Friday, September 05, 2014
James Haskell and Chris Ashton will be on this weekend's Clare Balding Show, so here is a quick preview of a funny moment during one of the chats. Clare asked purveyor of all things banterish, London Wasps flanker Haskell, a peculiar question from a user on twitter.
England team mate Ashton chirps, but Haskell's trademark wit very quickly puts an end to that.
Viewers in the UK can watch the full Clare Balding Show on Saturday at 7pm on BT Sport 1
Posted at 1:45 pm | 3 comments
Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Rugby Tonight have come up with another top quality masterclass video as we get a chance to learn from a legend, with Brian O'Driscoll talking Austin Healey through the best way to defend the breakdown in the midfield, or indeed in any tackle situation.
It's roughly seven minutes that are well worth watching, as the recently retired Ireland and Leinster legend uses his extensive playing experience at the highest level to go through exactly what takes place in various situations, and how to deal with it.
"It's a matter of trying to bend your legs, use the player as leverage to try and get down into a good position, tuck the head, and wait for those impacts to come," explains O'Driscoll.
He's also quick to point out that referees these days aren't too happy about players simply placing their hands on the ball to try and get the turnover. You need to actually make an effort to grab it.
"Referees a lot of the time now aren't happy with you just going for the ball and kind of pretending to hold it in. You have to have an effort to try and pull it away from the opposition. Once they see the attacker holding on, they'll give you a penalty," he added.
When watching, you get the feeling that you could listen to him for hours and never get bored, as with all rugby legends. This is definitely one to share with your friends, kids and coaches.
Posted at 1:10 pm | 20 comments
There have been some fantastic big tackles lately, so here is a look at the best of August from around the world. Featured are massive tackles from the Currie Cup in South Africa, the ITM Cup in New Zealand, the Top 14 in France, and of course the Rugby Championship.
With the Aviva Premiership and Guinness Pro12 kicking off this weekend, we're sure to see another impressive compilation at the end of September. Thanks to Sky Sports for putting this together.
View more crunching hits and quality tackles in our Big Hits section
Posted at 12:00 pm | 8 comments
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Motor Neuron Disease has been in the spotlight of late as the ALS Ice Bucket challenge has taken over social media, with celebrities and indeed rugby players taking part to raise money and awareness. One man who knows about it first hand is Springbok legend, Joost Van Der Westhuizen.
Van Der Westhuizen, who played for South Africa 89 times between 1993 and 2003, has been diagnosed with ALS, and has made it his personal mission to improve conditions, support and facilities for other sufferers out there. He does this through awareness, and his J9 foundation.
In a fascinating and harrowing 10 minute interview with Carte Blanche, he has spoken about how this has become his life's mission, and rugby was perhaps only there to get him to this point.
The video is hosted on DSTV's website - click the image above or watch the interview here
Posted at 3:29 pm | 5 comments
Everyone loves a good lookalike, so the guys at Rugby HQ put together their selection of the Top 5 in Australian rugby. Actor Michael Rapaport comes to mind whenever Kieran Read is interviewed, but who has the most spot on doppelganger in your opinion? Let us know in the comments below.
For more great selections from Rugby HQ, view our archived Top 5 section
Posted at 1:15 pm | 11 comments
Waikato prop Ben Tameifuna has been cited for pushing referee Glen Jackson during the ITM Cup round 3 match vs North Harbour on Saturday night. The charge is for acting against the spirit of good sportsmanship, and he looks likely to be found guilty.
The incident - alleged according to the disciplinary statement, but quite clear from the video - occurred late in the game as Waikato attempted to hold out the opposition. With Tameifuna on the tryline, Jackson got in his way, so he gave him a bit of a shove to clear his defensive line.
Jackson didn't appear too bothered about it, barely looking in the All Black tourist's direction. Irony, or perhaps karma, was at play though as the former professional flyhalf was given the chance to show yellow to the giant prop just seconds later.
The two incidents weren't related, but one has to wonder if there would have been a talking to if the slowing down of the ball didn't happen. Perhaps Tameifuna apologised as it happened.
Following the match, the incident was picked up by Citing Commissioner John Wootton, who cited under law 10.4 (m), which deems that a player must not do anything that is against the spirit of good sportsmanship in the playing enclosure.
The review will take place tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday 3 September, by Judicial Officer Chris Morris via video conference. Waikato held on to win the match 22-16, after Tameifuna had earlier scored a try in the first half.
View similar incidents in the Related Posts, featuring Brian Mujati shoving Nigel Owens in the back, Neil Best pushing George Clancy out of his way, and Lifeimi Mafi actually tackling a referee. There are a few other good ones there too, as well as some typically hard-hitting Big Ben Tameifuna clips.
Posted at 10:23 am | 22 comments
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 | 27 comments