This chat was Schmidt's chance to shape public conversation around Ireland's exit from the World Cup. He spoke about how the loss of Paul O'Connell, Johnny Sexton, Peter O'Mahony, Jared Payne and Seán O'Brien was a factor in the defeat. He pointed to the poor start and regret over not making a decision on Sexton's fitness earlier in the week to give Ian Madigan more time. Irish rugby was at a low point when Schmidt faced into the greatest challenge of his career in trying to rebuild the national team after that World Cup. In January 2016, the provinces' love-in with the Champions Cup bottomed out: for the first time since 1998 no Irish team qualified for the quarter-finals. The 2016 Six Nations did little to change the theme of Irish rugby in a state of flux. With Rory Best taking over as captain, Schmidt included debutants CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Ultan Dillane and Stuart McCloskey in the squad. But so low were expectations that it was easy to forget Ireland were going in … [Read more...] about Sinead Kissane: ‘How Schmidt turned transition into great timing for World Cup bid’
Italy 1998 world cup squad
So, it's T-minus one year until rugby's biggest tournament takes centre stage in Japan – the first time the World Cup will be held in Asia. The hosts kick-off the showpiece against minnows Russia on September 21, 2019 at the Tokyo Stadium – and they will hope to start as they did in 2015 when they produced a stunning victory over the Springboks in a blockbuster on the south coast. Holders New Zealand are, despite last weekend's slip-up against South Africa, firm favourites to retain their crown – but can any of the northern hemisphere sides challenge the formidable All Blacks next autumn? England looked to be their strongest challengers until a string of big defeats in 2018 was coupled with Ireland's emergence as a true world force. But there are still plenty of contenders among the big rugby nations. Here, Sportsmail takes a look at the year ahead, the stadiums, how the home nations are shaping up and just how strong the three southern hemisphere sides are … [Read more...] about 2019 Rugby World Cup countdown: Complete guide with one year to go
By Bryn Palmer BBC Scotland 5 Sep From the section Women's Football Share this with Digg Facebook Google LinkedIn Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Copy this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/45422935 Read more about sharing. Scotland are going to the World Cup in France next summer. It will be the first time the women's team have reached the game's showpiece tournament and the first time any Scottish side have since the men opened the 1998 finals in Paris.The achievement follows on from their major tournament debut in last year's European Championships, but who are these new heroes? What impact will their qualification have? And will it benefit the game in Scotland?BBC Scotland asked some of those closest to the game in this country...Are all of Scotland's players professional?Nineteen of the 23 players in Shelley Kerr's squad for the final two qualifiers against Switzerland … [Read more...] about Scotland Women: What will World Cup qualification do?
It's all systems go for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with Wales revealing their four warm-up games and the date the final squad will be selected. Playing in the global extravaganza is right up there with the feel of a British and Irish Lions jersey slipping over the shoulders. But for some stellar Welsh internationals, it's an experience that has eluded them in their Test careers. We look at Wales' unlucky 10 never to savour the magic of a Rugby World Cup. Rhys Webb His hopes of playing in the 2015 tournament were torpedoed after picking up a serious foot injury during Wales' final warm-up game with Italy in Cardiff. And now it seems Webb's World Cup ship has sailed when the 31-times capped Welsh scrum-half crossed the Channel in the summer on a three-year deal with French giants Toulon. Gavin Henson It's one of Welsh rugby's great mysteries and tales of cruel timing that conspired to deny gifted Gav a foot on the global stage. He could well have played in four by now, but was left out … [Read more...] about How fate stopped these top Wales rugby stars playing at the World Cup
Sport by Press Association 05/09/2018, 11:40 am FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Send us a story Sign up to our Daily newsletter England will play a Test match in Newcastle for the first time in preparation for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, the Rugby Football Union has announced. Italy will be England’s opponents at St James’ Park on September 6, 2019, in one of four pre-World Cup warm-up matches. Eddie Jones’ side will play Wales twice – on August 11 at Twickenham and six days later in Cardiff – and Ireland at Twickenham on August 24. St James’ Park has a capacity of 52,345 and hosted matches in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. It is the first time since October 2015 that England have played a home Test away from Twickenham. That was the 2015 World Cup dead rubber with Uruguay at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, when England were eliminated at the pool stage, prompting the departure of Stuart Lancaster as head coach and the … [Read more...] about England to play first Test in Newcastle ahead of 2019 Rugby World Cup