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Paul Wassell

Paul is an English teacher by day and an avid rugby fan the rest of the time. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook, or contact him at paul@punditarena.com

South Africa CEO: ‘PRO14 Could Mean Two Springboks Teams’

The rugby world has been brimming with excitement at the prospect of two South African former Super Rugby teams joining Europe’s PRO12 tournament, but it appears the change to the northern/southern hemisphere paradigm could have a significant impact on the Springboks as well. SARU chief executive Jurie Roux was discussing the introduction of both the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs …

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Opinion: Rugby Needs A Global Salary Cap

Since the dawn of professionalism in rugby it feels like there has been no real agreed plan on how the sport as a whole should progress. England and France have adopted approaches similar to those in football, with privately-owned and run clubs producing players for Test teams. However, most of the other major nations have come to operate some kind …

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The England Outcast XV

Even though England coach Eddie Jones has named a superbly talented 37-man squad to prepare for the autumn internationals this week, a number of talented individuals missed out on selection. We put together a XV made up of these players. 1) Matt Mullan Wasps loosehead Mullan has been in and out of England squads for many years, but it appears …

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England Fantasy Trial Match: The Probables vs The Possibles

England head coach Eddie Jones named a 37-man squad for a training camp last week and it displayed some impressive depth in most positions right across the team. However, what if Jones was to put his charges through a trial match to determine his final starting line-up? Trial matches rarely occur now because of the workload of top players for …

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Chink In The Armour: Why England Must Develop Depth At Fullback

England coach Eddie Jones has spoken of his desire to make his team ‘bulletproof’, but a lack of tried-and-tested options at fifteen could prove lethal to his side in 2019. The Australian has been vocal about the depth his side possess, and it is fair to say that in particular positions the national team can boast some of the best …

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What Eddie Jones’ Latest England Squad Tells Us

After much talk over the fallow summer months, England coach Eddie Jones has named his latest training squad that reveals quite a bit about the Australian’s thinking for the approaching autumn tests against Argentina, Australia and Samoa. Firstly, Jones has rewarded the players who stood up to be counted and walked away from a hostile environment in Argentina with a …

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New Zealand Super Rugby Sides Whitewash Australian Teams

After 25 games between New Zealand’s five teams and Australia’s five sides, the latter’s outfits failed to register a single win over their Antipodean counterparts. It’s a statistic that will not be warmly welcomed by Wallabies coach Michael Chieka as he tries to rebuild the national team’s reputation having won only six of their fifteen fixtures in 2016. Blackout, 0-25. …

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Sunwolves Shock Rugby World With Surprise Win

Japanese Super Rugby outfit the Sunwolves rocked the world of rugby with a 48-21 win over New Zealand side the Blues at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo. Soaring temperatures of 42 degrees contributed to an exciting and enthralling match, but initially it looked as if the Blues would walk away with a convincing victory as they raced to …

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Is This The England Team For The Autumn Internationals?

England head coach Eddie Jones has a tremendous task on his hands for the rest of 2017 as he tries to bring together his Lions cohort after a successful tour of New Zealand and his young starlets fresh from a 2-0 series win over Argentina.   So who will he pick for the Tests against Argentina, Australia and Samoa this …

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A Post-Lions England Squad For The Autumn

With the Lions tour drawing to a close this weekend, English eyes will revert back to the national team, and with England head coach Eddie Jones likely to name a 45 man squad this August, there are going to be some pretty tough calls to make. We look at every position and the players likely to make the cut for …

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SANTA FE, ARGENTINA - JUNE 17: Eddie Jones, Head Coach of England looks on prior to the ICBC Cup match between Argentina and England at Estadio Brigadier General Estanislao Lopez on June 17, 2017 in Santa Fe, Santa Fe. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images,)

Why The Lions Tour Is Good News For Eddie Jones And England

Whilst Eddie Jones has spent the summer working with the country’s next generation of exciting talent, coming away from the notoriously hostile environment of Argentina with a 2-0 series win, much of his core of senior players have been battling it out with New Zealand’s finest, which is great news for the men in white. Inevitably, the build-up to the …

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 01: A fight between TJ Perenara of the All Blacks and Kyle Sinckler breaks out on full time during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Westpac Stadium on July 1, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

All Blacks Vs Lions: Why The Sinckler-Perenara Incident Shouldn’t Just Be Brushed Under The Carpet

Last weekend I wrote a piece on TJ Perenara’s behaviour towards the referee during the second Test of the Lions series, which included my opinion on the incident that involved both the scrum-half and the visitors’ Kyle Sinckler in an altercation after the final whistle. It is vitally important that we do not erode our sense of responsibility towards officials in …

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EXCLUSIVE – New Zealand Strength and Conditioning Coach Jamie Tout: “We’ve Seen An Evolution Of The Player”

Jamie Tout’s career is all about using science, technology and most importantly the integration with the coach, to get the very best out of some of New Zealand’s premier athletes. He is the strength and conditioning for New Zealand’s Black Ferns, the NZ Rugby’s (NZR) elite referees and a resource coach to several other NZR programmes. In 2000 he began …

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New Zealand Newspaper Hands Lions Player Laughably Low Rating

New Zealand newspaper The NZ Herald today issued their player ratings for both the Lions and the All Blacks and they didn’t hold back in their assessments of the players, but one review left fans and pundits bemused and somewhat at a loss. Maro Itoje, widely regarded by many as one of the Lions’ best players during their second test …

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The All Blacks Ill-Discipline XV

In the entire history of the All Blacks, only Cyril Brownlie in 1925, Colin Meads in 1967 and now Sonny Bill Williams have ever seen red for the All Blacks in test rugby. The story, however, is somewhat different when it comes to yellow cards, with 50 All Blacks having received yellows in their careers. Captain Kieran Read has received …

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