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Quinlan Fires Back at Gatland’s Ireland Comments

Former Ireland player Alan Quinlan has expressed his annoyance at Warren Gatland’s post-match comments on Saturday

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Former Ireland star Alan Quinlan has lashed out at Welsh head coach Warren Gatland’s post-match comments following Ireland’s 19-10 win on Saturday.

Gatland complained that Ireland lacked ambition in their game-plan and kept things simple during their win.

“Ireland went back to what they are traditionally good at. They just played phase, after phase after phase, see if they can get a penalty chance, kick the ball down the field and then try and squeeze you in your 22,” he said.

Quinlan, who was speaking on Irish show Off The Ball AM, hit back at Gatland’s comments as he believed they were hypocritical of the Kiwi and his side.

“What expansive rugby did they play? Where were they effective? They got one try in the game from an interception. What does Warren Gatland expect Ireland to do? Throw the ball around the place and show their hand before the World Cup? He was never going to do that either. I like Gatty, but that stuff irritated me after the game. It was condescending and insulting,” he said.

The 27-cap former Ireland international went on to accuse Gatland of holding a grudge due to his sacking as Ireland’s head coach many year’s ago.

“I don’t know why he needs to say that stuff after a game. I was more disappointed with that than any of the stuff Gatty’s said before. It was bitter, and there is a bitterness there in Warren Gatland about what happened to him a long time ago when he got shafted here. It would have been nice if he’d come out and given more credit to Joe Schmidt for what he’s achieved, and Rory Best in his last game there, but what he was saying is absolute b*******,” he added.

Quinlan finished off his point against Gatland’s claim by suggesting that Wales played a very simple game on route to winning this year’s grand slam.

“Wales won a Grand Slam in the Six Nations just gone by, [and] Ireland scored 14 tries and Wales scored 10. He’s talking about ambition. Winning a Grand Slam while scoring 10 tries – no bonus point in five games. What’s he talking about? What way does he play? His team are stopping teams from playing, they’re competing incredibly aggressively around the breakdown, putting massive pressure on teams,” he ended up.

Ireland and Wales both head to Japan this week ahead of their opening Rugby World Cup fixtures next week with both looking to go as far as possible in this year’s tournament with both head coaches Gatland and Joe Schmidt stepping aside after competition concludes.

Rugby

Gatland Explains England RWC Final Comments

Warren Gatland has come out to explain his comments around England’s Rugby World Cup final as well as looking back on one vital mistake he made in his career

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Former Wales head coach Warren Gatland has given his reason for predicting England’s fall in the Rugby World Cup final while talking to Off the Ball.

The coaching great, who stepped aside from his 12-year stint with Wales following the conclusion of their World Cup campaign was promoting his new book ‘Pride and Passion’ and explained how the emotional toll of England’s semi-final win over New Zealand was hard to follow up. 

“At the very elite level of sport, it is the emotion that counts. And sometimes when you have a great performance and you are emotionally charged right on the edge, it is difficult to repeat that,” he said. 

It proved to be the case for England as they failed to find another gear in the final, being dominated by South Africa who ran out 32-12 winners. He drew on past experiences in his career to back up his point, including a discussion about the 2013 British and Irish Lions Tour.

“When I look back at my time coaching, there are two examples that really strike out for me. One was in London coaching Wasps, and we played Leicester in the last round. Martin Johnson’s last game and Neil Back’s last game at Welford Road. I completely underestimated the emotion of that. They beat us 45-24 or something like that. Then in the final, I didn’t think they could bring the same level of emotion so we put 40-points on them in the final. It was the same scenario with Australia in the second test in 2013. James Horwill, tears running down his eyes, the effort and energy they put into that, I didn’t think they could bring the same the following week,” he added. 

That Lions tour threw up some major complications for Gatland including a decision to drop Irish legend Brian O’Driscoll for the third test, which caused huge backlash and the Kiwi regrets how he went about the decision that week. 

“The biggest mistake we made was on the Sunday after the second test we put Brian up for media. That was a huge mistake because everyone just assumed with Sam Warburton getting injured that Brian was going to play and going to be captain the following week. So we made the decision and I said to the other coaches ‘there could be a big falling out over this’. I didn’t realise quite the extent,” he finished. 

Gatland’s experience is easy to see and he will take charge of yet another Lions tour in 2021 as he leads his charges to South Africa as he completes the full cycle of tours having also managed them to a series draw with New Zealand in 2017. In the meantime Gatland has taken up a role with Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs as he returns to his homeland looking to add further success to his CV.

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International

Jones Looking into Coaching Code Switch

England head coach Eddie Jones has been a part of some of the biggest teams in Rugby Union history, but it seems as though he might want to make a name for himself in Rugby League now according to reports

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England head coach Eddie Jones is eyeing a coaching career in Rugby League at some point in the future according to a report in the New Zealand Herald.

Jones, who guided England to the Rugby World Cup final in Japan earlier this month, only to fall at the final hurdle 32-12 to South Africa, is apparently hoping to change codes, moving from union to league, and wants to take over the South Sydney Rabbitohs. 

The Australian rugby league side are currently under the management of Wayne Bennent, former star in the sport. However, Jones would like to replace him in his position once his time in the role comes to an end the report claims. 

“The noise around Eddie Jones had him in line for the Wallabies coaching job — but the truth is there is another gig that he really covets. NRL clubs take note, Jones would like a crack at rugby league at some point in his career. Even though he has one of the highest-profile and highest-paying positions in world rugby, there is a part of Jones that wants to test himself. As far as tests go, taking on an NRL job is a big one. From what I can gather, he has told mates that taking over from Wayne Bennett when he finishes at Souths appeals. He has a soft spot for the club. It’s doubtful the Rabbitohs would be aware of his ambitions because he has only shared his league thoughts with a select few,” the piece in the Herald reads. 

Having been a part of international set-ups such as Australia, South Africa, Japan and now England it would be a huge call if he decided to move as it would see him leave one of the biggest jobs in union to shift to a less luxurious club-based job in league. 

However, it is thought that Jones wants a new challenge and this could be it. His current contract with the English national side is set to expire come 2021, with many expecting him to be offered an extension following their World Cup campaign and lead them to the 2023 edition of the tournament, but this urge for a new challenge could make that a little more complicated. 

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Rugby

World Rugby Awards 2019 Recap

The World Cup came to a dramatic end on Saturday and following the incredible tournament in Japan this year’s World Rugby awards were handed out and here’s everything you need to know about what happened

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(Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

The Rugby World Rugby awards took place yesterday in Tokyo following the conclusion of the Rugby on Saturday and here’s all you need to know about who won what.

Firstly Springbok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit picked up the men’s player of the year award to add to his World Cup medal that he collected 24 hours earlier after the Boks crushing 32-12 victory over England in the final. In winning the award he became the third South African to do so following in the steps of Schalk Burger and Bryan Habana. 

While in the women’s category there was some joy for England as Emily Scarratt was handed the player of the year award for 2019 following an impressive year which saw her lift the Six Nations Grand Slam title with the Red Roses. 

In the coach of the year category there was further Springbok joy as head coach Rassie Erasmus received the award after doing an amazing job during his 18-month stint with the country turning their fortunes completely around, guiding them to victory in a shortened Rugby Championship and the World Cup this year. 

With that in mind it was no surprise that the Boks dominance on the awards night continued with another win in the team of the year category as they saw off competition from Japan, England, New Zealand and Wales with captain Siya Kolisi collecting the award on behalf of his teammates. 

English hearts were broken once again when France’s Romain Ntamack pipped winger Joe Cokansiga and South Africa’s Herschel Jantjies to the breakthrough player of the year award. 

However, England did have the consolation of coming out on top in the referee category as Wayne Barnes received acknowledgement for his efforts as the man in the middle. 

New Zealand picked up one award on the night as scrum-half TJ Perenara claimed the try of the year for that stunning score against Namibia in the World Cup group stages. 

Lastly, Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip, a former 95-cap international was handed the International Rugby Players’ special merit award on what was a memorable night in Japan to close out the impressive World Cup that the country has hosted.

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