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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

World Rugby Announce Huge Changes To Global Calendar

World Rugby, the sport’s global body, have announced signifcant changes to the long-term global calendar. The new 2020-32 schedule now prioritises rest periods, as well as supporting the sport’s tier two nations further, and brings further accord to the relationship between the international and domestic games. “Agreement on an optimised global calendar that provides certainty and sustainability over the decade …

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Eddie Jones Names England Squad To Face Ireland

England coach Eddie Jones has named a 25 man squad to prepare to take on Ireland on Saturday. The entire 23 from the 61 – 21 thrashing of Scotland is retained, with winger Jonny May and hooker Tommy Taylor also staying with the squad for this week’s preparations. Whilst it is very likely the coaches will select the same starting …

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England’s World Cup Squad Starts To Take Shape

As the second Six Nations in the latest World Cup cycle draws to a close this weekend, England’s plans for the next edition of the tournament in 2019 are moving up a gear – with almost as many as two thirds of the 31 man squad looking near certain to be selected for the competition in two years’ time. Barring …

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The England Team Eddie Jones Should Pick To Face Ireland

After England’s total demolition of Scotland on Saturday, Eddie Jones has some difficult selection decisions to make to finalise his 23 to take on Ireland in Dublin – with so much at stake. Should England be victorious, not only will they seal back-to-back grand slams, achieving ‘greatness’ as claimed by Jones, but also set a new world record for consecutive …

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England Player Ratings V Scotland

As England roared to a superb victory over Scotland and sealed back-to-back championships in the process, we rate all of the home team’s 23 out of 10. 1) Joe Marler Had the edge over Fagerson at scrum time early on. England’s pack was almost totally on top at scrum time in the match and Marler was part of a whole …

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England Watch: Which Players Are Pushing For International Honours?

After last weekend’s round of the Aviva Premiership, a number of up-and-coming and fringe England-qualified players made their mark in the latest series of exciting matches in the country’s top domestic competition. We take a look at the individuals giving Eddie Jones and the rest of his coaching team something to think about. Top EQP Tacklers Exeter Chiefs’ 34-15 triumph …

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The England ‘Forgotten’ XV

With England being spoilt for choice in terms of depth and the quality of talent available to the coaching team, we take a look at the players who have largely been ignored since the Eddie Jones era began back in December 2015. David Wilson One of three tighthead props in Stuart Lancaster’s 2015 World Cup squad, experienced head Wilson has …

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England Watch: Which Players Are Pushing For International Honours?

After another exciting round of Premiership action, we pick out the best England-qualified players from last weekend and look at the key stats across the six fixtures. Top EQP Tacklers Brad Barritt Saracens 23 Thomas Waldrom Exeter 21 Dom Barrow Leicester 19 Elliot Stooke Bath 19 Ross Batty Bath 18 Premiership champions Saracens put a disappointing few weeks behind them …

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The England Team Eddie Jones Should Pick For Scotland

After a disappointing and frankly bizarre match against Italy, England coach Eddie Jones may look to make changes to his team to face a resurgent and impressive Scotland outfit. With England’s inability to deal with the Azzurri’s ‘non-engagement’ ploy, the first half was disjointed in terms of attacking play, but at the same time the men in white were dominated …

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England Player Ratings V Italy

In a rather bizarre game dominated by interpretations of the law rather than the performance itself, England struggled to build any momentum in the first half before producing a far more impressive effort in the last 30 minutes. Here we rate the entire 23 from one to ten: ________ 1) Joe Marler Early penalty conceded at the scrum after pressure …

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Six England ‘New Cap’ XVs For Every Era Since 1997

Every England coach brings in their own players and caps youngsters for the first time, but by compiling teams made up entirely of new caps under each successive coach, we are able to see why some of them succeeded and why some simply failed. Each side here tells a story of English rugby through the years. Clive Woodward New Caps …

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Five Things Eddie Jones’ England Team For Italy Tells Us

In many ways Eddie Jones’ team announcement was one of the most highly anticipated England selections in a long while and it certainly has told us a lot about the Australian’s thinking regarding his side. Whilst most fans could predict the line-ups for the France and Wales games, a clear signpost of a core group of players emerging for the …

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Opinion: England’s North Can Be Ignored No Longer

Despite competing with rugby league and football for the attention of both fans and players, England’s north is a thriving hotbed of talent and potential, yet the ruthless spending power of wealthier clubs across the rest of the country is stunting the development of three of its best teams. Take Newcastle Falcons. In a city completely dominated by football, director …

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How Your Club Could Win A Defibrillator

Defibrillators help to save lives and in a fantastic move the RFU are running a competition to give away six kits to clubs across the country. Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, but the chance of survival can be significantly increased when an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is used rather than just CPR alone. As part …

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Eddie Jones Makes Surprising Changes To England Squad For Italy

Eddie Jones has cut four players from his England squad and retains 24 men to take on the Azzurri this Sunday. Charlie Ewels, Teimana Harrison and Mike Williams have all returned to their clubs, as well as stalwart Jonathan Joseph – which will come as a shock to some supporters. Joseph has started almost every game during Eddie Jones’ reign …

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