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6 Nations

Ireland Player Ratings vs Wales

After Ireland’s hammering at the hands of Wales here are the player ratings

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Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ireland were put to the sword by Wales in the final round of this year’s Six Nations and here are the player ratings.

1. Cian Healy (2) – With the team as a whole failing to impress Healy gave away a couple of cheap penalties and will need to compose himself better in such high intensity games.

2. Rory Best (5) – In his final Six Nations performance Best put in a solid display at line-out time and showed great awareness with a short line-out at one point. Unfortunate to see an Irish legend have to bow out on such a low.

3. Tadhg Furlong (4) – Never really got going, had a bad day at the office but everyone knows the talent he has and is certain to start during the World Cup.

4. Tadhg Beirne (3) – He had the chance to impress with Iain Henderson missing through injury and did anything but. He was nowhere near his usual high-intensity standards and will be fighting to secure a ticket to Japan.

5. James Ryan (6) – The one shining light for Ireland as he made the hard yards and continued to rally on even when Ireland were scoreless in with the clock in red. Never seems to have a bad day at the office.

6. Peter O’Mahony (4) – When his team needed him in Cardiff he was nowhere to be seen. A strange performance from all but the No 6 showed none of his usual leadership and lacked his normal intensity.

7. Sean O’Brien (2) – You would be forgiven if you didn’t notice he was on the pitch. He was taken off after 52 minutes for Jack Conan and will struggle to get back into the team especially with his move to London Irish in the Summer.

8. CJ Stander (5) – Carried the ball well but was lacking power, possibly due the performance he put in against the French last week. Below par but fought until the end.

9. Conor Murray (2) – He has struggled for form all tournament and did nothing to impress his critics with this display. The rain didn’t help but the other scrum-halves will see a small window of opportunity for the No 9 jersey if this continues.

10. Johnny Sexton (4) – Frustrated all day as Wales closed him down almost every time he touched the ball. Had a moment if brilliance with a cross-field kick for Jacob Stockdale but that was cancelled out by a kick-off straight out of play. Doesn’t look himself and accepted being replaced by Jack Carty unlike in Rome.

11. Jacob Stockdale (6) – Although he didn’t score a try he made a lot of metres when he had the ball in hand. Looked as though he was in on a couple of occasions only to be denied by a solid Welsh defence. Will hope for better days from the rest of the teams so that he gets more chances.

12. Bundee Aki (2) – He is in big trouble when Robbie Henshaw returns. He provided the team with little to nothing and will need some massive performances for Connacht to be in with a chance of contesting for the inside centre position come Japan.

13. Garry Ringrose (4) – Had a couple of promising moments but was given nothing to feed off by his comrades. It was hard to see after his incredible display last weekend but has a Champions Cup quarter-final to look forward to with Leinster and is only improving.

14. Keith Earls (3) – Never got going and looked a shadow of his normal energetic self. Hasn’t had too poor a tournament but will want to forget today.

15. Rob Kearney (2) – Can’t remember him getting the ball more than once and although not entirely his fault it was still a terrible showing. One of his worst in green and with Larmour’s try after coming on, he will be under pressure to keep hold of the full-back jersey.

Replacements (6) – Some of them made you wonder what could have been if they were on from the start. Jack Carty showed some great imagination with his kicks and Jordan Larmour attacked with intent and was rewarded with his try. Jack Conan impressed once more from the bench and has put himself in contention for a starting berth at No 8. Overall, a decent performance from the subs on a poor day for the country.

Management (1) – In Schmidt’s final Six Nations match as head coach it was one of their worst displays ever. It wasn’t helped by the conditions with the roof open, a decision, made by the Irish and one can only wonder what if it had been closed. Schmidt will bounce back but it is not the way he would have wanted to end his 6 Nations tenure in charge. A big few months await.

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6 Nations

Ireland’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations Home Games To Be Played At Musgrave Park

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Ireland’s home matches in the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations will be played at Musgrave Park.

The Cork venue has been the home of the Ireland U20s since 2019 and has become a real fortress in recent seasons, with Ireland Women also enjoying huge support there when they defeated Italy at Musgrave Park in last year’s Six Nations.

Greg McWilliams‘ side open their 2023 Championship against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, 25th March (2.15pm) before welcoming France to Cork in Round 2 on Saturday, 1st April (3.15pm). After a rest weekend, Ireland will be on the road again, going head-to-head with Italy in Parma on Saturday, 15th April (4.45pm).

World Cup finalists England will visit Musgrave Park in Round 4 on Saturday, 22nd April (2.15pm) and the Championship will conclude with a trip to Edinburgh to take on Scotland at the DAM Health Stadium on Saturday, 29th April (7.30pm).

“We received huge home support during last year’s Six Nations and we’re excited to make Cork our home base for the 2023 Championship,” McWilliams said. “We enjoyed a good day out against Italy last year, with the people of Cork coming out to support the team and we will be hoping for more of the same in 2023, as two of the best teams in women’s rugby come to visit.”

Ticket details for Ireland’s home matches at Musgrave Park will be announced in due course.

TikTok Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2023:

  • Wales v Ireland, Saturday 25 March, Cardiff Arms Park, 2.15pm
  • Ireland v France, Saturday 1 April, Musgrave Park, 3.15pm
  • Italy v Ireland, Saturday 15 April, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, 4.45pm
  • Ireland v England, Saturday 22 April, Musgrave Park, 2.15pm
  • Scotland v Ireland, Saturday 29 April, DAM Health Stadium, 7.30pm.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

Leading Rugby Stakeholders Unite To Consider Future Of Rugby

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Rugby’s major stakeholders have united to consider the short and long-term insights and priorities for ensuring the sport is a relevant, accessible and attractive sport for all as it grows over the next decade.

The World Rugby Shape of the Game conference, hosted in London, gathered leading coaching, playing, officiating, medical and event owner minds to consider how to build a better game for all, focusing on safety and spectacle. Underpinning that mission is the ongoing prioritisation of player welfare, while fostering an environment that is simpler, more accessible and more attractive.

It will be followed by similar conferences on the elite women’s 15s and community games as the sport looks to growth opportunities over the next decade. The process will also consider fan views and general sport and entertainment considerations to create a holistic approach to the future of the sport.

Over two days, delegates considered the global welfare landscape, including reinforcing the data regarding the relative safety of the community and age-grade game, global playing trends and the role of match officials, the narrative around the sport with all participants focused on the bigger picture.

The conference identified key areas for further exploration:

• Focus on the fan: Insights from fans and broadcasters to inform the longer-term development of the sport as an entertainment product

• Speed up the game: Focus on interventions and innovations to reduce stoppages, increase continuity and the rhythm of the game

• Support match officials: Provide them with the tools to perform their role to their best ability, consider TMO intervention reductions

• Underpin with player welfare: Continue to implement evidence-based strategies to mitigate head injuries and overall injuries in the sport

• Change the narrative: The community game is the lifeblood of the sport, the risk of injury is much less than that of the elite game, focus on the benefits while managing the risks

World Rugby will take away the considerations and insights for further exploration to prioritise areas that can be implemented in the short term without changing law ahead of Rugby World Cup 2023.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said:

“As a sport, a movement and a family, we must always challenge ourselves to be better. That means taking time to consider what fans and players want the future of our sport to be, a future where more people want to play and support the game, where injury risk is reducing and where all involved in the game have their say.

“This conference was the first step towards a reimagination of our sport. The full and frank contributions from a wide spectrum of disciplines gives us plenty to consider and to move forward with through our structures. I would like to thank all participants for taking time out at a busy time to unite, collaborate and consider our future.”

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography


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6 Nations

England side to face Springboks

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England host the Springboks at Twickenham Stadium in their final Autumn Nations Series game on Saturday 26 November (5.30pm KO).

Manu Tuilagi will make his 50th appearance for England at outside centre, having made his debut for England against Wales in August 2011. Owen Farrell will again captain the side at inside centre.

Marcus Smith is at fly half and Jack van Poortvliet is at scrum half. Tommy Freeman comes in at right wing, Jonny May is at left wing and Freddie Steward is full back.

Jamie George (hooker) and Mako Vunipola join fellow prop Kyle Sinckler in two changes to the starting front row. Maro Itoje and Jonny Hill stay at lock. Alex Coles comes in at flanker with Tom Curry, while Billy Vunipola is No.8.

Last weekend’s double-try scorer Will Stuart is named as a finisher along with Luke Cowan-Dickie, David Ribbans, Sam Simmonds, Ben Youngs, Henry Slade and vice-captains Ellis Genge and Jack Nowell.

“This is our last game of the autumn and our chance to continue building on the improvements we have made throughout the matches,” said Jones. “We have made steady progress from game-to-game, culminating in a pulsating draw against New Zealand.

“Now we have the chance to test ourselves against the might of the world champions. We’re going out there to light the crowd up. The support at Twickenham was outstanding last week and we want to work hard on the pitch to make sure we have another atmosphere like that again on Saturday.”

Squad

Starters

15. Freddie Steward

14. Tommy Freeman

13. Manu Tuilagi

12. Owen Farrell (C)

11. Jonny May

10. Marcus Smith

9. Jack van Poortvliet

1. Mako Vunipola

2. Jamie George

3. Kyle Sinckler

4. Maro Itoje

5. Jonny Hill

6. Alex Coles

7. Tom Curry

8. Billy Vunipola

Finishers

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie

17. Ellis Genge

18. Will Stuart

19. David Ribbans

20. Sam Simmonds

21. Ben Youngs

22. Henry Slade

23. Jack Nowell


Images & Content from England Rugby
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