Head of UK Sports Reporting
Mitch's Feed
May 23, 2015

Rugby-Bath and Saracens into Premiership final

LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) – Clinical Bath blasted Leicester 47-10 on Saturday to reach the English Premiership final for the first time since 2004 and will now face Saracens in the decider next week after last year’s runners-up beat holders Northampton 29-24 away.

Wing Matt Banahan became the first man to score a hat-trick of tries in a playoff semi-final as seven-try Bath scored almost every time they got in sight of the line, while Leicester had more ball and territory but looked desperately short of ideas.

May 22, 2015

Soccer-Reuters Premier League team of the year

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – Reuters Premier League team of the year with brief notes on each player based on a poll of Reuters sports journalists:

- -

GOALKEEPER

David De Gea, Manchester United.

From looking like an underfed teenager when he arrived at Old Trafford, De Gea has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in the world and is widely tipped to depart for Real Madrid in the summer. Voted the club’s player of the year, he certainly had plenty of work to do behind a shaky defence and, having added some physicality to his athletic shot-stopping ability, the 24-year-old stopper is now top drawer.

May 20, 2015

Rugby-Picking Armitage would have undone good work, says Lancaster

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – Coach Stuart Lancaster has no regrets about overlooking Steffon Armitage and says the policy of excluding overseas-based players from playing for England protects the national team and is also good for the long-term health of English club rugby.

Toulon’s Armitage, last season’s European player of the year, and the man who took that honour this year, Nick Abendanon of Clermont Auvergne, were, as expected, absent from Lancaster’s 50-man World Cup squad unveiled on Wednesday.

May 20, 2015

Rugby-Quick learner Burgess ready to crash World Cup party

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – Sam Burgess is a Stuart Lancaster kind of guy and whether he is a centre or flanker, the fearless rugby union fledgling is starting to look ever-more likely to claim a place in England’s World Cup squad less than a year after switching codes.

Burgess earned himself a place in Australian rugby league folklore when he led South Sydney to the Premiership title last year despite playing most of the grand final with a fractured eye socket and cheekbone sustained in the first tackle of the match.

May 20, 2015

Lancaster leaves no stone unturned on World Cup path

LONDON (Reuters) – England coach Stuart Lancaster, having named a bumper 50-man World Cup training squad and left the door open for yet further additions, might appear to be flailing desperately with the tournament only four months away.

But anyone who knows him will be well aware of how much time and energy Lancaster and his assistants put into tracking and analysing every aspect of his potential players’ performances.

May 20, 2015

Rugby-Lancaster leaves no stone unturned on World Cup path

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – England coach Stuart Lancaster, having named a bumper 50-man World Cup training squad and left the door open for yet further additions, might appear to be flailing desperately with the tournament only four months away.

But anyone who knows him will be well aware of how much time and energy Lancaster and his assistants put into tracking and analysing every aspect of his potential players’ performances.

May 20, 2015

Rugby-Ashton, Strettle back in England World Cup frame

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – Winger Chris Ashton has been given the chance to resurrect his stalled England career after being named in Stuart Lancaster’s bulging 50-man rugby World Cup training squad on Wednesday.

Ashton, joint leading try scorer at the last World Cup, has featured in just two internationals since 2013 but his relentless try-scoring for Saracens this season made an irresistible case for a recall.

May 20, 2015

Ashton back in the World Cup frame for England

LONDON (Reuters) – Winger Chris Ashton is set to be given the chance to resurrect his stalled England career when he is expected to be named in Stuart Lancaster’s rugby World Cup training squad on Wednesday.

Ashton, joint leading try scorer at the last World Cup, has fallen out of favour in recent years, missing the last two Six Nations tournaments and since 2013 featured in just two games, on the New Zealand tour last summer.

May 20, 2015

Rugby-Ashton back in the World Cup frame for England

LONDON, May 20 (Reuters) – Winger Chris Ashton is set to be given the chance to resurrect his stalled England career when he is expected to be named in Stuart Lancaster’s rugby World Cup training squad on Wednesday.

Ashton, joint leading try scorer at the last World Cup, has fallen out of favour in recent years, missing the last two Six Nations tournaments and since 2013 featured in just two games, on the New Zealand tour last summer.

May 16, 2015

Rugby-Leicester and Saracens snatch playoff slots

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) – After a nail-biting afternoon of fluctuating fortunes and nervous calculations, Leicester and Saracens snatched the final qualifying berths for English rugby’s Premiership playoffs on Saturday and Exeter missed out on points difference.

Champions Northampton and Bath were assured of home semi-finals but Leicester — who have made the playoffs every year since the system was introduced 11 years ago — Exeter and Saracens began the day in the hunt for the other two slots.

    • About Mitch

      "I'm the head of UK sports reporting, based in London. I've been on the Reuters sports desk since 1997 and cover mainly football, rugby, athletics, golf, cycling and cricket."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
    • Follow Mitch