This Six Nations returns this weekend having taken a well deserved breather last week, with teams again set to battle it out for victories over their Northern hemisphere rivals.
It is hard to look anywhere else for the tie of the round, as England host Wales at Twickenham on Saturday evening in what could well be the title decider.
Having started confidently in their new era under Eddie Jones, England will be looking to banish painful memories of their World Cup exit to their neighbours, which eventually contributed to their exit at the group stage. For Wales, Warren Gatland’s side will be looking to build upon recent victories against Scotland and France.
Ireland have won the last two Six Nations competitions and will be chasing down a third consecutive success in the tournament. Although they have lost a number of key personalities, Joe Schmidt’s side is still extremely talented and the Irish will be quietly confident of achieving their ultimate goal in 2016. We take a look at their chances of success in spring’s competition.
2015 Player of the Tournament Paul O’Connell hung up his boots after Ireland’s disappointing exit in October’s World Cup. The Irish lock suffered a tournament-ending injury that cost him the opportunity to lead his team out against Argentina and they missed his presence as they fell to the Pumas at the quarter-final stage of the competition.
Ahead of the Rugby Union World Cup, ex-Australia coach Robbie Deans has said that Ireland can win the tournament, and that the team is ideally placed to take home the coveted trophy right now.
“Ireland are absolutely one of the sides in contention for the World Cup,” Deans said.
“This is going to be a great World Cup. There's more uncertainty in terms of the ultimate winner than there's ever been. And there are more sides capable of getting onto the podium than ever before, and that's great for the game.
“Joe Schmidt has started really well at Test level,” he continued, speaking about the New Zealander.
“Ireland are very well-placed I think right now; the timing of this World Cup is good for them. They've got a good nucleus of experience, and they've shown there's no one in the world they can't beat, and that includes the All Blacks.
There is indeed a possibility that the Ireland Rugby Team will be able to win the Grand Slam of this year’s Six Nations Rugby competition.
In the match between the England Rugby team and the Irish Rugby Team that was scheduled to take place in Dublin on 1st March, Sunday, the former was defeated by a considerably large margin, the final score of the English team stood at 9 while that of their opponents was 19.
Before the match, both the sides looked equally strong but the match clearly was one sided. If the English team managed to defeat the Irish team then they would have secured for themselves a position in Grand Slam which hasn’t happened in twelve years.
The 29 years old Jonathan Sexton playing for the Irish team managed to score in four penalties and the 21 years old Robbie Henshaw of the Irish team scored a try in second half.
Will Greenwood, a former Rugby World Cup winner with the England team, has the Ireland Rugby Team to secure the title this time around and has them backed at 25/1 since April last year as well.
Greenwood is currently employed as an expert by Sky Sports and he expected Ireland to come out of Pool D in first place, ahead of both France and Italy and he also thinks that in Joe Schmidt, the team has one of the best coaches in the world, which marginally tips the balance in their favour as well.
He said that he began putting his money on the Ireland team from April, backing them at 25/1. He added that he is very optimistic about the Ireland Rugby Team topping their pool and Greenwood also believes that England will managed to top their pool as well, which means that there is a high possibility of these two sides meeting in the semi final stages.
Much to the dismay of Irish rugby fans who were elated to witness the 2023 World Cup in their own country, Ireland’s dream to host the esteemed championship has received a huge setback – as the planning permission to redevelop Casement Park got denied.
A Belfast High Court made this decision of late & Casement being one among the stadiums to serve as the venue for Rugby 2023 World, this very news was a bad blow.
The ruling said that it is just unlawful to grant the planning permit for a 38,000 seater stadium right in the middle of the West Belfast area. But, Justice Horner hasn’t yet trashed the decision to get extension for Casement.
The crowded High Court arena heard that this very decision-making procedure planned by Mark Durkan, the environment minister of Northern Ireland, had been quite “unlawful & inadequate” but the High Court judge did not overturn the decision for the 77 million pounds of redevelopment for the stadium.
The semi-synthetic pitch in College Park is now open for the players of the oldest rugby club of Ireland to practice on. This club was founded in 1854.
The long wait of 18 years is finally over as the students will be stepping into the new pitch leaving behind the legendary grass pitch of Monkstown Rugby Club which no longer seems perfect for the games. The College Park is just in the middle of the city and also a very popular place in the whole country. The authorities from the university protect the park closely.
Steve Borthwick, the captain of the Saracens Rugby club had announced his retirement from professional Rugby at the end of the previous season. The experienced English and former Bath lock had moved to Saracens in 2008 and has not looked back since. He has ridden high on confidence and has been fittingly identified as one of the legends of the club by their director Mark McCall. It was a big decision for Borthwick who was given a choice by his team and he chose to leave on his own terms. The much important onus of captaining the club now lies on Alistair Hargreaves, the South African international. Alistair joined the club from the rugby premiership team Sharks and has impressed the coaching staff while gaining the respect of the other players. He was announced as a befitting replacement for Borthwick and the fans are hopeful that they will scale new heights under the new leadership and improved coaching facilities in its base camp.
Newcastle Falcons have used the Kingston Park multi-purpose stadium as their home ground since 1990 when they shifted from their original ground. Over the years it had been used as the site for Newcastle Chronicle and Journal Sports ground. The stadium was built in stages to ensure a capacity of more than ten thousand. The west stand is built keeping in mind the modern technologies and architecture. There are plans of extending the north and west stands in due course of time in order to build a world class stadium for the rugby giants. However the latest news which has created a lot of buzz among the rugby circuit is the installation of an artificial turf for the home team by the company that was responsible for the first of this artificial kind of pitch in Saracens’ Allianz Park.
Peter O’Mahony has been sidelined with an injury which will see him miss out on the Argentina tour of the Ireland Rugby Team.
The Munster skipper underwent a reconstructive shoulder surgery in Dublin recently and this means he will have to sit out for the next six months at least as he recuperates from the surgery.
Rob Penney, the head coach of Munster had confirmed last month that the player sustained the injury during the country’s successful campaign in the Six Nations Championship earlier this year when he over extended his shoulder during an early lineout call and this cost him one of his most experienced players as well as club skipper.
O’Mahony lasted barely a half during their 47-23 victory over Toulouse which was his last match for the season.