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6 Nations

Player Ratings – Ireland v England

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Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

A day to remember for some and to forget for others. We give our ratings. Let us know what you think over on Facebook or Twitter.

Ireland:

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15. Robbie Henshaw –  4

Obvious hasn’t played at Full-Back in some time. His attributes not best suited for an International 15. Matt Williams was quoted saying ” i’ve seen milk turn faster than Henshaw”

14. Keith Earls – 3

Caught out for opening England try with a poor defensive read. Targeted in the air and aerial battle against Jonny May. Tactically whipped off at HT by Joe Schmidt. Interesting to see if he starts next week in Edinburgh.

13. Garry Ringrose – 7

Ireland’s most dangerous threat going forward. Joint highest carrier for Ireland with 14 carries. With only 4 clean breaks for Ireland, Ringrose had 2.

12. Bundee Aki –  6

Oddly played at first receiver a lot, second highest passing back. Managed Tuilagi well and carried well.

11. Jacob Stockdale – 6

Most prolific player with ball in hand this evening with 74m ran. Ultimately at fault for 2nd English try but a solid enough display for the Ulster man.

10. Jonathan Sexton – 3

Possibly his worst outing in a green shirt, certainly his worst in the last few years. Emphasises how important an in form Sexton is to Ireland success.

9. Connor Murray – 5

Rare to see Ireland being dominated in an aerial battle. Perhaps more to do with the strength of the English players in the air than the quality of kicks. Exceptionally busy in defence with 12 tackles, the highest in the backline, double the amount of 2nd place Ringrose.

8. CJ Stander – 6

Ireland’s joint top tackler with 17 tackles and 0 missed. 2nd highest carrier with 11 carries. Huge work rate but not as dynamic as usual with only 6m gained.

7. Josh Van Der Flier – 6

Similar to Stander, huge work rate as always, 17 tackles made and 0 missed. 1 handling error.

6. Peter O’Mahony – 5

Unusually quiet game, in comparison to his fellow back rowers, 9 tackles, 2 missed and carried 6 times for 2m. His game will be remembered more for his ‘Stupid c***’ remarks towards Kyle Sinckler.

5. James Ryan – 7

Typical industrious performance that we have come to expect from the Leinster man. Most willing carrier in the pack with 14 carries.

4. Devin Toner – 5

Solid in the line out, ineffective going forward and will be disappointed with a poor clear out leading to a turnover. Ireland will hope his injury isn’t serious given the current state of the 2nd row options.

3. Tadgh Furlong – 7

Typical strong carriers and solid in the scrum. 1 memorable carry taking 3 Englishmen to finally ground him.

2. Rory Best – 6

1 crooked lineout. Key secondary shove for Healy try. Typically aggressive and persistent at the breakdown.

1. Cian Healy – 7

A willing carrier with 9 carries. Got across for Ireland’s opening try. Solid in the scrum. Has definitely reclaimed the Irish 1 jersey.

Replacements:

16. Sean Cronin – 7 – Put Cooney in for late try.

17. Dave Kilcoyne – NA

18. Andrew Porter – NA

19. Quinn Roux – NA

20. Sean O’Brien – 7 – Good to see him back in the green. Could be pushing for a start next week.

21. John Cooney – NA

22. Joey Carberry – NA

23. Jordan Larmour – 5 – Didn’t get to use his trademark quick feet. Will be disappointed with defensive display making 1 and missing 2.

England:

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15. Elliott Daly –  8

Try, assist, solid in the air.

14. Jack Nowell –  8

Most metres made by any English player with 56m. Even deputising in the backrow during Tom Curry’s period in the bin.

13. Henry Slade – 9

Our Man of the Match. Continual threat with the ball in hand. Busiest English back with 11 tackles. 2 tries, showing great pace for the try from Jonny May’s chip.

12. Manu Tuilagi –  8

Great to see him back in the England starting XV. Solid display. Lucky that his no armed clear out on Jacob Stockdale went unnoticed.

11. Jonny May –  8

Scored on 90 seconds. Totally dominated the aerial battle with his opposite wing with success time and time again.

10. Owen Farrell – 8

Leading from the front and with passion. Clever kicking, huge defensive display and directed the English side to victory.

9. Ben Youngs –  8

A reminder that Connor Murray isn’t the only quality box kicking 9 in the Championship. Regularly put England on the front foot with his pin point box kicking.

8. Billy Vunipola – 8

England’s most efficient carrier but maybe not as destructive as we’re used to.

7. Tom Curry –  7

Silly yellow card with his late hit on Earls. Harried the breakdown well

6. Mark Wilson – 8

Very effective with the unglamorous work required of a back-row forward. 21 tackles – Newcastle will be missing him over these next few weeks

5. George Kruis – 7

Unspectacular but effective work from Saracen’s second row

4. Maro Itoje – 8

England will be hoping that his injury will not be as it looked as he hobbled off the field. One memorable turnover. Fortunate that the collision in the air with Earls was only a penalty

3. Kyle Sinckler – 6

Quiet – only memorable for his exchange with POM

2. Jamie George – 7

Gave away two penalties. Tackled well

1. Mako Vunipola – 9

Extra-ordinary defensive effort. 25 tackles. Very unlucky that his first half try was contentiously denied for double movement.

Replacements:

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie – NA

17. Ellis Genge – NA

18. Harry Williams – NA

19. Courtney Lawes – 8 – Solid shift from the big 2nd rower.

20. Nathan Hughes – 7 Did well playing in the unusual position of 2nd row.

21. Dan Robson – NA

22. George Ford – NA

23. Chris Ashton – NA

Let us know what you think over on Facebook or Twitter.

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6 Nations

Scotland unveil new faces and joint captains for Tonga test

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Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Scotland’s opening match of the 2021 Autumn Nations Series will be marked with a number of notable firsts as Gregor Townsend names the team to face Tonga at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 30 October – kick-off 2:30pm.

Scotland will be represented by Co-Captains for the first time as Glasgow Warriors and British & Irish Lion Ali Price and Edinburgh Rugby’s Jamie Ritchie both lead the team.

The game, live on Amazon Prime, will also see Scotland field four uncapped players in the starting XV, two in the backs and two in the forwards.

A further four debutants are in line for caps off the bench, which has a 6-2 forwards split.

Edinburgh flyer Darcy Graham starts at full-back and is joined in the back three by Glasgow duo Kyle Steyn, who will add to his single cap won against France in the last match at BT Murrayfield played in front of crowds in March 2020, and Rufus McLean who will make his first Scotland start.

Joining McLean on Scotland debut will be clubmate Sione Tuipulotu who lines up with fellow Glasgow Warrior Sam Johnson as the centre partnership.

Co-Captain and Lions scrum-half Ali Price teams up with Edinburgh’s Blair Kinghorn at fly-half to form a brand new half-back pairing.

In the pack fellow British & Irish Lions Zander Fagerson starts at tighthead prop with Hamish Watson at openside flanker, as they feature for Scotland for the first time since the South Africa tour this summer.

Edinburgh Rugby’s Jamie Ritchie, also named as Co-Captain, packs down on the blindside of the scrum which is anchored by Glasgow Warriors’ Matt Fagerson at number eight.

Youth and experience combine in the second row which sees Rob Harley earn his 23rd cap for Scotland and joined by Edinburgh lock Jamie Hodgson, who will win his first cap.

Up front George Turner starts at hooker with Fagerson and with a debutant on the loose-head side in Edinburgh Rugby’s Pierre Schoeman.

Edinburgh Rugby provide forward replacements on debut in the form of lock Marshall Sykes and back-row Luke Crosbie.

Glasgow Warriors half-back partners Jamie Dobie and Ross Thompson are the uncapped backs.

Former Scotland Captain Stuart McInally is available off the bench alongside Glasgow props Jamie Bhatti and Oli Kebble in the front row, with backrow forward Nick Haining of Edinburgh completing the matchday squad.

Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend said: “As a playing and coaching group we are looking forward to returning to international rugby over the coming four weeks in the Autumn Nations Series.

“This week has been our first opportunity since the Six Nations to come together as a team, and our goal is to become a better team over the next month. Saturday will also be a huge occasion for a number of players in our squad who have the honour of playing for their country for the first time.”

Tickets for the game start at £16 for adults and £11 for U18s and students, with U12s tickets only £1. Secure your tickets here.

Source – Scotland Rugby

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6 Nations

Ireland Squad Named For Autumn Nations Series

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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

IRELAND v Japan
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

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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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