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Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here:
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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All Blacks Team

Beauden Barrett At Fullback As All Blacks Name Team For Boks

Steve Hansen has named his All Blacks team for Saturday’s blockbuster showdown with the Springboks on what will be the second day of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.  Rassie Erasmus confirmed a strong side yesterday and Hansen has followed suit with a formidable looking team of his own in what should be an exhilarating encounter. Joe Moody, Dane Coles and …

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Joey Carbery

“Nervous Days” Behind Joey Carbery As He Looks To Attack World Cup

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama.  When the images of Joey Carbery grimacing on the Aviva Stadium turf were broadcasted to the thousands of supporters watching Ireland’s win over Italy, they would have feared the worst.  Carbery suffered an ankle injury in Ireland’s first warm-up game, an injury all that more difficult to take considering he was producing a man-of-the-match performance …

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Kearney Earls

Andy Farrell Provides Positive Update On Earls & Kearney Fitness

Sean McMahon reporting from Yokohama.  Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell has provided a positive update on the fitness of Keith Earls and Rob Kearney ahead of Sunday’s World Cup clash with Scotland. Earls and Kearney are suffering from knee and calf problems, respectively and there has been widespread concern that the duo could miss out the Pool A opener against …

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Springboks Team

Springboks Team Named For Blockbuster Clash With All Blacks

Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus has named his team for Saturday’s blockbuster encounter with the All Blacks at International Stadium Yokohama.  With just one exception, South Africa have selected the same side which secured a draw against New Zealand in Wellington during the Rugby Championship. Captain Siya Kolisi was unavailable that day but he comes into the team at blindside …

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World Rugby Reveal Concern Over “Shrouded” CVC Six Nations Deal

Sean McMahon reporting from Tokyo.  World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper has revealed his concern at CVC’s growing influence in northern hemisphere rugby.  The private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners, are currently in negotiations with Six Nations officials with regards to purchasing a stake in the northern hemisphere’s premier international competition. This comes off the back of the firm buying a …

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Bundee Aki

Irish Players Proud Of How Bundee Aki Responded To Eligibility Criticism

Seán McMahon reporting from Chiba.  Rhys Ruddock has said that the Irish players are proud of how Bundee Aki has responded to criticism surrounding his eligibility for the Ireland team.  Former Ireland international Luke Fitzgerald criticised the potential inclusion of Aki ahead of Garry Ringrose on his podcast recently. “He shouldn’t be in that team,” Fitzgerald said. “The guy is …

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Ruddock Brothers Return To Japan 10 Years On

Sean McMahon reporting from Chiba.  In Irish rugby, there has been no shortage of sets of brothers who have either played for their country or being involved at provincial level at least.  Rob and Dave Kearney would be the most recent example but going back through the years, you would have Richard, Paul and David Wallace, Simon and Rory Best, …

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Rob Kearney

IRFU Confirm Injury To Rob Kearney

Sean McMahon reporting from Chiba The IRFU have confirmed that Rob Kearney suffered an injury to his calf on Monday.  The 33-year-old fullback was in line to start against Scotland for Ireland’s World Cup opener against Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday but this setback has put that in doubt. Today, a spokesman for the IRFU confirmed that Kearney has tightness …

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Ireland Backline

Predicting Ireland’s Backline Against Scotland

There are some doubts surrounding the makeup of Ireland’s backline ahead of the Pool A opener against Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday.  According to reports this evening, Rob Kearney suffered a calf injury in training today which puts him in doubt for Sunday’s match. An update will likely be issued tomorrow (1am Irish time) on Kearney’s fitness but it just …

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Rob Kearney

Rob Kearney A Doubt For World Cup Opener Against Scotland

Sean McMahon reporting from Chiba.  Ireland fullback Rob Kearney has emerged as a doubt for Sunday’s clash with Scotland in Yokohama.  It is being widely reported that Kearney suffered a calf injury in training this morning and his availability for the clash with Gregor Townsend’s side is now deemed doubtful. Ireland are currently in the midst of a backline injury …

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Andrew Porter

“You See Stars Sometimes” – Porter On Tighthead-Loosehead Swap

Sean McMahon reporting from Japan. In the build-up to this year’s World Cup, one of the many selection talking points surrounded who will be the designated prop that will cover both sides of the scrum.  Based on the evidence over the last couple of weeks, that mantle has fallen on Andrew Porter. Porter, like John Ryan, originally started out his …

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Robbie Henshaw

“Reasonably Positive” – Ireland Provide Update On Robbie Henshaw Injury

Sean McMahon reporting from Japan.  Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek was up for media duties at Ireland’s base in Chiba and the 44-year-old Kiwi provided an update on the injury suffered by Robbie Henshaw.  Henshaw suffered a hamstring injury during a training session over the weekend and it led to Ulster’s Will Addison being removed from the northern province’s starting …

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Dylan Fawsitt

Disappointment In Ireland Has Propelled Dylan Fawsitt To World Cup

“I was washing cars, walking dogs, doing whatever I could to get that extra bit.”  For US international Dylan Fawsitt, the meandering path which has brought him on the cusp of competing at the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been wrought with setbacks, challenges and at an initial glance, what looked to be dead ends. The 29-year-old hooker is now …

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