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England Duo Try American Football Challenge

England stars Danny Cipriani and Dylan Hartley have both represented their nation in rugby but now they have gone head to head in American Football trick shot challenge

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England Rugby stars Danny Cipriani and Dylan Hartley have tried their luck at the American football Jeep Wrangler Trick Shot Challenge ahead of England’s Rugby World Cup semi-final against the All Blacks tomorrow and American football taking place in London this weekend.

The duo were joined by American footballers and brothers Patrick and Jack Daley. Patrick is the starting quarter-back for the Great Britain Lions team, while Jack is the kicker for the London Blitz and were tasked with teaching the rugby players how to take on their three challenges. 

First up the England internationals were brought to the top of a derelict building in the London Docklands, where they were asked to attempt to throw a ‘spiral shot’ into the back of a Jeep Wrangler which was being driven by Jack Daley. 

Both tried their luck on multiple occasions, with Cipriani hitting the bonnet and side of the jeep, before Hartley managed a 50 yard shot into the off-road vehicle. 

However, next up it was the same challenge except Jack Daley asked them to kick it instead. As imagined, Cipriani claimed this task with a lovely kick from 60 yards. 

In the winner takes all final challenge they had to hit a ‘Hail Mary’ pass into the back of the moving Wrangler once more, with Patrick Daley hitting the shot first time. The Englishmen tried to replicate it several times until Hartley eventually slotted the ball into the back, and claiming the title of the trick shot challenge. 

Speaking after the event Cipriani admitted it he was delighted to take part as he is a massive fan of the sport. 

“I’m a big American football fan having spent some time with a team over in the US taking part in a training session. So, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to spend the day mucking around with an American football while trying to get one over Dylan and attempting some epic trick shots into the back of a moving Wrangler,” he said. 

While Hartley was just happy to be out and about as he continues his rehabilitation from injury which forced him out of selection for the England squad for the World Cup as he could not find enough game time. 

“Most of my time at the moment is spent doing injury rehab so it’s been nice to do something a bit different. There’s definitely some transferable skills between rugby and American football – although attempting to get an American football into the back of a moving Jeep Wrangler made the learning process more complicated,” he said. 

With their country playing in the semi-finals tomorrow, both gave their views on the game and are positive that England will show no fear ahead of taking on the back to back Webb Ellis Cup holders. 

“There’s no fear factor, it’s probably what the media create around it, there’s never a fear factor in playing them. Previously in the last two decades they have been the most dominant team because they consistently produce great players and good coaches. The way that England prepare will be very meticulous and down to a tee for the weekend,” Cipriani said. 

Hartley agreed with Cipriani’s views and believes that although his side are underdogs heading into the game they are well capable of turning over their opponents. 

“I have no doubt that England can beat them. The team that we played last November we came within a point, which is obviously frustrating, we had a try disallowed with Courtney’s offside, so the team will believe. The throwback to when we beat them at Twickenham a few years back and Manu had his day and he did whatever he wanted so the players will run with that belief again in the team,” he added. 

Both players will be watching on as England take on the All Blacks tomorrow hoping they can cause a big upset. However, they will quickly focus their attention to their club sides as Hartley’s Northampton take on Worcester in the Gallagher Premiership round two before Cipriani’s Gloucester face Wasps later in the day. 

Check Out the Video of How the Rugby Stars got on Below.

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England v Barbarians: CANCELLED

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The RFU has today cancelled the Quilter Cup England v Barbarians fixture scheduled for Sunday 25 October.
 
As part of its ongoing investigation into a breach of the Covid code of conduct that took place on 21 October, the RFU has today discovered there was an earlier undisclosed breach that took place on 20 October when a number of Barbarians players left the hotel bubble without permission and without informing organisers about their whereabouts.
 
The RFU has concluded that the players leaving their Covid-secure environment on 20 October without then isolating from the rest of the group on their return has resulted in the bubble environment being compromised, with the potential risk of Covid transmission from individuals outside the bubble to everyone in the Barbarians team and management.
 

The RFU is therefore left with no alternative but to cancel the game.

Bill Sweeney, RFU CEO said: “We are incredibly disappointed to be calling a halt to this fixture, we know how much fans were looking forward to seeing the teams play.  However, our priority is to protect the health and safety of the England squad and the other international teams they will go up against this Autumn.  There has been a great deal of effort put into Covid codes of conduct and planning for games, including cooperation with Premiership Clubs to release additional players to fulfil the fixture safely, and we are all incredibly frustrated and disappointed that the actions of a number of Barbarians players mean we no longer feel it is safe for the game to go ahead.”

The RFU investigation is ongoing and no details on individuals or numbers of players involved will be confirmed until the investigation is concluded.

STATEMENT FROM RFU ENDS

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Ireland name 4 debutants in squad for Italy Test

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Image from IRFU

The Ireland Coaching Team have named the matchday squad for the rescheduled 2020 Guinness Six Nations Championships fixture against Italy which will take place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 24th October.

There are four uncapped players included in the squad with Will Connors and Hugo Keenan named in the starting XV. Ed Byrne and Jamison Gibson-Park are in line for their international debuts off the bench.

Captain, Johnny Sexton is joined in the half backs by Conor Murray with Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose paired in the midfield.

Jacob Stockdale is named at fullback with Andrew Conway and the uncapped Keenan, who has been capped at Ireland 7s level, on the wings.

In the front row Cian Healy edges closer to a century of caps as he makes his 99th appearance. He is joined by Rob Herring and Andrew Porter  while James Ryan and Tadgh Beirne fill the second row berths

In the back row Caelan Doris is named at blindside, Will Connors makes his debut at openside and CJ Stander is at No.8.

In the replacement forwards Byrne is joined by Dave Heffernan, who will be hoping to add the cap he won against the USA in 2017, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane and Peter O’Mahony.

Ross Byrne and Robbie Henshaw are the replacement backs alongside the uncapped Gibson-Park
Kick-off at the Aviva Stadium is 3.30pm on Saturday 24th October and the game is being televised by Virgin Media and ITV and is live in RTÉ radio.

Press Release from IRFU

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Scotland name team to face Georgia

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(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scotland’s opening game of the autumn campaign will mark a series of firsts as Head Coach Gregor Townsend’s side play Georgia at BT Murrayfield on Friday 23 October (kick-off 7:30pm)

Scotland’s opening game of the autumn campaign will mark a series of firsts as Head Coach Gregor Townsend’s side play Georgia at BT Murrayfield on Friday 23 October (kick-off 7:30pm).

Glasgow Warriors hooker Fraser Brown will captain his country for the first time, winning his 51st cap, while Edinburgh winger Duhan van der Merwe starts and will make his debut for Scotland, as will Glasgow Warriors prop Oli Kebble, who is among the replacements.Townsend has also named scrum-half, Ali Price and back-row, Jamie Ritchie as vice-captains.

The team features some returning faces with Glasgow Warrior Matt Fagerson making his first start since facing the Georgian’s at home in Tblisi in August 2019 and Harlequins’ James Lang lining up at inside centre to win his 3rd cap, having last featured in the 2018 summer tour, playing against Canada and Argentina.Captain Fraser Brown packs down in the front row with Zander Fagerson and Rory Sutherland, with Ben Toolis and Scott Cummings pairing at lock.

Matt Fagerson starts at number 8 with Edinburgh backrows Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson on the flanks.Glasgow Warriors provide the half-back pairing of Ali Price and Adam Hastings who partnered during the 2020 Guinness Six Nations, with Racing 92 fly-half Finn Russell poised to win his 50th Scotland cap as a replacement, following his Heineken Champions Cup Final appearance last Saturday.

James Lang lines up alongside Gloucester’s Chris Harris in the centres and the starting XV is completed with an all Edinburgh back three of Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe on the wings and Blair Kinghorn at full back.

“It’s been great to have the players back in camp and as coaches, we’ve really enjoyed working with them again after the enforced break due to Covid-19.
Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend.

“As we start our autumn series the game against Georgia provides a real test as a first up match and we have taken the opportunity to select a side that reflects where our players are in terms of their game time this season, their current form, as well as the contributions they made during the Six Nations at the start of the year.”

“It is a testament to the professionalism and hard work Fraser has given to Scotland in recent years that we have selected him as the captain and he will be well supported by Jamie and Ali, who have grown as leaders over the past couple of seasons.”“Georgia have a new coaching group in place and will want to put down a marker for their own campaign so we have picked as strong a squad as possible to go up against what will be a very physical and motivated opponent.”

Scotland team to play Georgia at BT Murrayfield

Friday 23 October (kick-off 7:30pm) – live on ITV4

Edinburgh players Grant Gilchrist and Damien Hoyland left the Autumn Series squad this week due to injury, with Sale hooker Ewan Ashman being added to the training squad.

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