Rugby World Cup U20 – England name squad v Italy

England have named their squad to play Italy in their opening game of the World Rugby U20 Championship at the Manchester City Academy Stadium tomorrow (19.45). Four players in the match day 23 make their debuts at this level with Darren Atkins, Harry Mallinder, Theo Brophy-Clews and Billy Walker in the starting line-up. Johnny Williams, who missed the Six Nations due to commitments with London Irish, and Harry Randall, who steps up from the Under 18s, could also win their first caps. With Jack Walker on the bench, Mallinder will captain the side and Jack Singleton, who scored four tries against Italy in the Six Nations, starts at hooker. The squad gathered in Manchester on Friday and after several intensive training sessions Haag...

Rugby World Cup U20’s – Launch

The twelve captains who will lead the charge for their respective teams over the next three-weeks gathered at Manchester’s Town Hall, alongside World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper, RFU President Jason Leonard and RFU Chairman Bill Beaumont. “The U20 Championship is a perfect pathway for the future stars of world rugby” said Gosper. “Off the back of Rugby World Cup 2015, Manchester will provide a great backdrop for the games and fans in the region are in for a feast of open, running rugby at a tournament that will showcase some of the stars of the next Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019.” The trophy made its final journey into Manchester on Saturday morning, starting at the Velopark before heading to...

Rugby World Cup Under 20’s – Welcome Ceremonies

Rugby World Cup Under 20's Team Welcome Ceremonies are taking place across the North West to celebrate the world’s top young rugby talent arriving in the country ahead of the World Rugby U20 Championships in Manchester from June 7. The Welcome Ceremonies formally greet each competing team to England ahead of the tournament and take place at the twelve training bases across the North West. Each ceremony includes an activity relating to a teams’ respective country’s heritage and culture, medal presentations to the players, a guard of honour by the club’s minis and juniors and a plaque presentation to the club to mark their role in the tournament. Bill Beaumont, Chairman of England Rugby, said “Throughout the past couple of weeks...

Six Nations Championship: The thrilling climax to the 2015 championship

BBC Sport looks back at the thrilling final day of the 2015 Six Nations when Wales, Ireland and England were all in with a shout of winning the championship. Watch live coverage of the 2016 Six Nations from 13:30 GMT this Saturday on BBC One starting with France v Italy and followed by Scotland v England. Available to UK users only.

Six Nations – Pre Match Preparation Then and Now

Prior to Six Nations former international, BBC commentator and President of LSH Ray French says.   "How Times Change" International Players’ Pre Match Preparation Then and Now How times change! They certainly do, as I was reminded of such changes when the new England coach, Eddie Jones, named his 33 man squad for the forthcoming Six Nations tournament. I thought back to my own union playing days in the late Fifties and early Sixties (thankful I can still think back so far!) when I was named in a team/squad of just 17 players and reserves to tackle Wales at the Arms Park in Cardiff. England’s Aussie boss had three weeks in which to prepare and finalise his team to play Scotland on...

Rugby World Cup 2015: Ross Ford and Jonny Gray cited for tackles

Scotland could be without Ross Ford and Jonny Gray for Sunday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Australia after being cited for dangerous tackles. Tuesday morning's hearing in London will assess a challenge made by hooker Ford in Saturday's win over Samoa. And lock Gray is alleged to have committed an illegal tip tackle against the Pacific Islanders. Their fate will be decided by independent judicial officer Christopher Quinlan QC. The pair, key members of the Scotland pack, were charged by Australian independent citing commissioner Scott Nowland. Australian flanker David Pocock, though, is clear to play in the last-eight match at Twickenham if...

World Cup – WITHER ENGLAND A...

WITHER ENGLAND Nor the best of World Cups as far as England is concerned and after going out at the pool stage, albeit in a very difficult group, it was the humiliation of the defeat at the hand of Australia that really hurt. It did not take long for the 'journo pack' to start sticking in their collective knives and, having spent some time perusing the sports pages, facebook, twitter etc, I wonder what planet some of these guys live on!. Recent rugby league convert Sam Burgess has come in for a lot of criticism, some of it justified but I would suggest most of it had nothing to do with him but a lot which is just anti-rugby league. If we...

The Whistleblower – So far so good for the referees

THE WHISTLEBLOWER So far so good for the referees In spite of some TMO hiccups, David Matthews believes that the officials are having a decent World Cup 2015 England apart and that is another story we are now into the knock out stages in the Rugby World Cup 2015 and following a turbulent opening weekend when the work of the Television Match Official took most of the attention the rugby appears to be occupying the limelight. It is difficult to believe that a replay of the England 'try' in their game against Fiji was shown no less than eleven times. The perils of the whole process of referring a decision to the Television Match Official have long threatened to dominate but surely...