Category Archive: Rugby Union

Rugby Union News

Jun 22

Warren Gatland questions All Blacks’ team selection before first Test

• Lions head coach believes New Zealand could regret dropping Julian Savea
• Gatland also says opponents’ preparation has not been as good as his side’s

New Zealand’s selectorial judgment has been openly questioned by the British & Irish Lions head coach, Warren Gatland, before the first Test at Eden Park on Saturday. The Lions management have been particularly baffled by the decision to drop the prolific try-scoring winger Julian Savea and also regard the All Blacks’ bench as weaker than normal.

Related: Steve Hansen draws on hazy memories of 1971 to inspire All Blacks against Lions | Andy bull

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/22/warren-gatland-all-blacks-first-test-lions

Jun 22

Lions’ unlikely lads could help pull off something special in New Zealand | Robert Kitson

For Jamie George, Ben Te’o and Elliot Daly to be selected to face the All Blacks in a Lions XV captained by Peter O’Mahony is a lesson to all disgruntled fringe players

For months thousands of people in both hemispheres have been trying to second‑guess Warren Gatland. They would have been better off buying a fistful of lotto tickets. Even Gatland himself, as recently as a few days ago, would not have imagined naming the XV he has finally selected for the British & Irish Lions’ first Test against the All Blacks.

Related: How defence expert Dave Ellis switched sides to become All Blacks’ Lion tamer | Gerard Meagher

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/22/lions-unlikely-lads-new-zealand-first-test

Jun 22

British and Irish Lions: Peter O’Mahony has ‘sense of perspective’ – O’Connell

Lions Test captain Peter O’Mahony will have a ‘sense of perspective’ after two tough seasons, says Paul O’Connell.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40374674

Jun 22

Tour Test preview: Samoa v Wales (Fri)

Team details and match preview as an inexperienced Wales team take on Samoa in Apia on Friday (07:30 BST).

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40374697

Jun 22

Warren Gatland’s five big calls for the Lions’ first Test against All Blacks | Gerard Meagher

The head coach is rolling the dice with key personnel decisions, but starting Leigh Halfpenny and Maro Itoje on the bench are gambles that may backfire

Considering the form in which he finished the season – not to mention how he performed in New Zealand last summer – Liam Williams’s selection is hardly a huge surprise but it still came somewhat out of the blue seeing as he played all 80 minutes against the Chiefs. He has a running threat not posed by Leigh Halfpenny but still, the 2013 player of the series can count himself unlucky. Halfpenny has been rock solid so far – even if Gatland has repeatedly said he needs more than that from his back three to beat New Zealand – but perhaps most significantly he has been flawless from the tee. Owen Farrell has been successful with five of his eight kicks and while Elliot Daly can take the long ones dropping Halfpenny is a gamble from Gatland, especially considering the fly‑half’s recent injury scare.

Related: Warren Gatland opts for form not reputation in first Test against All Blacks

Related: How defence expert Dave Ellis switched sides to become All Blacks’ Lion tamer | Gerard Meagher

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/jun/22/warren-gatland-five-big-calls-lions-first-test-all-blacks

Jun 22

PREVIEW: Prop star Lewis ready to rock

Wales’ young players hope to end their two-Test summer tour on a high and make it back-to-back victories when they face Samoa in Apia on Friday.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/matchcentre/39069.php

Jun 22

British and Irish Lions 2017: Jonathan Davies ready for Test series ‘intensity’

British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies braced for the “pressure” and “intensity” of the Test series against New Zealand.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40364611

Jun 22

Jonathan Davies: ‘There are similarities but their accents are slightly different’

British and Irish Lions’ Jonathan Davies discusses the qualities of fellow centres Ben Te’o and Jamie Roberts

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40365252

Jun 22

National League fixtures revealed

The 24 WRU National League fixtures from the National Championship to Division Three have now been confirmed.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/news/39071.php

Jun 22

How defence expert Dave Ellis switched sides to become All Blacks’ Lion tamer | Gerard Meagher

Dave Ellis was rejected for a coaching role by 2005 Lions so the then Gloucester coach threw in his lot with the All Blacks, who coasted to a 3-0 series win

If the British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand in 2005 is best summed up as a circus then perhaps Clive Woodward’s lingering regret is overlooking the self-styled “lion tamer”.

Woodward decided against handing a place on his staff to the defence coach Dave Ellis, who subsequently became the Englishman working for the enemy – seconded by Graham Henry to help the All Blacks before their 3-0 series win. “It was satisfying because I was disappointed to be overlooked by the Lions,” Ellis says. “On the flight home I wore a T-shirt that my brother had sent me which said ‘lion tamer’ on the back – it didn’t go down very well.”

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/22/dave-ellis-all-blacks-lions-tamer-new-zealand

Jun 22

British and Irish Lions 2017: Pick your Lions Test team to face the All Blacks

Who would you have as captain? Who is your fly-half? Who makes your second row? Pick your British and Irish Lions Test team to face the mighty All Blacks.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40353281

Jun 22

Skipper O’Mahony hopes Foley would have been proud

Peter O’Mahony hopes the late Anthony Foley would be proud to see him lead the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40369407

Jun 22

Thornton excited by Wales bow prospects

New Wales cap Rory Thornton says he is relishing the chance to make his international debut.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.wru.co.uk/eng/news/39068.php

Jun 22

Alan Paver: Cornish Pirates coach guarantees side will improve

Coach Alan Paver says Cornish Pirates will improve this term as they look to better their sixth-placed Championship finish.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40368300

Jun 22

Bernard Jackman: New coach ‘excited’ by Dragons challenge

New Dragons coach Bernard Jackman says he is “impatient” to get started in his new role in charge of the Welsh region.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40367246

Jun 22

John Barclay column: ‘Fiji is idyllic but we’re here to do a job’

In his latest BBC Sport Scotland column, John Barclay talks about facing Fiji, living without wi-fi and the sudden appearance of a lionfish.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40349963

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