Jonathan Davies scores for Wales during the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.
Wales coach Warren Gatland believes he is able to field a more rounded side than he has ever been able to put out before.
With all his star players returning from injury, the New Zealander has a full squad to choose from, and that was evident during their 22-10 victory over Ireland on Saturday to advance to the semifinals of the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 24 years.
He also believes that the blend of youth and experience in his side can only have a positive effect on results.
Gatland said: “The nice thing is I feel we have a balance we haven’t had before.
“We’ve got players who can get us across the gain line, we’ve got pace out wide, we’ve got a pretty special youngster (in wing George North), we’ve got loose forwards that can carry, loose forwards that can compete on the ball, a couple of big second rows and a more experienced front row, as well.” Read the rest of this entry →
Denis Leamy believes Australia’s Rocky Elsom has had a huge impact on the Irish back-row.
The Wallaby was a key part of Leinster’s success during the one season he was with the club and transferred his knowledge and experience to other members of the squad.
In 2009, Elsom’s final game was his most important, putting in a man-of-the-match performance to help Leinster win the Heineken Cup.
He signed off in style before returning to his homeland to reclaim his place in the national side.
As those in Ireland Rugby Shirts prepare to face Elsom and Australia on Sunday at Eden Park, Leamy insists the 28-year-old was seen as a role model and had a huge impact on the careers of former Leinster team-mates Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip. Read the rest of this entry →
The USA Rugby team is preparing for the upcoming World Cup.
When you think of sport in the United States, you might think American Football, Basketball, Baseball, maybe even Hockey. If you think outside the box, you might notice that Soccer is getting big over there. But Rugby? Surely not.
In fact, Rugby is now new arrival to ‘The Land of the Free’ – it has been around for well over a hundred years, and this November will be 99 years since they played their first international – a 12-8 loss to Australia.
Since then, however, their game has come a long way, and in 1987, they made their first appearance in the newly formed Rugby World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Between then and now, they have featured in every tournament since the 1995 one when they missed out.
Their World Cup debut came against Japan, in Brisbane. The States ran out 21-18 winners that day in an entertaining encounter. But their honeymoon period soon ended, with defeats to Australia and England ending their World Cup dream. Read the rest of this entry →
Andy Robinson is comfortable in how he is preparing his Scottish team for the Rugby World Cup.
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has defended Scotland’s preparations ahead of the upcoming World Cup, insisting two warm up games are more than enough for his side to get in shape for the tournament next month.
Robinson’s side pulled off a surprise win at Murrayfield last week over Ireland, running in a late try to record a 10-6 victory.
Next they face Italy in two weeks’ time while their Northern Hemisphere rivals play this weekend and the Tri Nations continues with South Africa taking on Australia, prompting suggestions the Scots could be undercooked when they take to the field for their first game at the World Cup against Romania on 10th September.
In Some places, the Rugby Six Nations Championship is bigger than the Super Bowl.
You’d be forgiven—if you are American—for thinking that the entire sporting world fell into awed silence as the brouhaha that is Super Bowl swept along everyone with even the faintest of pulses.
And of course this year’s spectacle had the extra wow factor of an emotional New Orleans back-story: underdog, triumph over adversity, not a dry eye in the house.
For many on the other side of “the pond,” though, that New Orleans back-story was the front story, too, because American football remains an impenetrable anachronism for most of us…well for this particular correspondent, anyway!
So last weekend, our focus was rather more Euro-centred. While the padded up and helmeted Superbowl heroes began their campaign to the predetermined rhythm of the broadcasters’ advertising breaks, its stripped down, bare-knuckled equivalent—the Six Nations Championship—was just getting under way.
This is a competition where deep-rooted loyalties have been determined by the history books, with the English the common foe. It may be hundreds of years since a king Edward or a king Henry strode into Scotland or Wales, Ireland or France, but an unspoken resentment still simmers in the veins.
That complex tapestry of history, married with the visceral sport that is rugby union, makes the Six Nations championship one of the most intense and compelling competitions in sport.
Which is Bigger? The Super Bowl or the Rugby Six Nations Championship?
Six Nations Championship (46%, 6 Votes)
Super Bowl (31%, 4 Votes)
Doesn't Matter, the World Cup is Bigger Than Both (23%, 3 Votes)