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To be, or not to be...Top 14 champions

Writer Graham Jenkins gets an insight into the new ‘culture’ behind Castres surprise Top 14 championship win with Castres coach Joe El Abd.

How to make good choices after the break

What happens in the time and space after a break has been made is just as important, if not more so, than the initial breach. In his latest article, analyst Nick Bishop looks at the effect of right and wrong options after line breaks during the recent Crusaders vs Highlanders super rugby match.

Comfortable in chaos – train like a champion team

As the dust settles on another epic northern hemisphere season, writer Graham Jenkins looks at Stuart Lancaster’s influence at Irish province Leinster as they set the bar in Europe last term with a brilliant blend of power, pace and skill that carried them to not only the Champions Cup title but also the PRO14 crown.

Attacking the 13 channel – the All Black way!

In 2nd of the current pair of articles, Analyst Nick Bishop highlights how the All Blacks adjusted their attack to breakdown a well ordered French defence out wide.

Por qué los Jaguares están usando una línea biarticular en el Súper Rugby

En la ronda 11 del Super Rugby 2018, los Jaguares alcanzaron su primera victoria histórica en suelo neozelandés, y lo hicieron gracias a un tremendo esfuerzo en su scrum contra los Blues. Bajo el mando del nuevo entrenador Mario Ledesma (otro de la gran brigada del juego que basa el scrum con el talonador), se ven señales claras de que el equipo está recuperando el mojo de su fortaleza tradicional – el scrummaging. El analista Nick Bishop analiza las razones por las que esta técnica ha sido tan efectiva contra los Blues y contra otros grandes equipos.

Defending the 13 channel – the modern way

In the recent 1st test of the series, the contest between New Zealand’s wide attack and the French defence of the same area promised to be one for connoisseur, and so it proved. In the current pair of articles, Analyst Nick Bishop first examines how France’s defence in the 13 channel succeeded initially. In next week’s second articl the reasons why the All Blacks’ attack wrested control.

How back-line communication helps ‘spot’ attacking opportunities

In the modern professional era, it is no longer enough to rely on one or two players – typically the numbers 9 and 10 – to see and make all of the attacking play. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how teams are building their backline ‘game intelligence’

Ever seen a kid rush into a sports shop to buy a cone?

Working alongside head coach John Fletcher and Peter Walton, as part of England’s U18 coaching team Russell Earnshaw is on a mission to equip English rugby’s brightest talents with an unrivalled skill set and give them both the freedom to express themselves and the confidence to execute in any given scenario. Graham Jenkins spoke with him to better understand Russell’s mission and how they are going about achieving it.

Why the Jaguares are drawing a biarticular line in Super Rugby

In round 11 of Super Rugby 2018, the Jaguares achieved their first landmark win on New Zealand soil, and they did on the back of a huge scrum effort against the Blues. Under new coach Mario Ledesma (another of the big-scrumming hooker brigade) there are distinct signs that they are retrieving their mojo in their traditional strength – scrummaging. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at why it was so effective against the Blues and other Super teams.

Is the ‘jackal’ a protected species? – Southern Hemisphere (part two)

Round 9 of Super Rugby has just been completed, approximately halfway through the regular season. Ideal stage for analyst Nick Bishop to judge whether a consensus point of balance has been reached in the refereeing of the new breakdown laws in the Southern Hemisphere.

Is the ‘jackal’ a protected species? – Northern Hemisphere (part one)

What is the true value of a player who can compete for the ball with his hands on the ground, after a tackle has been made? The window for players to have a crack at the ball on the deck, looked to have shrunk in the phrasing of the Law 16 amendment. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how in practice, consistent refereeing of the new laws has proved far from simple and its effect on the world game. In part 1 of 2, Nick reviews the interpreation and effect on northern hemisphere rugby.

Major League Rugby proves the land of opportunity

Latest edition of the US Major league kicks off next weekend, writer Graham Jenkins talks to ex Wasps and now San Diego Legions coach Rob Hoadley about the benefits of coaching overseas and in the US Major league.