Jenkins hoping to match Irish jackal masters

Wales skipper Dafydd Jenkins has already notched one win over an Irish side with Exeter Chiefs against Munster in the Champions Cup this season. Now he is eyeing up an even bigger upset than toppling the URC champions with his young Welsh side in Dublin in this weekend’s third round of the Six Nations. “It’s […]

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‘Biggest rugby fan on earth’: Jamie George vows to honour late mother

  • England captain will continue to lead team as they face Scotland
  • George says making family proud was ‘huge driver’ for him

Jamie George has revealed he learned his mum had been diagnosed with cancer on the day he was offered the England captaincy, ­paying her a powerful tribute and vowing to do her proud against Scotland after she passed away last week.

George described his mum, Jane, as “the biggest rugby fan on earth” and explained how England’s opening Six Nations victories against Wales and Italy were the only two of his Test appearances she had missed, as a result of her illness. George said that Jane was diagnosed around seven weeks ago, but that he discovered she was terminally ill with lung ­cancer last Sunday and she died last Wednesday.

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Warren Gatland believes Wales success papered over cracks in domestic game

  • Wales head coach urges need for reset in Welsh regions
  • Ciarán Frawley handed first Ireland start among seven changes

Warren Gatland says he is “not 100% convinced” that Welsh regional rugby will undergo the proper reset he feels it requires.

Wales face Six Nations title ­favourites Ireland in Dublin on Saturday and the contrast between two longstanding rivals could hardly be greater. On the field, Ireland have lost just two of their last 40 home Tests, while victory over Wales would see them equal England’s record of 11 successive Six Nations wins. Wales, meanwhile, have lost nine of their past 10 Six Nations fixtures, and off the field it is a similar case of chalk and cheese.

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Furbank offers England attacking edge in quest to settle Murrayfield score | Robert Kitson

Borthwick hopes full-back’s inclusion over Steward will add something different for Saturday’s match against Scotland

Sometimes the scoreboard doesn’t lie. Want to take a quick guess when England last scored in excess of 20 points at Murrayfield? Here’s a clue: Hey Ya! by Outkast was number one in the UK charts that month, Mark Zuckerberg had just launched Facebook from his student bedroom and Sir Clive Woodward was still their head coach. Edinburgh is a beautiful city but it seldom sees the best of England’s attacking game.

Yes, the weather has often been shite. True there has been the occasional good result since 2004, not least the 20-0 win under Stuart Lancaster in 2014. Even then, though, they mustered only two tries despite being overwhelmingly superior on the day. On other days their failure to keep the scoreboard ticking has proven costly and allowed Scotland to ambush them with gleeful regularity.

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Kinghorn and Steyn return to Scotland side for England Six Nations clash

  • Experienced pair boost Scotland’s backline for Calcutta Cup
  • Jamie Ritchie also returns to the starting XV at flanker

Blair Kinghorn and Kyle Steyn return to Scotland’s starting lineup to face England in the Six Nations at Murrayfield on Saturday, providing a significant boost to a backline marshalled by Finn Russell.

The full-back Kinghorn missed their first two championship games – a narrow win in Wales and controversial home loss to France – with a knee injury, and his return will be a filip given the 50-times capped international has been a standout performer since the retirement of Stuart Hogg.

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Thomas relishing Irish challenge in Dublin

Wales will be relishing the challenge this weekend of facing an Irish side they haven’t beaten in Dublin in the Six Nations since 2012, and which has won its last 10 Championship matches.That’s the view of Ospreys prop Gareth Thomas as he prepares to go head-to head with Tadhg Furlong in a critical front row battle at […]

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‘Cookies and a sauna’: Danny Care hungry for 99th cap and Scotland

Scrum-half’s unique approach to career longevity has served him well as Steve Borthwick leans on his experience

Few players have heard more Calcutta Cup bagpipes over the years than Danny Care. His first Six Nations encounter with Scotland was in 2009 and the meeting on Saturday will be his 99th Test appearance for England. If any of the scrum‑half’s younger colleagues want first‑hand advice about Murrayfield and how to survive it, they need look no further.

It is among the reasons why the 37‑year‑old is still in the national squad; Steve Borthwick wanted a few seasoned individuals to set the tone for future generations. The boy Danny is now an elder statesman picked for his experience of high-pressure environments, particularly after Ben Youngs’s Test retirement and the untimely knee injury sustained last week by Northampton’s Alex Mitchell.

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Shaken off: Taylor Swift concert forces Wales to switch match to Twickenham

  • Wales face world champions South Africa on 22 June
  • United Rugby Championship final takes place on same day

Wales will face South Africa, the world champions, at Twickenham in June as part of preparations for their tour to Australia. The Principality Stadium in Cardiff is unavailable as Taylor Swift performs there on 18 June, with the Foo Fighters appearing there the following week.

The Springboks’ first game since their World Cup triumph in France will take place on 22 June. The match will be followed by the Barbarians tackling Fiji. Twickenham last staged a Wales versus South Africa fixture during the 2015 World Cup, when the Springboks won a tense quarter-final 23-19.

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Wales announce fixtures against South Africa and Australia this summer

Wales will take on 2023 World Cup champions South Africa on English soil before heading down- under to face Australia in an exciting summer of Test rugby. Twickenham will be the host of an exciting day of rugby on Saturday 22nd June with a double-header. Wales, as the away side, start their summer of international […]

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Wales looking to upset odds against rampant Ireland in Dublin

The size of the task facing Wales this weekend is illustrated by the statistics provided by the Guinness Six Nations official partners OPTA. When it comes to the tournament, Ireland have posted more wins than any other nation over the 26 years, have the highest win per centage and the second biggest points and try […]

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Big hitters return as England look to power their way to Calcutta Cup glory

  • Manu Tuilagi, Ollie Lawrence and George Martin back in squad
  • England’s Bath contingent hatch plan to contain Finn Russell

England head to Scotland for­­ ­Saturday’s crucial Calcutta Cup clash boosted by heavyweight power, according to Kevin Sinfield who said his side are braced for “niggle” from their opponents at Murrayfield.

Steve Borthwick has Manu Tuilagi and Ollie Lawrence at his disposal again to power up his midfield after both missed England’s opening two matches with groin and hip injuries respectively. The hard-hitting Leicester forward George Martin is also available again for his first Test appearance since his stunning display in England’s narrow World Cup semi-final defeat by South Africa last October.

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