Canada 7s Men

Not all is sundry with the players of Canada men 7s team. There is a debate going on with the players and the management regarding how financially viable it is to run the program. The dispute that has arisen between the sevens team and the management has made the current programs uncertain. There is not much of clear news at the moment.

However, the distance between the two parts of the program is apparent as the players have not started training as yet at the Center of Excellence. However, with pre season tournaments coming up in October, the tickets are already sold. At the same time the team has not started to prepare as yet.

The dispute seems to be serious as World Rugby has decided to intervene. A mediator has been assigned and will meet with the two sides by next week. There have been general statements issued in the media about steps being taken to solve the financial issues. (more…)

Uganda To Play Zimbabwe

The Rugby 7s tournament starts off this Friday between Uganda and Zimbabwe. There are four pools that have been formed. Each pool comprises of three countries each. Pool A comprises of Senegal, Nigeria and Kenya while Pool B comprises of Uganda, Mauritius and Zimbabwe. Pool C comprises of Zambia, Madagascar and Morocco while Pool D comprises of Botswana, Namibia and Tunisia. Eric Kasita will be handling the captaincy of the African 7s team. It was initially handled by Tolbert Onyango, who was the coach for Rugby Cranes 7s.

The choice of the captaincy has been appropriated as Kasita is regarded as one of the experienced players in the team, having the maximum years of playing experience in the region. He had been part of the Commonwealth Games as well. He handled the Safari 7s which occurred last year. He had also been hooked for the national team the Rugby Cranes. (more…)

All Blacks Are Geared Up For The Clash Against Springboks

New Zealand’s All Blacks and South Africa’s Springboks are ready to face each other for the rugby match at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on the 5th of October, 2014. Ellis Park is the home ground for Springboks but then it seems that All Blacks are going to use this fact against Springboks.

No doubt that the Ellis Park stadium is extremely intimidating and daunting but then the All Blacks are of the opinion that they can win over the crowd in a convenient manner.

In order to win over the crowd, All Blacks realize that they have to maintain their composure especially in the first twenty minutes of the match and slowly try to increase their score.

If the New Zealand team is able to do this then Ellis Park stadium will turn out to be just like any other game venue and Springboks will be caught up in an uncomfortable situation.

Richie McCaw (captain of All Blacks) seems pretty confident before the match against Springboks. His confidence might have stemmed from the fact that the team had performed well and won the match against Argentina’s Pumas last week. The skipper of All Blacks is noticeably calm this time.

McCaw said that everyone in the team is focused and is aware of the importance of this challenge. All the players have trained sufficiently as well and are really looking forward to perform exceptionally well against the Springboks.

Richie McCaw is also going to make a milestone record of making the 134th appearance for All Blacks and is going to surpass the record of Colin Meads.

However, McCaw has made it clear that he is eagerly waiting for the match against Springboks because he wants All Blacks to deliver a good performance and even win the match if possible. He will think about the milestone later.

Chris Ashton

Chris Ashton, an English rugby union player who represented England in both the Rugby League and Rugby Union. He formerly played for the Wigan Warriors in Rugby League’s Super League competition and is now playing for Saracens in Aviva Premiership obtaining the tag of a dual-code international rugby player.

Ashton progressed through Wigan’s scholarship programme and represented Wigan U18s in 2003. His senior debut was against Huddersfield in the last match of the 2005 season where he scored two of his team’s seven tries. He debuted in the Super League against Hull in June 2005 after his impressive 27 tries in 23 games in the academy. He appeared 52 times for the Warriors and scored a total of 30 tries in all.

Chris Ashton bagged a call for the U-18 England squad at the end of 2006 and made his debut against France on 22 October 2006 in the Federation Shield tournament. He scored three tries in four games and helped England in winning the competition. He decided to play in the Rugby Union and signed for the Northampton Saints. Debuting against against London Welsh in National Division One Ashton scored his first try for the club with his first touch of the ball. In 2008 he scored 39 tries (and one conversion) from 25 appearances and broke the National Division One try scorer record.

Ashton’s exploits in the Rugby Union was rewarded as he received a call to the senior England squad for the 2010 Six Nations Championship and made his senior debut also against France. He was also a part of the team that represented England in the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, finishing the joint leading try-scorers with six tries.

Chris Ashton moved to Saracens in 2012-13 from Northampton Saints. He debut for them against London Irish scoring two times in a 40-3 win. Ashton’s key attributes speed and support play are the main reason behind his prolific try scoring record.

Scotland Rugby learns from mistakes and resolves to prepare better

Scotland Rugby received a major blow after their crushing defeat to South Africa. It was a learning experience for the players who are trying to find their strong hold in the international arena. Scotland lost the game 55-6 to the South Africans even though a number of their stars were missing from the squad. They concede a number of tries and more importantly it was the way they went down in such situations which is to be scrutinized. Vern Cotter and his team had several reasons like jet lag, injuries and tough conditions to show as the cover up for the poor performance but they surely could have done better. The first try was some terrific power packed play by the unstoppable South Africans but the second try was fitting to infuriate the Scotland Rugby defense coach Matt Taylor. The positioning of Stuart Hogg and the role played by Henry Pyrgos as a sweeper seemed inappropriate to former Scotland scrum half, Mike Blair. Scotland’s attack lacked penetration and it almost seemed easy for the South Africans to snub their opponents. Rob Harley was easily the best player for the Scottish team.

Scotland Rugby players have been prone to numerous injuries over the past few years which clearly show a definite problem underlying the system. The back rower David Denton who has represented both Edinburgh and Scotland suffered an injury to his hamstring in the training camp. His omission has left the team dilapidated before the next season which will hopefully be better for the Scottish internationals. The fans are expecting some fireworks from the players in the next season. Ayshire shall be the new destination for the team where they will be facing up against Tonga. Mark Dodson, the chief executive of Scottish Rugby Union seemed very happy to introduce the new artificial ground with world class facilities.

England Team Unchanged

The England team will remain unchanged for the upcoming rugby match against Scotland on Saturday in the Six Nations tournament. Ben Youngs who is a promising scrum half has been released from the squad. Despite his broken nose Jonny May the winger from Gloucester is hopeful to play although it is to be seen whether he plays in the starting team or not. May broke his while playing against France where England suffered a narrow defeat. Courtney Lawes who suffered from a cheekbone bruising is also fit to play in Saturday’s match. England may face a problem in the flying half area because they have only one specialist there. Owen Farrell has been given the responsibility to handle that part as both Freddie Burns and George Ford has been released from the squad. It is to be seen whether this is a tactical move from England or not because in the last few matches they have played with more than one fly half specialist.

Stuart Lancaster the coach of the England team said that Lee Dickson and Danny Care deserve a second chance although both of them have slipped to a ninth spot. He is confident about their performance and hopes that Saturday’s match will prove to be a turning point for them. He also said that the defeat against France was a disappointing as they were so close to winning it. However he said that the players will see the next game as a comeback match. On asked whether the France game was a setback for the team or not he said that it was not. There were times when England almost got the better of France but ultimately one team had to win. He added that the game against Scotland will be a better one and they would surely try their level best to win it.

England Beat Scotland

Saturday- 8th of February, 2014 was an eventful day at the Six Nations Championship 2014 because Ireland defeated Wales on one hand and on the other hand England defeated Scotland in their respective rugby matches. By winning against Scotland, England has been able to retain the Calcutta Cup. It is the 5th time that England has won the Calcutta Cup (this is an individual competition that is held under the supervision of the Six Nations Championship).

Scotland had lost the opening rugby match against Ireland and therefore fans were expecting the team to make a comeback by defeating its archrival England. However, Scotland turned out to be absolutely toothless. On the other hand, England had also been defeated by France in the opening rugby match at the Six Nations tournament. But the defeat did not affect it and England landed up winning the next match against Scotland.

During the match, the tries were scored by Mike Brown (fullback) and Luther Burell (centre). Along with that Owen Farrell missed three of his goal kicks. However, England’s victory was not hampered at all. England played so well that it scored twenty points. The opponent team was not given a chance to score any point at all.

England is now preparing itself for the home match against the undefeated rugby team of Ireland on 22nd of February, 2014. If England wins this match then it will have a chance of contending for the Triple Crown. The current status of England is so impressive that it might end up winning the match on 22nd February, 2014.

Stuart Lancaster (coach of England) is absolutely delighted with the performance of England. He is of the opinion that Ireland has been playing very well in the Six Nations Championship this year but then England is confident enough to give Ireland a tough competition.

Ashton doesn’t have X-factor

Former England winger Dan Luger has blasted Saracens FC player Chris Ashton for the lack of X-factor in his game, adding that he doesn’t understand why the player is still being courted by the team.

Luger, who played for England for five years, made 38 appearances for the national team scoring 24 tries but his biggest moment in professional rugby came when in 2003, that famous drop goal by Jonny Wilkinson won England the Rugby World Cup title.

And he is completely baffled by the decision of Stuart Lancaster to still play the Saracens FC player who has just scored three tries in his last twenty test appearances for England.

Ashton was given starts in all three of their autumn international matches but it was expected that he would make way for someone else in the team in the second match of the series against Argentina but injuries to the likes of Christian Wade and Marland Yarde meant that Lancaster had no other option but to start with Chris Ashton and Ben Foden on the flanks, a partnership that also played during their encounter against New Zealand.

However, Luger believes it is time that England starts looking for alternatives on the flanks. Speaking to a local media outlet, he just doesn’t understand why he is still a part of the England squad, adding that on current form, he doesn’t even make the second grade team.

He mentioned that if Chris Ashton is the best option for England, then that is definitely a worrying sign for the future because very simply, he cannot defend.

Luger mentioned that he has lost that X-factor that he had, mentioning that when he burst onto the scene, a lot was expected of him but he has failed to deliver on his promise and that isn’t good enough.

Chris Ashton backed to shine again

England and Saracens FC winger Chris Ashton may have struggled in the last season of rugby but according to former England national team boss Andy Robinson, he will be back with a bang and better than ever and this will ultimately benefit not only the player but also his club and country.

Robinson witnessed the return of the England man to competitive rugby in the JP Morgan Asset Management Premiership Sevens for Saracens FC and according to Robinson; he was impressed by what he witnessed. Ashton is a former Rugby League player but changed codes to join the Rugby Union and was signed by the Northampton Saints before being handed his England debut by Robinson himself.

And Ashton repaid the England boss in full when he became the top scorer in both the Six Nations and the World Cup of 2011 from the wing position and was hailed as the next best thing in English rugby. But Chris Ashton has suffered a decline since then, failing to light up the stage for Saracens FC in the Aviva Premiership last season and failed to fire England in the Six Nations as well.

He was dropped from the England team’s tour of South Africa this summer with head coach Stuart Lancaster preferring Marland Yarde and Christian Wade for the tour and both of them did quite well on tour to put Ashton under more pressure to reclaim his position in the side.

However, Robinson believes that just like with the lock or back row positions, the more there is competition for places, the more a player shines, it will be the same for Chris Ashton and the wing position with more competition for places seeing the best of him, and he will be a trump card for both Saracens FC and England.