LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Starting out youngIt’s time to get involved…Despite what the picture shows, touch rugby is not just for kids. Our friends in Australia showcase some touch rugby in this clip. And they’re pretty good. So in the interest of keeping the age-old rivalry alive, you’d better get out there and play.
“If I’m honest I didn’t really want the season to finish on Saturday, it would have been good if the Premiership had three or four matches to go. But the good news for me is that in my mind I now know what is happening for next season. I don’t have to think where am I going to be or what I am going to do, instead I can just focus fully on my rugby and hopefully having a good year next season.”Brought up as a youngster at club side Deportivo Francesca, Mieres has since gone on to have a three-month trial with Leicester Tigers, before he plied his trade in France for two years with Stade Francais. After leaving Paris he return back to his first club before being brought to England by Baxter, who admits the player has more than earned his new deal with Exeter.“We have been talking to Nacho for some time, it’s not something that has just happened,” said Baxter. “He has worked his way into the side, it has taken a little bit of time, but he has had some good A League performances, some solid first team performances and deserved his chance. His communication within the side is improving all the time and I think he has earned his contract.“For me, that is a really important thing. Now you can go and see him, shake his hand and say ‘you deserve that’. Hopefully, now he can go away and have a great season with us again next year. Argentine Ignacio MieresExeter’s first-ever season in the Aviva Premiership may have come to an end, but head coach Rob Baxter is still hard at work preparing for next season’s assault on the top flight.Having just seen his side see off London Wasps 21-8 in their final fixture of the season, Baxter immediately confirmed the news that Argentine fly-half Ignacio Mieres had agreed a new one-year contract with the club.The 24-year-old, who landed 11 points in Saturday’s last-day success, will now battle it out with Gareth Steenson and newcomer Myles Dorrian for the No.10 jersey next term. It is, however, a challenge the Buenos Aries-born back is keen to take on after an encouraging first year in Devon.“I am really happy to have signed a new contract,” said Mieres. “It was something I hoped for ever since I arrived at the club. I knew I wanted to stay; I really like it here, so I am really glad that I have it all sorted.”Having landed 19 points in a man-of-the-match display for the Chiefs in their LV= Cup victory over Wasps back in November, the Argentine international had to wait until April before he would get his first Premiership start in the club’s away win over Sale Sharks.In between, however, he happily went about his trade, featuring strongly for the club’s United side in the A League, whilst making a number of cameo appearances off the bench for the first team.“I feel very settled here,” he added. “Luckily I got more chances in the last few weeks to start games. Before I was on the bench, getting 15 or 20 minutes on the field, but the way the season finished personally for me was very good. “We are kind of getting there with our squad recruitment for next year, we not too far off now, so I feel comfortable with the set of players we have. They are all great guys, there work ethic is great, so I am really looking forward to working with them again.”Certainly Mieres believes he has benefitted already from his time at Sandy Park, he continued: “For sure I’ve added things to my game since I have been here. Working with Ali [Hepher] and the other coaches has really brought my game on. I know I have things to improve and there is a long way to go, but being here it is a great place to improve my rugby.” STOCKPORT, ENGLAND – APRIL 22: Ignacio Mieres of Exeter Chiefs places the ball during the AVIVA Premiership match between Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs at Edgeley Park on April 22, 2011 in Stockport, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The teams of two stick together and swap roles the next round, with Owens and assistant Clancy overseeing Australia versus Argentina and Poite and Garces looking after New Zealand and South Africa.All will be involved right through to the conclusion, with Garces reffing the Springboks and Wallabies game on September 28 and then Owens and Wayne Barnes overseeing the South Africa versus New Zealand game and the Argentina versus Australia game respectively. Man in the middle: Nigel Owens is one of Europe’s elite referees overseeing seven of the next eight TRC matchesBy Alan DymockIT’S ALWAYS nice to be wanted. It must be a strange feeling for referees, though.In an age where the men in the middle are as professional as players and criticised as openly as them in the media as well, it is interesting to note that Northern Hemisphere refs are desired for the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest competition. One only needs to hear the cliché about the difference between the interpretation of rules between the two zones to know there may be some grumblings, but still the best officials from Europe are getting top gigs in the south.Hard to miss: The luminous Irish referee George ClancyIn the next eight Rugby Championship fixtures there will be no less than seven games refereed by Europeans, with European officials running touch in all of them.On September 7, George Clancy will referee Australia versus South Africa with Nigel Owens manning the flag alongside familiar Kiwi Glen Jackson, formerly of Saracens. On the same day, Jerome Garces will be refereeing New Zealand versus Argentina, with Romain Poite on touch. PERPIGNAN, FRANCE – APRIL 26: George Clancy, the referee asks for the video referee to help his decision whether a Perpignan penalty had cleared the posts during the Amlin Challenge Cup Semi Final between Perpignan and Stade Francais at Stade Aime Giral on April 26, 2013 in Perpignan, France. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images) There always seems a big fuss whenever a SANZAR referee comes over for the Six Nations, but there is clearly a difference in trust. A third of last year’s Six Nations’ games was overseen by Southern Hemisphere referees, but imagine the uproar if over half the games were whistled by non-Europeans?The only true shame is that there is no Argentine referee deemed good enough by the IRB to oversee a Rugby Championship match.
Prepare for a shock! It is possible to write an entertaining, insightful and interesting autobiography without sticking the knife into all and sundry, as Brian O’Driscoll has proved with his new book The Test allows the reader to get to know O’Driscoll the person, the husband, the father and the friend. It is honest, charming and revealing – a thoroughly good read. TAGS: Leinster In The Test, Brian O’Driscoll takes the reader behind the scenes of his life from his childhood to his retirement from playing this year, dealing honestly with the most traumatic of times, including the suicide of one of his best friends. The Ireland legend also shares the details of personal milestones such as his proposal to wife Amy and the moment she told him she was pregnant.On the rugby side, trying to pack his long and glittering career into just under 400 pages means some seasons are skated over and some of the accounts of games are a little samey, but O’Driscoll lifts the lid on his relationships with the likes of Paul O’Connell, Ronan O’Gara and Johnny Sexton while telling the tale of Ireland’s successes. He charts Leinster’s rise from also-rans to top dogs in Ireland and Europe, telling how he threatened to leave if things didn’t improve quickly.Fond farewell: O’Driscoll celebrates Leinster’s Pro12 win with team-mates Madigan & HealyThere is very little mud-slinging – although referee Steve Walsh needs to take cover – and O’Driscoll comes across as a modest, self-critical and at times insecure soul.Tales which will raise eyebrows include his arrest in New York for assault, and there are lots and lots of laughs as he recounts some of the alcohol-fuelled high jinks from his early career and explains how he and some friends partied with actor Colin Farrell in LA – almost! LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS The Test is published by Penguin and costs £20.We’ve got six copies of The Test, autographed by O’Driscoll himself, to give away. Go to rugbyworld.com/competitions for your chance to win one. Good luck!
It’s a similar story with the salary cap. Snide comments from across the Channel, in England, that the French ignore the €10m cap imposed by the LNR are dismissed by Riondet. “The clubs definitely respect the cap,” he says.So long: Dan Carter and NZ CEO Steve Tew say early goodbyes as Carter’s departure was announcedBut while the clubs must stay within the law, there’s nothing that says they can’t show a little innovation. Midi Olympique reported last month that Dan Carter’s salary when he joins Racing Metro after the World Cup will be around €500,000; but on top of that it is alleged the All Blacks fly-half will receive a similar sum from his image rights including an estimated €300,000 from the operating company of Arena 92, Racing’s new home from 2016 that will also host concerts and business conferences.It’s a strategy long employed by Mourad Boudjellal, the canny president of Toulon, who has made no secret of the fact the club has been imaginative in ensuring its top players receive the sort of sums they deserve for their talent. In an interview last season he explained that Toulon’s total wage bill was €8.55m – well within the €10m salary cap – but that nonetheless a star such as Jonny Wilkinson earned income on top of his salary.“We’ve created with him a commercial enterprise of products branded ‘10’,” said Boudjellal. “This enterprise, based in France, generates a real turnover on the back of the sales of hats, t-shirts, polo (shirts), etc…should the proceeds from these sales be included in calculating the player’s salary? I don’t believe so.” Star power: Toulon have plenty of big names, but their finances are surprisingly stable Boudjellal – who no longer puts his own money into the club – also dismissed as “fantasy” the rumour that some of the foreign players at Toulon had money paid into bank accounts in Jersey, telling Midi Olympique: “The chief of the DNACG spent two days in Toulon and had nothing to say about our (financial) management.”Jerome Riondet believes Toulon’s business model, which is based on a wide network of sponsors and commercial partners, is the most stable of all Top 14 clubs. That’s not what many wish to hear, those who regard Toulon as rugby’s bête noire. But doesn’t success often breed envy? Contrary to what some may think, the Top 14 salary cap is rigorously policed and hefty punishments await those who transgress. Nonetheless, that doesn’t prevent some French clubs finding innovative ways to reward their very best players. Gavin Mortimer reports. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Among the less interesting pages on the official France Federation website is one entitled ‘DNACG’. I don’t recommend a visit, not unless you’re an insomniac. Let me explain. DNACG stands for Direction Nationale d’Aide et de Contrôle de Gestion and, as one French newspaper recently put it, it’s the “financial gendarme of professional rugby”. In other words, the DNACG’s job is to police the finances of the 30 professional French clubs (the Top 14 and the 16 clubs that comprise the Pro D2). The DNACG is managed by both the FFR and the LNR but answers ultimately to the former.Why is this relevant? To allay suspicions in some quarters that French clubs have a somewhat laissez-aller attitude when it comes to finance, in particular staying within the €10m salary cap.Nothing could be further from the truth. As any ex-pat who has lived in France will tell you, the French do many things well – cheese, wine and long lunches – but possibly what they excel in most is bureaucracy. Red Tape is an art form in France, and that applies to their rugby.The DNACG’s code of practice, as published on the LNR’s website, runs to 24 pages and contains enough clauses and articles to bore all but the most stoic to tears. To cut a long story short: the DNACG has the power to scrutinise the accounts of all 30 clubs whenever it sees fit, and punish accordingly with fines up to a maximum of €2m. And they do.Knocked back: Montauban were relegated for financial malpractice in 2010The DNACG isn’t a toothless body. If it sees financial irregularities it will act. Just ask Grenoble, Bourgoin and Montauban, all of whom have been relegated from the Top 14 in the last decade as punishment for failing to balance their books.More recently, in the summer of 2013, the DNACG expelled Carcassonne from Pro D2 to Federale 1 (although the club was later reinstated by the FFR after they raised sufficient funds) and also suspended the contracts of four Biarritz and five Perpignan players until they were satisfied the clubs had the finances to fund them. Last season the DNACG dished out heavy fines to Perpignan, Albi, Beziers and Carcassonne and also threatened them with a points reduction if they didn’t get their accounts in order.“The DNACG has a great deal of power,” explains Jerome Riondet, the former Harlequins and Grenoble three-quarter, and now a rugby consultant for beIN Sports. “Before each season the clubs present their provisional budgets to the DNACG. Let’s say a club gives itself a €20m budget based on money from TV rights and anticipated income from sponsors and also a contribution from the regional council. The TV rights money is the only guaranteed income so if for whatever reason the money from the sponsors and regional council doesn’t all come through there will be a discrepancy in their accounts from their initial budget. If that happens, the DNACG – who can check a club’s budget at any time during a season – will punish them.” TAGS: Highlight
Australia’s Ken Catchpole Major teams: Randwick, NSWCountry: Australia Test span: 1961-68Australia caps: 27 (27 starts)Test points: 9 (3T)He captained Australia on his Test debut and 12 other occasions, he set a new standard in scrum-half play, was heralded by Dudley Harrison, the RFU president in 1966, as “the greatest half-back the world has known”, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Twickenham in 2004, the new Australia Rugby Union equivalent in 2005 and the IRB Hall of Fame in 2013. Without a doubt, he is a legend among the legends.Born in Sydney in 1939, Catchpole was a good schoolboy athlete as well as rugby player. He joined the Randwick club and made his New South Wales debut against the Lions in 1959, aged just 19.Two years later he was picked to captain Australia for a three-Test series against Fiji – the ninth player to lead a Test side on debut – and over the following eight years he formed a ground-breaking half-back combination with Phil Hawthorne. The sharp service they offered set up many a famous victory during the 1960s and produced a change in style from an age when the backs had spread across the width of the pitch, as this pair employed more short passes and Catchpole used his great speed off the mark to cut through defences. He was in his pomp in back-to-back wins over South Africa in 1965 and on a tour of the UK, Ireland and France in 1966-67 when he was captain of the Wallabies once more and guided them to a then record 23-11 win over England. TAGS: The Greatest Players LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Catchpole’s career came to a premature end just before his 29th birthday when All Blacks lock Colin Meads tried to drag him out of a ruck by one leg – unaware that Catchpole’s other leg was trapped. The Australian tore his hamstring from the bone and ruptured his groin.Club players in New South Wales still know the Catchpole name well, as every year they vie for the Ken Catchpole Medal, awarded to the winner of a season-long vote by referees. One of the greatest scrum-halves to grace the field, it’s hard to know where to begin when listing the achievements of Australian, Ken Catchpole
The England centre and World Rugby Women’s 15s Player of the Year talks about her current training regime on the family farm Emily Scarratt on life in lockdownAs soon as things started to shut down, I borrowed a couple of bits from the rugby store cupboard at Loughborough to take home. My family has an arable and beef farm, so I’ve set up a training area in one of the barns there and used a few things from around the farm.I made a bench press with two spare tyres my dad had in the workshop and a piece of wood, but one of the tyres disappeared when he had a flat on the truck so I had to find another bit of wood for that!For the squat rack, I’ve got the barbell on two round bales, which is brilliant until I need to change the weights. Normally that’s easy as they’re hanging off the end but with this set-up I have to jump onto the bales and lift each end. It’s not perfect but does the job.Training day: Emily Scarratt trains with England at Loughborough University before lockdown (Getty Images)There are also two stacks of ten or so pallets where I can move a bar to different heights to do pull-ups, chin-ups and so on, or I can attach a band to do pull exercises. That’s the most diverse bit of kit.I’m using a big tractor tyre on the floor for target practice with my kicking, or if I’m doing circuits I’ll flip it over. There’s also a half-mile drive between the farm buildings and the house so I’m able to run up and down there. I’m really fortunate that there’s lots of space.Watch Scarratt training on the farm here… On target: Emily Scarratt kicks a conversion during the Women’s Six Nations (Getty Images) It’s been quite nice being able to ‘build’ the gym set-up myself and mix it up. We have a programme from England but we can be more flexible at the moment and do different things.We have a call every week to catch up with the coaches and see how everyone is doing. Scott Bemand, the backs coach, is encouraging us to share any skills and ideas we’re doing with each other. It’s good motivation to see what people are up to.DOWNLOAD THE DIGITAL EDITION OF RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINEI’m training most days depending on the programme, and I’ll pick up extra jobs on the farm, too, as farmers are still working as normal. That’s been quite nice as usually I’m so busy I can’t lend a hand like this.Unskilled, manual labour is what I’m used for, nothing too technical. While my dad and my brother, Joe, have been spraying and fertilising, I’ve done some pressure washing. A couple of trees fell down during the bad weather earlier in the year so I’ve been chopping those up.The Loughborough team have been doing quizzes and we’ve got one with England next week. Katy (Daley-Mclean) and I won the last Loughborough one so we’ve got to design the next one. I think I’m going to do a farm round and she’s going to do a music round. I knew I wouldn’t be very good by myself so Katy and I teamed up, sending answers on our phones.Last year I started my Level Three coaching award so I’ve done the last bits of work for that and hopefully that goes okay. I’ve been spending a bit more time making different meals and I’ve been doing a jigsaw puzzle. It’s a picture of white, milk and dark chocolate. This is the first one I’ve done by myself and I’ve been left with three pieces but none of them seem to fit in the three spaces so I need to see if I’ve done something wrong! I’ve not mastered puzzles yet.I can’t remember a period when I’ve had this much time away from the game. Obviously I’m still training but there’s not even live rugby to watch on TV and you can mentally switch off. 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.
Whatever credit comes his way, Gareth Steenson deserves every bit of it after a magnificent playing career for Exeter. Rugby World pays tribute to the veteran fly-half LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Yet his development at Ulster was blocked by the presence of his idol, David Humphreys. So in 2006, aged 22, he got a boat from Belfast to Liverpool and drove to Rotherham in search of new opportunities. He left all his family and friends behind.“It was very daunting,” Steenson once told Belfast Live. “I didn’t know anything about the area, I didn’t know anything really about the league (the RFU Championship). The only thing I knew was that Andre Bester was coach and that he was a hard-nosed sort of character. It was almost like a leap of faith. I never really had an opportunity at home, so when the opportunity comes you either go and give it a shot or you go and find a job.”After one year with Rotherham, Steenson was picked up by Cornish Pirates and 30 games later he made his way to Exeter.Ian Whitten, a fellow Ulster Academy graduate who is also on Exeter’s bench today, is three years younger than Steenson and didn’t really get to know him until he joined Exeter in 2012.Ulster bond: Ian Whitten and Steenson have often been room-mates at Chiefs down the years (Getty)“At the time I arrived he was battling with Nacho (Mieres) for the starting spot. And I know he was a bit frustrated at that point in time because he wanted more game time,” Whitten told Rugby World in a previous interview.“But as time went on on he graduated from being one of the lads, laughing and joking, good man for the craic. He’s still got that side to him but also he’s now one of the senior men in the squad, the one that delivers the team talks, gets us up for the games, reminds us what’s on the line and what it means to play for the club. How far the club’s come and the onus on us to keep it going.“The competition for the shirt made him improve areas of his game. He definitely improved his defence. He probably improved a bit at playing to the line. He was always an amazing kicker, amazingly accurate, you can hang your hat on him. After he improved his defence, he was close to being the first name on the team sheet for years.”Slide rule: Steenson celebrates a Champions Cup try against Castres Olympique in 2018 (Getty Images)In playing terms, Steenson has gone full circle. More than any other team, Chiefs like to keep their ten on the field and Steenson has become accustomed to a watching brief from the bench before replacing the current captain, Joe Simmonds, in the closing minutes. Against Racing last week, he didn’t come on at all.Whatever unfolds at Twickenham today, he deserves to enter the fray one last time. Senior honours for Ireland may have eluded him but he has become a legend for Exeter Chiefs.“He has shown the value of hard work and sticking at it,” said Whitten. “And believing in yourself when other people don’t. He got a raw deal at Ulster, I believe that. It’s testament to him that he didn’t give up, he kept fighting. That’s why he’s so popular with the (Chiefs) fans because everybody appreciates a man who’s had to do it the hard way.”Tyred out: taking part in an adventure challenge session at River Dart Country Park last year (Getty)Steenson, who has been assisting Plymouth Albion as an attack coach for the past 12 months, has one last story to write before he joins Chiefs’ coaching staff next season.“I always dreamed of going home to my country and maybe playing for Ulster. That was my goal when I left home,” he admitted in a recent BBC podcast. “And to come to a club (Exeter) now and see the growth of the place and be part of it, I wouldn’t sacrifice one minute of that for one or two caps for my country.“If I can be part of a squad that is the first Exeter Chiefs squad to win the Heineken Cup and then hopefully a week later lift the Premiership title, I’ll put my cowboy hat on and walk off into the sunset and be pretty happy with that.” Figurehead: Gareth Steenson plays his last game for Exeter today after 12 years of sterling service (Getty) Gareth Steenson walks off into the sunsetAnother week, another farewell. Today’s Gallagher Premiership final brings an end to one of the great English club careers, with Gareth Steenson stepping out for Exeter Chiefs one last time. Assuming Rob Baxter decides to give him a few minutes off the bench, that is.The 36-year-old Irish fly-half has got used to playing second fiddle behind Joe Simmonds these past couple of years, just as he spent too long for his liking watching Ignacio Mieres and Ryan Davis in the ten shirt a decade or so ago. It is a mark of the man that Steenson never sulked but rolled up his sleeves and set about improving as a player. For the good of himself and the good of the team.He arrived at Sandy Park in 2008 and has been there for every stage of their incredible journey. The first major landmark was perhaps the most important, the two-leg play-off win over Bristol in 2010 that took Chiefs into the Premiership big time.Exeter travelled to the Memorial Ground with just a 9-6 first-leg lead. Few people outside of Devon felt Chiefs would get through. Speak to director of rugby Baxter about Steenson’s performance that night and his admiration is clear.Young Chief: Steenson takes on Bristol during the Championship play-off final first leg in 2010 (Getty)“I don’t know if there would be a fly-half in world rugby who could have managed that night and that situation as well as Gareth did,” he told Rugby World in a previous interview. “You can talk about Jonny Wilkinson and all kinds of people but on the night, with what the squad wanted, what the team wanted, how the conditions ended up being, knowing how to play against Bristol, he literally was faultless.“Not only was Gareth’s goalkicking faultless but his control of when to run, when to kick, when the team should be playing, when the team should be looking for pressure, was fantastic all night. His decision to take drop-goals and just eke out that score on the scoreboard was very well managed in such a hugely emotional game and physical game.”Steenson kicked 24 points that night and then 17 more in another perfect kicking display as Exeter marked their Premiership debut with a 22-10 win v Gloucester in September 2010.He has kept going in similar vein for more than a decade, amassing 2,630 points across 311 Chiefs appearances. His 1,651 Premiership points puts him fifth on the all-time list behind Englishmen Charlie Hodgson, Andy Goode and Stephen Myler and Kiwi Nick Evans, just five points above. None of those four eminent goalkickers, however, had to deal routinely with the capricious wind that is often part and parcel of a match experience at Sandy Park.Points machine: Steeno kicks a conversion – one of 329 he’s slotted in the Premiership alone (Getty Images)In tangible terms, Exeter have gleaned one Premiership title, one Champions Cup, one LV= Cup and one Anglo-Welsh Cup since their 2010 promotion, although that doesn’t do justice to what they have brought to the game. That Steenson has been pivotal to their success is self-evident because of the position he plays.But Baxter highlights too Steenson’s role as emotional leader and spiritual guider, the way he has helped drive the work ethic and the culture. And the example he has set in behaving selflessly for the team.“I think the big thing that Gareth doesn’t get the credit for is how long and how hard he’s actually worked for on a day-by-day, session-by-session basis. That’s the bit that sometimes gets left behind,” said Baxter of his long-time captain.“There was a time when we would occasionally put him on the blind-side wing to to try to make his defence a little bit stronger. I can remember Gareth saying, ‘Come on, I don’t want this anymore, I want to be stood at ten in attack and defence, I don’t want to be going out to the wing’. And we said, ‘Well fine, but if you’re going to stand there you know what your responsibility is going to be’.“And again, it’s something else in Gareth’s game that people wouldn’t know, he makes more tackles in training than any other player in the team. He practises his own tackle technique at least three times a week. Those are the bits that people don’t realise. He doesn’t just stand there and kick at goal, he does everything.Spoils of victory: landing the Champions Cup last week was part one of a two-pronged mission (Inpho)“That’s the kind of quality that shows why Steeno has been able to keep doing what he’s been doing. He’s become the player he has, and the leader he has, by dealing with the downsides. And also knowing how other members of the squad are feeling when they’re not involved.“All those kinds of things that you can really use to benefit you if you want to, he’s dealt with very positively. He didn’t think, ‘Oh, that’s my time in the Premiership done’. I’ve seen a lot of players like that. I’ve seen players hit the heights and then once it doesn’t start going well it affects them for a long time.”Steenson’s character showed itself from a young age. Born in Dungannon, he was talented enough to play in the Ireland U21 side that reached the World Championship final in 2004, and a year later started ahead of Johnny Sexton for the U21s. 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.
Women’s Six Nations Team Guide 2021 The Scots secure fifth place with their first Six Nations win in three years In contrast, Italy notched four tries in the second half to secure a relatively comfortable win. Scotland will now host Wales in the fifth-place play-off next Saturday in the hope of avoiding bottom spot while Italy go into the third-place match.Scotland team to play Italy – Saturday 17 AprilChloe Rollie; Liz Musgrove, Lisa Thomson, Helen Nelson, Megan Gaffney; Sarah Law, Mairi McDonald; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Megan Kennedy, Emma Wassell, Louise McMillan, Evie Gallagher, Rachel McLachlan, Sioghan Cattigan.Replacements: Jodie Rettie, Lisa Cockburn, Panashe Muzambe, Christine Belisle, Nicola Howat, Jenny Maxwell, Evie Wills, Coreen Grant.England 52-10 ScotlandScotland were beaten 52-10 by England in their opening Women’s Six Nations match in Doncaster.The visitors did not help themselves in terms of their discipline. Lisa Thomson was yellow-carded late in the first half, Jess Breach exploiting the numerical advantage in the back-line to score England’s fifth try in the 38th minute.Then in the second half Scotland’s replacement hooker Molly Wright was sent off within minutes of coming on for a dangerous high tackle on Vickii Cornborough – the clampdown on contact with the head as evident in the women’s championship as the men’s.Louise McMillan was also sin-binned in the closing minutes for collapsing a maul that was creeping towards the line and that resulted in a penalty try.Scotland did have periods when they put England under pressure, particularly in the middle period of the second half, and one of those ended in a try for centre Hannah Smith. It was the Scots’ first try against England in three years having been whitewashed in their last two meetings. Expand Yet Scotland will be disappointed not to have done more with the 47% possession they had, struggling to break through the Red Roses’ defence. They will be looking to be more effective with ball in hand when they host Italy in a fortnight – and they will want to cut the penalty count too.Scotland team to play England – Saturday 3 AprilChloe Rollie; Rachel Shankland, Hannah Smith, Lisa Thomson, Megan Gaffney; Helen Nelson, Mairi McDonald; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Louise McMillan, Rachel Malcolm, Rachel McLachlan, Siobhan Cattigan.Replacements: Molly Wright, Panashe Muzambe, Lisa Cockburn, Evie Gallagher, Jodie Rettie, Jenny Maxwell, Sarah Law, Liz Musgrove.Scotland Women’s Six Nations Squad 2021Bryan Easson has named a 31-player Scotland squad for the Women’s Six Nations and it will be captained by Rachel Malcolm.Elizabeth Musgrove and Jenny Maxwell return to the squad following long-term injuries while Shona Campbell, Evie Gallagher, Coreen Grant and Evie Wills are in line to make their international debuts during the championship.Easson said: “I’ve been really encouraged by the squad’s attitude and focus in our recent training weekends and the upcoming tournament provides a great opportunity to showcase all of our hard work.”Scotland, who recorded a confidence-boosting 13-13 draw in their last Test, kick off this year’s campaign against England in Doncaster before hosting Italy in Glasgow. Then, on ‘finals day’, they will face the team ranked in the equivalent position in Pool B, one of France, Ireland or Wales.Scotland Women’s Six Nations Squad 2021Backs(DoB/Club/Position)Shona Campbell (7 Jun 2001/Edinburgh University/Wing) Scotland team to play Wales – Saturday 24 AprilChloe Rollie; Liz Musgrove, Hannah Smith, Lisa Thomson, Megan Gaffney; Helen Nelson, Jenny Maxwell; Christine Belisle, Lana Skeldon, Megan Kennedy, Emma Wassell, Louise McMillan, Evie Gallagher, Rachel McLachlan, Siobhan Cattigan.Replacements: Jodie Rettie, Leah Bartlett, Lisa Cockburn, Nicola Howat, Mairi McDonald, Sarah Law, Evie Wills, Rachel Shankland.Italy 41-20 ScotlandScotland fell to another Women’s Six Nations defeat as they were beaten 41-20 by Italy at Scotstoun.The hosts, who were coming off a bye weekend, were caught cold by Italy, conceding two tries in quick succession in the opening ten minutes. Beatrice Rigoni broke through the middle in Scotland’s 22 and then Manuel Furlan found space out wide.However, Scotland worked their way back into the game and started to take advantage of Italy’s ill-discipline. And when their lineout finally clicked they went over for their first try midway through the half, Lana Skeldon touching down from the back of a driving maul from five metres out. Expand Scotland Women’s Six Nations Squad 2021Scotland won their first Women’s Six Nations match in three years – and secured fifth place in this year’s championship.They scored four tries in beating Wales 27-20 at Scotstoun – their first win at the Glasgow ground and their first win since beating Ireland in 2018.Megan Gaffney crossed for an early try and Megan Kennedy and Christine Belisle also scored before the break to give the hosts a 17-6 lead.Lisa Neumann scored for Wales early in the second half before Evie Gallagher got Scotland’s fourth to restore their advantage.Wales got a last-minute Caitlin Lewis try but by that point Scotland had won the match. Emma Wassell: The Scotland player who hasn’t missed a Test in six years Collapse Abi Evans (30 May 1996/Darlington Mowden Park/Wing)Megan Gaffney (3 Dec 1991/Heriots/Wing)Coreen Grant (30 Jan 1998/Saracens/Centre)Sarah Law (19 Dec 1994/Unattached/Fly-half)Rhona Lloyd (17 Oct 1996/Loughborough Lightning/Wing)Jenny Maxwell (8 Dec 1992/Loughborough Lightning/Scrum-half)Mairi McDonald (25 Nov 1997/Hillhead Jordanhill/Scrum-half)Liz Musgrove (25 Dec 1996/Unattached/Wing)Helen Nelson (24 May 1994/Loughborough Lightning/Centre)Chloe Rollie (26 Jun 1995/Harlequins/Full-back)Rachel Shankland (26 Oct 1991/Stirling County/Wing)Hannah Smith (30 Oct 1992/Watsonians/Centre)Lisa Thomson (7 Sep 1997/Unattached/Centre)Evie Tonkin (5 Aug 1997/Darlington Mowden Park/Wing)Evie Wills (4 Feb 2001/Stirling County/Fly-half)ForwardsLeah Bartlett (28 Aug 1998/Loughborough Lightning/Prop)Christine Belisle (4 Nov 1993/Cartha Queens Park/Back-row)Siobhan Cattigan (11 Apr 1995/Stirling County/Back-row)Lisa Cockburn (6 Dec 1992/Darlington Mowden Park/Prop)Katie Dougan (15 Jan 1995/Hillhead Jordanhill/Tighthead)Evie Gallagher (22 Aug 2000/Stirling County/Back-row)Megan Kennedy (3 Jul 1996/Stirling County/Prop)Rachel Malcolm (23 May 1991/Loughborough Lightning/Back-row)Rachel McLachlan (25 Feb 1999/Unattached/Back-row)Louise McMillan (27 Jul 1997/Hillhead Jordanhill/Back-row)Panashe Muzambe (17 Nov 1995/Watsonians/Back-row)Jodie Rettie (31 Dec 1990/Saracens/Hooker)Lana Skeldon (18 Oct 1993/Unattached/Hooker)Emma Wassell (28 Dec 1994/Corstorphine Cougars/Lock)Molly Wright (13 May 1991/Watsonians/Hooker)MORE ON THE WOMEN’S SIX NATIONS Women’s Six Nations Team Guide 2021 All you need to know about the countries… The lock has been a mainstay in the… 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. Scotland Women’s Six Nations Fixtures 2021(All kick-off times are UK & Ireland time)Round One Sat 3 April England 52-10 ScotlandRound ThreeSat 17 April Scotland 20-41 ItalyFinalsSat 24 April Scotland 27-20 WalesDon’t miss a game with this Women’s Six Nations TV coverage guide. This year’s championship will take place in April… New format for 2021 Women’s Six Nations New format for 2021 Women’s Six Nations Emma Wassell: The Scotland player who hasn’t missed a Test in six years Scotland’s Megan Gaffney tests Wales’ defence (Inpho) LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS A Helen Nelson penalty just before the break narrowed the gap further but an error from the restart handed possession back to the Italians, and Ilaria Arrighetti burst over to make it 19-10 to the visitors at the break. Interestingly, had Nelson taken the full minute to kick the penalty, there would have been no need for the restart.Scotland did have plenty of possession in the second period – Italy’s penalty count helping them with that – and they strung lots of phases together, but they simply weren’t as clinical as the visitors in getting over the line.Their back-line often stood very deep, which made it hard for them to get across the gain-line. Their second try, scored in the 72nd minute, came in a similar manner to their first as Emma Wassell dotted down from close range following a five-metre lineout.
Find out more about the Scarlets front-rower Wyn Jones in action for Wales (Getty Images) Who is Wyn Jones: Ten things you should know about the Wales propWyn Jones made his Wales debut against Tonga in 2017 and has since accumulated more than 30 caps for his country. Here are some facts about the prop…Ten things you should know about Wyn Jones1. Wyn Jones was born on the 12 February 1992 in Llandovery, Wales. He stands at 6ft (1.84m) and weighs 17st 13lb (114kg).2. He has played his senior rugby at club Llandovery RFC and region Scarlets, who he has represented more than 100 times and won the Pro12 with.3. Jones has won two Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam in 2019.4. He has also represented Wales at a Rugby World Cup, helping his country come fourth in 2019.5. Jones is renowned as a scrummager. However, former Scarlets head coach Glenn Delaney was also impressed by Jones’s ability to jackal the ball.He told WalesOnline: “Wyn has figured it out right the way through and he’s an incredibly powerful loosehead.“The other aspect to his game which I’ve always been really impressed with is his ability to jackal over the ball. He’s really good in that facet.” LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS “I wasn’t having it because he was a young pup coming in! I wanted to knock him down a peg or two and let him know he had to work his way up the ladder. So I just started calling him Sausage and told the boys at the Scarlets.”7. Jones was involved in all three red-card incidents in Wales matches during the 2021 Six Nations.He was cleared out dangerously at rucks by first Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony and then Scotland’s Zander Fagerson. In Wales’ final championship match, France lock Paul Willemse made contact with the eye area of Jones and was sent off.Does Wyn Jones have a partner?8. He is engaged to partner Jeian Lewis and the couple were meant to get married in 2020 but plans were disrupted by Covid-19.He told the BBC: “We will postpone it for a year and it’s out of our hands so hopefully it will all go to plan.“Because of the Covid rules, we weren’t able to proceed and we’re hoping to do it next September.” 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. Does Wyn Jones have a nickname?6. He is nicknamed Sausage and it was coined by his former Scarlets team-mate Emyr Phillips.Phillips told WalesOnline: “One of his friends back home is called Sausage. Wyn used to wind him up because he hated it. Well, Wyn was winding me up on one of his first days at the Scarlets and trying to spread my own nickname around. 9. Jones used to be a sheep farmer and he took up the occupation again during lockdown.He told The Sun: “I was getting some more time at home on the farm and I was just picking up where I left off. It was quite refreshing, I enjoyed the physical challenge of it.”10. Jones was selected in the British & Irish Lions 2021 squad to tour South Africa.