All eyes are on the England rugby team after their feat in the Six Nations win.
Indeed, last year did not end well for this team, which lost out to Australia in the World cup tournament. With a new coach and a resurgent attitude the team started off the New Year which showed the results already. It could be a coincidence that Dylan Hartley, who captained for the team in the first Grand Slam is set to return to the team again after a span of thirteen years.
He is in full training now in order to get back in shape after he suffered a concussion when he played the Grand Slam decider match against France. The match that took place in March was a successful one. Now the hooker might be taken up in Northampton who would be playing against Gloucester. The match would be part of the Premiership that is scheduled for Saturday. With having completed the return to play protocols he has proven to be fit for playing again. It would certainly be a good boost for the England team if Hartley is able to perform like his old self again.
He had been a big part of the Grand Slam win earlier this year. Hence, if he is ready to take the team to the next level, it would certainly bolster the confidence of the team as they take off this summer to face Australia.
Eddie Jones is the new head coach for England. He would like to observe the fitness levels of Hartley before he takes the next decision for him to captain the upcoming tour. The tree Test series that is coming up might be captained by Hartley if he proves his old levels and skills again. It would surely showcase in the upcoming weekend match which fans eagerly await.
England under Aussie coach Eddie Jones are determined to upset Australia in the opening Brisbane Test on Saturday. Jones is priming his boys for a physical onslaught on the Australian side, who eight months ago humiliated the hosts in the World Cup with a 33-13 victory at Twickenham.
But now optimism is running high within the English ranks as they have not yet lost a match under their new coach. Earlier this season, Jones guided his side to win the first Grand Slam in thirteen years. To motivate his side for the upcoming series, Jones has been providing the players with footage of cricket’s Bodyline Ashes tour.
Jones wants his players to employ an aggressive approach from the beginning of the opening Test. Traditionally, the English rely on their scrum and set piece play, which dominated the Wallabies in the past. However, under Mario Ledesma and Michael Cheika’s guidance, the Wallabies scrum easily overpowered England in the victory at Twickenham last year.
Meanwhile Australia will field four of the props from that World Cup match including tighthead Sekope Kepu, who will link up with Greg Holmes, Scott Sio, and James Slipper.
Post the very celestial feel of scoring 1st England try during the match against Italy, Nick Easter happily cherished his return to grass-roots rugby, even though it got him gild ribbing from Wimbledin Rugby.
The 36 year old has been joining up the playing duties at Harlequins along with his role of the head coach for Wimbledon- the regional league that belongs to 6th tier of England rugby.
Easter’s achievement as oldest try-scorer at 5 or 6 Nations championship wasn’t lost out on his team during training session- as he got an off day from the England duty.
“I’m not exactly sure whether he is actually comfortable with this label of oldest English rugby player to come up with a try & the boys here have been joking that how old Nick looked on tally & it had possibly added more stones to Easter’s profile”, stated Stefano D’Anna, the director of Wimbledon rugby.
“But it’s quite a thrilling story & couldn’t have happened with a nicer fellow. Easter carries amazing bonds with the 1st & 2nd team squad. The man is really well grounded & hasn’t forgotten that why he was into the game. Nick loves his sport, relishes the banter & craic. He might have well pulled on his England shirt yet the guys here still jokes with him- it’s because he has given them this candid liberty but then there is no question of disrespect or getting beyond the limit.”
Since Nick accepted Stefano’s invitation to coach Wimbledon in May 2014, which was the club’s 150th anniversary, Easter’s presence has been really significant & swift for the club- even after the surprise recall from English rugby team in January 2015, post 4 years in international wilderness.
Jonny Wilkinson, the Rugby World Cup winning hero of the England Rugby Team has said that his country must win the Six Nations Championship before they can even think about going all the way in the World Cup.
The former Toulon and Newcastle Falcons man said that before England can dream about ruling the world, they must start closer to home and conquer Europe, adding that the first step towards that is a win in the Six Nations Championship.
England finished as the runners-up in each of the last three editions of Europe’s biggest international rugby competition and Stuart Lancaster, who took over the reins of the England side after their disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign in 2011 New Zealand has so far, failed to deliver any major title.
The England Rugby Team did secure the Triple Crown last year but a narrow defeat to France dashed any hopes they had of securing the overall title as Ireland went home with the trophy.
And Wilkinson believes it is now time for the team t deliver.
A former Six Nations Championship winner himself, Wilkinson said that the most important thing that a team wants in a Rugby World Cup year is momentum – they want to win the big games and get into a rhythm.
He added that getting a few important wins under the belt increases the confidence of the whole team and that is something that can be seen by the opposition as well. According to Wilkinson, this can be a major asset, especially when going into a major tournament.
Wilkinson said that the England Rugby Team will be desperate to secure the Six Nations Championship, having finished second three years in a row and then go for the jugular with the Rugby World Cup on home soil in the summer.
England rugby team came up with a smashing victory against the Australian rugby team defeating the Wallabies in the English soil. The Twickenham hosted match witnessed a great 26-17 victory of England over Australia recently.
The Australian rugby squad would be heading to the Rugby HQ to take part in A Pool showdown with England next October. Much to the delight of England rugby team fans, the match witnessed a dominating display from the English side which paved the way for the great triumph against the Wallabies. Ben Morgan, No. 8 Gloucester, scored a couple of tries, as the host team brought their 2015 Rugby World preps right on the track with a fantastic morale-boosting triumph.
Tries from Will Skelton and Bernard Foley kept the Aussie rugby squad in the match but the English side still managed to come up with back-to-back victories against the arch rivals for the 1st time since the year 2002.
The defeats to South Africa and New Zealand had extended the English team’s loss of run in 5 Test matches yet Lancaster’s guys successfully chased success against the Samoa team recently with a phenomenal triumph before a very raucous gallery.
Prior to the Twickenham kick-off, both the teams joined up with the entire world in paying tribute to the late Australian cricketer Phil Hughes who had a tragic demise after being hit by cricket ball from fellow player Sean Abott. Both the teams stood with bats up against bench.
England started off on a positive note in the match and despite strong attempts from Ben Youngs the Aussie team managed to have a firm hold on the match. But it was the great English defence that stood in the way of the Aussie team, leading the hosts to great victory.
The England Rugby Team and Stuart Lancaster have their contracts till 2020 as Lancaster is ready to lead team England in the two upcoming World Cups of Rugby.
Lancaster was appointed to the post of head coach in March 2012 by the RFU. He has also guided England to get the spot of Runners up in the six championships. Coach Mike Catt was the support system that he had to give the team the attack skills education.
Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of RFU said that with the increase in the stability due to the long term deal with prove to be advantageous for the future prospects of England. As per his view, they are very fortunate to have a coaching group that is committed, passionate and talented. They felt the need to secure the future of England Rugby as Stuart is good at coaching in international levels and because every coach has only a few players and therefore, a stable and good coaching team in necessary.
Having led England in 30 matches and winning 18 of such, Lancaster has been perfectly in charge. He says that he is looking forward to build a team that will play for the World Cup of 2019 and also on the home grounds next year. He feels wonderful about the fact that the RFU has complete trust on them as a coach and the support that they have given has been very important to the achievements yet made by them. Although the main target now is the 2015 World Cup and the QBE International to be held against New Zealand on home grounds as this will be the opportunity of a lifetime, they have plans for the world cup of 2019 and beyond that. He believes that Rugby in England is moving in the direction that is right because they have the right coaches and the perfect management team to lead the way.
The Sale Sharks rugby club has witnessed a lot of ups and downs in the previous three seasons of the rugby championship. In 2010 they were up against the likes of Leeds, Newcastle and Leicester whereby they impressed a lot finishing second in the group and securing a position in the knock out stages. This was followed up by another impressive show thanks to their star performer Danny Bibby who went on to play for England. Although they managed to qualify for the finals, they lost both their games and crashed out of the competition. London Welsh, Northampton and Leicester put up some strong fight against Sale Sharks who managed to qualify for the finals again but failed to improve their record. The concluding season proved to be a disappointing one for the Sharks as they failed to qualify for the finals owing to their losses against Newcastle and Tigers which placed them at the bottom of the pool.
The next season will be crucial for the Sharks as they hope to regroup and reunite so that they can put forward an improved show on the field. Although players like Dwayne Peel, Rob Miller and Henry Thomas have left the club due to various reasons, the English International player Danny Cipriani expressed his desire to stay in the club. He hoped that bigger names would join the club and help increase the popularity. This idea received a great impetus with the signing of Biarritz star Magnus Lund. Director of rugby for Sale Sharks, Steve Diamond was quoted saying that he and his club was delighted to welcome back their former star who had been playing in France for the past six years. The team will be up against London Irish, Harlequins and Newcastle as they kick start their campaign for yet another season at the Premiership.
Manu Tuilagi has been one of the most controversial yet important figures in the England national team of Rugby in the recent years. The Samoan born rugby player is known for his big hits, sheer power and outrageous speed along with his heavy built body. He currently plays for the Leicester Tigers and earned his English cap after staying long enough in the country. All of his brothers namely – Henry, Freddie, Alesana, Anitelea, Sanele have represented Samoa in international matches. He has been living in Leicestershire since his childhood and has completed his education in the same area.
Controversies never seem to leave the company of Manu Tuilagi. He started his career with a lot of promise but came under scrutiny when he punched British international Chris Ashton in a match against the Northampton Saints. This led the federation to ban him from competitive rugby for ten weeks that was later reduced to five weeks. The latest controversy surrounding him was regarding the sign of bunny ears that he had made behind the British Prime Minister James Cameron as the England and Ireland Lions rugby stars went to meet him. Although Cameron said that Tuilagi did not have to apologize yet the Rugby legends were divided in their opinion about his conduct.
Manu Tuilagi has remained the first choice centre for his England coach Lancaster but he had missed out on a few matches in the Six Nations owing to his torn chest muscle injury. However he returned to put up an impressive performance against the All Blacks as they humbled the English side for two tests consecutively. The third test witnessed the English side going through with a number of changes in various positions but Tuilagi retained his spot along with Kyle Eastmond who caused major problems to the world champions in the earlier encounters.
Danny Cipriani hopes his role in guiding the Sale Sharks to sixth in the Aviva Premiership will be enough to hand him a recall to the England Rugby Team for the first time in six years.
The fly half has not been a part of the national team setup since 2008 but the 26 year old has hit top form just in time for his club side after a couple of troubled seasons.
Stuart Lancaster, the head coach of the national team will be forced to field a much weakened side when the team travels to New Zealand for a three Test match series, with the Aviva Premiership playoff final scheduled during that time.
The showpiece event of the domestic league takes place on the 31st of May and the first Test against the All Blacks is scheduled for the following week. The England Rugby Team will have to prepare for that match without a host of first team regulars and this has paved the way for several fringe players to claim their stake in the side.
The Sale Sharks star is among those in contention for a spot in the squad and the seven cap fly half is keeping his fingers crossed in the hope his chance has finally come.
He stated that it all depends on how the coaching staff looks at things, adding that there will be latecomers to the squad and there will be players who will be absolutely new to the system.
Cipriani also stated that this would be a good time to start preparing for the Rugby World Cup on home soil next summer and he hopes to be a part of the England Rugby Team for the tournament and getting his chance to shine in New Zealand will give him a fighting chance of making the squad.
Richard Cockerill, the Director of Rugby of the reigning Aviva Premiership champions the Leicester Tigers believes his star man Manu Tuilagi should be the first name on the team sheet for the England Rugby Team, adding that his star man has an X-factor about his game which will be a key asset to the plans for the future, irrespective of the emergence of Luther Burrell.
The British and Irish Lions centre missed all of the autumn internationals for the country after suffering a pectoral muscle injury last year and only returned to match fitness before the Six Nations Championships kicked off.
Luther Burrell and Billy Twelvetrees took full advantage of the absence of the powerful Leicester man to form an effective partnership for the England Rugby Team at the centre but Cockerill believes his star player will reclaim his first team place.
He mentioned that Tuilagi is a key player for the Tigers but if one goes through the recent reports in the press, it would seem he is surplus to requirements for Stuart Lancaster and the England team. Only time will tell about the future but there is a lot of rugby to be played. He added that everyone has seen him play over the last couple of seasons and have seen what he is capable of which was particularly evident in the game against All Blacks when the England Rugby Team beat them.
Cockerill went on to mention that the other players have played brilliantly to cover for his absence but when Manu Tuilagi comes into the England team, it has a menacing look about it and if Lancaster wanted to build a team for the next decade, the Tuilagi should be at the centre of all his plans because he has that X-factor in his game that no one has.