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Daniel Rey

Full-time journalist with a particular passion for all things rugby union.
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 07: Warren Gatland is announced as the Head Coach of the British & Irish Lions for the 2017 Tour to New Zealand during the British and Irish Lions Press Conference at Standard Life House on September 7, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

10 Players Already Nailed On For Lions Selection

Lions selection is set to be its hardest for a generation, but these ten are nailed for the 2017 tour of New Zealand. Tadhg Furlong After a meteoric rise over the past 12 months, the rampaging tighthead has overtaken Dan Cole and probably WP Nel as the most likely starter against the All Blacks. His scrummaging technique is good, but …

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CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 26: Springboks player Faf de Klerk puts in a big tackle on Ross Moriarty of Wales during the International match between Wales and South Africa at Principality Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

3 Biggest Talking Points From Liam Williams’ Move To Saracens

Saracens completed the signing of Scarlets and Wales fullback Liam Williams yesterday in a move that sparks numerous questions. Here, Pundit Arena examines the three biggest. ________ What Does Liam Williams’ Arrival Mean For Alex Goode? The 2015-16 Premiership Player of the Year is Saracens’ fullback Alex Goode. Goode, who grew up playing at fly-half, has proven himself to be the …

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A Lions XV Made Up Of Players Over The Age of 30

A Lions XV of players over the age of 30 on June 24, 2016, the day of the first test in New Zealand. Alasdair Dickinson, Scotland (33) Scotland’s reliable prop wouldn’t worry the All Blacks in the loose, but would pose questions at the scrum. Rory Best, Ireland (34) Many people’s choice as Lions’ captain, Best is playing some of …

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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: Maro Itoje of England scrummages during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at Allianz Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A Lions XV Made Up Of Players Under The Age Of 25

Here’s a Lions XV made up of players who are under the age of 25 on June 24, 2016, the day of the first test in New Zealand. Ellis Genge, England (22) A dynamic ball-carrier to threaten the All Blacks in the loose. Luke Cowan-Dickie, England (24) Another front-row dynamo with improving set-piece skills. Tadhg Furlong, Ireland (24) Forget his age, the …

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Guinness Series, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 26/11/2016 Ireland vs Australia Ireland's Tadhg Furlong Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

A World XV Based On The Autumn Internationals

The 2016 autumn internationals shook the world order. Ireland announced themselves as rugby royalty, England secured an unbeaten year and South Africa went into free fall. How do these developments shake up the world XV? To provide context, I have also named the players who would have made my XV before the autumn international season. _______ 1. Mako Vunipola The …

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 25: Manu Tuilagi of England is tackled by Scott Williams of Wales during the RBS 6 Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium on February 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A Mighty England XV That Didn’t Play In The Autumn

England beat all comers this autumn with a severely depleted squad. To highlight the strength in depth of English rugby as we come to the end of a fine year, here is a XV of players who didn’t play for the Red Rose in the Old Mutual Wealth series. Matt Mullan: The Wasp is good enough to be on the …

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Jonathan Joseph of England (R) celebrates scoring his sides fourth try during the Old Mutual Wealth Series match between England and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on December 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ranking The Top 10 Rugby Nations In 2016

After one of the best sets of autumn internationals ever, Pundit Arena takes stock and ranks the top ten rugby nations from the whole of 2016. Some big names are near the bottom, but how high up are the resurgent Ireland and Scotland? Does England’s perfect year knock the All Blacks off top spot? _______ 10. Italy But for a …

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Dylan Hartley of England (C) celebrates with his team mates after the game during the Old Mutual Wealth Series match between England and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on December 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Opinion: Was Australia Win England’s Best Under Eddie Jones?

England’s 37-21 win against Australia completed a perfect year for the Red Rose. But out of those 13 test victories, where does this home triumph against Australia rank? The conquest of the Wallabies was England’s best home performance since they dismantled New Zealand in 2012, but not quite their finest of 2016. That in itself is a hallmark of England’s …

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BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Eddie Jones, the England head coach, faces the media during the England press conference held at Pennyhill Park on December 1, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones Admits He’s Made A Few Bad Decisions With England

England coach Eddie Jones has admitted to making selection errors during his first year as England coach. Last week, Eddie Jones made headlines for unnecessarily criticising New Zealand’s world player of the year, Beauden Barrett. This week, things have been predictably acrimonious ahead of England versus Australia. But despite a war of words with Michael Cheika over scrummaging, Jones also …

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VILAMOURA, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 01: Nathan Hughes looks on during the England training session held at Brown's Sport Complex on November 1, 2016 in Vilamoura, Portugal. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Analysis: How Weak Is The England Back Row Versus Australia?

The weakened England back row versus Australia looks there for the taking. Michael Hooper and David Pocock will be licking their lips. Injuries to James Haskell and Billy Vunipola have robbed England of two-thirds of their favoured back row – a triumvirate that did so well against Australia in June. The Red Rose are also without Maro Itoje, who would …

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DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 26: Jamie Heaslip of Ireland makes his way off the field following his side's victory during the international match between Ireland and Australia at the Aviva Stadium on November 26, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

A Lions XV Of Players Each Born In A Different Nation

The Lions already brings together a diverse set of players. But what would the team look like if the head coach could only select one player born in each nation? The answer is that it is still quite strong. The front and back rows in particular are Lions XV class. And because of the options at No. 8, we resisted …

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CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 05: David Pocock of Australia breaks during the international match between Wales and Australia at the Principality Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A Combined England-Australia XV Right Now

England and Australia take to the field on Saturday in their final autumn international. But if Eddie Jones or Michael Cheika could pick from both squads available at Twickenham, who would make the XV? This XV is based on the players available on Saturday, so certain picks such as Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola and Will Genia are not considered. The …

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CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 05: Luke Charteris of Wales runs with the ball during the International match between Wales and Australia at the Principality Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A British And Irish Lions XV Made Up Of Exiles

Pundit Arena picks its Lions XV. The only additional criterion: the players must be playing their rugby abroad. Lions head coach Warren Gatland isn’t restricted to selecting players who play for a club based within their home union. It’s a good thing too – he’d be missing out on this bucketload of talent. Unsurprisingly given the proximity of the principality …

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Guinness Series, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 26/11/2016 Ireland vs Australia Ireland's Peter O'Mahony celebrates at the final whistle Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Opinion: After The Autumn, Are Ireland Now Six Nations Favourites?

Ireland hit another high with victory over Australia on Saturday. But do their autumn successes make them Six Nations favourites ahead of England? What a difference a year makes. In 2015 an under-strength Ireland were dispatched by Argentina at the World Cup. Fast forward to 2016, and another weakened Ireland defeat Argentina 27-24. Ireland are without doubt playing their best …

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Elliot Daly of England is sent off during the Old Mutual Wealth Series between England and Argentina at Twickenham Stadium on November 26, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Five Worst Performances From England Vs Argentina

With very few players standing out from the England-Argentina test at Twickenham, Pundit Arena looks at the five worst performances in south west London on Saturday.  _______ 1. Elliot Daly Guilty of a bad missed tackle, Daly’s day began by giving Argentina good field position for a strong start at Twickenham. Minutes later he became the first ever England back to …

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