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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

Japanese Rugby Raises Issue About Player’s… Hairstyle

Japanese rugby is nothing if not idiosyncratic, and the Japanese Rugby Union appear to have pulled off another unique move by apparently showing disapproval regarding the recent hairstyle of test player Shota Horie. Hooker Horie has won 52 caps for the Brave Blossoms and was previously the captain of Super Rugby outfit the Sunwolves. However, it appears a chance of …

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England Player Ratings V Argentina

Eddie Jones’ young England side made history by claiming a series victory in Argentina, where the hosts are known for their hostile reception.    In a match featuring end-to-end attacking rugby, we rate the entire 23 out of ten. 1) Ellis Genge A solid enough effort at scrum time and around the park, but was rather shown up by the …

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Young England Team On The Brink Of History

England U-20s go into their World Rugby Championship final against New Zealand tomorrow knowing victory would see them become the first age grade side to lift both the Six Nations and the World Championship in the same season. Despite losing a handful of core players to the senior team’s tour of Argentina – including precocious duo Tom and Ben Curry …

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Why Flying Finn Russell Deserves His Lions Ticket

On Saturday evening Scotland made history, and the Lions’ latest tourist Finn Russell was right in the midst of it. The Scots have jetted Down Under just twelve times since 1970, and on nine of those occasions the hosts have won. Before Saturday’s game Scotland had won just two matches in Australia; once in 1982 and another back in 2012. …

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Five Reasons Why You Must See England V Argentina Tonight

Although Lions coach Warren Gatland appears to be giving England’s touring squad the cold shoulder due to geographical factors, Eddie Jones is rightly proud of his young players. Tonight they go into battle once more against an experienced and talented Argentina side – here are five reasons why you cannot miss the match. 1) The first test was tremendously exciting …

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England U20s Smash Samoa As World Rugby U20s Championship Begins

World Rugby U20s Championship title holders England easily swept aside Samoa 74 – 14 in Georgia as both teams’ campaigns got under way. A depleted squad have travelled to Georgia for the Championship, with a number of U20s-eligible players involved with the senior England team in Argentina. England scored 12 tries on their way to a thoroughly convincing victory, with …

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Five Reasons You Have To Watch England’s Tour Of Argentina

All rugby eyes will be on the Lions’ tour of New Zealand this summer, but make room in your weekend schedules for England’s two test trip to South America. Here are five reasons why you should definitely sit down and watch what is likely to be an epic pair of international matches. 5) Argentina have just named their test squad …

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Eddie Jones: Tom Wood “Highly Unlikely” To Make England Tour

England’s 50-cap flanker Tom Wood is unlikely to make his country’s tour to Argentina after being sent off for stamping in Northampton Saints’ Champions Cup play-off game against Stade Francais, according to coach Eddie Jones. The Australian feels Wood will not make the tour following his act of indiscipline during Friday night’s close-fought match (via ESPN): “He had an error …

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England Player Ratings V Barbarians

After England’s impressive win over an experienced Barbarians outfit, we rate the entire 23 out of 10. _________ 1. Ellis Genge 6 Got on top of Census Johnston on a few occasions at scrum time and offered some of his trademark barrelling runs in the loose. Will likely start against Argentina to earn his second cap. _________ 2. Jack Singleton …

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Why You Must Watch England V Barbarians

Eddie Jones’ young England side take on the world famous Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday, but despite it being a non-cap affair this match could well prove pivotal to the country’s rugby future. The end-of-season matches between the men in white and the invitational Baa Baas can often be viewed as a bit of a damp squib before the Test squad …

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The Likely England XV To Take On The Barbarians

With England coach Eddie Jones having named his squad to take on the Barbarians next Sunday, we put together a team of the players Jones is likely to field in the match. Because Jones is unable to select any Wasps or Exeter players involved in next weekend’s Premiership final, as well as any internationals involved with Lions training, it means …

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Wales Lose Two Coaches For Summer Tour

Two coaches have withdrawn from Wales’ tour to Tonga and Samoa this summer, hampering preparations for a squad missing 12 of its frontline players due to Lions duty. Cardiff Blues coach Danny Wilson was originally named as part of interim head coach Robin McBryde’s coaching team back in December, along with fellow regional coaches Matt Sherratt (also Cardiff Blues) and …

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Exclusive – Lions On Lions: Four 2005 Tourists Talk New Zealand

With the 2017 Lions tour of New Zealand the first time the iconic side has faced the All Blacks in 12 years, Pundit Arena caught up with four 2005 tourists from England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland to get their thoughts on their experiences and what they hope for this summer. We spoke to Ireland’s Shane Byrne, Scotland’s Chris Cusiter, England’s Andy …

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The England Outcast XV

Eddie Jones shocked many England fans when he named 15 uncapped players in his squad to tour Argentina this summer, but in doing so he axed or ignored a number of individuals whom many would consider next in line or in form for their clubs. We put together a starting XV made up of just some of these players. The …

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