Everybody keeps passing Eddie Jones shit sandwiches and, refusing to accept them like someone avoiding a summons server, they’re just piling up around him and stinking the place out. But amidst the stink, the prickly little fellah is trying to put a brave face on it: “I’m enjoying it, loving it, absolutely loving it.” Continue reading
“The panel has come up with an incredibly impressive shortlist, which reflects the strength of Aviva Premiership Rugby,” said the Premiership Rugby chief executive, Mark McCafferty. “It’s great to see players who have emerged from our academies in what is undoubtedly a world-class list of players. It will be a tough job picking the winner, as clearly all six would be a worthy Aviva Premiership Rugby player of the season.” Continue reading
There’s always something satisfying about seeing a big talker being cut down to size, and Saracens home quarter-final loss to Clermont Auvergne was not so much a classic of the genre as merely a run of the mill example. Nevertheless, it was rewarding to watch. Continue reading
The Mole was more than a little surprised when Philippe Saint André was announced as France’s next coach before RWC11. Despite the fact that France came as near as you can feasibly come to winning the trophy as you can get without actually winning it, the Lievremont era had degenerated into farce, and it was clear that the next coach had to be less volatile, more media savvy and more experienced. Continue reading
The results during the first two rounds of this season’s Heineken Cup were a clear indicator that the Pro12 League, sponsored by RaboBank, has become a strong league in European Rugby. Just how strong remains to be seen – possibly by season’s end – but evidence-based assessments suggest that it is right up there with France’s Top 14 and England’s Premiership competitions.
Orange and Canal+ executives must have been appalled by the carnage among the Top 14 clubs in the first weekend of the H Cup 2011. French rugby should be on the crest of a wave following the RWC2011 renaissance but Clermont, Racing, Castres, Biarritz all bit the dust, with Toulouse the only French H Cup winners on the weekend. In truth new-boys Montpellier salvaged the pride of Les Tricouleurs rugby with a gutsy draw against European champions Leinster, which could even have been a victory. Continue reading