Reflection and anticipation ahead of the Rugby World Cup year

A constant source of disbelief in the competence of the Rugby Union Free Pass is that they waited so long or, having done so, failed to reflect on the very obvious reality of what Eddie Jones often noted: that one day, when he had brought all his players together for a long during the preparation period, he was able to overcome all sorts of obstacles and reach the final of the Rugby World Cup.

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Delicate task for Steve Borthwick

Steve Borthwick has been given a delicate task that might have been far less important if the RFU had not hesitated/suspicious/kneeled to deliver the ax to Jones, we believe, just at the wrong time. Let’s hope he wins because he’s a good guy and a great coach.

As for Jones, it would be a fitting end to his story if he could, for example, play the role of adviser to Dave Rennie and help propel Australia to glory, whether it be against England or South Africa, who were universally acclaimed. in 2019, but whose childhood interactions on the coach’s social media this year have done serious damage to the Springbok brand.

Who would have thought that the same fate would befall Wayne Peevak – who would have thought that Warren Gatland would leave New Zealand and return to Wales, for that matter? Peewack took over the Welsh post at a time when the difficulties in the principality were much less obvious than they are now.

The Gatland II generation is gone, and there are few valuable young talents left, let alone the resources to nurture them. Gatland knows how to get a lot out of a little; perhaps it was this, and not one of Pivak’s many strengths, that caused the WRU to cut and change also at a remarkably challenging time.

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This is also the year we found a format that clearly has the power to bring the European Cup to life, with April marked by epic two-legged matches. The Montpellier-Harlequin and Sale-Bristol clashes were unforgettable.

But the organizers have not even found a way to give us more: instead we have an absolute hash of the pool round, where no one understands who, where and why is playing, where real danger is rare, teams are weakened everywhere. and the probability that at least one team wins only one of the four games and still ends up in the round of 16.

In fact, by far the most accomplished tournament was the Women’s Rugby World Cup, which New Zealand won epically in a final that could easily have been one of the best matches of the year. A simple format, maximum competitive honesty that kept its promises. Can’t EPRC organize this?

State of club rugby in England

However, all these issues are minor when it comes to club competition in England. When not one but two of England’s top clubs cease to exist despite a skyrocketing fixture calendar, when Wales can no longer afford to offer new signings to local players and consider reducing their number of regions from four to three, something is clearly not so with the general operating model.

But if 2022 was more of a challenge than a triumph, then 2023 promises many triumphs. Despite crippling investigations and guilty verdicts from senior officials, the 2023 Rugby World Cup promises to be rich in off-field French spice and rich competition. There are two groups of which four teams can realistically qualify, as well as the admission of a new member of the RWC 2023 membership group.

While rugby in North America seems to be stalling for now, South America has a rich vein of talent flowing from other countries to Argentina. In Europe, improvements in Portugal and Spain, not to mention Georgia and Italy, promise expansion and a long-term future for the game that is brighter and more stable than ever.

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Despite a lot of whining about TMO stops and a lot of debate over protocols, judging and primary contact administration seem to be more consistent. Whether this actually has any effect on mitigating the shadow of long-term brain damage from collisions is still under debate, but clarity as a starting point seems to be within reach. tomorrow. And while the game itself sometimes feels more choppy, the accuracy and quality of the action moments were sometimes better than ever.

Meaningless matches don’t please

More money could come, but few of us would want that at the expense of full stadiums, which seemed to be the trend. Endless seasons of pointless games are not encouraging, conflicts between national teams and club teams are even less, and waterproof competition formats are even less. A good solution for a well-integrated, well-prioritized world calendar would be the deciding factor; this is perhaps the most important decision the game administration will make since it decided to openly pay players in 1995. It can’t go wrong.

We also have a clear opportunity to capitalize on the mistakes of another game by choosing questionable hosts for the Rugby World Cup, a chance to host one of the biggest sporting events in the world. The waters there have been murky with office scandals before, but that may mean little if the owners work the way we know they can.

Before that, there were many other stories. How will the new coaches in the Six Nations react? How will the South African teams perform in the European Cup (?)? Are New Zealand and Australia really over? Will the English elite be shocked again? Will Wales survive the financial crisis? Can rugby meet the challenges it faces as the professional game approaches its 30th anniversary?

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Alun Wyn Jones Wales legend eyes fifth Rugby World Cup as he reaches 150 appearances

Wales manager Wayne Pivak always believed that Alan Wyn Jones would continue his playing career, including at the Rugby World Cup 2023. Jones returns to the starting lineup after recovering from a shoulder injury to win his 150th Test cap, extending his record. For more know about Wales Vs Fiji Tickets

Returns from injury

The Wales legend has been on the sidelines since late October when he suffered an injury against New Zealand in the Autumn Nations Series.

Jones underwent two surgeries and most medical predictions were that he would miss the entire Six Nations tournament, but he returned ahead of schedule, as he did last summer with the British and Irish Lions against South Africa due to problems with shoulder, and partner Adam Beard in the second row.

Midfielder Dan Biggar, who succeeded Jones as captain of the Six Nations, retains the role and becomes the seventh Welshman to win 100 caps for his country after Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Stephen Jones, George North, Martin Williams and Gareth Thomas. .

Asked about Jones’ prospects of going to his fifth Rugby World Cup in 18 months, Pivak said: I hope so because we have given him such a long contract.

“I never had any doubt that he would, unless there was an injury. It clearly needs to maintain its shape and be selectable. Of course, he and I understand that this is his goal, he is moving towards this, and we, of course, discussed this. He was with us for several weeks and we watched him. He trained very well, ticked all the boxes.”

Playing 150 test matches for your country, which no one else on the planet has ever done, just shows that he is a special person. Pivak paid tribute to Biggar, who distinguished himself for Wales during the Six Nations and enjoyed the captaincy. He’s a champion, right? added the coach. Dan demands quality training from himself and his teammates.

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“He leads by example and is everything you want in a leader and a good number 10 in terms of management and game play. To play 100 games is to show resilience, and I’m very happy that he was able to do it in front of a home crowd.”

Biggar leads the team showing seven changes since losing 13-9 from the league title and chasing France at the Grand Slam last Friday. In addition to Jones, other players called up include full-back Johnny McNicoll, winger Louis Rees-Zammit, center Willisi Halaholo, scrum-half Gareth Davis, prostitute Dewey Lake and defensive midfielder Dillon Lewis.

Eliminated players include Liam Williams, Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davis, Ryan Elias and Will Rowlands. Wales’ extra-point victory over the Azzurri in Cardiff could see them claim third place depending on how England and Scotland perform in their latest games.

Wales won 42-0 when Italy last visited the Welsh capital, and their rivals have lost 36 consecutive Six Nations Tests since beating Scotland at Murrayfield in February 2015. Pivak said: We would be happy (to take third place). This would be a great way to end.

“We need to finish the work on Saturday and then we will sit and wait and see how other results go. Mathematically, there is an opportunity to do this, and we will certainly try to do our bit by winning a home win. We want to attack.”

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We want to create scoring chances, which we did against France four or five times, which we went through in the testing process. We weren’t clinical enough. We want to continue the theme of creating chances, but we want to make sure we make the right decisions and finish teams when we get into this position.

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