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Declan Kidney’s post-Northampton Saints analysis



London Irish Director of Rugby Declan Kidney has said that there are collective things that his side can improve upon having analysed the Exiles’ loss to Northampton Saints.

The Round 2 Gallagher Premiership fixture at the cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens saw the home side collect five points in a 38-22 win, leaving the west Londoners seventh in the table trailing an opening day win over Worcester Warriors.

Irish went into the break 10-0 down and three men light after a trio of temporary dismissals, leaving Kidney’s men up against it which they nonetheless only conceded a four-point aggregate.

Kidney believes there are plenty of learnings for his side to take from the encounter against Phil Dowson’s men ahead of a first double gameweek of the campaign.

 “There were a lot of things there in our control that we can do better, I think there were a couple of momentum swings in the game too,” Kidney stated.

“The two of those things combined probably cost us as the game went on, so it’s well within our grasp to be that much better and fairplay to Northampton, we knew they would be well up for it.

“There are little things that are learnings for us to take, both individually and collectively, and if we can get those right, we’ll be better for it.”

The Boys in Green managed a positive opening 40 minutes, with Henry Arundell’s potential try in the first half ruled out for an earlier infringement that saw a flurry of yellow cards inflicted upon Irish before the half’s end.

With a change in the match’s flow thereafter, Irish’s Director of Rugby explains the effort required from his men to attempt to grasp something from the affair thereafter.

He continued: “It does take the energy out of the boys on the pitch, you could say there was a four-point swing in those nine minutes which isn’t the worst with three men out.

“We got a penalty and they got a bit more momentum then, only scoring right at the end then when our three men came back on.

“The minute preceding that and moments like that we can control better, all the good work wasn’t necessarily undone but we can do a lot better.”

“When you get a yellow, everyone looks at the time when the players are off but everyone has to focus in and use extra energy, and there is a responsibility for everyone then to try and stay on the pitch.

“One of our yellows was unlucky, one was a learning and one was an opinion- what we have to learn that when they all come together it can be a challenge to deal with.

“The more time he and Henry get, the better they will become,” Kidney said of the Club’s England internationals.

“They’re young players, and it will take a while to build up that experience.”

Will Joseph, who scored for the second consecutive week, was one of many positives for Irish on the day and the DoR affirms that contributions from the wider squad will be necessary for the next fortnight and beyond.

“It was an expensive day for us in terms of bangs and knocks but we’ve never been a side to complain, there are loads of guys in our team looking to take their place.

“Like every Club now we have a full-on schedule, there are midweek games for the next two weeks in between league games.

“It will have to be a full squad effort over these next few gameweeks.”

Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby


Irish name side for west London derby



Declan Kidney has confirmed the squad for Sunday’s derby clash with Harlequins at the Gtech Community Stadium in Round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership (3pm kick-off).

Will Goodrick-Clarke, Agustin Creevy and Oliver Hoskins are in the front row, with Rob Simmons and Adam Coleman in the second row.

Matt Rogerson captains the side from the six jersey and is joined in the back row by Tom Pearson and Chandler Cunningham-South.

Ben White and Paddy Jackson link up to form the halfback duo, and Rory Jennings partners Benhard van Rensburg in the centres.

Michael Dykes, Lucio Cinti and James Stokes complete the line-up as the back three.

“Whenever these two clubs pitch up against one another, it always creates a good game of rugby,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“I know that we are expecting a good crowd at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday, and they will inevitably create a great atmosphere.

“We need to make sure that we put in a full 80-minute performance to give our supporters a reason to show their voice. Harlequins are a well-drilled side, and we know it will be a difficult challenge this weekend, but one we look forward to.”

London Irish:
15 James Stokes, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 4 Rob Simmons, 5 Adam Coleman, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Chandler Cunningham-South.

16 Mike Willemse, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Henry Arundell.

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Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby

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Baxter issues Moon injury update



Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby

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TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby



South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 


16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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