96 points, 11 tries, 0 fans - Paolo Odogwu stars as Wasps beat Bath
State of Union Address
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3y ago
The curtain may have come down on European club rugby temporarily, but this was a match that captured the excitement that northern hemisphere club rugby can deliver. If English rugby can be known as a stodgy, boot-based affair in which defences dominate, this was the perfect rebuttal. In fact, it was the stuff of a defence coach's nightmares. Despite the sub-zero temperature at The Rec both Bath and Wasps displayed the slickest of handling - if not the most resolute of defences - as Paolo Odogwu and Tom Cruse scored two apiece for the visitors. Embed from Getty Images Winger Odogwu ca ..read more
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Ireland v Samoa: Talking points and reaction as the Irish qualify from Pool A at Rugby World Cup
State of Union Address
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5y ago
A busy time down in Fukuoka last night, covering Ireland's emphatic win over Samoa. On-the-whistle pieces for The Independent and The Guardian, and more reflective pieces for The Observer and The Rugby Paper. Embed from Getty Images ..read more
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Scotland captain John Barclay: "I need to prove I deserve to be involved against Japan”
State of Union Address
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5y ago
John Barclay insists he is not looking beyond Thursday's encounter with Russia, despite Scotland's looming - and intriguing - Pool A denouement against Japan. Barclay started in Scotland's dismal opening loss to Ireland and was dropped from the match-day squad for the much-improved win over Samoa. But he will captain Scotland against Russia in Shizuoka tomorrow as head coach Gregor Townsend makes 14-changes. Townsend is seeking to rest key players ahead of the showdown with Japan just four days later. The flanker (pictured) says he "needs to prove" he deserves to be involved against Japan ..read more
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Bundee Aki ignores "project players" controversy and is ready to do Ireland proud against Samoa
State of Union Address
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5y ago
Bundee Aki says he will “do Ireland proud” if he get the chance to secure the nation’s place in the knock-out stages against the country of his ancestry. Samoa are Ireland’s final Pool A opposition in Fukuoka on Saturday, and Aki, who is of Samoan descent, is ignoring the comments of those who question his right to play for the Emerald Isle. Embed from Getty Images Born in New Zealand, Aki qualified to play for Ireland in 2017 through residency after leaving Auckland with his family three years earlier. Since then, the centre has excelled for Connacht and become a hard-tackling and har ..read more
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Andy Farrell: Ireland must benefit from Japan set-back like England handled turmoil in 2007 World Cup
State of Union Address
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5y ago
Ireland coach Andy Farrell believes his experience of England’s World Cup “turmoil” in 2007 can be used to Ireland’s advantage as they seek to bounce back from their shock defeat to Japan. Defence coach Farrell, who will take over the head coach role from Joe Schmidt after the World Cup, says Ireland’s performance in their 19-12 defeat to Japan in Shizuoka “wasn’t good enough”, but says the tournament has a history of sides who have profitably adapted to early disappointments. Embed from Getty Images “You can use a set-back in the right manner,” said Farrell, who in 2007 was part of Bri ..read more
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Manu Tuilagi is England's key asset for Japan World Cup, says Jason Robinson
State of Union Address
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5y ago
Jason Robinson believes Manu Tuilagi will channel years of injury frustration to become England’s game-changing star during the World Cup. Embed from Getty Images Tuilagi scored twice in the 35-3 win over Tonga, making 93m for England in 11 ball carries. Robinson, who scored England’s try in their victory over Australia in the 2003 final, worked with the England squad before they flew out to Japan and says Tuilagi was the stand-out performer. Embed from Getty Images “I’m so excited about Manu,” says Robinson, who is now an ambassador for Rugby World Cup sponsor Mastercard. “He ..read more
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BOOK LAUNCH: 'Sports Journalism: The State of Play'
State of Union Address
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5y ago
My latest book, Sports Journalism: The State of Play, has just been published by Routledge, with a positive reaction from the industry. The book contains insights and predictions into the changing world of sports journalism, and is aimed at both practising sports journalists, aspiring sports journalists, and sports media academics. Interviewees include a range of leading sports journalists, including Anna Kessel, Stuart James, Sam Peters, Steve Marshall, David Emery and James Pearce. The Sports Journalists' Association have done a piece on the book with my co-author Daragh Minogue. Paddy ..read more
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UK Anti-Doping's James Hudson highlights the danger of drug misuse in rugby
State of Union Address
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5y ago
UK Anti-Doping's James Hudson spoke exclusively to me about the perils around doping in rugby union. The experienced Premiership lock - now a researcher and sports nutrition expert - spoke to me ahead of the publication of the RFU's eighth annual report into anti-doping. A version of this piece ran in The Rugby Paper before the report was published, and my interview with Hudson was also used within The Independent's coverage of the report. Rugby runs the risk of players taking performance-enhancing drugs as a “last roll of the dice” unless education around doping is stepped up, UK Anti-Doping ..read more
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New book out in autumn: Sports Journalism
State of Union Address
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5y ago
I have a new book, Sports Journalism, out in the autumn of 2019. After a few dramatic moments in extra time, the manuscript is now with the publisher Routledge and it's due for publication in September. The book is an analysis of contemporary sports journalism with a focus on how the digital revolution has affected the sports media landscape. There is a bit of history, a bit of ethics, a bit of sociology, a bit of crystal ball-gazing... a bit of everything that's intended to get both current and trainee sports journalists thinking about what it means to be a sports journalist today, and where ..read more
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