Head of UK Sports Reporting
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Mar 21, 2015

Rugby-England hammer France but miss out on title

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – England won an extraordinary battle but agonisingly lost the war as they beat France by a record 55-35 score in a 12-try Six Nations finale on Saturday but came up short of the 26-point victory they needed to deny Ireland a second successive title.

England’s hopes of a first Six nations title since 2011 were rocked in a five-minute spell in the first half when France scored two tries by Sebastien Tillous-Bord and Noa Nakaitaci to turn a 7-3 deficit into a 15-7 lead after Ben Youngs had crossed for a try after two minutes.

Mar 20, 2015

Patience, and defence, key as England seek big win

LONDON (Reuters) – When England went into their final fixture of the 2014 Six Nations needing a 50-plus point win over Italy to have a chance of the title it looked a forlorn hope when they led only 10-6 after almost half an hour.

However, as Italy tired, England poured on the pressure, eventually running in seven tries for a 52-11 victory.

Mar 19, 2015

Parling to start for England against France

LONDON (Reuters) – Geoff Parling confirmed his position as the player coaches just cannot do without when the lock was recalled on Thursday in place of Dave Attwood for England’s final Six Nations clash against France on Saturday.

Attwood had started England’s last eight games but, with Courtney Lawes retaining his place after a strong return to the fold last week, he did not even make the bench for the Twickenham clash as 36-year-old Nick Easter was recalled to cover back and second rows.

Mar 19, 2015

Rugby union-Parling to start for England against France

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – Geoff Parling confirmed his position as the player coaches just cannot do without when the lock was recalled on Thursday in place of Dave Attwood for England’s final Six Nations clash against France on Saturday.

Attwood had started England’s last eight games but, with Courtney Lawes retaining his place after a strong return to the fold last week, he did not even make the bench for the Twickenham clash as 36-year-old Nick Easter was recalled to cover back and second rows.

Mar 19, 2015

Scotland keep faith with backline ahead of Ireland test

LONDON (Reuters) – Coach Vern Cotter has kept faith with his backs but made two changes in the pack as Scotland seek to avoid a clean sweep of defeats when they host Ireland in their final Six Nations game on Saturday.

Blindside flanker Adam Ashe comes in for Robert Harley while prop Ryan Grant replaces Alasdair Dickinson in a front row where Euan Murray will win a Scottish prop record 66th appearance.

Mar 19, 2015

Rugby-Scotland keep faith with backline ahead of Ireland test

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – Coach Vern Cotter has kept faith with his backs but made two changes in the pack as Scotland seek to avoid a clean sweep of defeats when they host Ireland in their final Six Nations game on Saturday.

Blindside flanker Adam Ashe comes in for Robert Harley while prop Ryan Grant replaces Alasdair Dickinson in a front row where Euan Murray will win a Scottish prop record 66th appearance.

Mar 16, 2015

France are totally different challenge, says Lancaster

LONDON (Reuters) – England have to recalibrate for a “completely different challenge” from France after digesting the lessons from the victory over Scotland that gave them a real chance of winning the Six Nations title, coach Stuart Lancaster said.

England host France in the final game of “Super Saturday”, by which time they will know what they need to do in terms of points difference, assuming Wales or Ireland have won their away games against Italy and Scotland respectively.

Mar 16, 2015

Rugby-France are totally different challenge, says Lancaster

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) – England have to recalibrate for a “completely different challenge” from France after digesting the lessons from the victory over Scotland that gave them a real chance of winning the Six Nations title, coach Stuart Lancaster said.

England host France in the final game of “Super Saturday”, by which time they will know what they need to do in terms of points difference, assuming Wales or Ireland have won their away games against Italy and Scotland respectively.

Mar 14, 2015

England frustrated by missed opportunities

LONDON (Reuters) – “More clinical”…”Tidy ourselves up a bit”…”Just a little more accuracy” — England’s players and coaches found a variety of ways to stress the urgent need for improvement as they reflected on the confused performance that just about secured victory over Scotland on Saturday.

The 25-13 win was enough to put Stuart Lancaster’s side top of the Six Nations standings — just — and in with a chance of winning the title for the first time since 2011 after three successive second places.

Mar 14, 2015

Twickenham feelgood factor evaporates amid butchered tries

LONDON (Reuters) – For about an hour on Saturday Twickenham man was at his most bullish having seen Wales beat Ireland to reopen the Six Nations door before England charged towards it by piling into Scotland during a rip-roaring start.

Having not lost at home to the Scots for 32 years, defeat was never contemplated. The pre-match discussion in the West Car Park was of points difference and how many England would need to score to be in prime position to lift the title for the first time in four years by beating France on the same ground next week.

    • 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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