STATE OF THE NATION: Ireland

It’s ‘State of the Nation’ time again and in this post we take a look at Ireland.  After back-to-back Six Nations titles, they were favourites to reach at least the last four…but have they peaked too soon?   The tale of Ireland’s history in the Rugby World Cup is one of underachievement. It’s one of…

Six Nations: It’s France’s to lose isn’t it?

A quick glance through the history books of the Six Nations Championship (which doesn’t take long as we’re about to start the fifteenth edition only) and you’ll notice that France have won every tournament that has immediately followed a Lions tour (2002, 2006 and 2010).  On two of those occasions they achieved the Grand Slam. …

A Lion-sized let off…but you have to feel for Beale

Saturday 22nd June 2013.  I arrived at The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park, at 10am on the dot.  The place was already packed as white, green, navy blue and (predominantly) red shirted rugby folk scrummed-down for the last of the remaining chairs, tables, benches or lintels that would act as their seat for the next three…

Coaching Calamity or Cunning Plan?

On Tuesday, the 2013 pride of Lions lost a little bit of their bite.  Before the tour began, Captain Sam Warburton had declared his intention for the squad to win every match they played.  A brave and bold call it may have been, but it was an aim that seemed increasingly plausible with every convincing…