Username Password
join FREE
everything rugby
ArchiveArchive
2009 (5)
November (3)
Hi
Purple Drain Purple Drain
Northampton's Clarke can fill England shoes
December (2)
Ireland robbed - again
Gouging - rugby's shame
2010 (19)
January (4)
ENGLAND UNDER 20 SQUAD ANNOUNCED FOR SIX NATIONS
ENGLAND EPS and SAXONS SQUADS ANNOUNCED
WHO WILL CAPTAIN ENGLAND?
SEVENS HEAVEN
February (3)
MISSING BILL AND FINDING PROPS
SUPER 14 PREVIEW - ROUND ONE
England unchanged starting XV for Ireland at Twickenham
April (3)
THE BEST RUGBY WEEKEND OF THE YEAR?
Jimmy Gopperth - Newcastle's saviour
ADVANCE AUSTRALIA - TO WORLD CUP GLORY?
May (1)
ENGLAND TOUR PARTY ANNOUNCED
June (1)
England Under 20s v Australia - RFU press release
July (1)
England Squads announced
August (2)
AVIVA PREMIERSHIP - ROUND ONE PREVIEW
England Women's team for World Cup semi-final v Australia
September (1)
England Rugby Sevens squad for Commonwealth Games
October (2)
Delhi Diary - by England Sevens captain Ben Gollings
Prop Idol - Andrew Sheridan
November (1)
All Blacks triumph at Twickenham - Rupert Bates
2011 (37)
January (4)
Wallabies legend George Smith and Toulon help Queensland flood victims
WILL THE REBELS YELL? by Rupert Bates in Melbourne
England Saxons to play Italy A
MARC LIEVREMONT - profiled by Rupert Bates
February (6)
THE RUGBY WEEKEND REVIEWED - by Rupert Bates
England unchanged for Italy at Twickenham
ENGLAND DEBUT FOR CORBISIERO
England U20 thrash Italy in Bath
GARETH DELVE - THE FIRST WELSHMAN IN SUPER RUGBY
FEELING SORRY (just a little) for CIPRIANI
March (3)
Old Deer Park fund-raiser for Queensland and Christchurch
BIG WIN FOR ENGLAND U20
SCHOOLS RUGBY FINALS
April (1)
AVIVA PREMIERSHIP RUGBY AWARDS - NOMINATIONS
May (3)
HEINEKEN CUP FINAL
England XV to play Barbarians
AVIVA PREMIERSHIP FINAL - TEAMS
June (6)
England Saxons win Churchill Cup
England into Junior World Championship semi-finals
England World Cup training squad announced
England U20 team for World Junior Championship semi-final
England through to World Junior Championship final
NEW ZEALAND WIN JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
July (2)
IRB Junior Player of the Year short-list
He has climbed highest mountains...
September (5)
JONNY WILKINSON TALKS EXCLUSIVELY TO EVERYTHING RUGBY
THE DAY GEORGIA NEARLY CAUSED RUGBY'S GREATEST-EVER UPSET
HELL FREEZES OVER
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
GHOSTS OF BATTLES PAST
October (7)
WE FEEL YOUR PAIN
FALLING LEGENDS
GRASS ROOTS BUT CLEAN KIT
RED, RED WHINE
SPANGHERO - THE BOYS FROM BRAM
THIERRY DUSAUTOIR - IRB PLAYER OF THE YEAR
NEW ZEALAND WINS WORLD CUP
LabelsLabels
LinksLinks
Our Sponsor
Our Sponsor
Home > Blogs > Rupert Bates - A weekly blog from the world of rugby
Your NewsRupert Bates - A weekly blog from the world of rugby

Tuesday 19th January 2010
SEVENS HEAVEN

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) is beginning the development of a long term strategy for Rugby Sevens in England at all levels by hosting a pivotal planning forum for over 70 key stakeholders in the game.

The Sevens Future Landscape conference will be hosted at Twickenham Stadium on January 22 and, as well as senior management from the RFU, includes delegates from the International Rugby Board (IRB), Premier Rugby Limited (PRL), Rugby Players Association (RPA), Sport England and representatives from major leisure Rugby Sevens tournaments currently hosted around the country.

Presenters at the conference include David Faulkner from England Hockey and Simon Golding from Beach Volleyball, who will share their experiences of the Olympic effect on their sports, and Steve Griffiths from the IRB who will present on the global development of Sevens. High profile ex-players of the Sevens game such as Phil Greening and Mike Friday will also be sharing their views.

The conference objective is to share insights and generate discussion about how best to seize the opportunity to grow Rugby Sevens from the grassroots to the elite game in England on the back of the successful IRB World Series and the sport's inclusion in the Olympics in 2016.

Following the conference the RFU will take all those inputs and build a strategic framework for the game that is connected with the IRB's wider ambitions to grow Rugby Sevens around the world and which gives tournament providers a clear structure within which they can operate.

Francis Baron, Chief Executive of the RFU, commented: "As the national governing body for rugby in England it is essential that we take the lead on the development of Sevens. The inclusion of the game in the Olympics offers a massive opportunity to grow the game of rugby still further in England and globally but this needs to happen in a managed and structured fashion so that it does not conflict with or undermine the wider development of the professional and amateur game."

Terry Burwell, the RFU's Director of Tournaments and Competitions, who is leading the conference, added: "This is not just an opportunity for the elite game although the success of the IRB World Series has given us a fantastic shop window. Over 60,000 supporters came to the London leg of the World Series over one weekend last May and we are aiming for over 100,000 this year so that gives us a great platform to build from.

"From a participation perspective there is a huge amount going on at all levels of the game and Rugby Sevens is played across England most of the year. For many players playing Sevens is the way they come into the game and part of how they stay in the game. So making sure we have the right structures in place to grow Sevens in a way that complements and benefits the XV a side game and vice versa is crucial. Nobody is better placed than the RFU to do that but the input of stakeholders across the Sevens game is vital."
 
 

Posted by: , on January 19th 2010 on 12:26pm0 Comments
Monday 18th January 2010
WHO WILL CAPTAIN ENGLAND?

Former England captain Will Carling is a big tease. Tweeting today Carling said he was meeting Martin Johnson but could not say why.
 
Was it perhaps that Jonno wanted Will's advice on the merits, or otherwise, of stunning English rugby and appointing a young captain out of the blue, effectively skipping a generation?
 
Well England have not got any thrusting young Army officers in their line-up in the mould of Carling and the thought of Johnson, stubborn as he is loyal, gambling on such a move would be totally out of character. It would also, World Cup winning legend or not, be Johnson's last call as England manager if he got it wrong.
 
A captain first and foremost has to be worth his place, which does not give Johnson many options. The only two certainties for a Six Nations start are Simon Shaw, who despite being the world's tallest and heaviest Peter Pan, cannot be the future for much longer and Lewis Moody. 'Mad Dog' would be a popular choice in the 'follow me into ruck hell and never mind the Adidas centipede on your head', but not necessarily the cool head to call the shots in the heat of battle.
 
If Johnson did dare to skip a generation then England hooker Dylan Hartley, doing such an admirable job leading Northampton Saints in their twin assaults on European and Premiership summits, is a contender. But little Englanders would cause a stink smellier than the geysers of Hartley's New Zealand homeland of Rotorua.
 
James Haskell is another young man with great leadership qualities and as a Wellington alumnus ticks (or tucks) the public school box - no videos please. But Haskell, despite being an awesome talent, still has much to learn and an England back-row place to nail down. Also I cannot quite see Jonno going for a captain who plays his club rugby in Paris wearing a pink, flowery jersey. The Stade Francais forward and former Wasp loves to shoot the breeze and would probably prematurely announce he'd been appointed on Twitter. He's well worth a follow by the way.
 
For sheer rugby wit and savvy then Harlequins number eight Nick Easter is your man. The great Dean Richards may have sullied his off-field reputation, but on the field there is a touch of Richards about Easter. He, at ambling pace, plots the shortest route from breakdown to breakdown, but wins most of the arm wrestles at close quarters and invariably gives you go-forward, even from a standing start. He has great hands too, with deft offloads.
 
Easter is also calm under pressure and a go-to man if defensively you want to run down the clock, or offensively as you enter the umpteenth phase deep into injury time is going to make the match-winning inches, or the game-breaking play. Fast of thought, if not foot.
 
What about Jonny? Wilkinson got a lot of stick for playing it safe in the pocket during the Autumn internationals, but has found a new lease of life - fitness and the sun off the Med helps - down in Toulon, playing alongside Everything Rugby's very own Tom May. 
 
Does Jonny need the extra pressure of captaincy? What extra pressure does it exert if you have the right 14 men around you? And an outside-half has to boss the game and bark orders, captain or not.
 
The thought of Shaw alongside Courtney Lawes in the English engine room is an enthralling one, but you suspect Johnson will stick with Steve Borthwick as his captain - a man of perspiration, not inspiration. it is not salt of the earth England need on the Six Nations path, but a sprinkling of stardust. 

Posted by: , on January 18th 2010 on 11:32pm0 Comments
Wednesday 13th January 2010
ENGLAND EPS and SAXONS SQUADS ANNOUNCED

ENGLAND SENIOR EPS

FORWARDS
Steffon Armitage (London Irish)
Steve Borthwick (Saracens)
Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers)
Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
Nick Easter (Harlequins)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
James Haskell (Stade Francais)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Lee Mears (Bath Rugby)
Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers)
Tim Payne (London Wasps)
Simon Shaw (London Wasps)
Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
Steve Thompson (CA Brive)
Julian White (Leicester Tigers)
David Wilson (Bath Rugby)

BACKS
Delon Armitage (London Irish)
Matt Banahan (Bath Rugby)
Danny Care (Harlequins)
Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers)
Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
Riki Flutey (CA Brive)
Shontayne Hape (Bath Rugby)
Dan Hipkiss (Leicester Tigers)
Paul Hodgson (London Irish)
Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
Mathew Tait (Sale Sharks)
Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)

Steve Thompson (CA Brive), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), the uncapped Shontayne Hape (Bath Rugby) and Ben Foden (Northampton Saints) have all been included in the England Senior Elite Player Squad announced today.

The Senior EPS also includes the return from injury of a number of players including Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Delon Armitage (London Irish), Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers) and Riki Flutey (CA Brive).

Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints) has been added to the squad from the Saxons as an injury replacement for Phil Vickery (London Wasps).

Final decisions and replacements, if required, for Senior EPS Players Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks) and Julian White (Leicester Tigers) will be made on January 25.

There are also injury concerns within the England Senior EPS regarding Mike Tindall (Gloucester Rugby) and Joe Worsley (London Wasps) and both players will continue to be monitored by the England and their respective club medical teams.

England play Wales in the opening round of the 2010 RBS 6 Nations on February 6, almost 100 years to the day since they first met at Twickenham Stadium when England won 11-6 in 1910. A number of special events and activities will be held on match day to commemorate the Centenary of Twickenham Stadium and details will be announced in due course. Details of the Twickenham Stadium Centenary season can be found at rfu.com/centenary.

ENGLAND SAXONS EPS

FORWARDS
David Attwood (Gloucester Rugby)
Duncan Bell (Bath Rugby)
George Chuter (Leicester Tigers)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)
Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints)
Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers)
Nick Kennedy (London Irish)
Matthew Mullan (Worcester Warriors)
David Paice (London Irish)
Tom Rees (London Wasps)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Andy Saull (Saracens)
George Skivington (London Wasps)
Dan Ward-Smith (London Wasps)
Rob Webber (London Wasps)
Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby)
Ben Woods (Leicester Tigers)

BACKS
Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
Brad Barritt (Saracens)
Danny Cipriani (London Wasps
Shane Geraghty (Northampton Saints)
Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks)
Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints)
Olly Morgan (Gloucester Rugby)
Paul Sackey (London Wasps)
Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
David Strettle (Harlequins)
Dominic Waldouck (London Wasps)
Richard Wigglesworth (Sale Sharks)
Mickey Young (Newcastle Falcons)

Two more backs will also be named in the Saxons on January 25, one to replace Chris Ashton who has been included in the Senior EPS.

Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) has been added to the Saxons as a replacement for the injured Joe Simpson (London Wasps).

Final decisions on replacements for the injured Tom Rees (London Wasps) and Alex Corbisiero (London Irish) will also be made on January 25.

Tickets for the England Saxons v Ireland A game at Bath Rugby's Recreation Ground on Sunday, January 31 (kick off 2.30pm) are available priced £17 for adults and £7 for children by calling 0844 448 1865 or by contacting www.ticketmaster.co.uk. England Saxons play Italy A in Treviso, Italy on Sunday February 7 (kick off 1.30pm local time).
 

Posted by: , on January 13th 2010 on 01:46pm0 Comments
Monday 11th January 2010
ENGLAND UNDER 20 SQUAD ANNOUNCED FOR SIX NATIONS

ENGLAND today announced their revised Under 20 Elite Player Squad for this season's major tournaments.

Head coach Mark Mapletoft has made two changes to the 32-man group taking part in the RBS U20 Six Nations that kicks off in February and in this summer's IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina.

London Irish centre Jonathan Joseph and Harlequins lock Charlie Matthews, both 18, join an experienced group that includes 16 players capped at this level last season.

Matthews takes over from injured Harlequins teammate Joe Trayfoot and Joseph, who has appeared in the LV= Cup for his club side this season, replaces London Wasps full back Jack Wallace.

Mapletoft said: "The strength in depth we have is increasing. I'm really pleased with the game time our players have been getting in the Guinness Premiership and the support and buy-in from the clubs has been a real positive. Our objective is that it will give England more and more options at a senior level in the years to come.

"It is likely that we will be without [Sale Sharks lock] James Gaskell for at least part of the RBS U20 Six Nations and we were looking for someone with similar qualities for the lineout who's tall and athletic, and Charlie Matthews fits the bill.

"I was impressed with him playing for England Under 18 on their unbeaten tour to South Africa last year and in the Guinness A League. He played well for the England Academies Under 19 side against Australian Schools in December and impressed me and [Under 20 coach] Rob Hunter at last month's training camp in Portugal.

"I'm also really pleased for JJ [Joseph]. He had some areas to work on that we'd talked about in September and he's been very good this season.

"He's had a run-out for the first team in the LV= Cup, he's solid defensively, makes things happen with ball in hand and he's extremely coachable. He's stuck his hand up over the last few months and it's nice to be able to reward that."

England completed a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2008 and reached the last two IRB Junior World Championship finals in 2008 and 2009.

There are seven survivors from the 2009 JWC squad, including Gaskell, leading points scorer Tom Homer (London Irish), fly half Rory Clegg (Harlequins) and hooker Jamie George (Saracens).

The group also includes 18-year-old wing Christian Wade (London Wasps) who has appeared for England Sevens at the George and Dubai IRB Sevens Series tournaments this season.

The Under 20 squad has a week's training camp starting on January 18 before reassembling for the build-up to the opening game of the RBS U20 Six Nations against Wales which takes place at Gloucester on February 5 (7.45pm).

Tickets for the England U20 home games are priced from £10-15 for adults and £4-5 for juniors with concessions for Kingsholm season ticket holders and further discounts for supporters buying a double match package. Call the ticket hotline on 0871 871 8781 or visit www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk/tickets

England Under 20 Elite Player Squad

Forwards
Joe Marler (Harlequins)**
Lee Imiolek (Sale Sharks)
Jamie George (Saracens)**
Arthur Ellis (London Wasps)*
Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby)**
Mako Vunipola (Bristol Rugby)
Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons)
Calum Green (Leicester Tigers)
Danny Wright (Gloucester Rugby)*
James Gaskell (Sale Sharks)**
Peter Elder (London Wasps)*
Charlie Matthews (Harlequins)
Jamie Gibson (London Irish)*
Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie)*
Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons)
Alex Gray (Newcastle Falcons)
Jackson Wray (Saracens)

Backs
Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers)*
Jordi Pasqualin (Gloucester Rugby)*
Sam Stuart (Harlequins)
Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby)*
Rory Clegg (Harlequins)**
Jake Sharp (Saracens)
Tom Catterick (Newcastle Falcons)
Tom Casson (Saracens)*
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby)
Jonathan Joseph (London Irish)
Sam Smith (Harlequins)
Christian Wade (London Wasps)
Marcus Watson (London Irish)
Will Hurrell (Leicester Tigers)**
Tom Homer (London Irish)**

**2009 Junior World Cup squad
*Capped in the 2009 RBS U20 Six Nations

England's RBS U20 Six Nations fixtures

Feb 5: England U20 v Wales U20 (Gloucester, 7.45pm) live on Sky Sports
Feb 12: Italy U20 v England U20 (San Dona di Piave, 6pm)
Feb 26: England U20 v Ireland U20 (Gloucester, 7.45pm)
Mar 12: Scotland U20 v England U20 (Firhill, 7.30pm)
Mar 21: France U20 v England U20 (St Nazaire, 3pm)

Posted by: , on January 11th 2010 on 11:45am0 Comments
Sponsors
join Free
Free Site
Online Coaching
Directory