Jonny – “It’s all about team work”

first_img“There are players playing for their lives rather than just out there knowing that they will play next week and i is impossible to answer the question as to how strong the team against the Ospreys was“We train together every day and you do hate the fact that some players are not playing, or not playing as much, as others. That is one of the unfortunate side-effects but you need a big squad. It wasn’t a weakened team out there but I’m encouraged that the players came in showed they deserve to play.” Jonny Wilkinson at ToulonJonny Wilkinson made sure Toulon made a winning Heineken Cup debut – he created their try and kicked the remaining 14 points in their 19-14 home win over Ospreys – and the established England No 10 and now the French club’s new talisman and fans favourite is preparing to spearhead Toulon’s challenge in the lion’s den of former double champions Munster.Both opening Pool 3 matches went with home advantage and Wilkinson’s experience after years at the very top could be the crucial ingredient at an intimidating Thomond Park.But Wilkinson insists it is all about togetherness at Stade Felix Mayol and that it will need that team spirit – and total commitment from first to last – to challenge the 2006 and 2008 champions on their own turf.“The match against the Ospreys emphasised that in this type of game, when you play a top team like the Ospreys, that you have to keep working from moment one until the final whistle,” said Wilkinson.“That is important for us to understand and I hope it also reinforces the message that we are capable of winning big games if we keep turning up and working together. The spirit of this club is all about working together.“There is no doubt in my mind that the success we did have last season was because we worked together. We have a spirit which no-one prepared for or manufactured. It’s all from working together.“Sometimes, you have to try and fight to keep that going. Moments at the end of games like the one against the Ospreys either make a side come closer together or whether it all falls apart.“We kept fighting with the right intentions and we got away with it.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img Toulon fell at the final hurdle last season when Cardiff Blues beat them 28-21 in the Amlin Challenge Cup final in Marseille in front of a tournament match record crowd of 48,990 and Wilkinson is far from a lone big name in a squad containing 16 internationals from nine nations.And Head Coach Philippe Saint-Andre has proved he is not afraid to ring the changes week by week.“A good strength to have at a club is the fact of being able to say there is no first team or reserve/second team,” said Wilkinson.“You want to have a team where everyone is capable and can play at the same level.“If you have that then that is great. There are certain partnerships which tend to work, or you want to use certain combinations against certain opposition, but that’s the joy of rugby. Everyone deserves their turn because all the players work hard for a place.last_img read more

Scotland Women ready for French battle

first_imgLONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 25: Susie Brown of Scotland poses with the Women’s Six Nations Trophy during the Six Nations Launch at The Hurlingham Club on January 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for RBS) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Susie Brown returns from injuryWith the return from injury of back row Susie Brown, there’s been some movement in the pack as Scotland Women look forward to taking on France at Stirling County RFC this Saturday (kick-off 2pm).Lindsay Wheeler moves to flanker as Brown returns at number 8, while Tracy Balmer switches to loosehead, Beth Dickens coming off the bench to start at tighthead. Also returning from injury, winger Lauren Harris is added to the bench.Anticipating the encounter Findlay said: ” Ireland recorded a fantastic result against France a couple of weeks back, in what must have been a close game for them – and it’ll be a massive game for us, too.“It’s a home game, which is great, with Stirling a new location for us. I think it’s important that we do as good a job as we can to move the women’s game around Scotland so that as many people as possible get the chance to see women’s sport at this level.”The international is preceded by a senior women’s regional round-robin tournament which kicks off at 11.15am at Bridgehaugh. Starting XV:15 Stephanie Johnston (RHC Cougars)14 Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)13 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)12 Lisa Ritchie (Carlisle)11 Sarah Dixon (Stirling County)10 Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)9 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)1  Tracy Balmer (Worcester)2 Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers)3 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)4 Anna Swan (RHC Cougars)5 Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead/Jordanhill)6 Lindsay Wheeler (Richmond)7 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)8 Susie Brown (Richmond) Substitutes16 Lindsey Smith (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)17 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead/Jordanhill)18 Katherine Muir (Richmond)19 Charlotte Veale (London Wasps)20 Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)21 Caroline Collie (OA Saints)22 Lauren Harris (Melrose)Scotland Women’s RBS 6 Nations fixtures are as below, with free entry to both home matches. Sunday 5 February, Scotland 0 – 47 EnglandSunday 12 February, Wales 20 – 0 Scotland, Cross Keys RFCSaturday 25 February, Scotland v France, Stirling County RFC, kick-off 2pmFriday 9 March, Ireland v Scotland, Ashbourne RFC, kick-off 7.30pmSunday 18 March, Italy v Scotland, Rovato Stadium, Brescia, kick-off 2.30pm unday 5 February, Scotland v England, Lasswade RFC, kick-off 5pmSunday 12 February, Wales v Scotland, Cross Keys RFC, kick-off 1pmSaturday 25 February, Scotland v France, Stirling County RFC, kick-off 2pmFriday 9 March, Ireland v Scotland, Ashbourne RFC, kick-off 7.30pmSunday 18 March, Italy v Scotland, Rovato Stadium, Brescia, kick-off 2.30pmlast_img read more

Strettle back for Paddy’s Day clash

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “David Strettle has now recovered from his injury and will replace Charlie Sharples, who gained valuable experience in Paris. It’s good to have Lee Mears on the bench and he will bring great energy and experience should he get a chance to come on.”England (v Ireland, Twickenham, Saturday, 17 March, 5pm): Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Manusamoa Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson; Alex Corbisiero, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Mouritz Botha, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Chris Robshaw (capt), Ben Morgan. Reps: Lee Mears, Matt Stevens, Tom Palmer, Phil Dowson, Ben Youngs, Charlie Hodgson, Mike Brown. David Strettle returns to the starting XV on SaturdayDavid Strettle has recovered from a sternum injury to reclaim his place on the wing, in England’s only change to the starting XV who will take on Ireland on Saturday. Charlie Sharples, who stepped into Strettle’s left wing berth against France last week, drops out of the 22.Wasps hooker Rob Webber suffered a shoulder injury during the Paris victory, and he is replaced by Lee Mears on the bench.England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It seems like yesterday when we got together in Leeds in January and began a new journey for England rugby. Graham (Rowntree), Andy (Farrell) and myself firmly believe in this group of players and the direction we are going. Saturday is another step on that road and we are looking forward to coming home to a packed Twickenham with its special atmosphere and crowd. Their support has been phenomenal and we hope we can do the whole nation proud again.last_img read more

Scots fail by playing Springbok games

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 17: Tim Visser of Scotland is tackled by Ruan Pienaar of South Africa during the International Match between Scotland and South Africa at Murrayfield Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images) Lined-up: Scotland tried to play South Africa at their own brutish game, and came off second best in 21-10 lossBy Alan DymockSOMETHING WAS wrong. It did not sit right. Scotland were heading into a game off the back of a colossal All Black drubbing and they were…confident.While South Africa sent the walls shuddering, as they marched into Murrayfield, the fans in tartan were jovial, nay optimistic, and all at once setting themselves up for a fall. Somehow everyone believed that Scotland could take on a thundering herd of African hulks. And win.I wanted to believe. We all wanted to believe. However the problem was that the Scottish players also believed enough to charge forlornly into the muscular green mass, unaware of the violent, repellent thump waiting for them.So I sat there, taking notes as the brutal, naked aggression that unfolded. I flinched, but the pen kept going.The exercise was designed in a way that I could take the notes afterwards and argue with myself, asserting that the heat-of-the-moment observations were easily explained and even rectified.Here are some of those live thoughts:Route-one: Eben Etzebeth goes straight down the middle-Scotland caught between rushing in at runners, defensively, and sitting in behind rather than chasing kicks. Uncertainty over a kicking game with Pat Lambie is apparent.-There is a huge reliance on Richie Gray carrying in tough corners and this means he is off with a busted nut and Al Kellock is on. Dynamism needed from somewhere.-Ryan Grant is going from strength to strength.-Scotland doing nothing about the South Africans lying on the wrong side of the ruck.-Maybe a bit of disguise would be good, if Robinson was right saying that he would not arm wrestle with the Boks. So far a saddening lack of switches and more than two passes, in front or behind players. center_img -The penalty count is high on both sides, but Scotland are making life harder by guddling mud, rather than pulling out of rucks and realigning or even committing fully to making a big hit. The trust in the secondary tackler is not there because the opening exchanges have spooked everyone. This is demonstrated by offside penalties.-Huge respect for David Denton’s stubbornness. Carries ball even though some carries have previously been smashed. He really, really needs to learn how to handle a ball at the back of the scrum, though.-South Africa look more conditioned. They are prepared to sprint back in threes if there is even a sniff of a turnover kick.-Time for a defensive shift for Laidlaw, using Sean Lamont in the 10 channel?Hands off: Tim Visser tries to escape Pienaar-It took 48 minutes, and the introduction of Henry Pyrgos, but tempo and varied angles are the only way to play a team so brutish. He then gets the try because there was little time to wait. More disguise comes from this too. All of a sudden Greig Laidlaw has time and space to throw skip passes and links to Tim Visser and Stuart Hogg. -Conservatism leads to use of Denton and Lamont. Pace and adventure leads to Visser and Hogg.-The scrum has roared second-half and much of this comes down to teamwork. Perhaps as the tempo has been raised the SA forwards have drained. A lesson learned far too late. Rope-a-dope, but Scotland were the dopes in the opening half. -SA made double the tackles, but double the metres. That says a half like the first made Scotland too predictable and too weak in defence. One half poisoned the other.Forget the lecterns and the independent adjudicator. These observations cannot be explained away. Scotland played South Africa’s game for 50 minutes and only once they realised that barging into beefy Boks was a disastrous plan did they look like scoring.Verdict: Conservatism and uninspiring play has condemned Scotland to a knee-trembling World Cup draw.last_img read more

Gatland chancing his arm against Australia

first_imgWarren Gatland always backs himself and has made some bold calls ahead of Saturday’s decider against the Wallabies. CARDIFF, WALES – OCTOBER 01: Head Coach Warren Gatland of Wales prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Wales and Fiji at the Millennium Stadium on October 1, 2015 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) Warren Gatland has never been afraid of making big calls and it’s fair to say he’s made a couple for Wales’ crucial Pool A clash with Australia on Saturday.The Kiwi who dropped Brian O’Driscoll for a deciding Lions Test, and selected 13 Ospreys in his first game in charge of Wales, has gambled on at least two players out of position in his backline, while the combination of Justin Tipuric and Sam Warburton will have the task of slowing down the Australian back row.Starting role for Justin Tipuric alongside Sam Warburton. Photo: Getty Images.While Wales are already assured a place in the quarter-finals, victory on Saturday would set them up with a likely last eight clash against Scotland, followed by a potential semi-final against one of Argentina, France or Ireland.Lose and they will need to beat South Africa and probably New Zealand just to better their performance of four years ago.With that in mind, there was never any question of using this game to rest a few players and try to ease some of the injury concerns in the squad, and Gatland has been bold in his selection.After watching England get taken to the cleaners by Australia at the breakdown, he has gone for the dual threat of Warburton and Tipuric, with a slightly injured Dan Lydiate missing out.Of course the Wallabies will be without the suspended Michael Hooper, but Sean McMahon looked in fine form against Uruguay and will be tough to slow down at ruck-time, while the key man in the back row remains David Pocock.If Wales can win that battle – and their pace in the back row at least gives them a chance – we should see more of their backs with time and space.With their midfield decimated, Gatland has plumped for George North at outside centre, a position in which he has never entirely convinced at Test level. Whether it will be enough to beat the in-form Australians is another matter entirely, but Gatland won’t die wondering.Wales: Gareth Anscombe, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Jamie Roberts, Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies, Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Warburton (c), Justin Tipuric, Taulupe FaletauReplacements: Ken Owens, Aaron Jarvis, Tomas Francis, Jake Ball, Ross Moriarty, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, James Hook.center_img LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS George North switches to centre to face the Wallabies. Photo: Getty Images.Tevita Kuridrani was quiet against England, but Michael Cheika will certainly plan to use him to challenge North early and often.Other injuries in the squad mean a first appearance for Gareth Anscombe, who comes straight into the team at full-back.More of a fly-half at age group level for New Zealand, he arguably played his best rugby at full-back during a Super Rugby-winning season for the Chiefs, and offers a big boot at the back.That means Liam Williams is again shifted out to the wing, having recovered from his knock to the head suffered against England, with Alex Cuthbert desperately trying to recover some form on the other.Up front it’s all change with the squad’s most experienced player, Gethin Jenkins, left out entirely as Paul James is fit to make his first appearance of the tournament.Samson Lee replaces Tomas Francis on the other side of the scrum, which will be severely tested.The selection of Luke Charteris may help in that regard, with the giant lock having seemingly learned to use his frame both at scrum-time and in disrupting mauls, another major Wallaby weapon.last_img read more

Get your tickets for Barbarians v Argentina at Twickenham

first_imgLATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The match will mark the third time the two sides have met, with the Pumas winning 49-31 in 2015 and the Barbarians coming out on top 34-22 in the back in 1990.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Match-up: The Barbarians will face Argentina later this year at Twickenham (Getty Images)Advertising FeatureGet your tickets for Barbarians v Argentina at TwickenhamThe Barbarians will once again bring their brand of exciting and energetic rugby to Twickenham later this year as they play Argentina in the Killik Cup.A few months on from their victory over England – in which they scored more than 60 points – the Barbarians will be facing an ever-improving Pumas side.Wins against both South Africa and Australia during the 2018 Rugby Championship are signs of Argentina’s progress, and they have embraced a spectacular running game in recent years.Coupled with the Barbarians’ brand of attacking and fast-flowing rugby, fans should be in for a high-scoring affair at the home of English rugby on Saturday 1 December.After all, there were 15 tries scored in that game against England in May – you can watch highlights of that match here…This will be a ‘must-see’ event in the rugby calendar following the autumn Internationals – and it’s great value, too, with tickets from as little as £20* for adults and £15* for kids (*booking fees apply). The Barbarians will play Argentina at Twickenham later this year – and you will not want to miss out on this entertaining occasion Don’t miss this great day out – book your tickets via or call the ticket hotline 0844 844 0444.The Barbarians side will have a Springbok feel to it in December with current South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus taking charge of the men in black and white.“It’s a terrific honour to be invited to coach the Barbarians later this year and it should be a great occasion at Twickenham,” said Erasmus.“The Barbarians are renowned for bringing together great individuals and the challenge for coaches is moulding them into a team that plays wonderful rugby, which they certainly showed earlier this year against England.”Three Springbok stars have already signed up for the match – fly-half Handre Pollard and forwards Eben Etzebeth and Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira – while Australia scrum-half Will Genia is also in the selection mix, with more star names yet to be added.last_img read more

Who Has Scored The Most Tries In The Rugby World Cup?

first_imgAlso make sure you know about the Groups, Warm-ups, Dates, Fixtures, Venues, TV Coverage, Qualified Teams by clicking on the highlighted links.Finally, don’t forget to follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Who Has Scored The Most Tries In The Rugby World Cup?The Rugby World Cup has seen some of the greatest players to ever play the game compete in the tournament. From full-backs to props we have seen players of all shapes and sizes battle, but who has scored the most tries? We take a look.As you would expect, players of two rugby powerhouses feature at the top of the list.Two of the greatest wingers ever; Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) and Bryan Habana (South Africa) have scored 15 tries each although it should be acknowledged that Lomu achieved the feat in one less tournament.The giant Kiwi burst onto the scene in 1995 famously setting the world alight against England as he scored four tries. His destruction of Mike Catt is one of the most vivid moments of Rugby World Cup history. Then, Lomu proved equally unstoppable in 1999.Habana on the other hand played in three editions, in 2007, 2011 and 2015. Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2023 Rugby World Cup Fixtures 2023 Rugby World Cup Venues What you need to know about the 12… Rugby World Cup Venues A South African and Kiwi share this honour, but who are they? Rugby World Cup Groups Expand Prolific Aussie: Drew Mitchell has scored the most tries for Australia in the Rugby World Cup (Getty Images)Next up is Drew Mitchell with 14 tries, and then Doug Howlett with 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper follows on 12 and then there are then four players tied on 11 – Rory Underwood, Chris Latham, Vincent Clerc, Joe Rokocoko. In terms of the most tries in one tournament Lomu and Habana are joined by another Kiwi, Julian Savea who scored eight tries in 2015. Lomu did it in 1999 and Habana in 2007.The player with the most tries in a single Rugby World Cup match is Marc Ellis who scored six tries in an All Blacks demolition of Japan by 145 points to 17 in 1995.Hit For Six: Marc Ellis scored six times against Japan in 1995 (Getty Images)Follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Expand Rugby World Cup Fixtures The 2023 Rugby World… Collapse Rugby World Cup Groups Deadly Duo: Habana and Lomu have scored 15 tries each in the tournament (Getty Images) A rundown of the Rugby World Cup groups…last_img read more

Rugby photos to make you smile

first_imgCan’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Back on the home trail, we have these colourful editions from the club game:Take a break: A fan underneath a Tigers mural, 2016 (Getty Images)Pre-match entertainment: The bar is knocked off at Gloucester, 2013 (Getty Images)Top 14, 2012 (GettyImages)And then, simply because French rugby can be a magical, unexplained wonder, we have a selection of images from the Gallic game – some involving French teams and others taken in the country. This last section is the pièce de résistance…In truth we could have found quite a few photos of Yoann Huget (hugging it out on the right) and lots and lots of crazy fans enjoying themselves at a few big-time matches. But in the end we focussed on the top players and coaches or famous visitors to France. So how about some of these, then…Face full: dean Richards and England face France, 1991 (Getty Images)Ten years later: More Le Crunch tussling, 2001 (Getty Images)Further back: Wales’ celebrity players in 1971 (Getty Images)Big in Paris: Agustin Pichot at Rugby World Cup 2007 (Getty Images)Bigger: Gregan wins RWC1999 (Getty)LOL: Then-coach Bernard Laporte makes a joke in 2007 (Getty Images)Wine time: Bordeaux players during the grape harvest, 2018 (Getty Images)What the…?: Dimitri Yachvili and Imanol Harinordoquy in 2003 (Getty Images)Dog pile: At a captain’s run in NZ, 2011 (Getty Images)We could put up loads more – there is a wealth of All Blacks promo shots, for example, with Jonah Lomu carrying Martina Hingis or 2003 squad members covered in black paint and jumping onto canvas. There are also too many pictures out there of streakers or players getting their shorts pulled down. How could we pick?!If you want to send us any of their funny rugby snaps – or any pics at all you are particularly proud of – they may make it into the magazine. Simply contact us at [email protected] Prank: Manu Tuilagi’s infamous bunny ears with David Cameron, 2013 (Getty Images) center_img In these uncertain times, we thought it best to look at the lighter side of rugby Rugby photos to make you smileWe are all still in the midst of lockdown and the weather where you are may not be that great either. So in an effort to lighten the mood a little, we have delved into the archives to find fun, funny, quirky rugby photos that might put a smile on your face.These aren’t necessarily photos of the finest moments in the game, but rather more light-hearted snaps that show the brighter side of the game. From action to feature shots and even the odd candid snap, we are celebrating the more amusing aspects of our sport!Related: Stunning Six Nations pictures through the yearsWe’ve all seen Manu Tuilagi’s ‘bunny ears’ on Prime Minister Davidi Cameron in 2013, after the victorious Lions tour of Australia, but here are a few other hidden gems, forgotten treasures, bright action images and hilarious hi-jinks…Cut loose: A Baa-Baas side entertain at the 1991 Hong Kong Sevens. (Getty Images)You may have spotted Micky Skinner, Will Carling and Rupert Moon amongst the Barbarians at the Hong Kong Sevens in 1991. Anyone else stand out for you?Swanning about: Luke Charteris warms up in Cardiff, 2015 (Getty Images)There’s long legs and long necks at Welsh training in 2015.Feeling fresh: Wales players back in 1995 (Getty Images)More Welsh hi-jinks here as Jonathan Humphreys is doused in Johannesburg – it had just been anounced that the hooker would captain a young Welsh team against the Springboks in July 1995.Skipping: South Africans on a tour of Europe, 1965 (Getty Images)There was this light-on-the-feet moment from some Springboks on the Avenue de l’Opéra in Paris, in the Sixties.If we stick with touring there are also these crackers:Hug it out: Clive Woodward and Brian Ashton in the US, 2001 (Getty Images)Fielding: All Blacks unwind with hotel cricket in Sydney, 2005 (Getty Images)Jet boat: The Springboks management in NZ, 2011 (Getty Images)Samba kings: Ireland with Brazilian dancers at the Sevens World Cup, 2005 (Getty Images)Diplomatic: Boris Johnson after colliding with a youth in Tokyo, 2015 (Getty Images)On a quick zip around the UK, we’ve also eyed these shots from down the years. But first, a more modern snap:Hand-me-downs: Gareth Thomas provides Prince Harry with kit for son Archie. (Getty Images)Tackle contraption: This intriguing photo is from Bedford School, 1929. (Getty Images)A dog’s life: Graham Dawe of Bath in the countryside, 1994 (Getty Images)Graceful: England players with the London Festival Ballet, 1989. (Getty Images)Slap in the face: Paul Ringer of Llanelli while facing NZ, 1980. (Getty Images)Unplayable rain: Saints and Dragons make for the changing rooms, 2014 (Getty Images)More rain: Sliding Scarlets in 2014 (Getty Images)In the image to the left, below this, you can see former England back-row Andy Ripley– of Rosslyn Park – posing with three women, including gymnast Suzanne Dando, back in 1975. But how does it compare to the image beside it, of France’s  Jean Gachassin, Benoit Dauga and Walter Spanghero in 1967?Contortion: 1975. (Getty Images)French fancy: 1967 (Getty Images)last_img read more

Should the Six Nations introduce relegation?

first_img Should the Six Nations introduce relegation?BERNARD JACKMANYES, says the former Ireland hooker and now RTÉ analystWhy should the team that finishes bottom of the Guinness Six Nations be guaranteed re-entry to the competition the following year? Money and stability are nice but I don’t see the current situation as being healthy for the competition.Or for Italy, who have become perennial wooden spooners. They haven’t won a game in the tournament since beating Scotland in 2015 and it now seems a foregone conclusion that their opponent will win with an attacking bonus point.Despite hope that Benetton would become a competitive team in the Pro14, that proved a false dawn and both Italian franchises will be in the Challenge Cup again next season.Italian franchises Benetton and Zebre have seldom made a serious impression in the Pro14 (Inpho)I believe the bottom team in the Six Nations should face a play-off against the winner of the Rugby Europe Championship. I’m open to the Six Nations team playing only one leg, at home, but there should be the carrot for every country in Europe to play on the top stage.I know from having coached at the Dragons the effect of having a losing record year on year. It can destroy the morale and self-confidence of players and the team environment.The Gallagher Premiership and the Top 14 have relegation and clubs like Harlequins, Northampton, Bayonne and Lyon have bounced back from the drop, arguably stronger.A season spent winning can galvanise a team and make them more competitive when they bounce back. It shouldn’t be the end of their journey, as some people suggest.Also, teams lower down have an opportunity to develop and grow – that would be good for rugby across Europe rather than just the traditional countries.Before 2000, Italy earned the right to enter the Six Nations but I feel that 21 years is a sufficient period to adapt and develop. Ringfencing hasn’t made the competition stronger so I would advocate a promotion/relegation play-off. BARNEY PARRNO, says the London-based freelance writerOnce again rugby’s most tedious annual debate rears its ugly head. I don’t care much for the senseless bleating quite as much as I worry about the dangerous caveat it sets.This maelstrom of thought isn’t so much about the issue of relegation as it is the ‘Italian question’, accentuating their seemingly eternal quest to find a competitive edge in the competition. I’d put it like this: would rugby fans accept England, France, Ireland, Scotland or Wales not playing at the pinnacle of European competition?Although not a simple conundrum to solve, I’m all for the likes of Georgia, a team central to the debate, being given a chance in an expanded tournament, not one threatening relegation.Georgia, here carrying v Romania, could play in an expanded Tier One competition, argues Parr (Getty)In a period where global development of rugby is begging for a wider appeal, is it necessary to prop up one team at the expense of another? Expansion of the game must rely on a team’s aspiration to climb and stay on the ladder, rather than the constant threat of falling off.Despite dominating European rugby’s second-tier tournament, Georgia have failed to show any inkling that they would provide more stable and competitive opposition. World Rugby rankings fail to tell the full tale here.Italy joined the competition 117 years late. It’s time to stop maligning this growing team with the constant threat of the ‘R’ word and give them (and potential new friends) the space and time needed to flourish. Johan Meyer and Paolo Garbisi ponder how to stop the rot for the Azzurri (Insidefoto/LightRocket/Getty)Should the Six Nations introduce relegation? We want to know what YOU think. Email your views to [email protected] debate first appeared in the May 2021 issue of Rugby World. Winless Italy had a points difference of minus 184 during this year’s Six Nations Championship (Inpho) After 32 successive Six Nations defeats, Italy’s place in the tournament has never been more precarious. Hence this question for our Face-off debate from our May 2021 issue last_img read more

Allianz Premier 15s final live stream: How to watch Harlequins v Saracens

first_img Saracens fly-half Zoe Harrison and Harlequins No 10 Emily Scott (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Allianz Premier 15s final live stream: How to watch Harlequins v SaracensThere’s a familiar look to the 2020-21 Allianz Premier 15s final. As in the previous two finals, Harlequins and Saracens will battle it out to be crowned English champions.Saracens lifted the Premier 15s trophy in 2018 and 2019 before the 2020 season ended prematurely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so will they make it a hat-trick at Kingsholm this afternoon? Or will Quins win the title for the first time?The 3,000-plus fans who will be in attendance at Kingsholm for the final (kick-off 4pm) will get to see a plethora of internationals in action.Quins are fielding an all-Red Roses front row of Vickii Cornborough, Amy Cokayne and Shaunagh Brown as well as Scotland full-back Chloe Rollie and World Cup winner Rachael Burford, amongst others.However, they will be without England wing Jess Breach, who picked up an injury towards the end of Quins’ 25-14 semi-final win over Wasps in which she scored two tries.Saracens have selected an all-England back row of Vicky Fleetwood, Marlie Packer and Poppy Cleall, who scored a brace – as did her twin sister Bryony – in the 28-24 victory over Loughborough Lightning in their semi-final.They also have an all-Canada second row in Sophie de Goede – one of the stars of this Premier 15s season – and Emma Taylor, while the most-capped player in women’s rugby, Rocky Clark, is on the bench.Here are the two line-ups for the final and find out how to watch the match below…Harlequins: Chloe Rollie; Heather Cowell, Lagi Tuima, Rachael Burford (captain), Beth Wilcock; Emily Scott, Leanne Riley; Vickii Cornborough, Amy Cokayne, Shaunagh Brown, Abbie Ward, Fi Fletcher, Lauren Brooks, Katy Mew, Sarah Beckett. Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. TAGS: Highlight Replacements: Rosie Dobson, Tove Viksten, Chloe Edwards, Alex Eddie, Emily Robinson, Lucy Packer, Ellie Green, Izzy Mayhew.Saracens: Sarah McKenna; Sydney Gregson, Hannah Casey, Holly Aitchison, Lotte Clapp (captain); Zoe Harrison, Emma Swords; Hannah Botterman, May Campbell, Bryony Cleall, Sophie de Goede, Emma Taylor, Vicky Fleetwood, Marlie Packer, Poppy Cleall.Replacements: Jodie Rettie, Rocky Clark, Donna Rose, Rosie Galligan, Georgia Evans, Eloise Hayward, Alysha Corrigan, Rachel Laqeretabua.Allianz Premier 15s final live streamThere are two ways to watch the Allianz Premier 15s final between Harlequins and Saracens (kick-off 4pm).You can stream it live on Access to the live stream is free but you do now need to create an account to watch so it might be worth doing that before the match get underway so you don’t miss any of the action.The final will also be shown live on BT Sport 1 and Ultimate, with coverage starting at 3.45pm.If you don’t have a BT contract but want to watch the final, BT Sport has a contract-free monthly pass that allows you to get instant access to their coverage for just £25.Get a BT Sport Monthly PassAllianz Premier 15s final: Harlequins v Saracens, 4pm, Sunday 30 May, Kingsholm Don’t miss any of the action from Kingsholm this afternoonlast_img read more