Paul Rees

Author's posts

England’s Eddie Jones looks to get on front foot against Barbarians

After the disappointment of three successive defeats in the Six Nations this end-of-season fixture will not be taken lightlyThe end-of-season encounter with the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday will be no frolic for Eddie Jones. The England head coac…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/26/england-eddie-jones-front-foot-barbarians

Finals between leading four teams bring curtain down on bruising season | The Breakdown

The irresistible force meets the immovable object when Exeter play Saracens while Leinster are favourites against ScarletsThe season, domestically at least, ends this weekend. As it came in, so it goes out with players queuing for surgery. Artificial p…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/24/premiership-pro14-finals-saracens-exeter-leinster-scarlets

England’s Denny Solomona eager to move on from bans and booze

Sale wing who has made headlines for the wrong reasons during his time in union hopes to make the right impression in South AfricaDenny Solomona’s rugby union career is only 18 months old but it has, to put it mildly, been eventful. He has scored 21 tr…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/19/england-denny-solomona-bans-south-africa

Danny Cipriani is unlikely to change, and why should he? | The Breakdown

England need the difference the soon-to-be Gloucester fly-half can provide, with the national side’s attack needing a rebootGloucester is less a king’s home for Danny Cipriani and more a pretender’s bolthole. The fly-half is being released by Wasps at …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/17/danny-cipriani-change-england-reboot

Danny Cipriani turned down French clubs to keep England hopes alive

• Cipriani: ‘I’ve played the game just to play for England’• ‘I am the best version of myself right now,’ says fly-halfPatience has not often been a virtue credited to Danny Cipriani but the Wasps fly-half’s reward for sitting on hefty financial offers…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/15/danny-cipriani-england-turned-down-french-clubs-wasps

Eddie Jones puts heat on England in search for World Cup game changers

The head coach wants quick ball and athletic forwards and the newcomers touring South Africa suggest a change of directionThe heat is on Eddie Jones, after three successive defeats in the Six Nations ended his long honeymoon, and it will be turned on h…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/12/eddie-jones-heat-england-world-cup-game-changers

Wales ring the changes for summer Tests in US and Argentina

• All but two Welsh Lions rested with World Cup in mind• Scotland name six new players for USA, Canada and ArgentinaWales have rested all but two of their 12 players who toured New Zealand with the Lions last year for next month’s game against South Af…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/08/wales-ring-changes-summer-tour-scotland-six-new-men

Newcastle face Wasps in sell-out decider for Premiership third spot

Dean Richards’ side have confounded all expectations and made the play-offs while Sale and Bath will look to do similar on Saturday and squeeze into next season’s Champions CupNewcastle were the first winners of the Premiership in 1998 but since then t…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/04/newcastle-premiership-finale-play-offs-wasps-sale-bath

Tom Youngs ‘under no illusions’ about Leicester-Newcastle showdown

Leicester captain says Northampton defeat has made club more determined to maintain record of always qualifying for Premiership play-offs as they prepare for must-win matchLeicester have never failed to qualify for the Premiership play-offs since the c…

Permanent link to this article: http://sportgnome.com/blog/2018/04/26/tom-youngs-under-no-illusions-about-leicester-newcastle-showdown/

George North finally plumps for move to Ospreys from next season

• Northampton and Lions wing to move on after five years• Gloucester must wait for Challenge Cup confirmationIt took him five months to make up his mind but the British & Irish Lions wing George North will be joining Ospreys next season after signi…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/apr/25/george-north-move-ospreys-northampton-lions-wing-gloucester

England captain Dylan Hartley ruled out of South Africa tour with concussion

• Player will not return until pre-season for 2018-19 campaign• Hartley to take extended break after Six Nations setbackDylan Hartley will miss England’s three-Test tour to South Africa in June after being told to take the summer off following the Nort…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/apr/23/dylan-hartley-england-rugby-union-captain-ruled-out-season-south-africa-tour

Relegation becomes live issue as Premiership Rugby plots next course | Paul Rees

Premiership now wants an end to relegation with Championship clubs hardly fit to make the jump upThe Saracens chairman, Nigel Wray, reflected in his programme notes for the Premiership match against Harlequins at the Olympic Stadium last weekend that h…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/29/relegation-live-issue-premiership-rugby

Scarlets’ Aaron Shingler: ‘I need to keep pressing for World Cup place’

A year ago Aaron Shingler’s Wales career looked over. Now, as Scarlets prepare to face La Rochelle in the Champions Cup quarter-final, his challenge is to stay in Warren Gatland’s plansAaron Shingler was one of Wales’s standout players in the Six Natio…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/24/aaron-shingler-scarlets-keep-pressure-on-warren-gatland-wales-world-cup-place

Saracens’ problems reflect those of England with Irish shadow looming | The Breakdown

In their most challenging season this decade, Sarries face Leinster in the Champions Cup on Easter Sunday looking to do what Eddie Jones’ men could not – beat an Irish sideLast May, English rugby celebrated a double double. Saracens retained the Europe…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/22/saracens-problems-reflect-those-of-england-and-irish-shadow-looms

From Ireland’s win to England’s loss, the Six Nations was settled in Paris | Paul Rees

Ireland and England’s campaigns were summed up by their final few seconds in the French capital, with Ireland surging to victory and England losing after a fumble at the breakdownThe outcome of the 2018 Six Nations was settled in Paris. It was where Jo…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/mar/18/six-nations-won-and-lost-in-paris

Warren Gatland calculates risks as Wales look to absorb France blows | Paul Rees

Coach laces abandon with pragmatism in Six Nations against French side who rely on power and straight-line runningPoints make prize money in the Six Nations. The title may have gone west but the cost to the Welsh Rugby Union of defeat against France in…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/mar/16/warren-gatland-wales-france-six-nations