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England avenge Cardiff loss with convincing victory over Wales at Twickenham

Selecting Priestland confuses the heck out of me: thoroughly thoroughly average, in pretty much every department. I think we can all assume that James Hook doesn't fit into Gatland's model (ie. he has too many ideas of his own), but it's a shame that such natural talent is being wasted. Ditto Henson (ooh, controversial!).

I'm not a Phillips fan - at all - but nevertheless it was always going to be a big ask for Webb to turn up at Twickenham behind a pressurised pack and look the part.

The other surprising thing for me about Wales on Sunday is that they looked heavily fatigued - gasping - from an early stage. The length of time taken for each lineout was indicative. Two or three years ago, stamina was one of a strong team's strongest points.

1 Year, 2 Months ago

Georgia and Romania Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification highlights

How can any rugby fan not adore Georgian rugby?! Their passion for the game is magnificent.

And the Russian hooker's mullet is a beaut too.

1 Year, 2 Months ago

Scott Williams injures shoulder making big hit on Brian O'Driscoll

Yeah, I hope he'll get a guard of honour - his last game at HQ, and record-equalling too. There's never a wrong time to show respect for a true great.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Scott Williams injures shoulder making big hit on Brian O'Driscoll

In many ways Williams was doing exactly the right thing - trying impose himself on his opposing number at the first opportunity. The irony of coming off worse from a borderline-illegal hit is kinda delicious though.

And by the way, how flipping good was Rory Best's throwing on Saturday? Greatly improved.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

England retain Calcutta Cup after dominant performance at Murrayfield

I don't see Tuilagi starting with no match-practice. More like a 60th minute replacement to scare the life out of a tiring defence.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

England retain Calcutta Cup after dominant performance at Murrayfield

In the Telegraph it quoted Johnson as saying that the plan was to kick, 'to turn England'. As you point out, that was a crap plan, carried out badly.

You mentioned fly-half: why is Duncan Weir being picked when he offers so little? Last 6N Ruaridh Jackson played most of the games and did pretty well, while Tom Heathcote is yet to be called up in spite of having more potential than any of them.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Jacques Burger's tackling masterclass on Rugby Tonight

From where I'm standing, Burger is one of the best overseas signings a Premiership team has ever made (though I'm open to more suggestions!). Absolutely whole-hearted in every way; glad he's fit again.

1 Year, 3 Months ago

Georgia stun Samoa in historic game in Tbilisi

I love the pride and respect on show - this kind of video makes me hopeful for the world, not just rugby. Well done Georgia, well done Samoa.

1 Year, 5 Months ago

Friday Funnies - George Ford's Innovative Kick

Bath look like they have the core of a very strong all-round team - good news.

Ford is a great signing (along with Jonathan Joseph, Anthony Watson etc.) and will be top-level before long. Has anyone seen how his defensive game is coming along? He's certainly beefed up a bit since leaving his teens, but never seems to get low enough in the tackle.

1 Year, 7 Months ago

George North sets up great try but Gloucester sneak controversional win

When Twelvetrees kicked away that piece of possession to North (even in his own 22), you could hear the groan from the home-crowd. Never kick it to North!

1 Year, 8 Months ago