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Lions player ratings: how the tourists fared in South Africa series

27 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

Stuart Hogg (Exeter, Skotland) Thrilled to make the Test team – at last – on his third Lions tour. Will not recall the second Test with massive pleasure, unfortunately. ★★ Anthony Watson (Bath, Engeland) Looked sharp ...

Lions need cup final mentality to cross line between agony and ecstasy

35 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

Seldom does the thin line between success and failure feel slimmer than in the tense final days of a tight British & Irish Lions series. Even by the brutal standards of elite rugby it is knife-edge territory. “As ...

Gatland takes one last spin on selection roulette wheel … and hopes for pay-off

54 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

When it comes to selection for the final Test of a British & Irish Lions series, Warren Gatland has historically proved a shrewd operator. In 2013 his reshuffled Lions, containing six starting personnel changes as...

Decisive Lions Test overshadowed by unsporting behaviour and ugly rugby

39 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

To say there are mixed emotions swirling around the final week of this British & Irish Lions Test tour is an understatement. In theory everyone should be caught up in the delicious prospect of a winner-takes-all f...

Conor Murray: ‘South Africa’s Twitter gameplan is a funny, weird subplot

39 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

It is the snakes-and-ladders element of every British & Irish Lions tour that is so endlessly fascinating. For Conor Murray the highs and lows have been unusually stark, from being named tour captain to Covid isol...

South Africa’s Rassie Erasmus has abandoned grace and dignity

32 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

In a slightly different context, people talk about class being permanent. It is not a word, wel, that attaches itself to rugby coaches who moan and bitch when things fail to go their way. The three key rules every ...

Credit to bold Gatland for picking a Lions side on form not reputation

39 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

The secret of top-level selection is to heighten the sense of pre-game anticipation. If the team sheet can not only energise your own players but also make the opposition feel faintly uneasy, so much the better. Warre...

Lawes and Biggar braced for major physical confrontation against South Africa

37 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

For the first time in several days Table Mountain has disappeared beneath a veil of ominous grey cloud. It is forecast to be clear and fine again by the weekend but a gathering tension within the British & Irish L...

Five Lions selection posers Gatland must solve to beat South Africa

25 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

Conor Murray has been central to some epic days in Lions and Irish rugby history. It is less then three weeks since Warren Gatland installed the 32-year-old as the Lions’ tour captain in the (dan) absence of Alun ...

Marcus Smith gets to live childhood dream with Lions in South Africa

24 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

The last time the British & Irish Lions played a Test series in South Africa in 2009, a 10-year-old boy was watching spellbound with his father in Singapore. He absolutely loved the colour, the spectacle and the d...

South Africa unleash Kolbe and Am on Lions to create unofficial ‘fourth Test’

47 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

There were only meant to be three Tests on the British & Irish Lions itinerary but not any more. Met 18 World Cup-winners in the South Africa “A” matchday squad involved at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday the host...

New stars of Lions and England ratchet up the Emma Raducanu Effect

41 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

There is nothing in sport quite like the unexpected emergence of an unaffected new star. It is the novelty that never wears off: the wide-eyed smile of the young athlete who can scarcely believe their wildest dreams a...

Artist Finn Russell can add a splash of abstract magic to Lions’ blank canvas

43 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

Winning a series in South Africa is hard at the best of times, never mind during a pandemic. For a British & Irish Lions side hurtling towards a Test series like skydivers yet to locate their rip cords, it is all ...

Harlequins roar back showing how to grab attention and inspire new generation

41 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

It is hard to change people’s attitudes towards a sport they think is not for them. Rugby union has always been a Marmite kind of game anyway, particularly in this era of diminishing attention spans and multiple alter...

Exeter’s try machine Sam Simmonds pumped up for final against Quins

32 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

Sometimes it is easy to forget the giant steps Exeter and Sam Simmonds have taken in a relatively short time. As recently as April 2016 the wide-eyed Chiefs had never contested a Premiership semi-final and Simmonds wa...

Why the Premiership will soon be no country for old journeymen

43 Uitsigte0 Opmerkings

Good night and good luck to the loyal 30-plus Premiership players hanging up their battered old boots this week. For long-serving professionals such as Matt Banahan at Gloucester, Matt Cox at Worcester, Bath’s Ross Ba...

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