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Wallabies 31-man squad, plus a few extras, for the World Cup and USA tour

Agree for the most part, but I'd still take Higginbotham over Palu any day.

It is a good squad though, and they will need to be good just to get into the knock-out phase.

3 Days, 23 Hours ago

Springboks bounce back from defeat to win comfortably in Argentina

I'm not as confident about Jean. I know Meyer would love to take him, but he has full belief in Matfield's leadership, and they have to be concerned at Jean's lack of game time.

If he doesn't make it, I actually think it makes Meyer's choices a bit easier. If he is selected, then one of Serfontein and De Allende won't be going. That I can't call.

1 Week, 1 Hour ago

Wallabies 31-man squad, plus a few extras, for the World Cup and USA tour

The world is a poorer place without the Honey Badger in the Wallaby squad.

That is all.

(amazed they left out Higginbotham and White, but as ever there's a couple of very unlucky blokes)

1 Week, 3 Hours ago

Springboks bounce back from defeat to win comfortably in Argentina

I think we've known for a while Jaco Kriel will be shortchanged. Very, very bad luck after his superb Super XV season.

Think there are a couple of uncertainties at centre, loose forward and front-row, but right now I reckon 28 of the 31 places are nailed down.

1 Week, 22 Hours ago

Springboks bounce back from defeat to win comfortably in Argentina

Outstanding. He played like a guy who's been tired of waiting for an opportunity.

Do you think the squad now pretty much picks itself? Aside from the injury permutations, I think we know who goes... apart from with the front row. Some really, really tough calls to be made there.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

Springboks bounce back from defeat to win comfortably in Argentina

For normal people, you are making a very obvious point. To people in charge of Bok merchandizing, you sound like a naive dope.

(In fairness to the merchandizing guys - the SA change kit is popular with fans, and they can't just wait for home matches with Ireland to have the team wear it. But honestly, it's way to similar to the Argentine kit to make sense here.)

1 Week, 2 Days ago

Hawk-Eye to make World Cup debut at RWC 2015

I'm a total technophobe, so this could sound pretty stupid, how is hawkeye actually supposed to help... is it simply that it will synchronize the replays from the different angles? And they have a special zoom feature? (why can't the host broadcaster do this, doesn't sound all that complicated...)

No idea either how it will help concussion diagnoses, but if it can, I guess we should be grateful.

I'm all for using technology when it helps, but with rugby, I am increasingly leery about using super slow-motion and micro-analysis especially when judging foul play. It tends to make a lot of incidents look far worse that they do in real time, and at worst, makes accidental contact look deliberate.

I hope the technology has been properly tested too, a world cup is definitely not the place to be experimenting with it.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

All Blacks fined for waterboy Liam Messam joining on field scuffle

One answer is that Sanzar officials officiating a Sanzar game don't want to see a Sanzar player banned from the World Cup. Nonu has a shitty disciplinary record, one citing and he's at risk of a long ban.

Anyway, there's never been consistency within rugby, they certainly aren't about to start now.

1 Week, 2 Days ago

England get the better of France with some great tries at Twickenham

I'm sure I've said it to you before, but it's really sad where French rugby is these days. The fans deserve better, and world rugby is poorer without an exciting French national team.

1 Week, 4 Days ago

England get the better of France with some great tries at Twickenham

I'm not sure what France got of this game. For England at least, they learned a few things about their mostly 2nd/3rd choice forwards (a bit inexperienced and definitely not as strong as the 1st choice players), and a bit more about some new backline combinations. I thought Slade, who can cover flyhalf too, may have played himself into the squad. Burgess will make the cut if Lancaster wants a true impact sub - but I'd be pretty surprised if he started any of the big games. He's still a novice centre, a huge risk to expose him against the top sides.

But France, I think we all know they plan to select a monster pack, and use that as their base. Parra and Trin-Duc? We know these guys. A random selection of players 11-15, doing predictable rugby stuff? As you say, pretty normal for the PSA era.

On the other hand, playing a conservative forward-dominated game has won world cups in the past. I think we got a bit more of a taste this weekend of how SA will play in the World Cup, and if France's half-backs are in good form, kicking well and controlling the game, they won't be easy to beat.

Maybe that's been PSA's plan all along?

1 Week, 4 Days ago