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There were few more glorious sights than Jake Polledri with ball in hand. Grabbing a fistful of defenders, he would swat them aside with gleeful disdain; one after the other, they came and went; his giant legs hammering away like pistons, crushing any hopes they had of bringing him down. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.…
 
If fans thought the life of a professional rugby player was all sponsorship deals, coffee shop get-togethers and Instagramming, they would be disabused of that notion by speaking to Nick Tompkins, the livewire Saracens and Wales midfielder. For all the glamorous trips to Munich, Miami and Verbier in Saracens’ past, when The XV spoke to the 26-year-…
 
Antoine Dupont celebrated his nomination last week as World Rugby’s player of the year by collecting another accolade last Saturday. This one was more mundane, a man of the match award for his outstanding performance for Toulouse in their Champions Cup victory over Cardiff. So stupendous was the French scrum-half that he left Sam Warburton in the t…
 
Despite the theoretically simple nature of the No9 position, the evolution of attacking shape requires its half-backs to have an encyclopedic knowledge of how to maintain structure, play at the right tempo and move forward. Ben Youngs arrived before Aaron Smith but has outstayed the retirement of Will Genia. While he doesn’t quite gain the plaudits…
 
Eligibility is a difficult business for World Rugby to get right. Policy is governed by one overwhelming objective, which is to preserve the integrity of the international game and while that may seem relatively simple to achieve, it is most definitely not. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.…
 
Even those of us who have spent years warning that professional rugby faces a ticking time bomb of premature dementia cases found this week’s interviews with Steve Thompson and Alix Popham shocking. Sam Peters takes a sobering look at the issues facing the sport. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.…
 
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