The Highlanders: Meet the danger men from Dunedin

Sharing Sunday – Well it’s not Sunday but it’s a good looks at some of the players the Lions will be facing this evening.

Tom Branston, Sports Journalist

By Thomas Branston

GettyImages-479424964.jpg The 2015 Super Rugby champions – the Highlanders

The British and Irish Lions continue their tour of New Zealand on Tuesday as they travel from Christchurch to Dunedin to face the Highlanders at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Due to players being unavailable because of Maori and All Blacks duty the Highlanders are missing some key players, however Tony Brown’s side still pose enough of a threat to challenge the British and Irish Lions.

There are five All Black capped players in the starting XV including Malakai Fekitoa but New Zealand Head Coach Steve Hansen has overseen the Highlanders centre from his 33-man squad for the test series.

The hosts have only lost four out of 14 games in 2017 and will finish fourth in the New Zealand conference of the competition but Brown’s side still have what it takes and I look into who will be standing…

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Out of the pit

Good piece looking at Exeter Chiefs and whilst I agree it takes a lot to achieve what they have I still like to think of them as an example that the “lower” clubs can make it if they get everything right.

Double Dummy Scissors

There are moments in sport that seem mapped out. As though the capricious nature on which the discipline has sold itself, has stepped aside. And so it was for the Aviva Premiership semi-final at Sandy Park. With just minutes on the clock, Henry Slade was handed the ball and asked to put it into touch. An inexorable rugby union storyline was about to play out.

Slade found himself inside his own half, eyeing up a kick that would position his beloved Chiefs well into Saracens’ territory. From there, the home side could build one final attack to overcome the match deficit and reach a second successive final. But as the ball left Slade’s left boot, the breeze picked up. And carried on a Devonian wind delivered by the rugby gods themselves, Slade’s punt sailed long and high, and out of touch just five metres short of the visitors try line. The resulting…

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The Crooked Feed – LIONS WARNING FOR FANS

Brilliant and sums up my thoughts on a lot of the current Lions coverage. I’d add in that news websites are hungry for clicks too mind you it’s not just the amateurs that causing the noise.

PS NSFW language…

Double Dummy Scissors

Your rugby news – just not as you know it

LIONS WARNING FOR FANS

Lions XV output is now reaching dangerous levels say experts. New studies from the institute who specialise in this sort of shit say that people are currently assembling ‘what they think will be the Lions XV’ at an alarming rate. Led by pundits like Martin Guscott, Jeremy O’Driscoll and Brian Johnson, fans are reading a fair amount of copy about who will ‘make the plane’ and exposure to such a varying degree of potential XVs have meant fans are coming up with their own team.

212696.jpg“Obviously, at this stage in the four year cycle, we do tend to run high but with so many options for people to chose from, especially in the pack, some people are producing two or three XVs an hour.” said Leonard Jason, a man who works in a laboratory with a…

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Tony Ridnell interview w/ “The Rugby Committee” discussing USA Rugby

Interesting interview covering USA Rugby and the structural changes that are needed/coming.

Tony Ridnell

I was able to speak with “The Rugby Committee” tonight on their radio show and discuss USA Rugby.  Thanks Dumont Walker, Jack Howe, Janet Young, Bill Gardner.

Discussing Strategic Plan, Comprehensive Club Audits, High Performance Audits, The Women’s game, Improving Competitions, Rugby International Marketing (RIM, LLC), The Rugby Channel, Rebranding the CANAM rivalry, RWC2027 Bid,  etc…

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Eddie Jones’ Diary – 26th October 2016

An insight to what coaches think, well not really but a good laugh

Double Dummy Scissors

26th October 2016

I’m back in my hotel room, another press conference done. I find all that smiling exhausting. Managed to get in the clown reference though. Cheika will have loved that. Must text him later. Is there a clown emoji on my new iPhone?

Not many questions about Danny Cipriani, which is a good thing. And what with my new phone, it should be a while before he gets my new number. There’s a lot of messages from numbers I don’t recognise. One in french, which is either Guy Noves wanting me to see what he’s done, or Chris Ashton showing off. I think it might be the former. Crazy bastard.

I have a voicemail which is just really loud music and someone shouting. I think it’s Hask. He’s determined to do all the music for our prematch dressing room. Some of the backs won’t like it. I remember…

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Sharing Sunday: We need to talk about, No rest for the wicked

Sharing Sunday – A good look at the amount of minutes that Scottish players have actually been playing rather than just the normal anecdotal comments.

On Top Of The Moon

There were few surprises in the Scotland squad named to tour Japan this summer as Vern Cotter continued with the core of the group that saw the international side through the RWC and 6 Nations. With so few changes though, concerns have been raised as to whether some of those selected are being overplayed – but are these fears justified?

Kicking off in Dublin on the 15th of August and ending in Tokyo on the 25th of June, the national side will have played 16 Test matches in less than a year. A handful of players have played at least 10 games so far for Scotland through an extended season and attention seems to be focused on some of these key men  – Al Dickinson, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Jonny Gray, Greig Laidlaw and Stuart Hogg. All six have certainly done their duty for club and country over the past 12 months:

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Sharing Sunday: Rugby and Mental Health-Are we overlooking some basic principles in Rugby?

Sharing Sunday: A good look at the player welfare issues that have come to the forefront recently and need to do so.

Rugby Scribbles

Scotland v France - RBS 6 NationsLamont in action for Scotland

Following Mark Palmer’s hard hitting article in ‘The Sunday Times’ about Rory Lamont’s (ex-Scotland winger cum fullback) life after rugby, I thought I’d weigh in on how the sport based on teamwork and respect seems to over look these, the very principles on which the game has been built.

To start with the positives, Rugby can be a very positive sport for many people. Rugby can really help to give guidance and focus to those who play, with a clear goal and a team to work for. Player’s address the referees (generally) with respect, are punished (sometimes questionably) for cynical actions; whether physical, verbal or just not sporting. Their livelihood relies on teamwork and they create strong bonds with the people around the club, including the fans.

Rugby provides a place to release frustrations in a safe and controlled manner, making an ideal hobby for many…

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Sharing Sunday: The new-look Super Rugby – rebalancing an already uneven fixture #superrugby

Sharing Sunday: An interesting look at the inequities of the Super Rugby draw. The expansion of the Super Rugby to include teams from Argentina and Japan is fascinating from both a football business perspective and for the importance of the growth of the game. In this post we… Source: The new-look Super Rugby – rebalancing... Continue Reading →

I Hate The Six Nations

Heretic! Well no, what he is really talking about is a rejig of the season and whilst he doesn’t go on to say it, a global calendar. This is something I’ve been planning to write about and I’ll respond in my Rugby Thoughts piece tomorrow.

Cardiff Rugby Life

It’s a bold statement from any Northern Hemisphere rugby fan, and maybe it’s not strictly true, ‘really dislike’ would be a better way of describing my feelings towards the Six Nations. It’s not even the Six Nations as a competition, it’s the time of the year it’s on, right in the middle of the club rugby season. So basically, I really dislike the organisers of the Six Nations, but that’s a boring article title. For two months every February/March, fans of professional club rugby collectively groan as all of our top European internationals are snatched away for the International window and second rate teams, or even third rate teams in the case of some Pro12 sides, are put out to compete the domestic leagues. It massively devalues the competition in the sense of the decreased quality of the players and rugby on show, as well as giving an unfair advantage…

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