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Sean McMahon

Sean is Head of Pundit Arena Rugby. Contact him on Twitter here:
Rory Best

Rory Best Keen To Establish A “Ferocious” Ireland At World Cup

Irish supporters have slept a little sounder in their beds since Ireland’s 19-10 victory over Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.  After a summer series which raised worrying questions ahead of the World Cup, the last warm-up game against a strong Welsh side finally showed signs of the 2018 version of this team. Ireland consistently got over the gain …

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Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O’Driscoll: Garry Ringrose Likely On Bench For World Cup Opener

Ireland legend Brian O’Driscoll thinks it’s looking increasingly likely that Garry Ringrose will find himself on the bench for the World Cup opener against Scotland on September 22.  Ireland have four out-and-out centres in their 31-man squad for the World Cup; Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose and Chris Farrell. Joe Schmidt has trialled four different centre partnerships throughout the …

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USA squad

Four Irish Players Included In USA Rugby World Cup Squad

USA head coach Gary Gold has named his final 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.  The former Worcester Warriors boss has overseen a positive preseason for the Eagles. They performed well in the Pacific Nations Cup which included wins over Canada and Samoa before falling to eventual competition winners Japan on a final scoreline of 34-20. …

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Jean Kleyn

Joe Schmidt Happy With Jean Kleyn Progress But Looking For More

Now that the dust has settled on the inclusion of Jean Kleyn in Ireland’s 31-man World Cup squad, it would have come as a relief to the management and the player himself that he produced his most accomplished performance in a green shirt on Saturday.  Kleyn was busy throughout his 53-minute performance in the 19-10 victory over Wales and his …

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Keith Earls

Joe Schmidt Provides Injury Update On Keith Earls

Sean McMahon reporting from the Aviva Stadium The only blight on what was a very good performance from Ireland in their 19-10 victory over Wales at the Aviva Stadium was a member of the Irish medical staff accompanying Keith Earls from the pitch during the second half.  On 53 minutes, just as Tadhg Furlong scored Ireland’s second try of the …

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Ireland Wales

Ireland Go Number One In The World With Victory Over Wales In Dublin

Ireland 19 Wales 10  Sean McMahon reporting from the Aviva Stadium  It was a day of ‘lasts’ at the Aviva Stadium this afternoon. Last appearance for Rory Best at the Aviva Stadium, last appearance for Joe Schmidt at the Aviva Stadium and most importantly, the last game for Ireland before they open their World Cup campaign on September 22 against …

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Mako Vunipola

Blow For England As Vunipola & Nowell Set To Miss Chunk Of RWC

Eddie Jones and England have been dealt a blow with the news that both Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will miss a number of games at the Rugby World Cup.  Both players have been included in Jones’ final 31-man selection but it looks like they won’t be featuring in Japan until the end of the pool stages. Vunipola suffered a …

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Ireland Team

Johnny Sexton Returns As Strong Ireland Team Named For Wales

Ireland have named a strong team for the clash with Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.  The big news is that Johnny Sexton returns to start at out-half in what will be his first appearance of the season. He will partner Conor Murray who makes his first appearance since the heavy loss to England at Twickenham. Ireland Team To …

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Gary Neville Declan Rice

Gary Neville Reckons Declan Rice Should Not Be Playing For England

Gary Neville believes that Declan Rice should not be allowed to play for England due to the fact that he won three senior caps with the Republic of Ireland.  Rice, who switched allegiances to England, has now made three senior appearances for the Three Lions and was recently called up by Gareth Southgate for the upcoming 2020 European Championship qualifiers …

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Wales Team

Wales Name Strong Team For Clash With Ireland In Dublin

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named a very strong side for Saturday’s clash with Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.  As expected, Gatland has named many of his front-liners in the starting XV which sees Alun Wyn Jones captain the side. Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee and Tomas Francis pack down in the front-row while Jake Ball and Alun …

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Jacob Stockdale

“A Lot Of The Criticism Quite Annoyed Me” – Jacob Stockdale

It was quite unfamiliar territory for Jacob Stockdale in the aftermath of Ireland’s record loss to England at Twickenham.  Not only were Joe Schmidt’s side poor across the board, but Stockdale, in particular, came in for criticism due to his defensive performance which saw his side concede eight tries. Stockdale made some poor defensive reads during that match but he …

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Devin Toner World Cup

Joe Schmidt Explains Devin Toner Omission From World Cup Squad

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has explained a number of the tough calls he had to make in finalising his 31-man squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.  One of the biggest omissions is that of Devin Toner who has been left out for Munster’s Jean Kleyn. Schmidt told Irish Rugby TV that it was a difficult conversation. “I’ve coached …

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