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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

Five Things Eddie Jones’ England Squad Tells Us

Wow. That is the best word to describe Eddie Jones’ unorthodox squad selected to tour Argentina this summer. No one expected the Australian to select fifteen – yes, fifteen – uncapped players in his 31-man squad, but Jones really has torn up the England selection rulebook this time around. 16 of the country’s finest players are joining up with the …

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The Likely England XV To Take On Argentina

Now that the dust has settled on today’s Lions squad announcement, Eddie Jones and his England coaching panel can start to work out which players they will take on their two-Test tour of Argentina this summer. Previously, Jones has spoken of not resting big name players until the autumn, so it is very likely he will take all his major …

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The Lions Outcast XV

With Warren Gatland today naming his Lions squad to tour New Zealand this summer, there were of course many, many big name players who have not made the cut. We put together a XV made up of those players who missed out on selection this time around. 1) Rob Evans There is a tremendous amount of talent in the Lions …

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Scotland and Lions’ Chris Cusiter: “New Zealand Was The Hardest Tour In Living Memory”

Chris Cusiter speaks exclusively to Pundit Arena about touring New Zealand, Scotland and the Lions. When Chris Cusiter is asked what are the proudest moments of his career, he is unequivocal: “Getting capped for Scotland was my dream growing up, and getting picked for the Lions a year later was unexpected; it was an amazing experience.” In many ways, 2017 …

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England Suffer Significant Injury Blow Before Summer Tour

England coach Eddie Jones will be without one of his major players when the men in white tour Argentina in the summer. Harlequins have today confirmed back rower Jack Clifford will undergo surgery on his shoulder to repair a reoccurring injury sustained earlier this season. The club also said Clifford would be ruled out of the summer tour and he …

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Star Names Unveiled For Barbarians’ England Match

Rugby’s legendary Barbarians take on England for the Old Mutual Wealth Cup on 28th May, and head coach Vern Cotter has announced some stellar names to feature for the visiting invitational team. Australian legends Adam Ashley-Cooper and Will Genia will join Argentina’s Facundo Ice and Samoa’s Census Johnston – all of whom currently ply their trade in France – in …

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Wasps Looking To Sign Springbok Centre [Report]

English club Wasps are in talks with former Springboks centre Juan de Jongh, according to reports. Neil Fissler, journalist with the Sunday Express and The Rugby Paper, believes the Premiership table toppers are looking to line up the quick-footed, diminutive back from the Stormers. I understand that Wasps are in talks with Lions and former Springbok centre Juan de Jongh …

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England Watch: Who Might Make It Onto The Argentina Tour?

Although much of the media focus over the next few months will be on the Lions tour to New Zealand, Eddie Jones will be taking his England charges out to Argentina for a two test series that promises to be truly competitive. England could be missing as many as 15 or more senior players from their squad, meaning Jones will …

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International Rugby – The Finishers XV

England rugby coach Eddie Jones has brought the term ‘finishers’ into common usage across the sport, with the idea being to change the paradigm around ‘replacements’ or ‘substitutes’ in the sport. Indeed, many international players have had a huge impact off the bench and were not simply there picking up splinters. We’ve put together a world XV of the players …

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The International Rugby ‘Away Form’ XV

Winning away from home is always a significant challenge for any international rugby team, and this year’s Six Nations is the latest piece of evidence of this. Out of the 15 games played, Italy – who were mostly dreadful the entire tournament – lost three at home and England defeated Wales in Cardiff. Every other game was a victory for …

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SALFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Denny Solomona of Sale Sharks looks on during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Sale Sharks and Saracens at AJ Bell Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Salford, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Opinion: Why Denny Solomona Should Not Play For England

Sale Sharks’ rugby league convert Denny Solomona has lit up the Aviva Premiership with pace, power and guile that has won him many admirers in the union world. Yet the winger’s recent announcement of his intention to play for England is deeply problematic. Born in New Zealand, the Auckland powerhouse quickly made an impact at London Broncos and Castleford Tigers, …

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WRU Announce Takeover Of Newport Gwent Dragons

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) has today announced its intention to takeover the Newport Gwent Dragons (NGD) region, both on and off the field. The WRU already owned 50% of the region, but with NGD struggling to find external investment, the WRU has moved in to formally become the region’s owners. The proposed transaction includes the purchase of the nine-acre …

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A Potential England Squad To Tour Argentina

With England likely to have a significant number of their players on the Lions tour later this year, coach Eddie Jones has a chance to experiment with some second stringers and new players in a two test series against Argentina in the summer. Eddie Jones’ Current Crop Below we have named a squad of 32 (the same size as the …

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England’s Six Nations Campaign – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Eddie Jones’ England team finished an overall superb fourteen months on a particularly disappointing low point against a dominant Ireland side on Saturday evening, but the side still have much to take out of their Six Nations campaign. We review the good, the bad and the ugly of this year’s tournament. The Good As well as winning four games out …

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England Player Ratings V Ireland

After England lost their first game in 19 matches and missed out on a back-to-back Grand Slam – thanks to a superb Irish defence – we rate the entire England 23 out of 10. 1) Joe Marler A solid enough performance in the first half, but being replaced at half time was telling. He is likely to lose his spot …

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Old Heads, Young Shoulders: Why England Are So Successful

It’s the kind of transformation that is more associated with the make-believe world of Hollywood than real life, but England’s revival from World Cup flops to being on the brink of back-to-back Grand Slams and on the cusp of breaking a tier one world record for consecutive wins is truly exceptional an achievement. Much credit must go to Eddie Jones …

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EXCLUSIVE – Dreams Of America: The Rise And Fall Of PRO Rugby

For an outsider, America is endlessly fascinating. A place of breathtaking landscapes, a land of contrasts and colossal in scale; it is seemingly boundless potential and uniquely inspiring. Its people absorbed the world around them and shaped a culture that is defined by optimism, hope and uninhibited ambition. In America the impossible is made possible by an unrelenting desire to …

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