Owen Farrell is sitting with his dad debating which of them is the most competitive. “He says he never lets me win, but I always win anyway,” says the fly-half, breaking into a laugh. “He never wins anything. I’d never let him win,” counters Farrell snr, rugby league legend turned top union coach. “Even playing tiddlywinks tomorrow I would never let him win. But he’s getting to that stage now where I have to be on my toes.” Owen shakes his head. “It was that stage about five years ago!” Given their respective achievements the back-and-forth ribbing is to be expected. Yet this was nine years ago. Farrell jnr was 17, just starting out. As an insight into the player he would become it was revealing. You could not watch the World Rugby interview and conclude anything other than this young man was going places. Fast forward to today and the same player is in Japan preparing to captain England in a World Cup. He has 73 caps and 817 … [Read more...] about England captain Owen Farrell has unfinished business at Rugby World Cup 2019
Dates rugby world cup 2019
If England can win a second Rugby World Cup on Saturday, the current crop of players will become household names overnight Companies will no doubt be queuing up to offer the winners a string of endorsements, while there are sure to be a host of requests from TV shows to boot. It’s something the Red Roses’ victorious 2003 side had to get used to after that famous night in Sydney 16 years ago . And what has happened to them in the intervening years may offer an insight into what the current England team can expect should they lift the Webb Ellis Cup this weekend. Starting XV Trevor Woodman: Part of a fearsome front row, but moved into coaching after his playing days were curtailed. Currently involved in the set-up at Gallagher Premiership side Gloucester. Steve Thompson: Initially retired in 2007 because of a neck injury, but capped a remarkable comeback by appearing at the 2011 World Cup. Now a rugby analyst and business development executive in the UAE. Phil … [Read more...] about England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning squad – where are they now?
We are in Sydney, it is a November day and an unusually large number of overseas visitors are behaving like Christmas has come early. The year is 2003 and it is the morning after a rugby match played at the Olympic Stadium. Rather a big one. Which went to extra-time. And came down to a last-gasp drop goal. Around the Manly Pacific Hotel, a ferry ride away from the opera house, the harbour bridge and downtown Sydney, one question is being asked. How did England stay so impossibly cool as the World Cup final drew its dying breath? Inside their beachfront hotel the answer comes from Will Greenwood, a player still coming to terms with the magnitude of victory over the host nation. It encapsulates why World Cup warm-up matches are staged and why England need to use wisely the four they have coming up. “People asked whether those warm-up games were the best thing for us,” said the midfield ace, referring to fixtures against Wales in Cardiff and France, twice, in Marseille and at … [Read more...] about Why England’s Rugby World Cup warm-up matches could hold key to victory this summer
As Scotland’s World Cup ambitions teeter on the edge of elimination, Shelley Kerr attempted to allay fears by insisting these were the results she had planned for all along. Scotland have started their first ever World Cup campaign with two losses from their two opening matches against England and Japan. Both times they went into the break 2-0 down, and both times they were on the comeback trail, having salvaged a goal, when the final whistle blew. Scotland's final Group D tie against Argentina on Wednesday is now a must-win to have any hope of achieving their aim of progressing to the knock-outs, but Kerr says she anticipated this scenario as the most likely before the tournament even began. “I’d say the Argentina game was always going to be the big one for us," she said. "I’m not going to lie, I was hoping to get something out [of the first two matches], a point maybe. It wasn’t to be for us. “There’s still a chance for us … [Read more...] about Shelley Kerr tries to calm World Cup exit fears by insisting Scotland planned for Argentina decider
England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has labelled the stricter interpretation of penalty laws preventing goalkeepers moving off their line before a penalty kick “cruel and pedantic” after Scotland were knocked out of the World Cup in controversial circumstances. Scotland were the second side at this World Cup to be penalised under the strict application of the laws, which require the goalkeeper to have at least one foot on the line when the ball is struck, after keeper Lee Alexander had initially saved a crucial spot kick against Argentina. There has been widespread criticism of the law in general, but also the fact VAR is being used to enforce it, something which will not happen in the Premier League next season. There also a growing unease that the Women’s World Cup has been used to “trial” the use of VAR to spot infringement, something that would not happen in the men’s game. In 2015, Fifa also trialled the use of … [Read more...] about Karen Bardsley criticises ‘cruel and pedantic’ penalty laws after Scotland’s nightmare World Cup exit