Australia start off their tournament with a win against Fiji. Highlights are here for you to watch.
With the 2019 World Cup in Japan in full swing we have decided to look at a few legends of previous World Cups starting with the inaugural tournament way back in 1987.
Although there were many noteworthy players there is one name that stands out head and shoulders above the rest, New Zealand’s back row talisman Michael Jones. Born in Aukland to a Samoan mother it was in fact his maternal nation that made their move first for the talented flanker, selecting Jones for his first international cap against Wales.
But it would be the country of his birth and the mighty All Blacks where Jones would make his name. Due to injury and religious beliefs that forbade him to play on a Sunday the Aukland flanker only made 55 appearances for New Zealand despite being the first name on the team sheet when available, a tally that a man of his vast talent could have doubled if not for bad luck.
Known for huge physicality and work rate he soon became a fan favourite and it was the 1987 World Cup that would cement his legacy as one of the finest back rowers to grace the game and an All Blacks legend.
Dominating the French pack in the final and scoring in the corner will long go down in history with the knowledgeable New Zealand public. For all, you that are too young to remember here’s some clips of the great man himself. Enjoy.
Ireland went into this game with a chance of taking the Number 1 spot in the world rankings. However they were dealt a massive blow in their prep for the World Cup, taking a humbling defeat at the hands of England.
Eddie Jones had this to say following his sides huge 57-15 win.
“We went out to play a certain way and we did that,” Jones said. “I was pleased with the intensity and purpose we played with.
“We adapted to the game a little bit on the run, the concentration level was pretty good and that’s what we’re looking for in these games.
“It was pleasing to be able to move the ball a bit, especially after last week, which was a bit of an arm wrestle for 80 minutes. Today there was a bit of ball movement so it was a nice way to prepare for the World Cup.”
Mako Hobbles Off
Mako Vunipola came on for a short time in the second half, but his return to rugby was short-lived and he was soon back off. This starts to put his World Cup in doubt.
In the Ireland camp, Joe Schmidt and Rory Best had this to say about it. They now face Wales in back to back games before heading out to the World Cup. Whilst England face Italy before getting on the plane.
“There’s a malaise about the team, you can’t blame individuals,” head coach Joe Schmidt said.
Captain Rory Best added: “That is not up to the standard that we set ourselves. It is hard to describe it without using a lot of profanity.”
75 Minutes – Ireland are camped in
66 Minutes – Wales are still dominating and coping with the weather. Ireland just cannot go through phases and make anything meaningful happen.
57 Minutes – Wales get the scrum after a fight for turnover ball with Tipuric stealing, Ireland win it back but knock on.
55 Minutes – Ireland need to get going, they win a penalty and kick into the 22 for a lineout.
49 Minutes – Wales 19-0 Ireland another penalty for Anscombe.
46 Minutes – Ireland give away a debatable penalty, with the commentary team still struggling.
Wales well on the way to a win here, Ireland have nothing and the ref certainly isn’t helping them out.
43 Minutes – Ireland have a scrum on halfway. But they make no ground against a tough Welsh defence. Sexton then kicks it out on the full. He apologises to the team, just shows how off form they are at the minute.
41 Minutes – Anscombe takes Wales into a 16 point lead. Can they lose this now?
36 Minutes – Wales 13-0 Ireland another penalty after an offside from Wales. Anscombe looking settled with kicking duty.
30 Minutes – Ireland knock on after a scrappy lineout. Wales have a scrum to build on from halfway.
23 Minutes – Ireland in the Wales half and putting the pressure on, they win a penalty and are going for the corner. Ireland taking the game to Wales now.
20 Minutes – Offside penalty given away by Ireland, then some handbags after the whistle goes. Wales have the penalty reversed for jumping on the player whilst playing advantage.
18 Minutes – Decisions going for Wales, they get a penalty and are back into Ireland territory with a lineout. Rain is coming down though.
WALES 10-0 IRELAND
16 Minutes – Wales earn a penalty after swarming on Stockdale after taking a high kick. Arguably a penalty for Ireland but given in Wales favour. Anscombe puts
12 Minutes – Wales go through phase play, and are on the 5m when Ireland turnover the ball in the ruck.
9 Minutes – Big change here, Biggar on at 10 as they have a reshuffle due to North going off.
7 Minutes – Jacob Stockdale breaks away after a cross field kick from Sexton. Hadleigh Parkes sorts him out though and takes him into touch.
Wales 7-0 Ireland
1 Minutes – TRY TIME – Deft kick with advantage to Wales straight from the start and Hadleigh Parks is over for a try.
Anscombe adds the extras.
And we are a go, what a game this could be.
Freddie Burns had the chance to hit the headlines for Bath on the opening weekend of the Champions Cup. But as you’ll see in this video the star the elder brother of the Burns brothers, both taking part in this weekends Champions Cup.
After Toulouse had worked themselves back into the game, Freddie Burns first had a chance to take the lead with a penalty which rattled off the posts, before pulling off the biggest moment to forget perhaps of his career. Jogging through to dot down under the posts after breaking the defensive line, Maxime Medard followed up to put pressure on the Englishman and found himself spoiling the celebrations. The French International tapping Freddie’s arm to force him to drop the ball.
This will likely stay with him for a while, especially considering Bath’s chances of getting through the competition will be narrow, to say the least.
3 Minutes – France give away a penalty on their 10m line. Farrell gets the kick.
7 Minutes – England pressure and France give away the ball with a sloppy pass after a kick from Farrell for May to run on to.
9 Minutes – Lawes launches an attack on Machenauds box kick and it goes out for a France pineoit in their 22.
11 Minutes – England end up with possession but eventually give away the penalty.
12 Minutes – France give away penalty and Farrell puts England on the attack with a line out.
13 Minutes – France stealthy ball and they end up on the England 22. A knock and Wngland clear
England looked to dominate the game but they don’t have the fluency and confidence to get there.
the half ends 9-9 and you feel like France could sneak this game at the minute if England don’t start to pull away.
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What is a scrum cap?
Scrum caps are a piece of headgear used to try and achieve 2 things. Protect from damage to the ears cheerfully referrred to as “Cauliflower Ear” but also has been developed to try and minimize head injuries for the rugby player. As you can imagine these were originally designed with the forwards in mind but people from 1 to 15 wear them.
Originally the scrum cap was made from a thin cloth helmet with padding over the ears, but these days they are made from foam.
As the autumn internationals draw closer we at Gainline Rugby have decided to take a look at 5 up and coming England stars that we believe will take the international game by storm in the years to come. We’re not saying all these lads will play a big part in the upcoming internationals but we think they all certainly have the potential to be an integral part of Eddie Jones’ 2019 world cup squad in Japan.
Height: 6ft 1
Position: Openside Flanker
At the age of 19 the Sale starlet certainly does have the world at his feet, quick, strong and a huge engine for a lad his age combined with a rugby brain and breakdown skills few English players possess he really is the all round package. Growing up with twin brother Ben seems have done them both the world of good, pushing eachother all the way to international honours and both being part of the 2017 England under 20 grand slam winning side. I genuinely do see a huge future for this lad, a proper openside, the likes of which we haven’t seen in England for some time, a real fetcher. If Jones decides to stray away from the two “6,5’s” he’s got a real shot at the 7 shirt although faces direct competition from bath’s Sam Underhill.
Ratu Joe Cokanasiga
Height: 6ft 3.5
Weight: 17st 9
Born in Fiji to a father in the British Army big Joe did plenty of moving around in his early years spending time in Brunei and Germany as his father served queen and country. Moving back to blighty in 2013 it wasn’t long before this behemoth on the wing was starting to garner attention and in 2015 he joined the London Irish academy where he was immediately placed in their sevens team for the Premiership Rugby Sevens Series (typical Fijian hey).
Cokanasiga sites Jonah Lomu, Julian Savea and Semesi Rokoduguni as his idols and It’s easy to see their influence on him. This kid is huge, at 19 years old he’s the size of any decent international number 8 and/or a small family saloon, yet he’s on the wing, terrorizing often much smaller opponents. We all know size isn’t everything but athletically this guy really does have a huge advantage, crazy big and crazy fast I think Joe just needs that exposure to the highest level, consistently, to bring out the potential he has. it was a real shame he got injured on the summer tour to Argentina as that could have been the perfect entry point for the young man. I think handled correctly Cokanasiga has the potential to be as good as anyone out wide. A name to remember (if you can pronounce it).
Height: 6ft 1
Weight: 17st 11
Position: Loosehead Prop
The young Bristolian plying his trade in the east midlands is an absolute blockbuster of a prop, with more Youtube clips and Facebook vidoes than the rest of the premiership props combined I should imagine. Powerful, fit, great ball carrier, all things that shouldn’t be connected with a prop and certainly not words used for my ambling performances on a Saturday afternoon. But in all seriousness this lad is the next level of the prop evolution. Playing at number 8 through his teen years is obvious to see, this kid is an absolute cannonball of a ball carrier, great acceleration and tenacity often sees the young prop break the first line of the defence. But what I really like about this kid, and I think Eddie Jones does too, is the edge he brings. Genge is the type of player you love to have on your team and hate to play against, aggressive, in your face and will never take a backwards step, a real warrior in the same sort of mould as Eben Etzebeth or a young Julian White.
Although Genge started both tests in the summer tour to Argentina he will find it difficult to secure a test start this autumn as loosehead is a postion England are blessed with but I can certainly see Ellis Genge pushing joe Marler for the bench spot behind Mako Vunipola.
Height: 6ft 6
Weight: 17st 9
Position: Second Row
Maybe not the box office name some of the others have but the Bath second row has been slowly developing his game behind the scenes and is now ready to show the world (or at least the country) what he’s got. Being an English lock at the moment is always going to be hard work with Itoje, Kruis, Lawes and Launchbury all fighting for a starting place but I think the young man from Bournemouth has something different to offer. Ewels strikes me as leader and the Bath D.O.R Tod Blackadder obviously agrees, appointing him skipper for the Somerset clubs European cup game against Benetton. In this game Ewels conducted himself really well, reasoning with the referee on a couple of occasions, a skill few possess, never mind a player of his age. He clearly has the backing of the Bath management and the respect of his older team mates and I think that will go a long way in Eddie Jones’ mind.
As I say, there are a lot of quality English locks out there but I think given the chance at international level Ewels would excel and without a doubt take some knocking out of the shirt.
Weight: 14st 9
Position: Outside Centre
Eddie Jones has never been afraid to expose the young under 20’s stars to the cut and thrust of a full international camp and that’s exactly what he did with Marchant in 2016. I think it came as a surprise to most but jones clearly sees future potential in the young man from Winchester. To be honest it’s not hard to see why, the outside centre has blistering pace, lightening feet and although not exactly renowned for his huge hits he reads the defensive play very well and is extremely effective.
The standout player for England in their 2016 Junior World Cup Marchant was obviously earmarked for full international honours in a position that England have often struggled to fill until recently. Marchant draws obvious comparisons with Jonathan Joseph (which is in no way a bad thing) but I think Marchant can surpass the current England 13’s ability, I just see that extra bit of rugby nouse in his game. I can see a bright future in the England midfield for the young Harlequins lad.
I could have picked so many names for this article Nick Isiekwe, Nathan Earle, Paul Hill and Harry Mallinder to name a few but what I can safely say is the future is bright for England rugby. I have never seen such a clear cultivation of young talent in England, in years gone by most of these players would have been left to play club rugby and not given a sniff until they have played 4 or 5 seasons in the Premiership but exposing these young players to the England philosophy and having them play and train next to the current crop of England stars will absolutely pay dividends. To build the best team in the world you need competition for places and young men that are hungry to fight the established for their position and that’s why I think Eddie Jones has got it spot on. In Eddie we trust!
Thanks for reading Gainline Rugby’s take on the future crop of England stars and feel free to let us know who you think I’ve missed and any opinions you might have on the future of English rugby.