Six Nations Rugby

Six Nations 2014: 'Our line-out will throw Wales out of contention,'

Courtney Lawes is clear in his mind which two teams possess the best line-outs in the Six Nations – and neither of them belongs to Wales, who are England’s next opponents. “Certainly, ours and Ireland’s are the top line-outs and we need to use that going into the Wales game,” said Lawes, who is in charge of England’s sideline set piece. “I’ve been keeping an eye on Wales’ line-outs. There’ll be a decent chance for us to put pressure on them.”

Six Nations 2014: Stuart Lancaster’s young England side show world

It could have gone horribly wrong in so many ways between the time England’s players left the team bus for their pre-match parade through the green-wellied set in the swanky west car park – who could be sure that Chris Robshaw would not do himself a mischief slipping on a sliver of smoked salmon, or tripping over a bottle of Chablis? – and the final white-knuckle moments of a memorable struggle, when Joe Launchbury somehow found the energy to make the tap-tackle that won the game, defying all rugby logic. The fact that things ultimately went so right confirmed that Robshaw and company will take an awful lot of beating when the World Cup comes to town next year.

Six Nations 2014: Brian O'Driscoll's final bow won't sway focus,

Brian O'Driscoll was the beating emotional heart of the Lions party in Wallaby country last summer and when the great Ireland centre was dropped for the final Test, thousands upon thousands of rugby followers went into sporting seizure. Many did not forgive Warren Gatland, the coach who made the bravest of brave calls, even when the tourists won in Sydney and completed a first series triumph in 16 years.

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