Ronan O’Gara, speaking at the Irish Examiner Rugby World Cup Tournament Preview last Monday, has said there are “question marks” over the make-up of New Zealand’s best backline, as Steve Hansen’s side prepare for their Pool B showdown against South Africa on Saturday.
There’s no doubt the absence of Maxime Machenaud has taken a major weapon out of Racing 92’s armoury ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup final showdown with Leinster but assuming the Parisians will have no creative fulcrum without the France scrum-half is reckoning without Pat Lambie.
The Gaelic Players Association has revealed that its players will vote to reject Paraic Duffy’s ‘Super 8’ proposal at Congress, after a poll of members found 70% opposed the proposals, which would see the All-Ireland football quarter-finals replaced by a round robin format from next year.
“You watch Clermont as we have and you’ve just got to be impressed by what’s on offer, admiring too, and otherwise it might put the fear of God in you.” Ulster’s Director of Rugby Les Kiss was certainly not underestimating the task facing his side when the French Championship leaders come to Kingspan Stadium on Saturday for the third pool game in the Champions Cup.
A famous scene adorns the walls of the ACT Brumbies headquarters in Canberra, depicting the dressing room scenes after their first ever victory over the New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby. At that stage the Brumbies team were full to the brim with players rejected by their big Sydney neighbours and the win not only sparked emotional scenes but also marked a changing of the guard.