TAGS: Northampton Saints Northampton Saints today announced that Stephen Myler has signed a new contract with the club.Myler, 26, has spent his entire rugby union career at Franklin’s Gardens, where he arrived as part of the Saints Senior Academy in 2006.Four-and-a-half years later the fly half has passed the 100-appearance mark, earned England Saxons honours and won winners’ medals in the Amlin Challenge Cup and LV= Cup.Indeed Myler played a crucial role in both successes. After taking the Saints to the 2009 Challenge Cup final with a late drop-goal he scored all the points in the 15-3 win over Bourgoin. Ten months later his 100 percent record in the LV= Cup final was at the heart of the Saints’ 30-24 victory against Gloucester.With 13 tries, 153 conversions, 177 penalties and six drop-goals to his name Myler has put himself in touching distance of becoming only the sixth player to pass 1,000 points in his Saints career, but director of rugby Jim Mallinder said that he was delighted that the new contract had been signed for many reasons.“Stephen is an excellent player and individual,” he said. “As a fly half his game management has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, and it is still improving. He is always looking to improve and works very hard with all of the coaches to hone every aspect of his game. “There’s always room for improvement though. We’ve come a long way in a few years and there’s a lot of potential for the rest of this year and to push on for the honours which we believe we can win in the future. There’s a lot of hard work to be done but I think we’re on the right road.” “He is certainly one of the senior players in the squad and does not shy away from responsibility. And at 26 years of age we believe that there is more to come from Stephen and we’re delighted that he is staying at the Saints for the foreseeable future.”Myler himself had no hesitation in signing on again with the Saints.“Obviously there are plenty of things to consider, but it ultimately comes down to a rugby decision,” he said. “Saints is a great place to be at the moment and I’m delighted to be staying here.“Since I came to the club a lot of things have changed. Jim and Dorian have come in, a lot of the players have changed and it has been positive, which is all showed in where we are and where we are aiming.“I most definitely feel at home at Northampton. It wasn’t just a change of club but a change of code and that was made all the easier by everyone at the club and in the town. The fact that we sell out the stadium every week is pretty incredible and why I and a lot of the players love playing at the Gardens. I haven’t played at a place like it and I’m happy to be staying at the club. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 24: James Percival of Harlequins is persued by Taufau Filise of Cardiff Blues during the Heineken Cup round six match between Harlequins and Cardiff Blues at The Stoop on January 24, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) TAGS: HarlequinsWorcester Warriors Percival (centre) moves from Quins to WorcesterWORCESTER WARRIORS have signed James Percival from Harlequins, with the giant lock set to make a playing return to Sixways this summer.Man-mountain Percival started his career in the Academy at Warriors and gained international recognition during his time at the club, as a member of the England Under-21 team that won the 2004 Six Nations Grand Slam.The 27-year-old second-row – who is 6ft 5in tall and weighs 18st 8lb – joined Northampton Saints in 2005 before later joining Harlequins in the summer of 2007. Percival, who previously studied at Worcester Sixth Form College and Worcester University, has made a total of 57 appearances for Quins and will now join up with Warriors from the start of the 2011/12 campaign.“Phil Davies and I have been looking closely at the make-up of our pack of forwards for next season and we firmly believe that James Percival will be a fantastic acquisition for Warriors,” said Head Coach Richard Hill. “James offers huge physicality, will do exactly what we want him to do on the field and adds a real abrasive and hard edge to our pack. He also brings with him the added benefit of having been here before so he knows the club and area very well and will settle in quickly.”
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Or perhaps you’d like a digital version of the magazine delivered direct to your PC, MAC or Ipad? If so click here. For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 visit “I want to be a good ball player. Steve Jones talks about keeping the ball alive and I’ve got to try to offload more and keep it alive. I’m trying to develop and bring that to my game.“I’m working on it all the time and I watch other scrum-halves like Dwayne and Will Genia, looking at the way they move the ball. I look at Mike and the way he keeps the ball in contact, his defence and tackling ability. I’m trying to get all that into my own game.“It’s about being accurate in everything I do and being confident. There’s less chance of making big mistakes if I do the basics well. The World Cup is a good thing to look forward to and I’m working hard towards it. I’m just trying as hard as I can and working hard.”Knoyle was in primary school when Wales hosted RWC 1999 and he recalls all the pupils watched the opening ceremony, followed by Wales v Argentina, together. He also got to see Wales play Samoa in that tournament. He was “up in the gods” at the Millennium Stadium for that match – the only Test he’s ever been to as a fan – while he’s now the one people are watching out on the pitch. He may not have taken a conventional path to the top, but he’s enjoying it all the more now he’s there – and a smile is never far from his face.“It’s brilliant. I’m never down, I’m always happy. This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. I used to think I was in dreamland but now I’m doing it. I just enjoy playing rugby and I’m very lucky.”This article appeared in the September 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine.Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK Welsh scrum-half Tavis KnoyleTavis Knoyle may be only 21 but he’s got an interesting – and varied – CV. His list of jobs includes labouring, packing shelving in a factory, window fitting, rubbish collection and working in a coalmine. These days, of course, he’s a professional rugby player hoping to go to his first World Cup.The scrum-half has always had talent. He learnt the game at Glynneath and played for Wales U16 as well as being picked up by the Ospreys academy, but there were no full-time contracts forthcoming when he left school at 16, hence his forays into the workplace. His stint at the Ospreys lasted a year – “I didn’t get much of a look-in as there were so many scrum-halves there,” he says – and then he started turning out for Neath. It looked like his rugby career would be on a semi-professional basis at best – but then Phil Davies stepped in to help him make the breakthrough in 2009.“Phil fought very hard to play me for Wales U20,” explains Knoyle. “They had a policy of picking people in academies and as I wasn’t involved in one he had to fight tooth and nail to get me in. It was hard for him to pick me because I wasn’t training every day with an academy, but he told me to keep doing what I was doing and I played a few games in the Six Nations. I have a lot to thank him for.”Knoyle impressed enough in those matches to be snapped up by the Scarlets, much to the delight of his dad David, who’s supported Llanelli for 40 years, and he quickly made the step up to the Wales senior squad, making his Test debut against New Zealand in Dunedin last summer. He admits that the step up to professional rugby has meant a few lifestyle adjustments.“I remember watching the 2009 Lions tour and seeing players like Mike Phillips and Steve Jones,” he recalls. “They were people I never thought I’d meet but now I’m training and playing with them. It’s great but I’m trying not to be overawed by it; I respect them but have to get on with it.“The only thing I was doing to keep fit before was road running and I wasn’t very good in the gym. I was really bad when I came to the Scarlets, embarrassing. I’d just been relying on weight rather than strength, but I’ve got better.“I used to eat lots of junk too; I’d have sausage rolls every day. My diet’s changed dramatically and I’ve lost 13kg to go down to 90kg. Now I eat things like meat, eggs, salad – boring stuff! When I finish playing I’ll be 19st because I’ll eat all the crap in the world!”Knoyle is currently working on his own culinary skills having just moved out of the family home in Glynneath to Llanelli. Scrambled eggs are fine but he admits his dad has been trying to teach him to cook things like steak, with limited success. However, for the next few weeks at least he shouldn’t have to worry too much about mealtimes as that will be taken care of for him while he’s in camp with Wales.This month he’s targeting the World Cup warm-up games against England and Argentina to push his case for a spot in Wales’ 30-man squad. The other No 9s in the training party are Mike Phillips, Dwayne Peel, Richie Rees and Lloyd Williams, though Rees was dropped for the second Poland training camp. Given recent form, Knoyle is one of the favourites to make the trip to New Zealand and he’s doing all he can to improve his game and therefore his chances.
Find a newsagent that sells Rugby World in the UK. Or you may prefer the digital edition on your MAC, PC, or iPad. LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 04: The Barbarian team celebrate winning the MasterCard Trophy following their match between the Barbarians and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on December 4, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) The Barabarian team in November 2010 celebrate beating South Africa. Just one more Tr-nation team to conquerI’ll be making my first appearance for the Barbarians at the end of this month and I’m really looking forward to it. I was supposed to play for them against England in May last year, but I broke my thumb and had to pull out. So this will be a great experience, and a chance to tick off one of my rugby dreams. Ask most players and they’ll tell you that being part of the Barbarians tradition is something they want to achieve.The Baa-Baas have assembled some great names for the match against Australia and it will be good to have a week training together beforehand, particularly as Graham Henry is coach. I’ve never worked with Graham before but I’ll be picking his brains as much as I can. He and Brian Ashton are close and swap tips, some of which Brian passed on to us when he was coach of England.It will also be a treat to play at Twickenham, my favourite ground. The last time I played there was for Wasps in the 2010 St George’s Day match against Bath, so it’ll be good to be back.I’ve been in Australia with the Melbourne Rebels since the end of October, and I’ll be flying back for the Barbarians specially. I spent a lot of the summer in London and did some fitness work with my old speed coach Margot Wells, so I feel in good shape.I’ve just turned 24 and feel I’ve reached a point in my career where I’ve got to start making strides. Last season I matured a lot playing for the Rebels in Super Rugby, and playing for England remains my big ambition. I want to get back in the side and hope that I can start to state my case by playing well for the Rebels.The first season in Australia was always going to be a challenge as it was a new side and it took us time to get to know each other’s style of play. But we made progress as the season wore on and now we’ve signed Kurtley Beale and James O’Connor, so they’re going to add to our quality. We expect to win a lot more games now that we’ve been together for a year and are more structured.I got some criticism for my defence last season and it was my own fault so I’ve no complaints, but there’s no doubt the game in the southern hemisphere is faster. Obviously that’s got a lot to do with the climate and the state of the pitches. It’s hard to keep the pitches in good condition in England when it’s snowing and raining! The other difference you notice Down Under is how big rugby is compared to England. In England it’s all football but when you play Super Rugby the coverage is huge.It’s been a great opportunity for me to play against so many quality players. Two who stand out are Radike Samo and Quade Cooper of Queensland Reds, who I loved playing against. I went to Australia to test myself against the best and improve as a player, and I hope I’m doing that. Tickets for Barbarians v Australia on Sat 26 Nov (2.30pm) at Twickenham are available from £35 for adults and £15 for U16s. Call 0844 847 2492 or see ticketmaster.co.ukThis article appeared in the December 2011 issue of Rugby World Magazine. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Would you like to sign up to Rugby World’s excellent weekly email newsletter? Click here. For Back Issues Contact John Denton Services at 01733-385-170 visit
Though the bulk of the training squad features players relatively new to Scotland Women , experience features in the shape of number 8 Susie Brown, scrum half Louise Dalgliesh and lock Lindsay Wheeler, with 50, 49 and 47 caps respectively. The only uncapped member of the squad is second row Bridget Millar-Mills.Scotland Women training squad1 Tracy Balmer (Worcester)2 Susie Brown (Richmond)3 Caroline Collie (OA Saints)4 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)5 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)6 Sarah Dixon (Stirling County)7 Tess Forsberg (Richmond)8 Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead / Jordanhill)9 Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)10 Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)11 Lauren Harris (Melrose)12 Steph Johnston (RHC Cougars)13 Mary Lafaiki (Cartha QP)14 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead / Jordanhill)15 Alison Macdonald (RHC Cougars)16 Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)17 Suzanne McKerlie-Hex (Murrayfield Wanderers)18 Bridget Millar-Mills (Waterloo)19 Kath Muir (Richmond)20 Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers)21 Lisa Ritchie (Carlisle)22 Sarah Sexton (Murrayfield Wanderers)23 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)24 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)25 Anna Swan (RHC Cougars)26 Charlie Veale (London Wasps)27 Lindsay Wheeler (Richmond)Scotland Women’s RBS 6 Nations fixtures are as below, with free entry to both home matches. Sunday 5 February, Scotland v England, Lasswade RFC, kick-off 5pmSunday 12 February, Wales v Scotland, Cross Keys RFC, kick-off 1pmSaturday 25 February, Scotland v France, Stirling County RFC, kick-off 2pmFriday 9 March, Ireland v Scotland, Ashbourne RFC, kick-off 7.30pmSunday 18 March, Italy v Scotland, Rovato Stadium, Brescia, kick-off 2.30pmSunday 12 February, Wales v Scotland, Cross Keys RFC, kick-off 1pmSaturday 25 February, Scotland v France, Stirling County RFC, kick-off 2pmFriday 9 March, Ireland v Scotland, Ashbourne RFC, kick-off 7.30pmSunday 18 March, Italy v Scotland, Rovato Stadium, Brescia, kick-off 2.30p LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “I think there will be huge support for the England home game. The local community was fantastic in supporting our games at Lasswade last year – it’s a superb pitch with great facilities. Stirling is a new location for us, for the France game. I think it’s important that we do as good a job as we can to move the women’s game around Scotland so that as many people as possible get the chance to see women’s sport at this level.” Scotland Women head coach Karen Findlay has today announced a 27-strong training squad for Scotland Women’s 2012 RBS 6 Nations championship.The Scots’ first game is at home against England on Sunday 5 February and culminates away against Italy on Sunday 18 March.Findlay said: “England at home is a massive challenge. Last year we fielded an incredibly young, inexperienced team down at Twickenham. It’ll be good to see the hard work we’ve done since then coming to fruition against the same opposition at Lasswade this year.
England were slick and direct in their opening two outings to make sure they avoided any slip-ups in their bid to close a four-point gap on series leaders Fiji and New Zealand. Two Norton tries, one apiece from Turner and Greg Barden, and a try with his first touch for new cap Tom Mitchell earned them a 27-12 win over the Cooks, with Arthur Mui and Sean Fletcher replying late on.Then they shut out the USA 29-0 with two more Norton efforts, Turner’s 17th of the season and further tries from Mitchell and Christian Lewis-Pratt, who added two conversions. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Mat Turner (R) of England is tackled by Jerome Vogel of the Cook Islands during the Rugby Sevens tournament in Wellington on February 3, 2012. AFP PHOTO /MARTY MELVILLE (Photo credit should read Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images) Oxford University student Mitchell’s third try of the day gave England an early lead against South Africa but Mark Richards and Branco du Preez got the Blitzbokke in front before captain Barden’s late reply.Hertz Sevens, quarter finals: New Zealand v France, England v Tonga, Canada v Samoa, South Africa v Fiji. Mat Turner is tackled by Jerome Vogel of the Cook IslandsEngland will face Tonga in the quarter finals of the Hertz Sevens in Wellington after cruising through today’s pool stages.They beat the USA 29-0 and the Cook Islands 27-12 before resting players in the final game and suffering a 14-10 reverse against South Africa.The played three, won two record means the Blitzbokke will face HSBC Sevens World Series leaders Fiji while England take on the Tongans at 03:55GMT tomorrow. The winners are likely to meet hosts New Zealand in the semi finals.Former Gloucester wing Dan Norton took his try tally to 16 for the season with four more scores in his two outings and is third in the overall table behind teammate Mat Turner (17) and New Zealand’s Frank Halai (20). And head coach Ben Ryan’s decision to rest his leading players for the final game means England will be fresh going into tomorrow’s knock-out stages.“We played okay against the Cook Islands and really well against the USA which put us in the quarter finals knowing that if we lost we’d play Tonga and that if we won we’d play Fiji with a lot of guys rested,” said Ryan. “We just lost to South Africa but it was the right decision to make although Tonga will be tough and we’ll have to play well to beat them.”
DUBLIN, IRELAND – APRIL 28: Greig Laidlaw, Captain of Edinbutgh is tackled by Craig Gilroy of Ulster during the Heineken Cup semi final match between Ulster and Edinburgh at Aviva Stadium on April 28, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images) “Edinburgh rugby has taken a positive step forward. The player talent is stunning. There’s young guys coming through who are exceptional, but we also have international players that have a burning desire to win, and we saw that today.”Top statsUlster have appeared in just two semi-finals – and have won both. They faced Stade Francais at Ravenhill in 1999, winning 33-27 before going on to beat Colomiers 21-6 in the final. They will face the winner of Sunday’s Clermont v Leinster at Twickenham. Connacht fans will be cheering for an all-Ireland final, as if one of their fellow provinces lifts the trophy, they will earn them a spot in next year’s tournament.ULSTER: Stefan Terblanche; Andrew Trimble, Darren Cave, Paddy Wallace, Craig Gilroy; Paddy Jackson, Ruan Pienaar; Tom Court (Paddy McAllister 77), Rory Best, Declan Fitzpatrick (Adam Macklin 65), Johann Muller (capt), Dan Tuohy, Stephen Ferrism(Lewis Stevenson 77), Willie Faloon (Robbie Diack 73), Pedrie Wannenburg.Not used: Nigel Brady, Paul Marshall, Ian Humphreys, Adam D’Arcy.Try: Wannenburg. Con: Pienaar. Pens: Pienaar (5)EDINBURGH: Tom Brown; Lee Jones (Jim Thompson 70), Nick De Luca, Matt Scott, Tim Visser; Greig Laidlaw (capt), Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen (Kyle Traynor 77), Ross Ford, Geoff Cross (Jack Gilding 73), Grant Gilchrist, Sean Cox, David Denton, Ross Rennie (Roddy Grant 56), Netani Talei.Not used: Andrew Kelly, Steven Turnbull, Chris Leck, Phil Godman.Try: Thompson. Con: Laidlaw. Pens: Laidlaw (4).Referee: Romain PoiteClick here for more pics from the match. TAGS: Edinburgh RugbyUlster Ulster’s try-scorer Pedrie Wannenburg celebrates with the fansBy Bea Asprey, Rugby World Writer In a nutshellEdinburgh put up a hearty fight, but in a performance that echoed recent Scotland outings, they could not convert their pressure to points. The visitors threw everything they could at Ulster in attack, but mistakes at crucial moments meant they butchered many chances to add to their points tally. Ulster’s scrum dominated that of Edinburgh despite the absence of All Black prop John Afoa, and the Northern Irish province will travel to Twickenham on 19 May to play in their first Heineken Cup final since they won the tournament in 1999.Key momentEdinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw stripping the ball off Ulster’s No 8 Pedrie Wannenburg, a man twice his size, in the third quarter of the game epitomised the Scots’ determination. It wasn’t to turn the game the around for the visitors, but the No 10 inspired his team to keep the pressure on until the final whistle, and national coach Andy Robinson will have been delighted with his gritty performance.Star manUlster were never short of power, but their display was masterminded by Man of the Match Ruan Pienaar (right). The South African oozed class, and his flawless kicking display booted the province to victory.Room for improvementEdinburgh lacked composure in attack, and their mistakes cost them dearly. They spilt the ball a number of times in Ulster’s half, and although they exerted constant pressure they were unable to impose themselves where it mattered – on the score board.In quotesUlster coach Brian McLaughlin: “We’re very pleased to have won but disappointed with the way we played the game. We’re looking forward to getting to Twickenham now, we’re a better rugby side than that.“Our set piece was outstanding throughout the whole game and our defence was rock solid. We turned over the ball in vital moments.“The whole street was red and white this morning, the support has been fantastic, and this has been an unforgettable experience.”Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw is stifled by Ulster wing Craig GilroyEdinburgh coach Michael Bradley: “We’re feeling a mixture of disappointment and frustration. We had a number of opportunities deep in their 22, which we overplayed, and we were not able to force our game on Ulster. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
“Argentina are first up, and after the experience they have gained in the Rugby Championship they will be a challenging and tough opponent, but this is a challenge we will look forward to.“We know how important momentum is going into any series, and the bigger picture is the Rugby World Cup draw at the beginning of December, and how we perform against the Pumas, Samoa, the All Blacks and the Wallabies will have a direct effect on our seeding in that draw.”Wales: Fit again: Jamie Roberts is back for Wales after missing the summer tour through a knee-injuryINTERIM WALES head coach Rob Howley has picked just one uncapped player in his 35-man squad for the upcoming November Internationals.Ospreys prop Aaron Jarvis is the only new player in a squad that sees centre Jamie Roberts return after missing the summer tour of Australia due to injury. Sam Warburton remains as captain for the four Tests against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia. Rob McCusker and Tavis Knoyle are both recalled from the Scarlets, whilst Dan Biggar is another returning to the squad after impressing against Leicester Tigers yesterday in the Heineken Cup.Wales are without flanker Dan Lydiate (ankle) and prop Craig Mitchell (arm) due to injury, whilst there is no place in the squad for London Welsh fly-half Gavin Henson or Ospreys centre Andrew Bishop.Howley said: “We are really pleased with the strength and depth of the squad, with some pleasing individual performances over the last three or four weeks.“But we all understand and realise the skill, physicality and intensity will go up over the next five weeks. This is one of the reasons we are going back to our training camp in Poland to sharpen minds and bodies.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Scarlets), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), James Hook (Perpignan), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues).Forwards: Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Toulon), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Rob McCusker (Scarlets), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain). CARDIFF, WALES – MARCH 10: Wales centre Jamie Roberts scores his try during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Italy at the Millennium stadium on March 10, 2012 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Grandest stage: GB and France compete at London 2012 – now the next generation of players are aiming for RioBy Alison CouldridgeTHE GB wheelchair rugby development squad returned home from Prague this week with a very respectable fourth-place finish in the city’s annual Rugbymania tournament.Ever since the squad and coaching staff was announced a year ago, this was earmarked as the perfect chance to test their metal against some of the best teams that Europe has to offer. The competition included the formidable German team The Rebels and touring ‘all-star’ side European Giants, filled with international players past and present, so the GB players were given a searching examination as to their current proficiency.And while the players’ inexperience eventually showed, they have a lot to be proud of, not least because two players, Fakrul Islam and Ayaz Bhuta, won the coveted Best in Class awards for a competing 0.5 and 2.5 player respectively.With almost every player ensuring they had courtside seats to cheer on their club team-mates (and often heroes) at London 2012, there was definitely a sense that they were ‘waiting in the wings’ for their chance to compete on the same stage.Coach Justin Frishberg says they were itching to start their journeys towards Rio. “They were very hungry to play, but then they were hungry throughout the year to learn, to train, and to become elite athletes,” he said. “So I was never in any doubt of their commitment.”Polish success: GB Lions came fourth at RugbymaniaThe development team, or GB Lions as they are known, certainly didn’t disappoint. They comfortably beat all four teams in their pool during the first two days of the three-day tournament, including The Rebels. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS From next month, the development squad will join with the elite team, where in many ways the competition and learning process will really begin.Contact Alison @Alibear1980 But the standard competition format of six games in three days took its toll and by the final day their inexperience began to show. They missed out on a place in the final after losing to Danish Falcons in the crossover game and couldn’t quite overturn The Rebels a second time in the battle for bronze.Despite not making the podium, Frishberg is more than happy. “Third place was the target but it was always an ambitious one. To get so close is a disappointment, but a minor one compared with the pride in winning the pool by beating The Rebels, who are one of the big boys of European (wheelchair) rugby.“They exceeded expectations in the pool stages, but experience is a valuable commodity and we didn’t perform as well in the medal games. Tournaments like this are tough mentally, and I’m sure they’ll learn as a group and deliver the consistency you need at the highest levels.”For GB Lion Luke Twizell, being selected to play at Rugbymania was just what he needed to spur him on. He said: “As I team I thought we played amazing, really well. We caused an upset, beating the Rebels being part of that. Sometimes we struggled with our inexperience, but that is what we went to Prague for, to get the experience of playing the ‘big boys’ in the sport.“Personally, I did okay. I made some stupid mistakes, like committing a foul when we already had someone in the sin-bin, but I learnt so much even in those few days.”
Expand Where do you stand on the tackle height? Lets us know by following Rugby World on Facebook and Twitter.This article originally appeared in Rugby World’s October edition. How To Watch The 2018 Autumn Internationals Autumn International Fixtures 2018 Graeme Forbes and Kane Palma-Newport discuss whether a lower tackle height should be trialled. How To Watch The 2018 Autumn Internationals The players know it’s the tackler who’s most likely to get knocked out. When the seatbelt tackle became prevalent, we all thought, ‘Well, that’s not actually going to change anything’. There were a few pens at first and by the end of the season it became a soft penalty.One instance stands out from last season: Danny Cipriani and Faf de Klerk both ran upright and Cipriani, the tackler, got knocked out. Lads, don’t run in upright.The danger is still with the tackler if you move tackles below the armpit. If you run hard and the tackler has got to get below the shoulders anyway and hits elbows, hip bones or knees – that’s what will knock lads clean out.It’s people at the top of the game trying to look good, but actually if you really want to change anything tell carriers they can’t run crouched down with shoulders out; get everyone to run bolt upright so you can tackle them perfectly like you did at U9s!Referees have been fantastic with concussion. But refs don’t make rules – they’re made by people at the top. Seatbelt tackles don’t knock guys out. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Face-Off: Is It Necessary To Trial A Lower Legal Tackle Height?GRAEME FORBESHead Coach of Jordan RugbyYes. Lowering the tackle line hopefully reduces the chances of head-to-head or head-to-shoulder contact. Many argue there’s an increased risk of head to knee, hip or elbow by pushing the tackle down. This is true but statistically the risk is not significant enough to remove the validity of the trial.It’s important to understand that the trial could show us how to make the game safer for all, not just the pros.Most pros understand the risks and have the strength and physical presence to carry out modern, powerful tackle techniques safely and have the medical back-up to manage mistakes. It’s a sad fact that many amateur players don’t.For the “game’s going soft” mob, anyone worrying should look at the now infamous Josh Lewsey tackle on Mat Rogers. It was below the ribcage and as brutal as any chest-height tackle. It’s perfectly legal under the trial law.Similar laws have been in use in French amateur rugby for a good four to five years. I have coached and played under them. You still get big hits, but the risk of sliding up to head height is greatly reduced. KANE PALMA-NEWPORTEx-Bath prop now at Colomiers Collapse Trial: Should the legal tackle height be lowered? (Getty Images) Take a look at which teams are playing… Autumn International Fixtures 2018 Make sure you know when, where and on…