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Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here:
Cian Healy

Scrum Jibe From Japan Will Only Motivate Cian Healy More – Schmidt

Sean McMahon reporting from Hamamatsu.  The Japanese press conferences this week have been a breath of fresh air.  The players and coaches have made no secret about the fact that they know they can beat Ireland this weekend. From straight to the point statements such as “we are confident that we can beat them” and “we’ll attack that” or the …

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Jack Carty

Unflappable Jack Carty Backed To Shine On Starting World Cup Debut

Sean McMahon reporting from Hamamatsu.  Ireland out-half Jack Carty is set for a career milestone as he will start in his first World Cup match on Saturday when Joe Schmidt’s side take on Japan at the Shizouka Stadium Ecopa.  This will be just Carty’s ninth appearance for Ireland in what will be his second start since he made his debut …

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Ireland Team Japan

Ireland Name Team To Face Japan On Saturday

Sean McMahon reporting from Shizouka.  Head coach Joe Schmidt has named the Ireland team which will take on Japan in Saturday’s Pool A clash at the Shizouka Stadium Ecopa.  Schmidt has made a number of changes to the side which beat Scotland 27-3 in Yokohama on Sunday. In total, Schmidt has made four changes to the starting XV which defeated …

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Letter from Japan

Letter From Japan: Ireland Go From Bright Lights To Countryside Tranquility

Sean McMahon reporting from Hamamatsu.  One of the most interesting aspects of visiting Japan is the sheer environmental contrast between different parts of the country.  When Ireland first arrived to these shores, they based themselves in the rather uninspiring but radically functional Prefecture of Chiba. An area 40km south-east of Tokyo which consists of endless blocks of hotels, conference centres …

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Ireland Japan

Ireland Required To Go Up Another Level For “Fast & Loose” Japan

Sean McMahon reporting from Hamamatsu. Ireland are under no illusions to the challenges they will face when they take on host nation Japan in their second Pool A clash which takes place in Shizouka on Saturday.  In many people’s eyes, Ireland are already destined for a quarter-final showdown with the Springboks at Tokyo Stadium on Sunday, October 20. However, first, …

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Ireland injury update

Ireland Provide Latest Injury Update Ahead Of Japan Clash

Sean McMahon reporting from Shizouka  Ireland skills and kicking coach, Richie Murphy, has provided an injury update ahead of Ireland’s second pool game at the 2019 Rugby World Cup on Saturday against the host nation, Japan.  The main concern coming out of today’s press conference is Johnny Sexton. The out-half picked up a knock to his quad during the win …

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Mark McDermott

From The Caribbean To Siberia – Mark McDermott Is Out To Make History

In the space of six months, Mark McDermott went from working in the telecommunications industry in the Caribbean to coaching his first rugby session in over six years in the incredibly contrasting environment of Siberia.  A 2016 phone call would change everything. Three years later, he’s coaching at the 2019 Rugby World Cup with Russia. “It’s funny how things materialise. …

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Dan Biggar

Dan Biggar Misses Conversion From In Front Of The Posts

With just three minutes on the clock, Wales took the lead in their World Cup opener against Georgia with a try from Jonathan Davies but Dan Biggar somehow missed the subsequent conversion.  Wales struck early on off a scrum setpiece strike move which saw Davies receive a flat pass to fly through a gap in the Georgian defence and touch …

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Ireland World Cup

Couldn’t Ask Any More Of Irish Display But Bigger Test Awaits

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama.  With 27 minutes on the clock, Ireland were 19-3 up in their toughest pool match of the World Cup, against opposition which have troubled them in the past and amid a backdrop which has questioned this squad’s mentality and ability on the field.  To be so on top so early on in this game was …

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Jacob Stockdale Happy To Prove His Critics Wrong

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama. Jacob Stockdale is happy to prove his critics wrong after he produced an excellent display in Ireland’s 27-3 win over Scotland in Pool A of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.  Stockdale has been criticised on occasion for his defensive performances, most recently in Ireland’s record defeat to England at Twickenham as part of their warm-up …

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Ireland player ratings

Player Ratings As Ireland Dominate Scotland In World Cup Opener

Ireland 27 – 3 Scotland Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama Ireland have got their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign off to a perfect start after they produced a completely dominant bonus-point performance over Scotland in Yokohama. Three first-half tries from James Ryan, Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong ensured Ireland were up and running after the midway point of their first …

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Johnny Sexton

“Johnny & The Boys Are Well Able To Look After Themselves”

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama. Peter O’Mahony believes that Johnny Sexton or any other member of the Irish team are well able to look after themselves if they encounter any special treatment from the Scotland players on Sunday.  In recent years, we have seen an extra-bite to Ireland v Scotland fixtures and this applies to provincial level too with Munster …

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Joe Schmidt

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt Wary Of Scottish Threats In The Rain

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama.  Japan are up and running in Pool A after stuttering to a bonus-point 30-10 win over Russia at the Tokyo Stadium.  Both Joe Schmidt and Gregor Townsend would have watched on from the comfort of their respective team hotels and based on what they saw over the 80 minutes, they won’t be too concerned about …

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Jordan Larmour

Schmidt’s Larmour Vision Puts Him At Ease In World Cup Cauldron

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama.  Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has said that the main reason for the omission of Keith Earls and Rob Kearney from Sunday’s matchday 23 for Scotland was due to a lack of time in building continuity.  Earls and Kearney have not been able to train fully this week as they recover from respective knee and …

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Ireland Team

Kearney & Earls Out As Ireland Team Named For Scotland Clash

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama.  Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has announced his Ireland team to take on Scotland at the International Stadium Yokohama on Sunday.  As expected, Rob Kearney and Keith Earls have not been selected due to the injuries which they are carrying and this sees Jordan Larmour take up a spot at fullback while Andrew Conway starts …

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England Team

Owen Farrell At 12 As England Team Named For Tonga Clash

England head coach Eddie Jones has named his team for Sunday’s clash with Tonga in Sapporo (KO 19:45 local time, 11:45 UK & IRE time).  Owen Farrell will captain the side at inside centre which sees George Ford get the nod at out-half. Ben Youngs will start at scrum-half where he will win his 90th cap for his country. Manu …

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