan Biggar and Rhys Priestland picked up injuries. Despite...

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...

DNA Series: What is the Italian DNA?

What is Italian DNA? Are the current Italian team playing to their DNA? We ask these questions and more. Before we look at the Italian DNA, a huge shout out must go out to Emanuele Miatello for taking the time...

The greatest threat to the All Blacks!

It's not another team Reading that headline you may expect this article to be about England, or perhaps Ireland. It's not. If those teams improve enough, they might knock the All Blacks off their perch one day. In fact, a...
Who is the Welsh MVP? Will it change in the Six Nations (6 Nations)?

MVP Series: Who is the Welsh MVP?

The Welsh MVP, who is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for Wales? The Most Valuable Player (MVP) is not necessarily the best player in the team, but if you're playing a World Cup Final tomorrow, who is the single player...
Who is the English MVP? Will it change in the Six Nations (6 Nations)?

MVP Series: Who is the English MVP?

The English MVP, who is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for England? The Most Valuable Player (MVP) is not necessarily the best player in the team, but if you're playing a World Cup Final tomorrow, who is the single player...

Selection Policies: a solution or a problem

Selection Policies are now a key part of the modern game with top tier nations trying to keep top players in their domestic leagues. These range from England, Ireland and New Zealand (among others) who take a no-nonsense approach with...
Who is the Irish MVP? Will it change in the Six Nations (6 Nations)?

MVP Series: Who is the Irish MVP?

The Irish MVP, who is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for Ireland? The Most Valuable Player (MVP) is not necessarily the best player in the team, but if you're playing a World Cup Final tomorrow, who is the single player...
Who is the Scottish MVP? Will it change in the Six Nations (6 Nations)?

MVP Series: Who is the Scottish MVP?

The Scottish MVP, who is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for Scotland? The Most Valuable Player (MVP) is not necessarily the best player in the team, but if you're playing a World Cup Final tomorrow, who is the single player...
Could Owen Farrell be England's captain?

England’s Captaincy Question

As the Six Nations begins, critics are questioning why Dylan Hartley is still England's starting hooker. There are plenty of other options, like Saracen's Jamie George or Bath's Tom Dunn. So, why does Eddie Jones stick with him? At 31, Hartley...
Who is the French MVP? Will it change in the Six Nations (6 Nations)?

MVP Series: Who is the French MVP?

The French MVP, who is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for France? The Most Valuable Player (MVP) is not necessarily the best player in the team, but if you're playing a World Cup Final tomorrow, who is the single player...
Who is the Italian MVP? Will it change in the Six Nations (6 Nations)?

MVP Series: Who is the Italian MVP?

The Italian MVP, who is the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for Italy? The Most Valuable Player (MVP) is not necessarily the best player in the team, but if you're playing a World Cup Final tomorrow, who is the single player...

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...

Lima Sopoaga and the Fly-Half Exodus

All Blacks fly-half Lima Sopoaga has now officially confirmed his departure from New Zealand to play rugby for the Wasps in the AVIVA Premiership, a move that will take effect at the end of 2018. Sopoaga’s departure continues a recent...
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...
FIFA and Rugby World Cup qualifying differences

Rugby and FIFA World Cup qualification processes: What’s the difference?

FIFA and Rugby World Cup qualifying differences There are glaringly obvious FIFA and Rugby World Cup qualifying differences, as well as in their respective World Cups. But there are some subtle differences which illustrate the aims and values of the two...
Will Chinese rugby be a force to be reckoned with? By Daderot, via Wiki Commons

Rugby in China – Eastern Promise or A False Dawn?

World Rugby’s desire to conquer new frontiers is no secret. Last year they teamed up with Chinese conglomerate Alibaba, who announced that they are to pump $100m into Chinese rugby. They are setting a lofty goal of a million...
Opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup Finals in 2006.

Applying FIFA World Cup qualification process to rugby – 3

This is the third and final article on my view of how the FIFA World Cup qualification process could be adopted by rugby. To get the complete picture of my thought process take a look at Part 1 and Part...
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...

Applying FIFA World Cup qualification process to rugby – 2

In the first article on the FIFA World Cup qualification process, we looked at that process. We also loosely proposed a possible application in rugby. This article goes into a bit more detail about how it may work. If you...
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...
The FIFA World Cup Trophy.

Applying FIFA World Cup qualification process to rugby – 1

What would happen if the FIFA World Cup qualification process was applied to Rugby? This is a question that I have pondered on many occasions. I see football as a genuine threat to the future of rugby in New Zealand...

Eddie Jones vs Jamie Joseph: Style of defence

Scott Robertson said in his interview with the 1014 that the biggest change since the last World Cup is defence. Also, Steve pointed out that defence was the main problem for Japan in his video about Pool A teams...

What to do about the French front row

What is the problem with the French front row? It seems as if they have all of the tools to be one of the most dominant front rows in world rugby, yet they can't seem to find any form or...
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...

The Welsh Fly-Half Conundrum

The fly-half position has been long discussed during recent times in Welsh rugby. In fact, since Warren Gatland has been in control of the team, the Welsh rugby public have rarely been settled on who should take reins in...

What can rugby learn from other sports?

Football learning from Rugby In March 2017 Eddie Jones and his coaching team visited St George's Park. This is the English national football complex in Burton-on-Trent. Jones was returning a visit from the England football manager a month earlier. Gareth Southgate...

The Eddie Jones Effect

A butterfly flaps its wings in Japan and the ripples are felt around the world. The ripples from Japan’s victory over South Africa in the 2015 RWC were clearly felt strongly by the RFU. Indeed these ripples were strong enough...

The Georgia Problem – Hold an International European Championship?

There have been questions aplenty over the last year about how to give Georgia more exposure to Tier 1 rugby. The main suggestions seem to be 6 Nations promotion/relegation OR expanding the current 6 Nations to 7. I have...
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...

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