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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
during the RBS Six Nations match between Scotland and England at Murrayfield Stadium on February 6, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The XV England Boss Jones Should Select For Italy Game

England’s 15-9 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday evening was pragmatic and conservative, but more importantly it was efficient. England had two clear try-scoring chances and they took both of them, with George Kruis using his giant frame to reach over the line and Jack Nowell finishing off a well worked move that featured some slick handling. Scotland, on …

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English Rugby’s All-Time Greatest XV

Paul Wassell picks English rugby’s all-time greatest XV. Imagine if H G Wells, Robert Zemeckis and Russell T Davies were colossal rugby fans and met up in a pub beyond the constraints of space and time to concoct a story involving time travel and a brave protagonist bringing together English rugby’s greatest ever players to form the ultimate red rose …

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LONDON - MARCH 20: Jason Robinson of England in action during the RBS Six Nations match between England and Wales at Twickenham on March 20, 2004 in London, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

England’s Greatest Full-Backs

Mike Brown is the current incumbent of England’s 15 shirt, but he has followed in the footsteps of some pretty impressive players. Back in the 1970s, Dusty Hare (now working as Northampton Saints’ Recruitment and Development Manager) and Alastair Hignell – a former BBC journalist – battled it out to be England’s last line of defence, before Jonathan Webb established …

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Jack Nowell of England dives over to score England's fifth try during the RBS Six Nations match between England and France at Twickenham Stadium on March 21, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Who Will Be Winging It For England Rugby?

If there is one position England has not struggled with in terms of quality and depth in recent years it is on the wings. When one thinks of famous England wingers from the past, one harkens back to Rory Underwood – England’s highest try scorer with 49 – or even Alexander Obelensky, The Flying Prince, whose try-scoring feat against New …

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during the European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 3 match between Harlequins and Rugby Calvisano at Twickenham Stoop on December 19, 2015 in London, England.

Why Jack Clifford Will Most Likely Start For England

Eddie Jones has been roundly criticised by commentators and fans alike for his conservative-looking 23 that is in all probability going to be the same 23 for the Scotland game next Saturday. In particular, former England international Austin Healey has criticised a number of key selections, most notably James Haskell’s inclusion as an openside flanker. One of the areas of …

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BAGSHOT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Eddie Jones, England Head Coach speaks with Dylan Hartley, the newly appointed Captain during a training session at Pennyhill Park on January 26, 2016 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Why Dylan Hartley Is England Captain

When England’s discipline-challenged hooker was named as captain it caused shockwaves across the country and the rugby world as a whole, but why exactly did England head coach Eddie Jones choose him if he is such a controversial individual? His detractors are plenty and vocal enough: he can’t prevent the red mist from descending and allows this to lead to …

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What Eddie Jones’ 23 Tells You About His Team

Eddie Jones yesterday released 10 players from his squad of 33 to return to their clubs and play for them in Premiership fixtures over the forthcoming weekend. Some surprising names were excluded from Jones’ preferred 23 players, including Wasps’ Eliot Daly – after his try-scoring feats against Leinster last Saturday – as well as Saracens’ young tyro Maro Itoje. But what …

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The Uniqueness Of Rugby’s Calcutta Cup

Every year two of the oldest national teams in the world of rugby face each other in the battle for the Calcutta Cup, an ornate, ostentatious and idiosyncratic piece of silverware that is like no other in sport. But where does this trophy come from and why exactly do England and Scotland play for it? It is believed that back …

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Who Will Eddie Jones Choose As England’s Next Prop Stars?

Over the years England has produced some of the world’s best prop forwards. The 1970s saw the likes of Fran Cotton and Mike Burton debut, followed in the 1980s by the brute force of Phil Blakeway and the skilful Jeff Probyn. Next, the 1990s produced England’s most capped player, Jason Leonard, as well as the emergence of grand slam winner …

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Rise Of The Six Nations Phoenix

For too long the type of rugby played by top clubs and international teams has been divided by a false dichotomy: ping pong or basketball? Focus on the set-piece, stick it up the jumper and turn the back division into a set of kick-and-chasers. Alternatively, forget about scrums and lineouts and throw the ball about as much as possible. Too …

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It’s Time To Tear Down European Rugby’s Iron Curtain

Few rugby fans had heard of Enisei-STM before Saturday evening, but Russia’s second largest club sent shockwaves across the northern hemisphere as they became only the second club from a non-Six Nations-competing country to defeat an English side in the Challenge Cup. Enisei’s powerful 24-7 victory over Newcastle Falcons not only reflects huge improvements in the domestic game across Eastern Europe, …

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England Coach Eddie Jones’ Centre Dilemma

How do you solve a problem like an England centre partnership? Not since the heady days of 2003 have we seen a consistent 12 and 13 combination and it is no surprise that the team has only won one major tournament in 13 years. After Will Greenwood and Mike Tindall were split up, we’ve seen endless chop and change with the …

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