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6 Nations

England Secure Triple Crown with Welsh Win

England have sealed the Six Nations Triple Crown with a hard fought win over Wales



(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

England have sealed a Six Nations Triple Crown with a 33-30 win over Wales this evening at Twickenham.

The victory which was by no means easy for the hosts as Wales put up a valiant performance with a late rally, but it leaves them in contention for the title as they wait to see how France and Ireland fair in their final games. 

England came bolting out of the blocks at the start of the game, putting in some massive early hits on their opponents and their bright opening was rewarded in the fourth minute. 

Following a break through the Welsh half the home side had a line-out inside the Welsh 22 and off that they unleashed a brilliant move leading to Anthony Watson stepping through the defence, holding off two tackles to touch down. Captain Owen Farrell slotted over the conversion from the right-hand side to make it 7-0. 

Wales came back fighting and thought they had scored a try five minutes later only for George North to knock-on at the vital moment. Although Leigh Halfpenny got his side off the scoreboard with a penalty that resulted from the afters of that try incident. 

However, a quarter of an hour in and Farrell smashed over a penalty of his own to push England 10-3 in front. 

Halfpenny cut the lead back down to four minutes later as he kicked his second penalty of the match. 

It was the hosts that struck again next as they spread the ball out left off the back of a line-out that was in a similar position to the one they scored their opening try from and Elliot Daly ended up darting over in the corner after some quick hands. Farrell made no mistake from the conversion to stretch the lead out to 17-6 with eight minutes to go in the half. 

Over the final 10 minutes Farrell and Dan Biggar traded blows at penalty time to leave the score at 20-9 in England’s favour come the half-time whistle. 

It took Wales just 27 seconds to register the first try of the second half as they broke from their own 22 straight from kick-off putting the ball through the hands while charging forward, with Tomos Williams eventually sending it to Justin Tipuric, who raced under the posts for the score. Biggar provided the extras with from the tee to make it 20-16 a minute into the half. 

However, four minutes later and England went further in front as Farrell once again punished the visitors with a penalty kick. 

While Farrell received attention for an injury George Ford took over kicking duties as the home team won another penalty, but the result was the same as the ball sailed between the posts to extend the lead back out to 10-points. 

Just past the hour mark and England had their third try of the evening as Ben Youngs broke away in the middle of the pitch, and within a number of phases the ball found Manu Tuilagi who had the easiest of jobs in waltzing over for the try. Farrell continued his perfect form from the tee to leave it at 33-16 heading into the final quarter. 

Wales camped in the England 22 for the next few minutes as England conceded penalty after penalty before substitute Ellis Genge was sent to the sin-bin after the referee lost his patience. 

Two minutes later and they were reduced to 13-men as Tuilagi went from hero to villain following a dangerous hit on George North, which left the referee with no option other than to show him a red card. 

With that two man advantage Wales eventually got over the line for a try as Biggar ran through a gap in the defensive line, reaching out and tapping down. He converted his own try to make it 33-23 with two minutes to go. 

Wales ensured they left Twickenham with a losing bonus-point as Rhys Webb provided a lovely offload for Tipuric to touch down for his second try of the game with the clock in red. Biggar kicked the two-points with the last action of the match to leave it at 33-30 come the whistle.

As mentioned above the win leaves England in with a chance of winning the championship depending on results elsewhere and their own postponed fixture against Italy that was meant to be played next weekend. Meanwhile Wales will hope to avoid a fourth loss in a row when they take on Scotland next Saturday. 

Player Ratings

England Starting XV: 

Elliot Daly (8), Anthony Watson (8),  Manu Tuilagi (6), Owen Farrell (7), Jonny May (N/A), George Ford (7), Ben Youngs (9); Joe Marler (8), Jamie George (7), Kyle Sinckler (7) Maro Itoje (8), George Kruis (7), Courtney Lawes (7), Mark Wilson (7), Tom Curry (8)

Replacements (7)

Wales Starting XV: 

Leigh Halfpenny (8), George North (7), Nick Tompkins (8), Hadleigh Parkes (7), Liam Williams (7), Dan Biggar (8), Tomos Williams (7); Rob Evans (6), Ken Owens (7), Dillon Lewis (6), Jake Ball (7), Alun Wyn Jones (8), Ross Moriarty (7), Justin Tipuric (8), Josh Navidi (8)

Replacements (7)

6 Nations

Ireland Squad Named For Autumn Nations Series



Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Andy Farrell has named a 38 strong squad for the upcoming Autumn Nations Series fixtures at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland face Japan on Saturday 6th November before hosting New Zealand a week later on Saturday 13th.

The final game in the series sees Mario Ledesma’s Argentina line out at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday 21stNovember.   The Aviva Stadium will be at full capacity for these three games.

Johnny Sexton who has been capped 99 times for his country will lead the squad during this international window.

Six of Ireland’s players who toured with the British and Irish Lions during the summer – Bundee Aki, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and Conor Murray are included as is Ronan Kelleher who joined the squad in South Africa.

Six of the players who won their first caps during the Vodafone Summer Series in July have been included in the squad – Robert Baloucoune, Harry Byrne, Gavin Coombes, James Hume, Tom O’Toole and Nick Timoney.

There are two uncapped players named Leinster duo Dan Sheehan and Ciaran Frawley while Munster’s Simon Zebo is named in an Ireland squad for the first time since June 2017.

Robbie Henshaw will continue his rehabilitation programme under the supervision of the Ireland medical team.

Thomas Ahern (Munster) and Jamie Osborne (Leinster) will train with the squad as development players during this window.

Ireland Head Coach Andy Farrell, commented,

“It has been a short lead in to this international window but that is the challenge, to get back up to speed quickly and build on the performances from the Six Nations and the Summer Tests.  This is the start of an exciting period for the group as we begin to build towards the Rugby World Cup in France.”

“In September we got together and mapped out what was coming up in this window, the exciting fixtures that lay ahead in the next 12 months and beyond that the opportunities to improve as a group over the next five windows we will have together.

“In a few weeks’ time we will face an exciting and well coached Japan team who showed in July what a dangerous team they are.  New Zealand dominated the Rugby Championship losing just one game while Argentina are battle hardened from playing the southern hemisphere’s Big 3 week in week out over the past two months.

“It would be fantastic to play in front of a full-house at the Aviva Stadium.  We had small crowds back in for the games in July and even that made a huge difference to the team and the atmosphere in the stadium.”

Ireland’s Autumn Nations Series fixtures at the Aviva Stadium will be televised on RTE (ROI) and Channel 4 (NI).

IRELAND Autumn Nations Series Squad 2021

Backs (18)
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 31 caps
Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 1 cap
Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 cap
Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 24 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 25 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 93 caps
Ciaran Frawley (Leinster/UCD)*
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 10 caps
James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 13 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 6 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 5 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 89 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 99 caps CAPTAIN
Simon Zebo (Munster/Cork Constitution) 35 caps

Forwards (20)
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 5 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 16 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 22 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 20 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 19 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 9 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 49 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 109 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 63 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 22 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 45 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 76 caps
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 1 cap
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne)*
Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps

*denotes uncapped player

Development Players

Thomas Ahern (Munster/Shannon)
Jamie Osborne (Leinster/Naas)

Autumn Nations Series Fixtures 2021

Aviva Stadium , Saturday 6th November, 2021

IRELAND v New Zealand
Aviva Stadium , Saturday 13th November, 2021

IRELAND v Argentina
Aviva Stadium , Sunday 21st November, 2021

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Wales & Cardiff star to retire at 27



Cardiff Rugby fullback Hallam Amos will retire at the end of the season to focus on a career in medicine.

The 27-year-old joined Cardiff ahead of the 2019-20 season having previously come through the ranks at the Dragons, where he spent nine years.

He recently completed his clinical medical exams and has informed the club and Welsh Rugby Union of his intention to hang up his boots in June.

Amos said: “After a decade of professional rugby, the 2021/22 season will be my last. I’ve experienced a lot in rugby and have been fortunate to go to two Rugby World Cups, a Commonwealth Games, several Six Nations and I’ve had a lot of great times in the regional game.

“I’m very grateful for the incredible experiences I’ve had but the time has almost come to face a new challenge. I am happy with what I have achieved and telling Dai and Cardiff, and Wayne (Pivac) and Wales, early so they can plan for the future sat a lot easier with me.

“It’s always been my intention to finish when I complete my degree and this season aligns nicely with the final year of my medical studies, so a perfect time to transition from pitch to hospital.

“Throughout my years combining university with a rugby career I’ve had plenty of support – from the WRU, from the Dragons for the first few years of my career, from Cardiff Rugby more recently, and from Cardiff University itself – and I’ll always be thankful for their willingness to accommodate both aspects of my life.

“Particular thanks go to Dai and Wayne who have been understanding over the last couple of weeks as I’ve talked to them about the thought process behind my decision.

“Retiring at 27 will definitely be strange but I’m fully committed to Cardiff Rugby for the rest of the season and hopefully I can finish on a high over the next few months.”

The full-back has made 32 appearances since joining the Blue and Blacks and has taken his tally of international caps to 25.

Cardiff Director of Rugby, Dai Young has led the tributes to the Cardiff medical student and commended his decision to retire on his own terms and with a clear education and plan for the future.

Young said: “Obviously it will be disappointing to lose a player of Hallam’s quality and he has plenty of rugby left in him but you can only admire his decision.

“Not many players get to go out on their own terms and to switch from rugby to a full-time career in medicine sets him up for a long and fruitful career.

“Hallam has worked incredibly hard to juggle rugby and his studies up until now and has achieved a huge amount in the game both at regional and international level.

“He will remain an important figure for us for the remainder of the season and can play without the pressure of the decision hanging over him. For now, the focus is on Cardiff and enjoying his rugby and next summer we will wish him all the very best for the future.”

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6 Nations

Connacht Sign Samoan International Tuimauga



Connacht have added to their recruitment for the 2021/22 season with the signing of loosehead prop Tietie Tuimauga.

The 28-year old joins from New Zealand side Manawatu and won his first two caps with the Samoan national team during the summer, playing twice against Tonga.

Tuimauga will link up with the Connacht squad in the coming weeks with a view to being available for selection later in 2021.

Commenting on the signing, the province’s head coach Andy Friend said: “It’s no secret we’ve been exploring further options at loosehead following Denis Buckley’s long-term injury, so we are really pleased to welcome Tietie to Connacht.

“We now have strong cover across all of our front row, which is a good place to be, and with Tietie’s experience he’ll offer us something different.

“We now have a pro squad of 44 plus a number of integrated Academy players, so I’m really pleased with the group we have assembled.

“Our sole focus now is on building on last week’s win when we face the Dragons on Saturday.”

Source – Irish Rugby

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