England ready to name two spinners for second Test
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Friday 29 October 2010
Jonny Wilkinson has been ruled out of England's autumn international campaign with a shoulder injury.
Wednesday 27 October 2010
Lewis Moody is on course to captain England against New Zealand on November 6 after being passed fit to play for Bath against Harlequins this weekend.
Wednesday 27 October 2010
Four months ago, the Wasps prop Tim Payne was one of the men principally responsible for dismantling the Wallaby scrum in Sydney and helping England to a rare victory on Australian soil. It did not mark him out as one of the great front-row forwards in rugby history – an ailing maiden aunt with a wooden leg would have outscrummaged the hosts that night – but he must have expected something better than to be drummed out of the national squad ahead of next week's big game with the All Blacks at Twickenham.
Saturday 23 October 2010
Wednesday 06 October 2010
Andrew Sheridan, the Sale and England loose-head prop who can rearrange an opponent's ribs with a single flexing of the biceps in the tree trunk that passes for his left arm, quietly fancies himself as a self-accompanying crooner of gentle country and western-style love songs.
Sunday 19 September 2010
If Steve Thompson's ears are burning at the praise he has just received from two heroes of the game, ancient and modern, it is a feeling Leeds's England hooker is accustomed to. Thompson spent a fortnight in the summer riding a motorbike across America on the fabled Route 66, fulfilling a long-held dream on a trip of fierce desert heat, run-ins with the law and outstanding spare ribs.
Thursday 16 September 2010
Martin Johnson insists England should enter their autumn series undaunted by the prospect of facing the Tri Nations teams on successive weekends.
Saturday 04 September 2010
Wednesday 01 September 2010
Wendy Chapman, the doctor embroiled in the fake blood scandal at Harlequins, still has a career to pursue. The General Medical Council yesterday decreed that her ability to practise had not been impaired by her behaviour towards the end of the Heineken Cup quarter-final between Quins and Leinster in April of last year. The council ruled that Chapman failed to act in the best interests of her patient – the wing Tom Williams, whose lip she sliced open with a stitch cutter as part of a substitution scam orchestrated by the London club's director of rugby Dean Richards, who is currently a third of the way through a three-year ban.
Friday 27 August 2010
Matt Stevens, persona non grata for the last season and a half after testing positive for cocaine and scheduled to remain among rugby's untouchables for another five months, will have an awful lot of ground to make up when he finally resurfaces at Saracens early in 2011. Yet it is not out of the question that he will complete the catching-up process sufficiently quickly to resume international duty with England at the World Cup later next year, especially if his new employers play him on the loosehead side of the scrum.
Thursday 12 August 2010
Saturday 19 June 2010
Tim Payne knows exactly how the Wallaby front-rowers are feeling, not that he has the slightest sympathy for them. Sympathy has no place in the scrummagers' code - the set-piece world is too harsh and punishing to embrace any virtues beyond raw courage and honour - and as far as England's loose-head prop is concerned, what goes around comes around. Payne suffered his share of humiliation during his Premiership campaign with Wasps and had his issues with the Australian first-string at Twickenham last November. If their second-string are the ones suffering now… well, how tragic.
Tuesday 15 June 2010
Tuesday 11 May 2010
Olly Barkley's England career could be resurrected when Martin Johnson names his 44-man squad for the summer tour to Australia and New Zealand later this morning.
Thursday 06 May 2010
England's great leaps forward in the Test arena have not been blindingly obvious this season – to most eyes, they have taken a series of small steps backwards – and their work in the scrum, the very foundation of their game, has been particularly unimpressive. This might be about to change, just in time for the build-up to next year's World Cup. The Bath prop David Flatman, last capped in 2002, has recovered from his latest injury hassle and is ready to challenge for a place on next month's five-match trip to Australia and New Zealand.
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