READING, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 29: Shontayne Hape of London Irish looks on during the AVIVA Premiership match between London Irish and Bath at Madejski Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Reading, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Shontayne Hape pleaded guilty to a dangerous tackle on Edinburgh’s David DentonEngland and London Irish centre Shontayne Hape has received a four-week ban for a dangerous tackle on Edinburgh back-row David Denton, made during the Heineken Cup Round 1 match between London Irish and Edinburgh at the Madjeski Stadium last Saturday.Hape attended the disciplinary hearing yesterday after being cited by French commissioner, Yves Thieffine in accordance to Law 10.4 (e) – “Dangerous tackling of an opponent including a tackle or an attempted tackle above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.”Judicial officer Robert Williams considered all evidence, including testaments from London Irish Director of Rugby Toby Booth and Team Manager Kieran McCarthy, and determined the tackle to be a mid-range offence, which has an entry point of a six-week suspension. Hape will be available to play on Thursday, 15 December 2011, meaning he will miss both Heineken cup fixtures against Cardiff Blues and Racing Metro, plus Aviva Premiership games against London Wasps and Saracens.Both parties, ERC and the player, have the right to appeal the decision. “When considering aggravating factors, the Judicial Officer added one week.” Said the ERC. “Having then taken into account mitigating factors, including the player’s guilty plea, clean record and clear remorse, the Judicial Officer reduced the period of suspension by 50 per cent of four weeks.”
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Punchy: Mike Phillips wasn’t going to back down against against a jibe from One Direction’s Niall Horan The 2014 Six Nations are soon to be consigned to the memory banks, so we thought we’d cast a final, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, look at the tournament Award for ‘angering millions of teenage girls’: Mike PhillipsMike Phillips has had an interesting year. Sacked from Bayonne for allegedly turning up to training under the influence, he switched to Racing Metro mid-season but the fun and games continued into the Six Nations. Phillips’ campaign hit a nadir when he was yellow carded at the end a humiliating drubbing at the hands of Ireland which led to him being dropped for the next Test. His bete noire, Niall Horan of One Direction, tweeted that Phillips was an ‘arrogant idiot’ to his 17.7 million followers. The scrum-half’s riposte was classic Phillips, inviting Horan down to Wales training and inviting him to bring the Beatles along with him. It even led arch-opportunists, Paddy Power to offer £50,000 to charity to get the warring Celts in the ring. Sadly, it never happened.The ‘three weetabix for breakfast’ award: Mike BrownSuperfly guy: Mike Brown was supersonic in RomeTo those casual rugby watchers, Mike Brown will seem like an overnight star. He is nothing of the sort. Granted, at 28, he is enjoying plaudits later than most but it’s all down to hard-graft and a burning desire to be the best he can be. In this year’s Six Nations tournament he’s been nothing short of sensational. He carried more metres than anyone else, beat the most defenders and made more linebreaks than anyone else. He also scored four tries of the highest order. He has made the No. 15 shirt his own and opposition kickers know if they kick deep, it will be at their peril. His ‘Schmeichel save’ against Brian O’Driscoll was simply extraordinary.The ‘to the manor born award’: Joe SchmidtEddie O’Sullivan and Declan Kidney were organized, had a fine eye-for-detail and tactically astute but even their most one-eyed supporters could claim they made Ireland easy on the eye. Step forward Joe Schmidt. Indeed, his transition from provincial coach to national coach has been seamless – no doubt helped by picking a Leinster-heavy contingent – but he has outthought and outfought Warren Gatland, gone within a score of winning at Twickenham and generally coaxed a side missing Sean O’Brien, Simon Zebo, Donncha Ryan and Tommy Bowe to play an aesthetically-pleasing, and ultimately winning brand of rugby. Bravo.The ‘no regard to your personal safety’ award: Leigh HalfpennyMan down: Halfpenny puts his body on the lineWhen you’re not blessed with natural size, it’s easy to walk in the opposite direction from a sport that favours men for whom High & Mighty was invented. Leigh Halfpenny is made of sterner stuff. The Wales full-back, as well as being the world’s best kicker, is also one of the bravest. With England on the attack and looking to extend their 29-18 lead, through a sweeping move, Luther Burrell had only to bulldoze his way to the line from a few metres. Halfpenny hared across the field, and despite giving away five inches and three stone, drove into the tackle with such power that Burrell put a foot in touch, missing a chance to give Burrell a brace. He was rewarded with a dislocated shoulder but no one can ever accuse Halfpenny of lacking heart. The ‘sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all’ award: Scott JohnsonThe long-haired larrakin from Western Australia had many ardent admirers within the game but you’d be hard pressed to find many north of the border at present. Too much joviality, long-winded riddles and not enough straight-talking and savvy selections, the Murrayfield masses cry. Picking Kelly Brown as captain and dropping him for the next two games, and dropping an in-form David Denton was one of many befuddling selections that enraged Scotland fans. Johnson will now be moving ‘upstairs’ as Scotland’s Director of Rugby while Vern Cotter swings in. He will surely be close under scrutiny.The ‘error of judgement’ award: Louis PicamolesFaux pas: Picamoles showed a lack of respectLouis Picamoles is roundly considered to be one of the finest No 8s in the Northern Hemisphere, a go-to man for France and Man of the Match against Italy. However, against Wales, he crossed the line by sarcastically clapping referee Alain Rolland for sending him to the sin-bin for infringing at the ruck. Respect for the referee is bedrock of rugby and Philippe Saint Andre rightly dropped him for the following game against Scotland. An honourable mention for Stuart Hogg, who was red carded for a shameful late shoulder blow to the face of Dan Biggar.Award for ‘breaking mould of deep-seated stereotype’: EnglandWhile not exactly turning into rugby’s equivalent of the Harlem Globetrotters, Stuart Lancaster’s England are not conforming to the assumption that England are just a humungous pack who will bore sides to death until they submit. Some of their offensive play was sublime. Again Ireland, Danny Care’s try had a dash of brilliance that brought Twickenham to its feet and against Wales they played with a verve from their 22 that seemed to unsettle their opponents. A near-try from Luther Burrell at the end of the game would have been a strong contender for try of the tournament. In Rome, admittedly against limited opposition, the floodgates opened and they ran in seven tries to double their tally from last year. The new Great Entertainers? Free ‘Pint of Guinness for Life’ award: Vincent O’DebatySo picture the scene. Ireland are on the cusp of only a second Six Nations championship this century and are 22-20 up with less than 90 on the clock. France make a break on the right hand side of the field and with numbers on their left, Vincent Debaty has a chance to make himself a hero. Sadly his handling skills are exposed under pressure from an onrushing Dave Kearney and he passes marginally forward to cancel out Damien Chouly’s triumphant crash over the whitewash. The TMO confirms his error and Ireland win the Championship. Oh Vincent!
For all the excellent rugby and intriguing on-field plotlines, both of which have been abundant, 2013-14 will always be remembered for its ugly European saga. A very public process of bureaucratic bickering between unions left onlookers alienated, not to mention fearful for the future.Professionalism turned 18 years old at the start of the season, and it felt like the era had reached a particularly unruly adolescence – if not acne-ridden then certainly riled by hormones and sulking disruptively.Friday’s Amlin Challenge Cup climax at the Cardiff Arms Parks feels like a reminder of such frustration. For starters, it is an irrelevance in terms of qualification for the inaugural Rugby Champions Cup. Wasps’ second showdown with Stade Francais in Paris this weekend would have determined the last tournament place even if finalists Northampton and Bath hadn’t already secured involvement thanks to fine domestic campaigns.Brive and Stade, the French sides who reached the quarters, figured that out early. They deployed vastly depleted line-ups in order not to compromise their Top 14 prospects. The indifference spoke volumes.Squad depth and impressive stamina have allowed two English challengers to battle through to a decider, but this is a hugely undermined competition.After an epic win over Leicester in Friday’s Premiership semi, Jim Mallinder must think hard about how to manage his resources. As ever, the East Midlands derby was an immensely draining affair – physically and emotionally – so resting some key names, such as match-winner Tom Wood, before facing Saracens at Twickenham on May 31 could be wise.Bluntly speaking, this game is more of a hindrance to Saints hopes of a first ever league title. Sure, there is a chance to hand valuable game-time to recovering players, but it feels rather sad to be focusing on that.Gaining game time: Saints prop Alex Corbisiero would be happy for match practiceNobody would begrudge Bath a trophy to cap an impressive period of development. Since beating Newcastle Falcons 21-0 in grim conditions on the opening evening, Mike Ford’s men did not drop out of top-four contention in the Premiership until Harlequins hi-jacked them nine days ago. Silverware could ease the pain of such a cruel finish. However, viewers with England’s trip to New Zealand in mind will dwell on something else – the fitness of both George Ford and David Wilson. Injuries to either of those men would intensify Stuart Lancaster’s current headache into a crippling migraine. Without disrespecting possible stand-ins Danny Cipriani and Henry Thomas, both the former are central to the tourists’ plans for that ominous first Test in Auckland.Of course, even those with big summer assignments ahead will not hold back for a nanosecond. On an all-weather surface in South Wales, the pace should be too fast for tentative thoughts anyway. Even if fringe players do feature, there is no reason why supporters should not be treated to a decent contest. One set will head back over the Severn Bridge full of good cheer.But it must be tough for fans to feel affection for the Amlin Cup, a tournament of awkward kick-off times that is bullied by television schedules. Take the quarter-final between Sale and Saints on a Thursday evening at the beginning of April. Just 4,650 hardy souls braved the AJ Bell Stadium.Although Sale drew the second smallest total Premiership attendance behind Newcastle over the entire season, invariably rainy Friday nights in Salford still brought an average of 6,350 through the turnstiles. This was a knockout tie. A 27 per cent decrease in attendance should sound alarm bells. Then again, television is the all-consuming cash cow that nudges the loyal fan into touch.Man of value: David WilsonAlmost inevitably, embarrassing administrative issues have foreshadowed Friday’s final. Bath and Northampton were only allocated an initial 1,000 tickets each by European Rugby Cup – a laughable insult. An online petition ensued, demanding to move the fixture to a more suitable venue, such as Cardiff City Stadium (capacity: 26,828), from the Arms Parks (capacity 12,125). It drew 1,786 signatures.Without achieving its primary goal, the commotion did free a few more tickets up to the clubs. Queues snaked back from office windows and a sell-out awaits. That said, most of Bath and Northampton’s regular-season followers missed out. They were understandably angry and will either be at home or feeling it in the pocket having had to garner a seat through a middleman for an extortionate amount. TAGS: Highlight LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Running the risk: Players like Bath’s George Ford and Northampton’s Tom Wood may risk it for silverware It feels a fittingly farcical way of saying goodbye to the ERC’s governance. As the Amlin Challenge Cup exits into history (in its current guise), we can only hope for a more considerately run replacement.Find out what is in the latest edition of Rugby World here. You can have the magazine delivered to your home, or you can download the digital edition now!
TAGS: WaspsWorcester Warriors The Ricoh Arena will be the 34th ground to stage an English Premiership match – but how many of the other 33 can you name? Click http://po.st/PremGrounds to put your knowledge to the test.Sunday 21st December: Wasps v London Irish (2pm, Ricoh Arena) With impeccable timing, Wasps will unwrap a big, shiny Christmas present to their fans this Sunday – the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Like Santa Claus himself, they’ve been handing out goodies (free tickets) to children and Leicester’s record home ground attendance of 24,000 is under threat. London Irish are the visitors for an Aviva Premiership match that will be gleefully broadcast by the BT Sport crew.But Christmas also means Ebenezer Scrooge and this writer has no trouble slipping into the shoes of Charles Dickens’s cynical old miser. For Wasps’ uprooting to the West Midlands, far from their London roots, is as much a sporting tragedy as it is a triumph over economic forces.Wasps were losing £3m a year at Adams Park, the Wycombe pad they rented for 12 years up until last weekend. It was a case of move or die, they said.So they moved, and to a ground that, as sole owners and with new revenue streams on top of existing ones, will immediately give Wasps the highest turnover in the Premiership.Money-spinner: The Ricoh Arena will provide financial sustainability to WaspsBut Wasps also died, because many of the fans that were there through thick and thin cannot contemplate a round trip of several hundred miles to watch a ‘home’ game; many of them already faced a lengthy journey to make it to Wycombe, which is itself more than 80 miles from the Ricoh.Feeling the painAn online petition to keep Wasps in or close to London failed, of course, but the hurt felt by fans is touchingly evident among the 3,000 signatories.Some vent their anger, with accusations of broken promises or threats to support a rival club. Some ask why they didn’t hitch up with Brentford FC (who are getting a new ground) or replicate Saracens, who built a stadium for £20m and paid off almost half of it through naming rights alone. Some point out that watching Wasps locally in the Championship would be preferable to the club retaining their Premiership status in another part of the country.Rob Smith, who spent 40 years at Wasps as a player or coach, is in that camp, arguing that “there’s a time when you draw the line and say I prefer the club to stay even if that means going down the leagues rather than be transported elsewhere. You get so attached to a club and stay with them. Coventry isn’t a million miles away but it might as well be”.New support: Schoolchildren from the surrounding area will be encouraged to get behind WaspsMost of all, however, it’s the despair and disillusionment that comes across, one supporter stating that he saw his “first Wasps game aged seven and I’m now 64. This is worst heartbreak in all those years”.How much store do you put on emotion? For me, it underpins all sport; it’s the reason people play and the reason people watch. But if you need to knock a few houses down to build a motorway, what do you do? Wasps have sacrificed the support of some loyal supporters because they know they will gain new ones in their new territory. It’s the price of progress.Worcester’s mind-set For all the hyperbole about the positives of moving to the Ricoh Arena, there are still many who will mourn what they see as the death of the club they knew Mixed emotions: James Haskell leads Wasps off the pitch at Adams Park LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Wasps are a business and have taken an expedient decision. But it’s a decision that not only affects their fans.Worcester have close ties with Coventry RFC, a club that lies within their catchment area and with whom they share dual-registered players. At a cost of £1.5m, they have launched six Junior Academy centres this autumn – one of them at Coventry club Barkers’ Butts – as part of a stated aim to generate two-thirds of their future first-team players through developing local talent.Wasps say they’re “very keen to build a close relationship with Coventry rugby club and we’re currently exploring the possibility of running community programmes and player development schemes together”.Fortress Sixways: Worcester are accepting the move with grace, for nowYou might think that Worcester would have something to say about that. Unexpectedly, however, my request for an interview with Worcester was politely declined, the club’s press officer saying: “While Wasps will obviously provide us with competition in all sorts of areas, we very much have the mind-set that their move should be embraced”. They’re looking forward to a new local derby should promotion be achieved.Commendably positive, but you have to suspect their attitude may change further down the line. A new agreement on academy contracts is due in 2016 and it would be surprising if Wasps didn’t try to redraw the boundaries. They are already planning to build a new training ground close to the Ricoh.Will talented youngsters of the future graduate to Wasps instead of Worcester? Will people stop watching Worcester to instead watch Wasps? Will people stop watching Coventry to instead watch Wasps? It all remains to be seen.What is certain is that the Premiership landscape has changed forever and that there have been casualties. And, amid the somewhat one-sided PR-spun publicity that has accompanied this issue in recent months, respect goes to James Haskell for recognising that fact.“We came here to say goodbye to all the fans,” the Wasps skipper told TV viewers after their final game at Adams Park last weekend. “A lot of them are going to come with us, which is a positive. Some won’t be able to make it, and it’s important that we thank them and respect them for all they’ve given.”Fine words and wholly appropriate.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS WHO’S FASTER THAN YOU? 11.16 seconds for an actual length of the field try for @speedstick11! #USA7s @usainbolthttps://t.co/cTyv8t5lIo— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) March 5, 2016The other try to grab some headlines was that of Springboks legend Bryan Habana. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is now in Las Vegas, where fans have been spoilt already in one day out of three. There have been two pool games so far – with day two hosting one more pool match for all, and then the quarter-finals – and we’ve already seen a few intriguing results thrown up.Samoa defeated last season’s series champions Fiji, who have struggled with a bug doing the rounds in the squad, pipping them 28-24. England, meanwhile, drew with Japan 19-19 and then lost to Scotland, 24-14. Indeed it was a day for draws, as hosts USA drew with Canada 26-26.However, a lot of the headlines from day one will have been taken up by stand-out tries.The first one to be aware of is this “coast-to-coast” score from Eagles flying machine Perry Baker. The man known as ‘Speed Stick’ went from one in-goal are to the other to take a magnificent try against North American rivals Canada. It is clear to see that the veteran winger is enjoying his bow at the Las Vegas Sevens, playing for the abbreviated side for the first time. Day 1 done & dusted. Honoured to be a part of this band of brothers #TodayIsAGift #Blessed #USA7s pic.twitter.com/CeKdsNr7Fx— Bryan Habana (@BryanHabana) March 5, 2016And he is not the only Toulon Test star to be taking his first steps on a sevens field. Wallaby fly-half Quade Cooper had a trot around for Australia, who, like South Africa are two from two. He is enjoying himself, he says, but added on later in the day: “If you find a set of lungs at Sam Boyd Stadium they are mine…” — World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) March 5, 2016Keep up with @WorldRugby7s for all the latest action from the HSBC Sevens Series FIRST IMPRESSIONS: @QuadeCooper on his first time playing #Rugby7s #USA7s pic.twitter.com/w064XuhU3x
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Kyle Sinckler has impressed on and off the field so far. But with their squad selection against the Auckland Blues, there are some British & Irish Lions players capable of winning over the local fans Uncompromising: CJ Stander has a smashmouth style that is appreciated in New ZealandIf anyone is likely to pull a rabbit out of a hat in this next game though, mixing work-rate with spontaneity and a finisher’s instinct, it is Jack Nowell. The industrious Justin Tipuric at seven and Elliot Daly on the other wing are players who can catch the eye and burst past opponents, but do not be surprised if it is the Exeter Chiefs spark plug who creates some box office moments on both sides of the ball. He is favoured by England for his shrewd defensive positioning while his scything first-phase try in this year’s Premiership final offered a scorching example of his ability.And perhaps more importantly, if he does create some of the game’s big moments, it will be with a smile on his face. With their selection for the match-up against the Auckland Blues, the British & Irish Lions have a fantastic opportunity to win over more hearts and minds within the New Zealand rugby public.After a spluttering start against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians – in which the tourists edged the contest 13-7, in Whangarei – the Lions must now get into their stride. Against the Provincial Baa-Baas the Lions struggled to convert chances, crossing the line four times but not dotting down. A clinical display would go some way to soothing fears for the visitors, while the locals are waiting to see something exciting from the Lions.Decisive moment: Anthony Watson scores the telling try against the BarbariansWarren Gatland has said from the get-go that the Lions must understand and interact with the indigenous culture – something that was writ large during the breathtaking Maori welcome at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds on Sunday. However, earning respect in New Zealand also means playing both hard and entertaining rugby.In that vein, the Lions have picked an ecclectic squad to face the Blues in Auckland on Thursday, that marries powerful elements – see CJ Stander, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes and Robbie Henshaw – with some more unpredictable characters. And it is those flashbulb players who may win over the Kiwi punters.FOR THE LATEST SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS, CLICK HERELions tours need heroes and often they come from unexpected places. In Whangarei, Kyle Sinckler put his hand up as an early candidate for fans favourite. Sinckler has been breezy and fun with the press, has joined in well on community visits and before the match he was even clocked by Sky Sports, talking a local security guard through scrummaging technique. During the game he was active in attack and caught the eye with his distribution skills. When he took a tap-and-go into contact but was turned over, a large number of spectators forgave him – this was positive play, and his excitement shone through, he was let down by his support. Ben Te’o and Ross Moriarty also belied the overall team performance with their physical displays, and they look set to accumulate respect throughout their stay in New Zealand, but often it is the unexpected play and the willingness to enjoy oneself that makes tour heroes. Sinckler has made a fine start to his Lions career.
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS How England faced down the hakaThere have been fewer showdowns in the face of New Zealand‘s haka in recent years since rules were introduced to keep both teams on their ten-metre lines – yet sides have still come up with unique ways to face the pre-match ritual.In 2008, Wales had the stand-off/stare-off when they refused to move after the haka until the All Blacks did. In 2011, France formed an arrow shape ahead of the World Cup final against the All Blacks.Now, in 2019, England formed a semi-circle around the haka ahead of their semi-final against New Zealand.You can watch how it unfolded here… So what was the thinking behind the statement positioning? And how did New Zealand feel about it? Here are the thoughts of the players… Keep track of events in Japan via the Rugby World Cup homepage.Follow Rugby World magazine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find out the players’ thoughts on how England set up to face New Zealand’s haka Shape shifters: England form a semi-circle around the haka (Getty Images) England full-back Elliot Daly: “It’s something we spoke about, and obviously we wanted to be respectful. But we just wanted to accept the challenge from them. I know that we were accepting it, and it was just something different.”Related: England 19-7 New Zealand Match ReportEngland centre Manu Tuilagi: “For me it is an honour to stand in front of the haka and I watched it growing up as a kid and you want to do it yourself. To see them do it again, it is an unbelievable feeling. It is a challenge and you respect it and accept it.“Everyone wanted to show that we were ready and together. It was something different that I think Eddie (Jones) suggested. It was to show we were ready to accept the challenge against New Zealand and any game against them is tough particularly in a semi-final.”New Zealand captain Kieran Read: “The haka had no impact on the game. They dominated the breakdown and we couldn’t work into our game and we were chasing.“They did a good job. The boys really wanted it. You could see it in the first half, we conceded and we hung in there. It is pretty gutting when it doesn’t go your way.”
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS After 37 years working in global financial markets, Poidevin this year opted for a different career path. He has become Australia/New Zealand president of Total Brain Ltd, a mental health and wellness platform.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Australia’s Simon Poidevin gains a slot in the greatest blindsides to play the game Respect: Simon Poidevin consoles Philip Matthews after Australia’s RWC 1991 win against Ireland (Inpho) Major teams: Randwick, NSW WaratahsCountry: AustraliaTest span: 1980-91Test caps: 59 (59 starts)Test points: 24 (6T)Rugby’s Greatest: Simon PoidevinSimon Poidevin isn’t the first name to spring to mind when recalling the Wallaby sides of the Eighties, but the ‘boy from the bush’ was the back-row glue that all great teams covet.The flanker from the NSW country town of Goulburn was almost freakishly fit. His ability to get on the inside shoulders of Mark Ella and Michael Lynagh on the 1984 Australia tour brought him a try at Twickenham – one of six during his 11-year international career.A strong ball-carrier who could occupy three defenders, Poidevin had a prodigious tackle rate and an obsessive refusal to accept defeat. He was the first Wallaby to play 50 Tests and of the 59 he played in total, 21 were against the All Blacks.Brace yourself: preparing for contact against Wales during the 1984 Wallabies tour (Getty Images)Ella rated him Australia’s best player for years – “He’s such a perfectionist, it’s almost a disease,” he said. Grand Slam-winning coach Alan Jones went even further: “For his commitment, competitiveness, discipline, will to win and determination to perfect skills, Poidevin is without peer in modern rugby.” TAGS: The Greatest Players Sport is in Poidevin’s blood. A descendent of a French wine merchant, his grandfather was selected for the first Wallaby tour to Britain in 1908, while a great uncle was the first Australian batsman to score a century of centuries at all levels of cricket.Comfortable on both flanks, the Randwick player stood toe to toe with the formidable All Blacks side of the mid-Eighties, helping the Wallabies win the Bledisloe Cup on foreign soil. He captained his country in the same year, 1986, but was bitterly disappointed at Australia’s fourth-place finish at the following year’s inaugural World Cup – and chose to retire.Bob Dwyer was never going to accept that. By 1991 Poidevin was installed in Dwyer’s World Cup XV and his tireless scavenging and unbreakable spirit in the face of a bigger English pack in the final was a crucial element in Australia’s triumph. Even after getting wiped out by a huge Mickey Skinner hit, Poidevin just smiled and came back for more.It was to be the final Test outing for the player given the sobriquet ‘The King’.
Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from New ZealandSpark Sport, the live and on-demand streaming service, has the rights to show Toulouse v Ulster in New Zealand. It kicks off at 11.30pm.It costs $24.99 for a monthly subscription and you can also sign up for a seven-day FREE trial.Spark Sport details Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch the Champions Cup match online from anywhereThe hope will be that Toulouse and Ulster can serve up a feast in their European Champions Cup quarter-final this Sunday lunchtime.Toulouse are four-time European champions and go into the match as favourites, particularly as they have rediscovered their traditional attacking flair in recent seasons with Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont at half-back.However, Ulster – losing Guinness Pro14 finalists last weekend – are not to be discounted. Interestingly, Toulouse have only a 33% win rate against Ulster in the Champions Cup and were beaten 25-23 the last time the Irish province visited Stade Ernest Wallon in 2015.Toulouse: Thomas Ramos; Yoann Huget, Sofiane Guitoune, Pita Ahki, Cheslin Kolbe; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Charlie Faumuina, Rory Arnold, Joe Tekori, Jerome Kaino (captain), Francois Cros, Selevasio Tolofua.Replacements: Julien Marchand, Rodrigue Neti, Dorian Aldegheri, Emmanuel Meafou, Alban Placines, Zack Holmes, Alexi Bales, Matthis Lebel.Ulster: Michael Lowry; Rob Lyttle, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, John Cooney; Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Marty Moore, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (captain), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Sam Carter, Kieran Treadwell, Alby Mathewson, Matt Faddes, Matt Rea.Want to find a reliable live stream for Toulouse v Ulster wherever you are? Here’s how…How to watch Toulouse v Ulster from outside your countryIf you’re abroad, but still want to watch your local Champions Cup coverage, like Toulouse v Ulster, you can do so by using a VPN – Virtual Private Network.VPNs allow you to get around any geo-blocking by changing your IP address so you appear in a different location and can watch the same legal Champions Cup live stream you would at home.Our friends at TechRadar have tested hundreds of VPN and recommend ExpressVPN, which is easy to use, has strong security features and allows you to watch on several devices at once, including smart TVs and phones, iPads, tablets, PCs and Macs.Plus, ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can try it out for a month for free or sign up for an annual plan and get three months free.Check out ExpressVPN A Champions Cup quarter-final is being served this Sunday lunchtime Happy memory: Stuart McCloskey breaks during Ulster’s 2015 win at Toulouse (Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We recommend VPN services in the context of legal recreational uses. For example:Accessing a service from another country (subject to the terms and conditions of that service)Protecting your online security and strengthening your online privacy when abroadWe do not support or condone the illegal or malicious use of VPN services. Consuming pirated content that is paid-for is neither endorsed nor approved by Future Publishing. Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from South AfricaSuperSport has the rights to broadcast the Champions Cup in South Africa and you can watch Toulouse v Ulster at 1.30pm on SuperSport’s Rugby and CSN channels.There are various DStv packages available that give access to SuperSport, ranging from EasyView, with access to Blitz, to Premium, with all ten sports channels.Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from JapanDAZN, which allows you to live stream sport or watch it on demand, is the place to go to watch Toulouse v Ulster in Japan (kick-off 8.30pm). The service is compatible with smart TVs and phones, tablets, PCs, streaming sticks, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and more.Find out more about DAZN here Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch for FREEToulouse v Ulster (kick-off 12.30pm UK & Ireland time/1.30pm France time) is being shown on free-to-air TV in the UK, Ireland and France.Channel 4 will have live coverage of Toulouse v Ulster in the UK while Virgin One are doing the same in Ireland, and France 2 are broadcasting it in France.If you’re from the UK, Ireland or France but are overseas when Toulouse v Ulster takes place, you can get your normal live stream but you’ll need a VPN – see the information above.Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from the UK & IrelandToulouse v Ulster, which kicks off at 12.30pm, will be shown live on BT Sport 3 in the UK and Ireland. If you don’t have a BT contract but want to watch the match, don’t worry because you can still easily watch it online.That’s because BT Sport has a contract-free monthly pass that allows you to get instant access to all four of their sport channels for just £25.Get a BT Sport Monthly PassIf you’re from the UK but are overseas when Toulouse v Ulster takes place, you can get your normal live stream but you’ll need a VPN – see the information above.Channel 4 are also showing Toulouse v Ulster on free-to-air television in the UK while Virgin One are doing the same in Ireland. Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from elsewhereEPCR have launched an OTT service, epcrugby.tv, so you can stream live Champions Cup matches outside of its core broadcast territories (UK & Ireland, France, USA, Malta, Spain, Andorra and Sub-Saharan Africa).It’s €2.99 to watch a single Champions Cup match or you can buy a season pass to watch all of the remaining games of the 2019-20 campaign for €11.99. Or if you want to watch both the Champions and Challenge Cups, it’s €17.99 for a season pass for the rest of 2019-20.Find out epcrugby.tv here Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from FranceTo watch Toulouse v Ulster (kick-off 1.30pm) in France, beIN Sports is the place to go as they are the main rights holders. It costs €15 a month to access the coverage or if you commit to six months you get a discount of €12 a month.beIN Sports offersToulouse v Ulster is also available on free-to-air France 2.Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from EuropeIf you’re in Austria, Germany, Italy or Switzerland, you can watch Toulouse v Ulster (kick-off 1.30pm) through the live and on-demand streaming service DAZN.Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from the USAIf you live in the States, the official broadcaster of Champions Cup matches is NBC, with matches streamed on NBC Sports Gold so you can watch them anytime and anywhere.Set your alarms for an early start with Toulouse v Ulster kicking off at 7.30am EST and 4.30am on the West Coast.The NBC Sports Gold Pass for rugby is $79.99 and includes coverage of the Gallagher Premiership, European Champions and Challenge Cups, and Guinness Six Nations.Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from CanadaFor those in Canada, the live and on-demand streaming service DAZN shows the Champions Cup and you can watch Toulouse v Ulster at 4.30am on the West Coast.Toulouse v Ulster live stream: How to watch from AustraliaFor those in Australia, a subscription to digital rugby network RugbyPass allows you to watch Toulouse v Ulster at 9.30pm (AEST). Subscriptions start from US$4.99 a month.RugbyPass Champions Cup coverage
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Rugby Europe Championship: how to watch the matchesThe Rugby Europe Championship is an important event in the rugby calendar for ‘the best of the rest’. While the elite European teams face off in the Six Nations, six more fight for glory in the Rugby Europe Championship.In 2022, the two teams who finish highest in this tournament will automatically qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, while third place enters another qualifying event. Therefore, the championship this year is of paramount importance for preparation ahead of next year’s crucial campaign.The tournament usually involves six teams, although there are currently only five as a play-off fixture is yet to decided the final side. Trophy winners the Netherlands and Belgium, who finished bottom of Rugby Europe Championship in 2020, will play their play-off match later in the spring to determine the sixth team. Currently competing in the tournament are Georgia, Spain, Russia, Romania and Portugal. Sat 20 Mar Russia v Georgia (11am)Sat 20 Mar Romania v Spain (1pm)Georgia v Romania TBCPortugal v Spain TBCSpain v Russia TBCRussia v Portugal TBCGeorgia v Belgium/Netherlands TBCBelgium/Netherlands v Portugal TBCRomania v Belgium/Netherlands TBCBelgium/Netherlands v Spain TBCBelgium/Netherlands v Russia TBC With Belgium and the Netherlands’ play off fixture later in the spring, the confirmed five nations will play the first block of fixtures between March 6 and March 27, before the remaining games are complete.Three time reigning champions Georgia are the favourites to win the tournament. Ranked 12th in the world, they are also the highest ranked nation in the championship, and also two places above Six Nations competitor Italy.They kick off their tournament with a trip to Lisbon at 12pm GMT (3pm local time) on Saturday 6 March. Russia will host Romania in Sochi on the same day, also at the same time.All games in the 2021 Rugby Europe Championship are shown on Rugby Europe TV. Each game will have English commentaries, with a full list of the scheduled matches below. The same site will also host replays of the games.Rugby Europe Championship FixturesSat 6 Mar Russia v Romania (12pm)Sat 6 Mar Portugal v Georgia (12pm)Sat 13 Mar Portugal v Romania (1pm)Sun 14 Mar Spain v Georgia (11:45am) Georgia are aiming for their fourth straight Rugby Europe Championship in 2021 (Getty Images) The Rugby Europe Championship is the continent’s second-tier tournament after the Six Nations, involving Georgia, who are ranked 12th in the world. Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.