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Emotional Hakas farewell Jonah Lomu at final public memorial

Did not expect to cry as much as that. Heart-wrenching, yet beautiful. Well done New Zealand

19 Hours, 8 Minutes ago

New England coach Eddie Jones apologises to Stormers fans for leaving

Agreed, fair play to him for apologizing. It's a raw deal for the Stormers to have a find a coach now, in time for the next Super rugby season, but this can't have caught them completely by surprise. I hope though they got a bit of compensation from the RFU.

I think a foreign coach would be no bad thing - they don't come cheap... but if they could get him, how about Robbie Deans?

1 Week, 4 Days ago

Eddie Jones leaves the Stormers to be appointed new England Head Coach

I have a soft spot for the Stormers, so more than a bit disappointed by this news. But not surprised, there's no way the Stormers could compete with what England will have offered. And, ultimately, guys like Eddie Jones want to coach international teams.

I'm very interested though to see who he brings in to his coaching team. He's a very good coach, but he is also, it seems to me, a guy who tends to fit into whatever system he's presented with. Anyway, if he does bring in a raft of new faces, that'll be a sign that we're looking at a bit more of a RFU overhaul. And might also give some clues of the direction he wants to take the England team in.

1 Week, 4 Days ago

All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu dies suddenly, aged 40

Completely stunned. I knew about his health issues, but I had no idea things were so precarious.

No-one of my age will forget the way he exploded onto the world game, right at the time rugby went professional. The stage was set for him to transform the game, and he did just that.

His legacy is alive and well, but he left us far too soon. My heart goes out to his family and friends, but I know the rugby community, especially in NZ, will rally round in support. It's the least we can do.

1 Week, 6 Days ago

Recap and Press Conference after Stuart Lancaster steps away from coaching England

They were wasted years from the pov that a pretty green squad went to the RWC. I can't comment on the wider development of the game, but that really isn't Lancaster's job.

But it is a prime job - it'll probably be the best paid coaching job in the world, there is a large pool of professional players, excellent facilities, and a guaranteed dozen top games in the calendar each year.

There's always politics to navigate, but the new man can start with a clean slate, bring in his own team, and work to a four-year plan. But the big names will also shake up the system. I keep on bringing up Jake White, but he tangled with the heavily politicized SA system, I can only imagine how much he'd relish picking some fights with RFU suits.

2 Weeks, 5 Days ago

Recap and Press Conference after Stuart Lancaster steps away from coaching England

The World Cup performances weren't good enough, let alone the results, and the Burgess debacle the last straw. Lancaster seemed like a decent bloke, but the World Cup was always going to be his litmus test.

If they want a head coach with international credentials, that means they are going to be looking abroad - at least I can't see any English candidates who have that in their CV.

And if they do go for a big name international coach, a shake-up in the RFU is only just beginning. Jake White, for example, will not want any "director of rugby" potentially meddling in team affairs; he will want to select overseas players (who meet certain conditions, I imagine), and any club-v-country nonsense will be met head-on.

But it's still a big job that, despite certain statements already made by the likes of Eddie Jones, few top coaches will turn down.

2 Weeks, 5 Days ago

All Blacks through to another World Cup Final after tense battle with the Springboks

Damn right. Very proud of this team. I'm gutted for them, but exiting the world cup this way (as compared to 2011) is a whole other stick of biltong.

1 Month, 5 Days ago

All Blacks through to another World Cup Final after tense battle with the Springboks

The real consolation here is that the outcome was not unexpected. All credit to New Zealand for how consistent and excellent they are, if World Cup final places were handed out on merit alone, they'd be there.

But here's the rub. Every Bok player and supporter will remember this as the game where we led by 5 at halftime. Even the weather played into our hands in the second half. It was as good a platform as anyone could have dreamed of.

But no. So now most of the chat is about the limitations of our game; Pollard made to play against his natural style, Willie le Roux's lack of confidence basically eliminating our most creative attacking force, and the almost complete lack of tactical kicking acumen that led to most of our problems on Saturday.

So while we will rue this loss, it's a weird situation of ruing the circumstances rather than our own team's limitations. That we could have burgled a result that few people would have scripted. 1995 all over again... That was a one-off.

Anyway, for now we can look forward to four years time when Pollard should be in his prime, and there's time to build a skilled backline outside him. I'm comfortable we'll have a strong forward pack, but we need to have full confidence in numbers 1-15. We didn't this year, and that's why we came up short.

1 Month, 5 Days ago

'Penalty was the wrong call' says World Rugby review of Craig Joubert decision

No, I think I understood you correctly the first time... sending something to the TMO or checking a decision on a big screen both amount to a video review. So because this wasn't a reviewable decision, he had to stick with his original call.

Owens, in contrast, was able to change his call because tries are reviewable. I think that's the key difference here.

1 Month, 1 Week ago

'Penalty was the wrong call' says World Rugby review of Craig Joubert decision

I think the rule stipulates that if Phipps in this case tried to play the ball, the Scotland players shouldn't be considered off-side. And to me, he does attempt to play the ball... opinions may differ, but there you go.

The fact that Phipps' touch was so marginal is however critical in taking blame away from Joubert - it's very easy to see how he missed it, and because he did, his penalty decision made sense.

And when you factor in he couldn't consult the TMO either, the criticism he is getting for this particular decision begins to look pretty absurd.

1 Month, 1 Week ago