Josh Lewsey decides to call it a day for England

On December 11, 2008 by

A key member of England’s rugby union World Cup winning team has retired from international duty at the age of thirty-two. Josh Lewsey, who has played for the national team a total of 55 times, has fallen out of favour with selectors recently as officials aim to test out younger players.

In the light of this new situation, Lewsey has decided to focus solely upon his club career with Wasps. He has not been in particularly impressive form recently for his club and this is something the player, who has very high expectations of himself, is keen to change.

It is a major decision from a player who made his Test debut for England in 1998. He quickly became a key player for the national side and, during his international career, he scored 22 tries. One of the most memorable of these tries came last year in the World Cup semi-final tie against France.

Unfortunately, Lewsey was injured later in the same game and was forced into missing the tournament’s final. The crucial involvement in the semi-final has proved to be the last act of Lewsey’s in an England shirt and it was perhaps a fitting end to an impressive, if somewhat underrated, international career.

Lewsey explained that he spoke to new England boss, Martin Johnson, about his future prospects in an England shirt, and was told that

Australia set to investigate Wembley pitch

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Last week, Matt Dunning and Sekope Kepu, two Australian rugby players, suffered serious injuries when a scrum collapsed during a match held at Wembley.

Yesterday it was announced that the rugby authorities from Australia are going to investigate whether or not the pitch at Wembley was a major contributing factor in causing the injuries of the players.

A health and safety committee of six representatives has been formed by the Australian Rugby Union and Rupa, a body which represents the rugby players, and the investigation will assess whether the players competed on

Wilkinson may be in line for Six Nations return

On December 8, 2008 by

England rugby union star, Jonny Wilkinson, has revealed that he may make a successful comeback from his latest injury problem in time to be in line for a call-up to the Six Nations squad.

The Six Nations tournament starts next February and the availability of Wilkinson would be a massive boost for an international side which has faltered during recent performances. Toby Flood and Danny Cipriani have failed to make an impression in the position left vacant by the Newcastle fly-half, with the latter player coming under heavy criticism during recent weeks.

Wilkinson, who is still the record points-scorer in international rugby union despite having suffered a wide range of serious injuries since his starring role in the 2003 World Cup, suffered a serious knee injury at the end of September and is set to have one more operation before starting the real road to recovery.

This operation will allow surgeons to assess how Wilkinson’s knee is healing and, if all the signs are positive, he will be able to, in his own words,

Rob Andrew defends England coaches

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English fans of rugby union have been left feeling angry, frustrated, and dejected following the recent performances of the national side. Humbling defeats at the hands of teams including South Africa and New Zealand have chipped away at the national pride felt by those who still remember the glory days of 2003, when the England rugby team beat Australia to win the World Cup in impressive style.

However, one person who simply refuses to believe that the England team has frustrated fans recently is Rob Andrew, the national union’s director of elite rugby.

According to Andrew, all is well in the English rugby union world. He has given his full backing to the coaching team which includes individuals including Brian Smith, Jon Callard, and Mike Ford, and believes that Martin Johnson is the right man to be leading the national side at this time.

Andrew recognised that the coaches have had a tough start but the director still thinks that a

Johnson names Borthwick as captain

On October 30, 2008 by

Steve Borthwick has been named England captain for the team’s autumn internationals. The Saracens lock, who is 29 years of age, was appointed by England manager Martin Johnson.

Borthwick led the national side during the New Zealand summer tour as a result of the absence of previous captain, Phil Vickery. Vickery is no longer one of the first names on the England team sheet, primarily as a result of injuries and the impressive form of Matt Stevens. As such, Johnson would have been somewhat foolish to name the Wasps prop as skipper.

However, the England manager was quick to recognise, and show appreciation for, the influence Vickery has had on the national team. Johnson publicly thanked the prop, who he played alongside during the successful World Cup campaign, for the work he has done with the team during his time as captain and continued to compare Steve Borthwick with the England legend.

Martin Johnson has made a sensible choice in picking Borthwick. He has experience as England captain and was first handed the honour during this year’s Six Nations fixture against Italy. He enjoyed ten successful years at Bath, winning the European Challenge Cup last season, but decided to join Saracens earlier this year.

The director of rugby at the club, Eddie Jones, believes that the player should be captain of the national side as a result of his hard-working, competitive nature. Jones believes that Borthwick is extremely

Hadden names uncapped pair in national squad

On October 23, 2008 by

Frank Hadden, the coach of the Scottish rugby union team, has surprisingly named a pair of uncapped players in the squad for the upcoming autumn Tests. Geoff Cross, who is a prop for Edinburgh, and Max Evans, who is a back for the Glasgow Warriors, have been included in the 31-man squad.

A further surprise came in the form of flanker, Scott Gray, who has only one cap, earned against Australia several years ago. Gray has impressed at openside during several of Northampton’s matches and this has not gone unnoticed by Frank Hadden, who believes that the player has

Leinster 41-11 Wasps

On October 22, 2008 by

Isn’t it time Shaun Edwards just took the slow train to Cardiff and didn’t come back? Rugby is not like football, where managers come and go like English summers, but as he cannot seem to instill any leadership (let alone the ability to catch a rugby ball) then surely he should resign. After two victories all season, Wasps fans deserve at least a coach who has his heart in the team!

Source : BBC Sport

Scott MacLeod fails drug test

On October 21, 2008 by

Scott MacLeod, the Scottish rugby union forward, has been suspended after a urine sample he provided was found to contain a higher than allowable level of testosterone.

The 29 year-old will now be unable to play or train with the national team and his club, the Scarlets, will also have to do without his services. MacLeod believes that he is innocent and has stated that his ‘B’ sample should now be tested.

A spokesman for the Scottish Rugby Union has confirmed that they have opened an investigation into the possible offence as part of their anti-doping regulatory process.

It is currently unclear how long this investigation will take but the suspension is a real blow for the Scottish player. The Scarlets dropped him from their team before Saturday’s match in the Heineken Cup, which they went on to lose.

It is now thought that he will miss the club’s final match at Stradey Park, scheduled for Friday night against Bristol in the EDF Energy Cup.

The club’s chief executive, Stuart Gallacher, released a statement about the situation, which confirmed that

Wilkinson set to miss Six Nations

On October 10, 2008 by

Just read that Jonny Wilkinson is injured yet again and will miss the whole of the six-nations tournament. Isn’t it time we just let him retire and enjoy the fruits of his hard work from 2003?

Source : BBC Sport

Wilkinson reveals secrets behind latest comeback

On September 22, 2008 by

Jonny Wilkinson, England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup hero, has revealed the secrets behind his latest comeback from injury. Four months ago, Wilkinson, one of the most frustratingly injury-prone players in the world of sport today, underwent major surgery on his shoulder.

At the time, sports pundits expressed their concerns that the player would never regain the form that proved so devastating in Australia five years ago. However, Wilkinson, complete with a new, flowing hairstyle, was in terrific form last weekend against Northampton.

In his new autobiography, written whilst recovering from his shoulder operation, the player has revealed the secrets behind his successful comeback from injury. In the fascinating book, Wilkinson speaks of a terrible and persistent

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