Sunday, May 17, 2015
The USA have claimed a historic first ever Cup Final win at the London 7s, beating Australia 45-22 in front of a day two record attendance at Twickenham. In the semi final the USA scored their highest ever total against England, thumping them 43-12.
Isles, arguably the fastest rugby player in the world, scored two great tries as he took a relatively small bit of space and proceeded to make England look mediocre.
Congratulations to the USA on a huge achievement. We'll have more highlights and feedback from the famous win, and the tournament in general, soon.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Manu Tuilagi will play no part in the Rugby World Cup, England coach Stuart Lancaster has said. The explosive England back has been convicted of three charges of assault on police officers, and one of criminal damage. A joint statement was released today.
According to the BBC, Tuilagi was arrested in Leicester city centre at 3am on Sunday, 26 April.
"He is understood to have grabbed a taxi driver by the throat and kicked the vehicle's wing mirror before pushing two female police officers in the chest as they attempted to handcuff him."
England Rugby and Leicester Tigers have taken action against Tuilagi following his conviction. Manu pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates this week and was ordered to pay the court a total of £6,205 in fines, compensation, charges and costs.
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster has spoken to Manu and informed him that, in the light of his conduct and subsequent conviction, he will not be considered for selection for England's Elite Playing Squads until January 2016.
"As role models and ambassadors for the game, the highest standards of behaviour are expected from every England player both on and off the fiel," Lancaster explained.
"Having spoken to Manu, he understands and accepts both the seriousness of the offences to which he has pleaded guilty and the consequences of his behaviour to his club, country and the game as a whole.
"England will continue to liaise with Leicester Tigers and have every confidence that the club will continue to support Manu in the right way."
Tuilagi himself said in a statement: "I take full responsibility for my actions and unreservedly apologise to all those involved in the incident, Leicester Tigers and England. It is something I deeply regret and I totally accept the sentence given by the court.
"The club and Stuart have been very supportive and I understand their sanctions too. I know as an England player the need to conduct myself as a good role model for the game. I am very disappointed because my actions have let so many people down and I can only hope for a future chance to prove myself again."
Leicester Tigers Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill said: "Manu knows and accepts his responsibilities and has received a significant punishment in being excluded from the England squad and the club will also take internal disciplinary action.
"While we do not in any way condone his actions in this case, Manu is a young man who has grown up in the public eye and he is a good professional in a top-level environment.
"He always gives his time very generously to supporters, particularly young ones, wherever he goes, and fully understands the role that the fans have played in his career. We will continue to work closely with him on his return to full fitness and look forward to his return to the field in due course."
He was banned for five weeks for punching England teammate Chris Ashton in May 2011, and later that year fined for jumping off a ferry in Auckland at the Rugby World Cup. So it's not 23-year-old Tuilagi's first run in with the law, however it is the most serious offence to date.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
The host selection process for Rugby World Cup 2023 has officially launched, with interested Unions having until 15 June 2015 to officially express their interest in hosting rugby's premier global event.
With the Rugby World Cup brand going from strength to strength ahead of a record-breaking England 2015 and ground-breaking Japan 2019 tournaments, formal interest is anticipated to be high and geographically wide.
As announced in March, the Rugby World Cup 2023 host union will be selected in May 2017 following a phased process. The successful country will have six years to work with tournament owners Rugby World Cup Limited to deliver the event and maximise the benefits of observing the delivery of Japan 2019.
So far Ireland, South Africa, Italy and France have publicly announced their hosting interest and with the process now officially open, World Rugby invites unions to confirm their interest.
World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "Today represents an exciting and significant milestone in planning and preparation for Rugby World Cup 2023 and a date that officially kicks off starts the bidding journey for interested potential hosts unions.
"We are delighted with the strong level of interest from unions and governments at this early stage, which underscores the enormous hosting appeal of Rugby World Cup in the global sporting market place and we welcome further interest in the coming month."
To assist with the process, World Rugby has invited interested parties to attend a two-day information-sharing briefing in London on 4-5 June, 2015 and the biggest official observer programme to date during England 2015.
1987 - New Zealand and Australia
1991 - England (pool games in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France)
1995 - South Africa
1999 - Wales (pool games in Scotland, England, Ireland and France)
2003 - Australia
2007 - France
2011 - New Zealand
2015 - England
2019 - Japan
2023 - TBC
Italy and Argentina are the only Tier 1 nations to have never hosted a Rugby World Cup match. Of the current applicants, South Africa, who have won twice out of the five they competed in, last hosted in 1995, so you would think they could be a sensible choice.
Who do you think it should go to? Qatar is not an option.
Today's Throwback Thursday from World Rugby looks back at a beautiful moment that took place post match at the Rugby World Cup 2003 Pool C game in Brisbane. After thumping Samoa 60-10, South Africa's captain, Corne Krige, called both teams together for a quiet moment of respect and reflection.
It was a match that was remembered more for the moment that young Derick Hougaard was famously demolished by bone crusher, 'The Chiropractor', Brian Lima.
The Springboks actually scored eight tries on the night, with Hougaard himself picking up 21 points, but nobody remembers that. The hit is all anyone could talk about.
The stunning moment shown here was the highlight for many though, as despite a lobsided scoreline, both teams were able to come together in a huddle, swap jerseys and share a prayer. The 48,496 fans on hand to witness it clearly appreciated the sentiment.
You might notice a young Schalk Burger and Victor Matfield there. All these years later, those two may well be playing in the same fixture at the 2015 tournament, when the two sides meet again on 26 September in Birmingham.
With the game being so professional and foul play scrutinised so closely by high quality TV replays and overeager TMO's, at times we tend to lose track of what really matters in rugby.
Of course the positive side still remains to this day, but on that night in Brisbane in 2003, the age old values of respect, humility and camaraderie certainly were on full display.
EXTRA: A similar thing actually took place in 2013 after Fiji beat Japan in the opening game of the Pacific Nations Cup. They scored two sensational tries in a rain-soaked Lautoka, but both sides came together at the end much like this. Watch that video here
credit: world rugby
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
As far as textbook tackling technique goes, it doesn't get much more accurate than this monster hit from Stormers back Damian de Allende against the Brumbies. It's another highlight in an impressive season, so he must be firmly in the Springboks selectors sights.
De Allende's enormous hit on opposite number Robbie Coleman early in the second half was worthy of the subsequent "oooh" noise the Newlands crowd following the clash. While Coleman was completely sold by the long pass, De Allende read it well.
With officials currently very quick to penalise for lifting past the 90 degree mark, or for ineffectively taking responsibility for returning players back to the turf, the execution of De Allende's tackle was technically perfect.
His powerful nature in defence is merely a string on the 23-year-old centre's well equipped bow however. An extremely effective offensive player, and integral part of the current Stormers setup, De Allende looks likely to be a Springbok feature in the upcoming World Cup.
Having received a call up in 2014, he was unfortunate to suffer a serious knee ligament injury, forcing him to withdraw from the squad. Following rehabilitation, he returned to international rugby and earned his first cap against Argentina, during the 2014 Rugby Championship.
It isn't only his attitude on the field that is impressing Bok selectors however, but also his nature off it, made clear by remarks from head Springbok attack coach, Johann van Graan.
"The thing that impresses me most about Damian is his will to succeed. He has a very clear idea of what he wants; he knows where he's come from and where he's going. He's come from a background where he's had to fight, and he's brought that attitude through."
De Allende himself makes no secret of his career aims in rugby.
"My main goal is to go to the World Cup later this year. I am fully committed to the Stormers at this stage, and I know I can improve in just about every area. But that World Cup is in the back of my mind," the hefty centre said recently.
Unquestionably talented, and with an almost unrivalled passion to succeed, if De Allende continues to play the way he has been, and also tackle as he does below - there's definitely a good chance that he will be making an appearance in green and gold come September.
This clip of the hit is very short, so if you've never seen much of him in action but want to see more, take a look at the up to date Damian de Allende tribute that we've added on page two
The latest round of Aviva Premiership rugby saw the end of an era for two of the leagues greatest players - Ugo Monye and Mark Cueto - as the race for a playoff spot heads towards its climatic finish.
The two former England players didn't disappoint on their final home appearances and alongside Chris Wyles, Lee Dickson and Chris Aston all feature on this weeks tries of the week.
Which is the best try in your opinion?
Toulouse scored one of the best returns from a kickoff you are likely to see this season when they hosted Brive last week.
Scrumhalf Sebastien Bezy started off the move, catching the ball and dancing around tackles before offloading to Imanol Harinordoquy, who took a bit of a heavy hit on the halfway line.
Soft hands from Toby Flood and big man Joe Tekori followed, before Yoann Huget received the ball, stepping out of an attempted tackle and running in pretty much unchallenged, and as the video below will show you, there's no stopping the French flyer with the try line in sight.
Toulouse ended up putting Brive to the sword, running in nine tries to end the game 67-19, with Huget getting a hat trick and Flood scoring 27 points.
See more of Huget in action, both good and bad, in the Related Posts below the video
video credit: Boucherie Ovalie