Home Features (page 48)


The Rise And Fall Of James O’Connor

James O’Connor – the youngest ever Super Rugby debutant at age 17 and the second youngest Wallaby in Australian rugby history behind former Queensland winger Brian Ford. At 18 years of age, and with just four Super Rugby appearances, James O’Connor made his first Wallabies start in December 2008 after he was named at full-back during Australia’s 18-11 win over the Barbarians at Wembley. …

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Sir Clive Woodward On Coaching England: ‘The Teamroom Was Electric. It Would Kick Off At Times’

The 2003 Rugby World Cup winning England team will forever go down as one of the greatest sides in English Rugby history. In the four years preceding England’s historic World Cup win in Sydney, the Red Rose had won three Six Nations titles, two Triple Crowns, one Grandslam and had never lost a home game at Twickenham. An astonishing run of success that saw Sir …

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Sir Clive Woodward Reveals What He’d Do Differently For Disastrous 2005 Lions Tour


The 2005 British And Irish Lions tour of New Zealand was one of the most forgettable series losses in the rich and colorful history of the British and Irish Lions. No test wins, outscored by a combined 107-40 over three tests, series-ending injuries to Brian O’Driscoll, Richard Hill and Tom Shanklin after the first game, and they were just the obvious problems. …

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Opinion: Provincial Draws Highlight The Need For A Two-Tier All-Ireland

The Sunday Game Championship Draw 2017, RTE Studios, Dublin 13/10/2016 Marty Morrissey, Munster GAA Chairman Jerry O'Sullivan and Tipperary Football manager Liam Kearns make The Sunday Game Championship Draw Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

During last week’s provincial football and hurling draws it was evident that perhaps a revamped structure would not only help the inter-county game, but also make it a lot easier to promote. Hurling already operates through a two-tier structure, but it’s the removal of the provincial segment I would suggest. Kerry and Galway hurlers are already competing in the Leinster …

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What Is Ireland’s Best Centre Partnership Ahead Of The Autumn Series?

The composition of Ireland’s backline could be very different this autumn. Long before Brian O’Driscoll had even retired, Joe Schmidt and the IRFU had identified Jared Payne as his replacement at outside centre for Ireland. Although the New Zealand born player was 29 when he made his debut against South Africa, he has offered Ireland the space to integrate the …

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Opinion: Poor Quality Is Driving Down Premier League TV Ratings

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: David De Gea of Manchester United saves from Emre Can of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on October 17, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

This week’s Monday Night Football game was hyped up as one of the matches of the season so far. In the eighth rounds of games, the Premier League table is beginning to take a bit of shape and victory for Liverpool would have put them level on points with early pacesetters Manchester City. For Manchester United, things haven’t been going great, …

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Opinion: Manchester United Fans Must Forget ‘The United Way’ And Back Mourinho

One of the biggest games in English football took place on a Monday night of a Champions League week this season. Think about that for a moment. That fact sums up how far Manchester United and Liverpool have fallen and why both teams cancelled each other out on the night. José Mourinho followed tradition and parked the bus, frustrating Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool …

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Opinion: Why International Football Is Not Actually In As Much Trouble As Fans Think

Always the man to address the hot button topics, Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher wrote an interesting piece in his Daily Mail column this week about the state of international football. The basic tenor of the article was that the World Cup qualifying rounds no longer have any value and, after two weeks of dross, now the “real” football can re-commence. Of course, …

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Opinion: English Rugby’s Golden Castles Built On Sand

A small group of English clubs are using their financial clout to take a stranglehold on both the Aviva Premiership and the European Champions Cup, but being funded by a number of multi-millionaires and billionaires means their success is not sustainable in the long-term, argues Paul Wassell. Talent-laden Saracens were the talk of the tournament on Saturday as the current …

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Ireland’s Five Most Important Players Ahead Of The November Series

Scotland v Ireland - RBS Six Nations

Irish rugby seems to be going through a smooth transition. A number of years ago Irish rugby fans were horrified at the prospect of Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll, Ronan O’Gara and Gordon D’Arcy all retiring in quick succession. When you also consider that age and persistent injuries seemed to be catching up with the likes of Rory Best, Mike Ross, …

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