Head of UK Sports Reporting
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Sep 5, 2015

Rugby-England beat Ireland 21-13 in final warm up

LONDON (Reuters) – England completed their preparations with a 21-13 victory over Ireland on Saturday, putting them in great heart for their World Cup opener against Fiji back at Twickenham in 13 days but leaving the Irish to deal with a second successive defeat.

England scored two early tries through wingers Jonny May and Anthony Watson to lead 12-3 at the break and though Ireland briefly got close with a Paul O’Connell try early in the second half, the hosts deservedly closed the game out with two Owen Farrell penalties.

Sep 4, 2015

England sense glory, but risk ignominy

LONDON (Reuters) – If their pack delivers its trademark power, the backs continue to deliver a new-found creative spark and they kick their goals, England have every chance of surfing the Twickenham wave all the way to World Cup glory.

Yet should they play as they did in their warm-up defeat to France in Paris last month and some untested combinations fall short, they could easily fail to reach the quarter-finals for the first time, becoming the first hosts to suffer such an ignominy.

Sep 4, 2015

Big-hitting Burgess splits opinion

LONDON (Reuters) – Some of the most respected voices in rugby are split on whether Sam Burgess is far too inexperienced to be thrown into the World Cup or whether the “aura” of the giant rugby league convert could bring something extra to the England squad.

Burgess switched from rugby league at the start of the year and spent six pretty inauspicious months at Bath bouncing between centre and flanker without looking anything close to the finished article in either position.

Sep 4, 2015

Relentless Robshaw leading England by example

LONDON (Reuters) – Chris Robshaw is not many people’s idea of a star man, least of all the England captain himself, yet game after game and year after year when the analysis is done, it is the flanker whose numbers routinely come out on top.

From the day he was appointed as coach Stuart Lancaster’s first captain four years ago — reputedly only because Tom Wood was injured — Robshaw has been relentlessly written off as a “natural openside”, not to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Richie McCaw, David Pocock and Sam Warburton.

Sep 4, 2015

New Zealand seek first away triumph for hat-trick

LONDON (Reuters) – The relatively short history of the Rugby World Cup is so littered with surprises that, even though there are only a handful of teams in with a realistic chance of winning it, picking the champions from among them is the roll of a dice.

Holders and world number one side New Zealand start favourites but they have never triumphed beyond their own shores and have some extremely painful memories of their previous European campaigns, particularly in 1999 and 2007 when they were twice stunned by France.

Sep 4, 2015

Rugby-Big-hitting Burgess splits opinion

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Some of the most respected voices in rugby are split on whether Sam Burgess is far too inexperienced to be thrown into the World Cup or whether the “aura” of the giant rugby league convert could bring something extra to the England squad.

Burgess switched from rugby league at the start of the year and spent six pretty inauspicious months at Bath bouncing between centre and flanker without looking anything close to the finished article in either position.

Sep 4, 2015

Rugby-Relentless Robshaw leading England by example

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Chris Robshaw is not many people’s idea of a star man, least of all the England captain himself, yet game after game and year after year when the analysis is done, it is the flanker whose numbers routinely come out on top.

From the day he was appointed as coach Stuart Lancaster’s first captain four years ago — reputedly only because Tom Wood was injured — Robshaw has been relentlessly written off as a “natural openside”, not to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Richie McCaw, David Pocock and Sam Warburton.

Sep 4, 2015

Rugby-England sense glory, but risk ignominy

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – If their pack delivers its trademark power, the backs continue to deliver a new-found creative spark and they kick their goals, England have every chance of surfing the Twickenham wave all the way to World Cup glory.

Yet should they play as they did in their warm-up defeat to France in Paris last month and some untested combinations fall short, they could easily fail to reach the quarter-finals for the first time, becoming the first hosts to suffer such an ignominy.

Sep 4, 2015

Rugby-New Zealand seek first away triumph for hat-trick

LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) – The relatively short history of the Rugby World Cup is so littered with surprises that, even though there are only a handful of teams in with a realistic chance of winning it, picking the champions from among them is the roll of a dice.

Holders and world number one side New Zealand start favourites but they have never triumphed beyond their own shores and have some extremely painful memories of their previous European campaigns, particularly in 1999 and 2007 when they were twice stunned by France.

Sep 3, 2015

Wales mix things up for final World Cup warm-up

LONDON (Reuters) – Wales coach Warren Gatland has mixed up his team for their final World Cup warm up against Italy in Cardiff on Saturday, with Sam Warburton returning to captain the side as part of a new-look back row.

Warburton, who sat out last week’s victory over Ireland in Dublin with a shoulder injury, is back at number seven alongside James King and number eight Taulupe Faletau.

    • 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
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