Rugby News

  1. Banning Tackling in Schools? It’s Nonsensical

    Banning Tackling in Schools? It’s Nonsensical

    Read James important Interview in this month’s edition of Teach Primary about the vexed issue of tackling in rugby within schools.

    Teach Primary is the magazine which keeps readers up to date with what the best leaders, advisers and practitioners are thinking and doing in education.

    There’s insightful opinion and lively debate from our columnists on what’s going right and wrong with schools, creative activities and theories to try out in the classroom and in-depth profiles that show how top-performing schools get the best results.

    – Entry was posted on June 22nd, 2016 by James Haskell
  2. Six Brits in Composite All Blacks Team

    Six Brits in Composite All Blacks Team

    Jerome Kaino of the All Blacks and James Haskell of England would both make Wynne Gray's composite XV. Photo / Getty Images.

    If the All Blacks and England continue to dominate their rugby horizons, anticipation will surge about their square-off-late next year at the earliest.

    Former hooker Brian Moore is one critic who thinks England have bridged the gap from potential to a genuine threat to the All Blacks global supremacy.

    England have risen to No 2 in the rankings after their away series win against the Wallabies which was confirmed by an unyielding discipline in attitude and defence.

    A number of England's reworked squad have excelled and would win selection in a composite All Black/England mix from the tests we have seen in June.

    Some players like Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo and Owen Farrell have switched roles but we can pick them in their best position while others like Aaron Cruden have been injured or like Malakai Fekitoa subbed early.

    But here's a best composite XV to digest:

    Ben Smith, Waisake Naholo, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read ©, James Haskell, Jerome Kaino, Brodie Retallick, Maro Itoje, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Mako Vunipola.

     

    – Entry was posted on June 22nd, 2016 by James Haskell
  3. Australia v England: James Haskell and Jack Nowell set to miss final Test

    Australia v England: James Haskell and Jack Nowell set to miss final Test

    James Haskell and Jack Nowell are set to miss England's third and final Test against Australia in Sydney.

    Flanker Haskell - who made 21 tackles in Saturday's history series-clinching victory in Melbourne - left AAMI Park wearing a protective boot.

    Wing Nowell suffered a head injury in the 23-7 win, and will go through the concussion return-to-play protocols.

    Both men are unlikely to be considered for selection as England look to seal a 3-0 whitewash next Saturday.

    – Entry was posted on June 21st, 2016 by James Haskell
  4. Australia vs. England PLAYER RATINGS

    Australia vs. England PLAYER RATINGS

    England secured their first ever Test series win in Australia as they downed the Wallabies 23-7 in a brutal encounter in Melbourne. 

    Eddie Jones' side produced wave after wave of heroic defence to keep those in green and gold at bay on a night to remember for the Red Rose. 

    Here, Sportsmail's Sam Peters rates how the players from both teams fared...  

    Mike Brown (rep Elliot Daly 77) Still not at his best with ball in hand and made some flawed decisions but still provided snarl and defensive excellence. 7

    Anthony Watson  Would have liked more ball but still produced a first-rate shift and tackled out of his skin. 7

    Jonathan Joseph Another England wide man who has more to come in attack but defensively flawless throughout series. 7

    Owen Farrell – One of several players to take his game to a new level under Eddie Jones. Provides critical ballast alongside Ford. 9

    Jack Nowell Unlucky to miss out on first Test selection but an integral part of an England squad who showed all-round qualities. 8

    George Ford Looks a completely different player when shorn of goal-kicking duties. Controlled proceedings and tackled out of his skin. 9

    Ben Youngs (rep Danny Care 66) Another player who has stepped up his game under Jones and now looks to have secured England starting no9 spot. 8

    Mako Vunipola (rep Matt Mullan 66) Impossible to see Joe Marler reclaiming his loosehead spot after another titanic display by the hefty Saracen. 8

    Dylan Hartley (rep Jamie George 72) His left-field selection as captain has been a defining factor in England renaissance. No praise too high. 9

    Dan Cole (rep Paul Hill 66) – Destructive scrummaging performance by the Leicester tighthead. Complete domination of opposite man Slipper. 8

    Maro Itoje – English rugby’s greatest find since Martin Johnson. Has yet to produce anything less than a world-class display in England shirt. 9

    George Kruis (rep Courtney Lawes 56) Not his easiest ride in line-out with Fardy putting heat on but still a decent shift from an excellent young player. 7

    Chris Robshaw (rep Joe Launchbury 72) A second successive outstanding display by the former captain showed all his dogged resilience and character. 8

    James Haskell (rep Jack Clifford 72) A defining series for a player whose progress under Jones has been extraordinary. This will be remembered as his series. 10

    Billy Vunipola Another world-class display by England’s wrecking ball No8. Can now lay claim to being among very the best in the world. 9 

    – Entry was posted on June 20th, 2016 by James Haskell
  5. Wallabies can beat England with 'bigger hit, more often' - Michael Hooper

    Wallabies can beat England with 'bigger hit, more often' - Michael Hooper

    Australia are targeting gainline domination in Saturday's second Test as they look to equal the series but flanker Michael Hooper says the Wallabies were not surprised by anything England threw at them in Brisbane.

    Hooper was left with mixed emotions after their defeat in the first Test. On a personal level he managed to score twice and was impressed by their intensity in the opening 20 minutes but was left bemused by how they dropped off and allowed England back into the game.

    Michael Cheika has responded by asking more from his pack, one which shows three changes from the first Test, and Hooper has responded by agreeing they need to assert more dominance in the gainline and make "bigger hits, more often" in defence.

    There is no shortage of confidence in the Australia camp; although England won by 11 points in Brisbane, Hooper says the Wallabies were not overwhelmed at any stage."Their [England's] ability to expose our weaknesses was good like going into the last couple of minutes there with two tries, their two tries coming off getting good pressure on us for the duration of the game," Hooper said. "I wouldn't say they threw anything at us that blew us away so for us it's about being able to control our stuff better which has been our focus this week which is what we need to do to get more that really good stuff from the first game."

    Despite not being blown away by England, Hooper was left impressed by James Haskell and is relishing the chance to face their back-row again this weekend in what he predicts will be an atmosphere akin to a "zoo" in Melbourne. "I'm really excited to play in this Test. From Saturday night, I would've played on Sunday to get straight back into it, rip straight back in and go again against these guys. It's sport, we were put under the pump.

    England played a good game, got on top of us last week and we need to get it done, to square up the series."The pressure is on us but that's where we are. We are excited to get out there for another 80 minutes to roll with these guys as we can give so much more."

    – Entry was posted on June 17th, 2016 by James Haskell
  6. England team to face Australia in the Second Test in Melbourne

    England team to face Australia in the Second Test in Melbourne

    James Haskell starts with Joe Launchbury, Matt Mullan and Elliot Daly among the replacements as England face Australia in Melbourne on Saturday 18 June .

    Ford starts at fly-half, with Owen Farrell moving to inside centre and Nowell is reinstated on the wing.

    The pack is unchanged to the one that started the first Test against Australia in Brisbane last weekend.

    Elsewhere Saracens hooker Jamie George, Harlequins back-row forward Jack Clifford and Wasps centre Elliot Daly are all included as replacements.

    Back-row forward Chris Robshaw will win his 50th England cap having made his debut against Argentina in 2009.

    "We've picked a 23 to get the job done in Melbourne," said England head coach Eddie Jones. "Throughout the week the players have shown they're desperate to wear the red rose which meant some close calls on selection."It's a 23 that suits the way we want to play at AAMI Park. George and Owen playing together gives us two great kicking options and Jack is a high work-rate player.

    Jamie, Jack and Elliot have shown huge desire this week and deserve their spots on the bench.

    "As soon as we came off the field in Brisbane our thoughts turned to Melbourne and I'm pleased with how we've prepared as the week has progressed. The players have recognised the importance of going up another level and have trained with a real intensity and purpose."We weren't satisfied with last weekend's performance and we know there's lots to improve on, particularly aspects of our defence and breakdown work, which we're confident we've remedied."

    We know the job isn't done. We came here to win a Test series and that's what we intend to do. Australia will try and throw everything at us on Saturday and we'll be ready for the challenge.

    – Entry was posted on June 16th, 2016 by James Haskell
  7. Brian Moore Comment

    Brian Moore Comment

    Having virtually no possession and going behind by two tries in the first 15 minutes would have buried most sides.

    England found a way to cling on and then took advantage of a marginal, though correct, obstruction call, which prevented them going further behind. This sort of resilience is the staple of good sides and is not easily acquired. You need not only the mental belief in your colleagues and game structure; you need to manufacture a way to scavenge points.

    England did this through keeping tremendous physical pressure on the Australians at the breakdown, a phase of play at which they habitually dominate.

    The contributions of man-of-the-match James Haskell, and 'man of the underrated' Chris Robshaw, were crucial. The twin threat of David Pocock and Michael Hooper was not just nullified, it was eclipsed by a turnover ratio of 6:1 in a first half in which England were second best for long periods.

    – Entry was posted on June 14th, 2016 by James Haskell
  8. James Haskell – Man of the Match

    James Haskell – Man of the Match

    The Wasps flanker continued his re-birth under the astute management of Eddie Jones with a magnificent performance in Brisbane.

    Haskell is a big character but seems to be a confidence player, and having been marginalised under the Stuart Lancaster regime, he is now playing arguably the best Test rugby of his career.

    In defence he mixed big hits with a ferocious work-rate that saw him cover every blade of grass while making 18 tackles, and he was a constant physical presence at the breakdown too, throwing in three turnovers for good measure.

    His running game, dormant for so long in England colours, has also reappeared and his pacy 50m second-half break - which included a side-step many an England winger would covet - was decisive in Yarde's try.

    – Entry was posted on June 13th, 2016 by James Haskell
  9. Jones names England Squad to tour Australia

    Jones names England Squad to tour Australia

    Manu Tuilagi has been named in England's squad to tour Australia despite suffering a hamstring injury on Saturday that may rule him out of next month's test series.

    The powerful centre limped off the pitch during Leicester's Premiership semi-final defeat by Saracens on Saturday, a game in which England back Owen Farrell was also injured.

    England will assess both players before a final decision on whether they will travel to Australia.

    England coach Eddie Jones has named four uncapped players in his 32-man squad, including Leinster's Worcester-bound centre Ben Te'o.

    Other new faces include Leicester and Harlequin props Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler, along Northampton back-rower Teimana Harrison.

    There was no place for winger Chris Ashton or flyhalf Danny Cipriani.

    Jones has also named a 26-man squad for next week's match against Wales at Twickenham, which does not include any Saracens or Exeter players involved in the Premiership final.

    "We have selected two squads of players who can win all four games," Jones said on Sunday.

    "It's important we get off to a good start against Wales and play positive rugby and win. "We are excited to being touring Australia in June. To beat the Wallabies in Australia you have to play a physical, aggressive brand of rugby and that's what we intend to do," Jones added. "We will need to be a fit, cohesive, tactically flexible team and play with a high intensity. We have to be in their faces from the first minute of the first test." "We are still a young squad with an average age of 24 so this will be a big learning experience."

    The first test against Australia is in Brisbane on June 11.

    England Squad:

    Forwards: Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Jack Clifford, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Teimana Harrison, Dylan Hartley, James Haskell, Paul Hill, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Matt Mullan, Chris Robshaw, Kyle Sinckler, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola.

    Backs: Mike Brown, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell, George Ford, Alex Goode, Jonathan Joseph, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ben Te'o, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.

    Squad v Wales:

    Forwards: Dave Attwood, Dan Cole, Jack Clifford, Ellis Genge, Dylan Hartley, Teimana Harrison, James Haskell, Paul Hill, Matt Kvesic, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Matt Mullan, Chris Robshaw, Kyle Sinckler, Tommy Taylor.

    Backs: Mike Brown, Luther Burrell, Danny Care, Elliot Daly, Ollie Devoto, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Watson, Marland Yarde, Ben Youngs.

    – Entry was posted on May 23rd, 2016 by James Haskell
  10. Inaugural USA Professional Rugby Union League Launches

    Inaugural USA Professional Rugby Union League Launches

    USA ANNOUNCES ITS OWN DOMESTIC RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP

    For the very first time, North American rugby union fans and players will have their own  professional rugby Union league, the Professional Rugby Organization (PRO Rugby).

    Exclusively sanctioned by USA Rugby and World Rugby, competition will begin in April 2016 with six teams in major metropolitan areas in the Northeast, the Rocky Mountains and California.

    USA Rugby Chairman Bob Latham commented "As the fastest growing team sport in the USA, it is the time to have a sanctioned professional competition. We are very happy to partner with PRO Rugby in taking this step to popularize the game, to inspire Americans to fall in love with rugby and to show the rugby world what American players can do."

    “A lot of people feel pro sports used to be a positive influence - it built character and provided role models, but not so much anymore. I believe that by adhering to rugby's core beliefs, we can reclaim those lost sporting values and provide opportunity for a new generation of North American rugby players."

    2017 will see the addition of Canadian-based teams into the Competition.

    Rugby is a natural fit for the USA. Interest in the sport is at an all-time high and the demand for a professional competition is clear.

    The structure of the competition will be as follows.

    In its inaugural year, the PRO Rugby 2016 season will feature 10 games per club and run from April - July in medium-size venues, allowing fans to connect with their teams and build the sense of camaraderie and loyalty that the game is associated with. The plan is to develop existing rugby communities to provide a pathway for local players into the professional ranks.

    Once  PRO Rugby has been established US and Canadian players will be able to train year round and play in elite competition, something that has been sorely missing from rugby development in North America up until now.

    With the completion of the record-breaking 2015 Rugby World Cup in England and the reintroduction of the sport into the 2016 Rio Olympics, it was felt now was the  time to launch.

    Visit www.PRORugby.org for more details

    – Entry was posted on May 6th, 2016 by James Haskell

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