Dublin set for fascinating battle of the new No 10s

Both Wales and Ireland have been forced to replace a 100+ capped outside half since the World Cup. The Irish have pinned their faith in Munster’s Jack Crowley, while Warren Gatland has filled his No 10 jersey with the Scarlets duo Sam Costelow and Ioan Lloyd so far in the 2024 Guinness Six Nations. All […]

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‘He looked good’: England optimistic over Tuilagi fitness as squad bolstered

  • Manu Tuilagi, Luke Cowan‑Dickie and George Martin called up
  • ‘We’ll know more as each day goes by, but ­everyone looked fine’

England have bolstered their options for the Six Nations game against ­Scotland on Saturday week by ­naming Manu Tuilagi, Luke Cowan‑Dickie and George Martin in a strengthened 36‑man training squad.

Tuilagi and Cowan-Dickie, both of Sale Sharks, and the Leicester second‑row Martin are set to be ­available for the Calcutta Cup fixture at ­Murrayfield, when England aim to make it three wins from three in the tournament this year.

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Double boost for Ospreys as Giles and Both sign up for more

Keelan Giles and Tom Botha have both singed new contracts that will keep them at the Ospreys after this season. Fleet footed wing Giles has scored 32 tries in 85 games to date for his home region and has been on the fringes of the Wales squad during his career. He has scored five tries […]

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George Ford warns England of ‘niggly’ Scotland as Calcutta Cup buildup begins

  • England have beaten Scotland only once in past six games
  • ‘They’ve had our number for the last few years,’ says Ford

George Ford has warned his England teammates to brace for Scotland’s “niggly game”, with a number of reinforcements to boost Steve Borthwick’s side as they seek to end a desperate ­Calcutta Cup run next week.

England have beaten Scotland once in their past six attempts but Manu Tuilagi, Ollie Lawrence, Luke Cowan‑Dickie and George Martin are ready to be included in ­the squad this week as they begin preparations on Wednesday for the trip to Murrayfield.

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Wales squad update

Bath Rugby tighthead prop Archie Griffin has been released from the squad due to a knee injury picked up during Wales’ 16-14 defeat to England on Saturday. He will continue his rehabilitation back at his club. A replacement will be confirmed in due course. Tom Rogers remains with his club for rehabilitation for a chest […]

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Whiffin: ‘It doesn’t get any tougher than going to Cork’

Wales U20 head coach Richard Whiffin hopes to use the two-week break before his side’s next game with Ireland to “tidy up a few areas” in the wake of their 28-7 defeat to England in Bath. Wales lost five scrums and three lineouts at The Recreation Ground in the face of a fearsome English pack, […]

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Amber gets green light for Six Nations

Amber Stamp-Dunstan will be one of four officials set to make their Women’s Six Nations debuts as assistant referees in the rapidly approaching championship which kicks off next month. The highly rated Welsh referee has been selected to be an assistant referee for New Zealand’s Maggie Cogger-Orr who will take charge of the clash at […]

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The Breakdown | Hitting the Wonderwall: Twickenham struggles to make own entertainment

Rugby union has become another sport that seems confused about how to satisfy existing fans while attracting new ones

After the US invasion of Panama in 1989, it took their army 10 days to persuade the dictator Manuel Noriega to come out of his hiding place in the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See. Their soldiers famously surrounded the building with loudspeakers and played, among other things, AC/DC’s You Shook Me All Night Long, Van Halen’s Panama, and Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up day and night, until Noriega lost the will to resist. Five minutes into the half-time interval at Twickenham last Saturday, the thought occurred that they could perhaps have got the job done a lot quicker if, like the RFU, it had hired stadium DJ Tony Perry instead.

Which is nothing against Perry, whose act must be just the thing if you’re four tequilas deep on Ocean Beach in Ibiza. Somehow, though, it doesn’t quite go over so well when England are nine points down against Wales and you and your grandfather are trying to talk about whether or not the referee was right to give that scrum penalty while shuffling through the queue for the loos at Twickenham on a freezing cold afternoon in February.

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Craig’s amazing fund-raising efforts continue

Former international rugby stars and a host of television celebrities are joining forces with former Welsh Rugby Union commercial director Craig Maxwell as he continues his quest to raise valuable funds for cancer research. The Six Nations chief commercial officer was diagnosed with incurable and inoperable EGFR lung and bone cancer aged just 40 two […]

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Elite Domestic Competition Licensing Announcement

The make-up of Welsh rugby’s new Elite Domestic Competition for season 2024/5 is now largely known, with one final place up for grabs in a hugely exciting 10-team league. The Welsh Rugby Union Board met on Thursday (8 February) to assess and consider the applications for the new competition, which is designed to bridge the […]

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Cunningham names 47-strong squad for Six Nations training camp

Wales Women’s head coach Ioan Cunningham has named a 47-player extended Six Nations squad for a three-day training camp ahead of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations tournament. Cunningham led Wales to a third-place finish in last season’s tournament which saw Wales qualify for the inaugural and historic WXV1 tournament for the six best teams in […]

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Gatland ‘disappointed but proud’ of Twickenham performance

Warren Gatland was “disappointed but proud” of his side’s performance at Twickenham as they led for almost an hour before finally succumbing 16-14 to England in Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations. It was another narrow defeat for Dafydd Jenkins’ men – they were beaten by a point by a fully-loaded Scottish side and […]

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Cheslin Kolbe: ‘People getting stabbed and killed … that was normality’

The double World Cup winner on childhood, global glory and the gangland violence in Cape Town he is trying to tackle

“As I’m sitting here, something is definitely happening out there which is the same as the mental image I have from growing up,” Cheslin Kolbe says of the danger he senses on a quiet morning in Cape Town. When he was a boy Kolbe saw people being shot and stabbed on the Cape Flats and he describes the terrible murder of a childhood friend, whose tongue was also cut out, just before the Springbok wing won the first of his two World Cup winner’s medals in 2019.

Kolbe is now one of the best and richest players in world rugby. On a break back home, before he returns to Japan to resume playing for Tokyo Sungoliath, the 30-year-old is in the mood to reflect on his extraordinary journey from poverty and gangland violence and to explain how rugby has the capacity to offer hope in a brutalised country.

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Louis Rees-Zammit happy NFL dream is ‘alive’ but admits issues with helmet

  • Wales rugby union player quit sport to play American football
  • ‘The vision out of the sides [of the helmet] affects things’

Louis Rees-Zammit says his American football dream is “alive” after starting out on the NFL’s International Player Pathway (IPP) following his switch from rugby union. The Gloucester, Wales and British and Irish Lions wing stunned the world of rugby last month by quitting the sport in an attempt to secure a contract with an NFL team in 2024.

Rees-Zammit has joined the NFL’s intensive 10-week IPP programme in Florida, where he has been training as a wide receiver while also doing some running back drills.

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