In the fallout from England’s early exit from the Rugby World Cup much has been made of the selection of recent Union convert Sam Burgess’ selection at centre. He certainly isn’t the first player to have played in a different position but his experience highlights what many young people experience as they learn the game, albeit his experience happened on the game’s biggest stage.
As rugby continues to evolve, rugby coaches face the same challenge as their players, that of constantly developing their skills. Continue reading
Six Nations – the best in Europe meet to compete for the coveted title.
It is that time of year again! The Six Nations is here and you can see all the highlights of every game right here on LineoutCoach.
The Six Nations is a tournament steeped in tradition, national pride and top quality rugby. Each year throws up a surprise result and the Champions are rarely decided before the final week of games. Last year saw England claim the title but a year is a long time in rugby and their performance at the World Cup sees a new team and coach face the auld enemy, Scotland, at Murrayfield in the opening match.Catch all the action here on LineoutCoach
Who will win this year’s Six Nations Championship?
Will it be Rugby World Cup Finalists, France?
Some fresh faces in the squad and new direction under Phillipe Saint-Andre gives France a very good chance of winning the Grand Slam.
Six Nations Player to watch: Captain and World Player of The Year – Thierry Dusautoir
World Cup semi finalists, Wales will also fancy their chances of winning the Six Nations tournament. Wales have some very exciting, fresh talent emerging. Players like Toby Faletau, Alex Cuthbert and young captain, Sam Warburton will all become very familiar names over the course of the 6 Nations.
Six Nations Player to watch: George North
Ireland will still be hurting from that Rugby World Cup defeat to Wales and will want to set things straight. The absence of skipper, Brian O’Driscoll gives a great opportunity for a fresh combination in the midfield for this Six Nations. Fergus McFadden will wear the 13 jersey against Wales. McFadden is well capable, but has some big rugby boots to fill!
Six Nations Player to watch: Stephen Ferris
Scotland appear to have been a team in transition over the recent seasons and I am expecting big things from them in the near future. Scotland’s record points scorer, Chris Patterson retired after the Rugby World Cup. His presence will be missed but Scotland have a dynamic and exciting team for this years Six Nations. Hooker, Ross Ford takes over captaincy. Expect a big upset…
Six Nations Player to watch: James Hamilton
Italy will continue to improve in the Six Nations. Their historic win over France last year will give them renewed belief in this year’s tournament. Teams always know that they face a very tough battle against Italy. Let’s hope new Coach Jacques Brunel can build on the great work of departed Coach Nick Mallett.
Six Nations Player to watch: Martin Castrogiovanni
The rugby world are watching England very closely. The World Cup and all the antics that went with it are in the past. For better or worse, the majority of the management, the captain and some familiar faces have been replaced. England start with a clean slate for the Six Nations and must be allowed time to gel as a squad. World Cup 2015 will be held in England and the 4 year building cycle has already begun.
I am excited to see the new look England…
Six Nations Player to watch: Chris Robshaw
Six Nations Fixtures
|4th February||France v Italy||Stade de France|
|4th February||Scotland v England||Murrayfield|
|5th February||Ireland v Wales||Aviva Stadium, Dublin|
|11th February||France v Ireland||Stade de France|
|11th February||Italy v England||Stadio Flaminio|
|12th February||Wales v Scotland||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|25th February||England v Wales||Twickenham, London|
|25th February||Ireland v Italy||Aviva Stadium, Dublin|
|26th February||Scotland v France||Murrayfield|
|10th March||Ireland v Scotland||Aviva Stadium, Dublin|
|10th March||Wales v Italy||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
|11th March||France v England||Stade de France|
|17th March||England v Ireland||Twickenham, London|
|17th March||Italy v Scotland||Stadio Flaminio|
|17th March||Wales v France||Millennium Stadium, Cardiff|
Six Nations action gets underway. Looking forward to a classic.
Gavin Hickie, The LineoutCoach, is a former Ireland, Leinster and Leicester rugby player now based in California and taking rugby to the USA. He writes for RugbyMag.com and other publications when not coaching for Belmont Shore and blogging on lineoutcoach.com
The 2011/12 Heineken Cup is up and running. The main surprises to date have been Northampton’s disappointing form in the competition as well as Ronan O’Gara’s incredible match winning drop goals!
Due to the layout of the competition, teams will play against each other twice over the next two weeks. This always promises to be a season defining period for many of the competing teams.
Lineout Coach picks from Round 2
Castres Olympique 24 27 Munster
Unbelievably, Munster’s fly half, Ronan O’Gara scored another last minute drop goal to win the game for his side. Munster are looking dangerous and with O’Gara’s current form, I expect them to beat the Scarlets. Unfortunate news about the injury to Munster winger, Doug Howlett broke this week. Howlett will miss the rest of the season, but this gives the exciting Simon Zebo a chance to shine.
Gloucester 9 – 28 Harlequins
‘Quins are on fire this season. I have huge respect for Harlequins after the club endured a tough few years. Connor O’Shea deserves a lot of credit for the turnaround in Harlequins’ fortunes but so too do the players. The ‘Quins squad are a tight bunch of guys and the news of winger Ugo Moyne signing a new contract this week, will have given the whole club a boost. Harlequins sit top of the Aviva Premiership with 10 wins out of 10. Huge challenge awaits them over the next 2 weeks as theyface the mighty Toulouse.
Heineken Cup Results – Round 2
|Pool 1 Castres Olympique 24 – 27 Munster
Northampton Saints 23 – 28 Scarlets
Cardiff Blues 24 – 18 London Irish
Edinburgh 48 – 47 Racing Métro 92
Leinster 38 – 13 Glasgow Warriors
Bath 16 – 13 Montpellier
|Pool 4 ASM Clermont Auvergne 54 – 3 Aironi
Leicester Tigers 20 – 9 Ulster
Benetton Treviso 26 – 26 Ospreys
Biarritz 15 – 10 Saracens
Gloucester Rugby 9 – 28 Harlequins
Connacht 10 – 36 Toulouse
Still time to enter the LineoutCoach Heineken Cup Competition – get Tweeting!
Heineken Cup Fixtures
Friday, 9 December 2011
Cardiff Blues v Edinburgh, Pool 2, 20:00
Harlequins v Toulouse, Pool 6, 20:00
Ulster v Aironi, Pool 4, 19:30
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Castres v Northampton, Pool 1, 13:30
Connacht v Gloucester, Pool 6, 13:30
Racing Metro 92 v London Irish, Pool 2, 15:40
Saracens v Ospreys, Pool 5, 18:00
Scarlets v Munster, Pool 1, 15:40
Treviso v Biarritz, Pool 5, 13:30
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Bath v Leinster, Pool 3, 12:45
Clermont Auvergne v Leicester, Pool 4, 15:00
Glasgow v Montpellier, Pool 3, 12:45
Friday, 16 December 2011
Biarritz v Treviso, Pool 5, 20:00
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues, Pool 2, 20:00
Ospreys v Saracens, Pool 5, 20:00
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Aironi v Ulster, Pool 4, 13:30
Gloucester v Connacht, Pool 6, 15:40
Leicester v Clermont Auvergne, Pool 4, 13:30
Leinster v Bath, Pool 3, 18:00
London Irish v Racing Metro 92, Pool 2, 15:00
Montpellier v Glasgow, Pool 3, 15:40
Sunday, 18 December 2011
Munster v Scarlets, Pool 1, 12:45
Northampton v Castres, Pool 1, 15:00
Toulouse v Harlequins, Pool 6, 15:00
Saturday, 14 January 2012
Aironi v Clermont Auvergne, Pool 4
Glasgow v Leinster, Pool 3
Harlequins v Gloucester, Pool 6
London Irish v Cardiff Blues, Pool 2
Montpellier v Bath, Pool 3
Munster v Castres, Pool 1
Ospreys v Treviso, Pool 5
Racing Metro 92 v Edinburgh, Pool 2
Saracens v Biarritz, Pool 5
Scarlets v Northampton, Pool 1
Toulouse v Connacht, Pool 6
Ulster v Leicester, Pool 4
Saturday, 21 January 2012
Bath v Glasgow, Pool 3
Biarritz v Ospreys, Pool 5
Cardiff Blues v Racing Metro 92, Pool 2
Castres v Scarlets, Pool 1
Clermont Auvergne v Ulster, Pool 4
Connacht v Harlequins, Pool 6
Edinburgh v London Irish, Pool 2
Gloucester v Toulouse, Pool 6
Leicester v Aironi, Pool 4
Leinster v Montpellier, Pool 3
Northampton v Munster, Pool 1
Treviso v Saracens, Pool 5
Gavin Hickie, The LineoutCoach, is a former Ireland, Leinster and Leciester rugby player now based in California and taking rugby to the USA. He writes for RugbyMag.com and other publications when not coaching for Belmont Shore and blogging on lineoutcoach.com