Monday, September 01, 2014
England Rugby 2015 launched the ticketing drive for next year's Rugby World Cup today with an advert that features actor Charles Dance of Game of Thrones fame. More significantly, it also includes Test players from some of the competing nations.
The video features Dylan Hartley, George North and Andrea Masi as well as legends such as Martin Johnson, Serge Betsen and Sir Ian McGeechan mixed in with fans, mascots and referees.
It's directed by Peter Cattaneo of Full Monty fame, and stars Dance, who himself is a big rugby fan.
It's an impressive production, but sadly falls short without any key members of the best three teams in the world included, namely the World Champion All Blacks, the Springboks and the Wallabies. Logisitical reasons no doubt, but Ashley Johnson is there, who last played Test rugby in 2011, so perhaps they could have tracked down someone relevant to wear a black or yellow jersey.
Aside from that, there are some fascinating extras included, for example the Millennium Stadium groundsmen, Aston Villa and Leicester City mascots - representing two of the RWC 2015 match venues - and Great Britain wheelchair rugby player Paul McDerby.
The world's best 20 teams will compete in 48 matches, played at 13 venues up and down England (and Cardiff) with 1 million tickets going on general sale this month.
"Tickets are at a range of prices starting at £7 for children and £15 for adults and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the event next year," said Debbie Jarvis, organising committee CEO.
Tickets for RWC 2015 go on general sale Sep 12-29 at tickets.rugbyworldcup.com
Posted at 4:44 pm | 7 comments
Friday, August 29, 2014
Waikato lost 46-17 to Taranaki in the ITM Cup on Wednesday, conceding six tries in Hamilton, but it was the home side that provided the moment of the match. Trailing and in need of something special, Tawera Kerr-Barlow delivered in the second half.
The released All Black contributed towards Waikato's first try in the 43rd minute, scored by Declan O'Donnell, with a flick pass, but it was the second in particular that was from another planet.
We've seen similar reverse type passes before, namely with Brock James and Tamati Ellison last year, but those - equally brilliant - were to do with momentum. This was a stationary, calculated decision, and he pulled it off perfectly. Straight to hand, and certainly not forward.
Taranaki picked up their biggest win against their provincial neighbours, as Marty McKenzie scored two of his team's tries, and kicked six from eight attempts at goal. Waikato's only tries were those by Joe Webber and O'Donnell in what was a good few minutes, having trailed 27-3 at the break.
The 46-17 loss comes a week after being thumped 58-27 by Canterbury. They face North Harbour on Saturday, while Taranaki take on Auckland away on Sunday.
While this pass won't mean too much to the Waikato outfit after a loss like that, it's well worth watching again. Another thing to note is that the advantage was only called by the referee after he made the pass, not before, so it took a lot of skill and a serious amount of self-belief to pull it off.
The updated video below includes the assist for the first try, as well as the pass for the second
Posted at 5:36 pm | 7 comments
Joe Marler is at his best in front of camera. He's a pretty good rugby player too, obviously, but as fans have picked up on, the guy has great banter. Here the Harlequins prop talks about what goes on in the team bus, and his amusing pets.
Marler recently took up the skippers's role at Harlequins, after Chris Robshaw stepped down to focus on the England captaincy. The 24-year-old has said that he's looking forward to starting things well against London Irish in the Twickenham Double Header next weekend.
"The Double Header is always a great day, but in the past both teams have been a bit negative against each other, so hopefully we can play some good rugby and have a good day," he said.
"I love a little London derby and to be honest I think it needs to be a little bit more derby-like. We're getting a bit itchy and excited to get out there for the Double Header now."
"Pre-season has been as brutal as any other pre-season, but it's gone really well. Most of the boys are in great shape although some aren't in such good shape and I'd probably be in that category."
More of Marler in the Related Posts below, and more humour in our aptly named funnies section
Posted at 12:47 pm | 3 comments
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Total Rugby chats to Robins Tchale-Watchou to find out more about his rise from African basketball hopeful, to Top 14 rugby player. The 6ft 5 son of a weightlifter got involved in the sport after a chance meeting with some rugby enthusiasts.
Aged 16, Cameroonian Tchale-Watchou came across rugby for the first time. As he explains, after playing for a while it became clear that he had potential, perhaps more so than in basketball.
From there it took a few years before he played for his country, aged 19, and later he was spotted and scouted to go play in France. He moved around a bit in ProD2, before finally joining Stade Francais, and later Perpignan. From there he went to Montpellier, where he remains, now aged 31.
It's a great achievement, having come from a country where rugby is relatively small, unlike massive Robins, who still seems a little in awe of the path he's taken. It's an inspirational story.
"Each time I had an opportunity to go forward, I took it, and threw myself into the challenge."
View more of these type of player focussed videos in our Player Features section
Posted at 2:05 pm | 2 comments
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
The rugby season is hotting up with the Top 14, ITM Cup and Currie Cup all complimenting the Rugby Championship, as plenty of quality tries are scored each weekend. Sky Sports have compiled what they view to be the Top 5 from the last week.
They feature tries by Brad Weber, Gael Fickou, Michael Hooper, Jean-Marc Doussain and Clayton Blommetjies. Despite the All Blacks scoring six against the Wallabies, they weren't included.
There are a few solo efforts, with Australian skipper Hooper really impressing with his acceleration off the mark, while Gael Fickou showed power and great awareness to score for Toulouse.
Weber scored one of many excellent tries in the ITM Cup, while Cheetahs flyer Blommetjies displayed a slight of hand and serious gas to outrun speedster Tonderai Chavhanga.
It's a great compilation and for those in the UK & Ireland, a nice way to get you psyched for the Premiership and PRO12, both of which were launched this week and kick off next weekend.
Very soon the rugby season will be in full swing globally, so your submissions and requests are key to us covering everything. Please don't be shy to get in touch to let us know when you spot something you think we should share. Email | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Posted at 3:28 pm | 10 comments
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
We received this clip from the guy who got 'lit up', as he called it. His name is Alex Peasley of Wisconsin Rugby Club, and Alex likes switching inside off his flyhalf. Unfortunately for him, Metropolis D2 have a player named Kavika Peniata, and he reads play well. And hits really hard.
The match took place at the Wisconsin Rugby Sports Complex in Madison on Saturday, and will be a memorable one for Alex, who came on as a replacement only to be drilled by Peniata. He clearly felt it, but he was kind enough to submit the clip for our viewing pleasure anyway.
It's a huge, technically sound hit and as you can hear, the crowd enjoyed every bit of it.
Posted at 6:44 pm | 16 comments
There's few things that we enjoy more than seeing dominant tackles on the rugby field, that's why fans went crazy for George North's pick up and carry of Israel Folau during the Lions series last year. A similar thing happened this past weekend in France.
Bordeaux-Begles picked up a good 30-21 win over Racing Metro, although this week all the talk was of flyhalf Jonathan Sexton and whether he'll move back to Leinster next year, or stay in Paris. He started this match, but was replaced by Johan Goosen in the second half.
It was Racing scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud that produced one of the most amusing moments of the match though, as he managed to all but replicate North's effort from last year, and perhaps even get a bit more distance on the carry.
Bordeaux opposite number Heini Adams made a nice little break, beating a few players before being stopped in his tacks by Machenaud, who simply picked him up and carried him back.
South African Adams didn't look too pleased with what happened, and why would he be, but it all seemed perfectly legal and despite Adams' having left the ball behind, Machenaud was committed.
It was a bit of a humiliating moment for the former Bull, but his side won, so it's forgotten about.
Posted at 2:44 pm | 5 comments