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6 Nations

England name 6 Nations Squad

No Co-Captain, 4 new caps.

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Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

Owen Farrell will captain England during their Guinness Six Nations opener against Ireland after Eddie Jones unveiled his 35-man squad to prepare for the 2019 Championship.

Injury rules out Dylan Hartley who was co-captain alongside Farrell in the autumn series.

Mako and Billy Vunipola and Joe Launchbury make their returns to the squad after missing the Autumn Internationals

There are also recalls for Dan Cole, Jack Clifford and Ollie Devoto while the uncapped names included are Ollie Thorley, Ben Earl, Jack Singleton and Dan Robson – the latter the only No.9 named alongside Ben Youngs in the 35-strong party.

“We are very happy with the squad and have a number of players who have come back from long-term injury.

Eddie Jones

“We are looking forward to getting across to Portugal and having a good ten-day preparation for the Ireland game.”

England squad for Ireland Test:

Forwards
Jack Clifford (Harlequins)
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Ben Earl (Saracens) *
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Jack Singleton (Worcester Warriors) *
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Backs
Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Mike Brown (Harlequins)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps) *
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby) *
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

*Uncapped

Players unavailable due to injury
Piers Francis (Northampton Saints)
Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby)
Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

6 Nations

World Rugby Gives Deadline for Nations Championship

World Rugby have given the 10 unions from the Six Nations and Rugby Championship a final deadline to decide on the Nations Championship

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World Rugby have confirmed that global rugby chiefs will have until Friday to decide whether or not the Nations Championship plans will be backed

The governing body has given the unions of the Six Nations and Rugby Championship nations until the closing of business on Friday of this week to provide a yes or no answer towards their new plans.

For their plans to be progressed World Rugby needs a unanimous decision from the 10 unions.

If that is to happen, they plan to launch their new format in 2022, with winners of the Six Nations and an expanded six-team Rugby Championship going head to head.

The final proposals of the Nations Championship will have to be passed by a vote of the full World Rugby council, however none of this will go ahead unless there is backing from the 10 nations.

Proposals have included creating two-tier tournaments for the Six Nations and Rugby Championship which would include the possibility of relegation or promotion.

A format which Six Nations unions appear to dislike.

As well as this there is the issue of the Pacific Islands, who believe that the creation of such tournaments would mean that they would be less likely to face the top nations in November and therefore be unable to develop as they currently are.

Whatever is to happen will become clearer in the next couple of days and it could be the start of a new era for international rugby.

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6 Nations

Welsh Warrior to Play Trade Outside Wales Post-World Cup?

One of Wales’ finest players may make a move away from the country after the World Cup

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(Photo credit PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Image)

Alun Wyn Jones’ future with the Ospreys is in doubt after his duel contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and the Ospreys runs out at the end of the season.

The Welsh captain has spent his entire career with the Ospreys, but fans expect and are even encouraging the lock to seek a move elsewhere after Shane Williams said his future needed to be sorted.

Jones has previously turned down the chance to move abroad for a better contract, instead remaining in Wales and being a loyal servant to both his country and club.

Having made 125 caps for Wales, their Grand Slam winning captain would be eligible to continue playing for the country if he did move as he more than doubles the required 60-caps for overseas-based players.

Many are already speculating that Jones will be the British & Irish Lions captain for the 2021 tour of South Africa, but some fear a move abroad would prevent Warren Gatland from picking him.

Fans seem to think that Jones deserves to earn more overseas in the twilight of his career and set himself up for a more stable future come the end of his glittering career.

A move to England or France would be most likely with Harlequins fans calling on the club to make a move for Jones after losing Aussie James Horwill this season.

Another possibility for the 33-year-old could be a big-money move to Japan. Either way most of the clubs in Europe or Japan can offer Jones a significant salary rise which he could be tempted by.

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6 Nations

Ireland Legend Signs Contract Extension

One of Ireland’s most decorated players has put pen to paper on a new contract

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(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

The IRFU have confirmed that full-back Rob Kearney has agreed a nine-month extension to remain with Ireland and Leinster

There had been much speculation after Leinster head coach announced a list of contract renewals last week and Kearney’s name was missing however, all has been sorted and he will stay at Leinster for at least one more season.

Kearney is delighted to have been able to re-sign and admits he sees no reason to stop playing in the near future.

“I just played in two finals. I feel as if I am still playing pretty well. The coaches obviously feel that too. I fully love what I am doing. I am living a dream since I was a kid of five years of age. Why stop? The body is still good, the mind is still good. I’m still loving what I’m doing, I’m getting picked. I don’t see any reason why I should stop,” he said.

Next season will be Kearney’s 15th as a professional and although he considered moves abroad, he believes that he would have been taking a huge risk.

“So, all of a sudden if you do go somewhere else and then you are asking your body to train-play, train-play, you are taking a risk with it. You look at some of the games that the Premiership guys play and the French – they play a lot. We do get very well looked after here,” he added.

The 33-year-old picked up a fifth PRO 14 medal with Leinster on Saturday to add to his collection and said that medals keep him going but that the comradery within the squad is a massive part of what keeps him going.

“Every time you have one, you don’t want to be anywhere else in the world. You have worked so hard for a whole year, you’ve come through thick and thin and we have lifted another trophy together. A group of 57 players contributed to that and you just feel very lucky to be part of it,” he finished.

Along with his PRO 14 medals Kearney has claimed four Champions Cups and a Challenge Cup with the province in 209 appearances, while in 90 caps for Ireland he has won two Grand Slams and two further Six Nations crowns and featuring on two British & Irish Lions tours.

With all that in mind, IRFU performance director David Nucifora is happy to have such a decorated player remain in the country.

“Rob has contributed a huge amount to Irish rugby and has performed at a high level again this year for Ireland and Leinster. We are delighted that he will continue his career in Ireland in what will be his 15th season as a senior pro,” he said.

Kearney will hope that he can play a key role in Ireland’s bid to reach a first World Cup final later this year in Japan, before looking ahead to next season and who knows this warrior could earn himself another extension but for now let’s enjoy what he brings while he remains on our shores.

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