Monday, April 06, 2015
England beat the current series leaders, South Africa, 21-14 in the final of the Tokyo Sevens, round seven of the HSBC World Sevens Series. Check out all the highlights from Day 2 of the competition, including Canada's first ever sevens victory over New Zealand.
South Africa remain top of the overall standings going into Round 8, with Fiji only four points behind. Despite their triumph, fourth placed England still trail third placed New Zealand by 20 points.
Next weekend the teams travel to Glasgow, where we can expect more fireworks and exciting play from one of the most entertaining spectacles in World Rugby.
Check out the Related Posts for more great sevens action
Saturday, April 04, 2015
On the 18th of September England will take on Fiji at Twickenham to end the four year wait since the last Rugby World Cup. Much has changed since then, not least the players for whom the immense challenge lies ahead. A look back at 2011 plus a look ahead to this year's tournament is sure to get your pulse racing.
Since the maiden tournament in 1987, the Webb Ellis trophy has been held aloft by four separate countries, twice by each southern hemisphere giant; New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, and once by England.
No team has ever successfully retained the World Cup, but All Blacks supporters will harbour cautious optimism that their nation can buck the trend, as since the 2011 Final the Kiwis have only lost on two occasions – an undeniably intimidating and formidable track record.
Anticipation for northern hemisphere fans will be as high as ever. After a record-breaking RBS Six Nations, including a final weekend where free-flowing rugby brought high scoring matches, a home World Cup affords the supporters guarded positivity.
The 2011 competition was rife with impressive rugby and controversy in equal measure. A straight red card for Wales captain Sam Warburton in their semi-final clash with France saw the men in red suffer a single point defeat, as their first ever world cup final disappeared before them.
France went on to face the All Blacks, and despite famously challenging the Haka, they suffered a loss as New Zealand reigned victorious for the second time. A result, which most rugby critics would agree, saw the trophy heading to undoubtedly the best team in the world that year.
New Zealand remains the top pick for the 2015 World Cup, with strong +175 odds to win it all according to the following online sportsbook.
The largest competition welcomes the world's rugby elite, and with it the ultimate prize. The stage is set for a thrilling tournament and September can’t come soon enough!
The video below shows some of the highlights from four years ago, accompanied by that incredible song it is sure to get your thoughts racing and your heart pumping - with less than 6 months to go, who do you think will win this year's tournament?
Check out the Related Posts for some of the greatest moments from the Rugby World Cup.
credit: World Rugby
Friday, April 03, 2015
We've seen a lot of strange things on Rugbydump, but this has to be up there with the strangest. The Hong Kong Sevens featured the first ever game of Kung-Fu rugby… yes you read that correctly, Kung-Fu rugby.
There isn't much that we can really say about the sport, you quite literally have to see it to believe it. The Harlem Globetrotters ain't got nothing on these boys!
See more cracy clips from the world of rugby in our See it To Believe It section
Having been ruled out of the rest of the Aviva Premiership season for Leicester Tigers due to an ongoing groin injury, the powerful centre hasn't played a competitive game of rugby since October 2014 and hasn't played for England since June. Although expected to be fit for England's world cup warm-ups, with the international centre position's so hotly contested, will Stuart Lancaster still want Tuilagi?
The Samoan-born battering ram joined Leicester Tigers in 2010, and since then has played 77 matches amassing 24 tries.
He duly received his England call up during the warm-up matches for the last Rugby World Cup back in 2011, where he scored tries in victories over Wales and Ireland, going on to be recognised as one of the standout players for his country in a largely underwhelming trophy campaign.
Now with 11 tries in 25 caps, Tuilagi will meet with stiff competition as he fights for his place in Lancaster's team.
Traditionally an outside centre for club and country, the 6"1' and 112kg colossus will have to prove he is more of an asset than the in-form Bath midfielder Jonathan Joseph, if he wants the white 13 shirt come September.
Joseph played every match for England through their impressive Six Nations efforts this year, ending the tournament as top try scorer and presenting no clear reason for omission this summer, therefore Tuilagi will have to do something special to oust Joseph from the team.
Luther Burrell was Lancaster's favoured inside centre through the competition, and although a solid player, perhaps this is where Tuilagi should aim his sights.
South African star Bryan Habana believes that would be the right move, saying, "The combination of Ford, Joseph and Tuilagi would be impressive."
He went on to say that, "Jonathan Joseph has shown that his game has improved immensely. He has really grown into that position at Bath and the presence that Luther Burrell brings is good, and Manu Tuilagi is hard to leave out."
That last point is really the crux of the issue - despite Burrell and Joseph both being world class players, and with Brad Barritt, Kyle Eastmond and Billy Twelvetrees in the wings the competition is truly elite, but can Lancaster really afford to leave Tuilagi out?
After all, the presence of the Tigers' centre was a huge factor in England's record 38-21 win over New Zealand at Twickenham in 2012. Scoring a try himself and setting up two others, his performance in the match catapulted his profile within world rugby.
The video below (apologies for some of the bad language) shows some of Manu Tuilagi's best moments. What do you think: should Tuilagi be in the England squad? And if so, which position?
Check the Related Posts for some more of Tuilagi's powerful play
Note: swearing in video. no offence intended
The Hurricanes got the better of the Stormers in their Super Rugby round 8 match in Wellington earlier today. Despite a one sided first half, the Stormers came back in the second, but couldn't quite get the win, going down 25-20.
It was a hard-fought game, at times physically intense, as can be seen here when Julian Savea and Eben Etsebeth came to grips, and played a game of slapsies, smiles and all. Savea actually was smiling at first, then got very serious after the first love tap. Etsebeth, fearless throughout.
It wasn't quite as vicious as when Bismarck Du Plessis and James Horwill did something similar at the Rugby World Cup a few years back, but was equally amusing to see, especially from the comfort of ones living room. Rory Kockott on Adam Thomson, probably the biggest of them all.
Thursday, April 02, 2015
We're giving away no less than five copies of Brian O'Driscoll's The Test autobiography which came out in paperback today.
In his book, the the Irish legend goes way back to where it all began, giving the reader insight into his early years, then all the way to retirement.
He also speaks about personal milestones, such as the special relationships and bonds formed with the likes of Paul O'Connell, Ronan O'Gara and Johnny Sexton.
The Test is a book about how BOD took a world-class talent, developed a world-class work ethic and temperament - and, in the latter stages of his career, reinvented himself as a player.
'O'Driscoll's honesty... takes the reader to a place they simply have not been before' - Irish Independent
'A must-read insight into the life and mind of Ireland's greatest rugby player' - Irish Mail on Sunday
'A thoroughly enjoyable read ... After reading The Test I warmed even more to O'Driscoll as a player and a man. He stood for a new ethos in Irish sport that refused to accept mediocrity or glorious failure' - Irish Times
If you'd like to buy the book, you can do so here
Enter below to win one of five copies of this must-read book for all rugby fans
The Hong Kong Sevens proved to be a brilliant showcase of rugby with the eventual winners Fiji running out as deserving champions beating New Zealand 33-19, overcoming their heartbreak of a semi-final loss to England last year.
World Rugby gives us seven of the best tries from the tournament, and boy did the tournament serve us up some crackers. Tries from Tom Mitchell, Jerry Tuwai, Carlin Isles, Seabelo Senatla and Fraser Lyle meant we were spoilt with some top quality rugby.
Out of all the tries be sure to watch Jerry Tuwai's again as the offload from Pio Tuwai is one of the best you will ever see!