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Opinion – New Tackle Laws: Smart, Safe Or Soft?

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs - Aviva Premiership

Watching Richard Barrington bring up his 100th cap for Saracens on Saturday reminded me of everything I love about rugby. At 27, Barrington will most likely never play for England. He’ll never join the likes of Phil Vickery, Jason Leonard and Jeff Probyn in the pantheon of great English props, but he is however a club centurion, a tag that …

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British And Irish Lions 2017: Second Row Options

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 28: George Kruis (R) of Saracens celebrates with team mate Maro Itoje after their victory during the Aviva Premiership final match between Saracens and Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham Stadium on May 28, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The fourth instalment in this series of articles will analyse the options Warren Gatland has at second row for the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour of New Zealand. Arguably the toughest position in the squad to select, there are several in-form locks with bags of international experience who many would argue deserve a place in the initial Lions squad. However, …

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Opinion: Footballers Swapping Europe For Chinese Super League Are Sell-Outs

SHANGHAI, CHINA - JANUARY 03: Oscar of Shanghai SIPG poses for photos with fans at Pudong International Airport prior to his team's departure to the Doha training camp on January 3, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

The Chinese Super League is, you may have noticed, on a rampage. Various market forces have combined to render previous Asian transfer records antiquated, and have even transpired to make Carlos Tevez the highest paid footballer on the planet. The Asian transfer record has been broken four times in the last year, and contrasts are repeatedly drawn between football’s current …

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A Football XI For Each Continent: Part 1

SAITAMA, JAPAN - OCTOBER 06: Keisuke Honda # 4 of Japan passes the ball during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match between Japan and Iraq at Saitama Stadium on October 6, 2016 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

With UEFA’s Team of the Year just announced, we look at what the lineups of a continental championship may look like. In part one we will focus on North America, Asia/Australia and Africa. Many ’80s and ’90s kids may remember the all-continental XIs of EA Sports game FIFA 2002 World Cup. These XIs may bring back memories of that game and open …

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Which New Zealand Super 18 Backline Will Be The Strongest In 2017?

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 26: Nehe Milner-Skudder of the Hurricanes is tackled during the round one Super Rugby match between the Brumbies and the Hurricanes at GIO Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The five New Zealand Super 18 franchises have just named their squads and some contrasting and truly terrifying looking backlines will take the field in the 2017 season. In backlines brimming with speed, power and skill, the question is: which one is shaping up as the most dangerous? We take a look at the most likely starting options for each …

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Pep Guardiola: A Victim Of His Own High Standards?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Chelsea at Etihad Stadium on December 3, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) Pep Guardiola

Has Pep Guardiola set the bar impossibly high for himself? When I was 13 it was arranged that my friend would have his first kiss down a laneway in our local housing estate. The girl he was meant to kiss was tall, blonde and pretty and all the lads were routeing for him. All except me, because this girl was …

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Ronda Rousey And The Problem With The UFC’s Aggressive Matchmaking

So-called ‘gimme’ fights are all too common in the sport of professional boxing. Fighters take them for far too long at the beginning of their careers in order to build impressive looking records and any type of setback – defeat, injury, suspension – seems to necessitate another lengthy run of battering helpless canvas-seekers. The proliferation of mismatches in the sport …

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Five Star Replacements For Santi Cazorla At Arsenal – And Ranking The Likelihood Of Their Arrival

Premier League

Arsene Wenger’s reluctance to admit that Santi Cazorla will be offered a new deal with Arsenal surely points to the exit door for the Spaniard. With Cazorla’s departure imminent in the summer, Wenger’s search for a replacement has surely gotten underway. We’ve tried out hand at scouring the globe for the best talent that would fit Arsenal’s ethos as well …

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Top 10 Players Most Likely To Break Into The Ireland Squad In 2017

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 04: John Egan of Brentford applauds supporters during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Fulham at Griffin Park on November 4, 2016 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

With 2016 drawing to a close, a number of Irish players will be hoping to break into Martin O’Neill’s plans. This time last year very few would have anticipated Shane Duffy becoming an automatic starter or Callum O’Dowda making the grade at senior level. Here we take a look at some players hoping to establish themselves in the squad and …

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Boxing Vs MMA: Dream Match-Ups From Seven Different Weight Classes

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Anthony Joshua (L) of London in action against Eric Molina of the United States during their IBF World Heavyweight Championship fight at Manchester Arena on December 10, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Having followed both boxing and mixed martial arts for as long as I can remember, I have learned that just about anything is possible once the opening bell sounds. Having said that, I feel that it’s highly unlikely for a fighter to make a successful transition from one elite level to the other. I’m convinced a top mixed martial artist …

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Laporte To Cull Foreign Internationals In French Rugby, Will The Rest Of International Rugby Follow?

‘If you want something done, do it yourself’ is the age old adage and the attitude that has largely been adopted by new Fédération Française de Rugby President Bernard Laporte. The former Toulon Director of Rugby was elected as the FFR’s latest president after taking over from Pierre Camou earlier this month. One of Laporte’s main promises in his run for presidency …

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Hayden Triggs And Pat Lam Exemplify Rugby’s Changing Culture

When you’re a journalist you come across all different types of people. You talk to people with a clear agenda, you talk to people who just want to be heard, you talk to people who are used to the media and those who aren’t. In sports journalism you often want to talk to those who haven’t received a near undergraduate degree in …

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Pundit Arena’s Rugby Wishlist For 2017

With 2016 quickly coming to a close and after a fantastic 12 months of international rugby, we look back at the year in full and make five wishes for 2017. 5) A return to rugby’s traditional values The sport has always prided itself on its moral compass, treasuring such values as honesty and integrity. However, in recent years professionalism has …

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