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Our undercover man inside the game.

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What price rugby loyalty

The Brumbies and Hurricanes face daunting prospects with new and inexperienced squads facing the established aristocracy of Super Rugby.

Foul Play

A rugby league style “on report” system is being trialled by SANZAR for this year’s Super XV. One of the reasons given for the changes is the rather questionable goal of making life easier for referees on the field. The more sensible and, one would hope, primary objective is to achieve greater fairness and consistency in the treatment of foul play. A referee will be able to place a player “on report” if he suspects foul play or if a player makes an allegation against an opponent which the referee feels warrants investigation by the judiciary.

Parks deserved better

The sudden retirement from international rugby of Dan Parks has come as a surprise to most. The timing of the announcement and the comments made by Andy Robinson suggest that Parks has been told his international days are over. Admittedly, he had a shocker against England but most players have games where everything they attempt goes wrong. He has been held responsible for Scotland’s inability to score tries.

Welsh Renaissance

This Welsh side came of age on Sunday at the Aviva stadium. True, their RWC adventures placed them firmly on the radar screen of world rugby. But there were the doubters who claimed they had seen it all before only for the dragons to revert to type before long. There were those who said that Wales had in fact underperformed at the World Cup. How could the hype and excitement be justified when they won 4 games, but managed to lose 3?

North vs South

Each year rugby people endlessly compare the game in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. They argue about who would win a hypothetical Grand Final between the Heineken Cup and Super Rugby champions. Similar comparisons are made between Six Nations and Tri Nations (from this year to be known as The Rugby Championship). As ever in rugby debates, objectivity is in short supply!

6 Nations Anticipation...

With the quarter finalists having been decided for the Heineken Cup,the European focus can now shift to the 6 Nations. National coaches will have keenly observed their charges in club and provincial colours as they prepare for the the next 2 months of international championship rugby.

Connacht's Heroes

Connacht’s win over Harlequins in the Heineken Cup is probably the most famous in the history of the Irish province. Connacht has a mere 7% of the rugby players registered in Ireland and has long been the poor relation of the four proud provinces. Rugby will always battle with Gaelic Football, Hurling and Soccer in this predominantly rural province. The Irish inter provincial championship was established in the 1920’s and Connacht has a mere 2 wins to it’s name over that time.

Lions 2013

Lions CEO John Feehan has confirmed that the coach for the 2013 tour to Australia will be announced after the 6N’s. It would appear that the choice is between Warren Gatland, Andy Robinson and Declan Kidney, with Ian McGeechan always a possibility.While Robinson and Kidney are quality coaches with some notable successes, surely the position is Gatland’s to lose.

JG's Round-Up

Our undercover man’s weekly round up of news from around the rugby world, this week featuring: the Quins size of heart, Robeshaw for England Captain, 6 Nations anticipation, Sexton versus O’Gara and new appointments.

JG's Round-Up

Our undercover man’s weekly round up of news from around the rugby world, this week featuring: Mallet and Smith for the England job, Northampton’s season, Vern Cotters chances for the NZ job and the Russian Exchange.