Fiji may be winless from two matches at this year’s Rugby World Cup, but Bath scrum-half Nikola Matawalu is confident his side are not far off as they get their heads down in preparation for next week’s showdown with Wales. First, I wanted to play good rugby competitively, and to play regularly week in, week-out – competitive rugby in a sell-out stadium helps you improve all parts of your game.
“I was just fortunate that I was playing rugby when I did”.
North’s strike-power will be vital in the quest for a third Twickenham victory over England for Wales during Warren Gatland’s coaching reign that began in early 2008. We’re in a tough group, and ideally you want to win all your group games – everything is a lot better when you’re winning, whether it’s atmosphere or mindset.
North was also labelled the “Welsh Jonah Lomu” in his teen years but is more commonly known as “Man Child” these days, the 23-year-old in age terms a relative novice but with 53 caps to his name.
On a wet day England triumph 24-7 by “slow strangulation” and Johnson reveals: “I said to Will Greenwood “bloody hell, we’re in the World Cup final next week mate”, but the Australian media launched a “Boring England” campaign in the build-up to the showdown with the hosts and t-shirts bearing the words “Stop Jonny” go on sale to fans.
All in the solace that they may get a chance for one win when they come up against other minnows.
As the son of an English father, David, who famously joined his son on the pitch when he scored in Paris in the 2013 Six Nations, England-Wales means more to North than most fixtures.
“It is about concentrating my mind, knowing when to work and making sure the work is proper”.
Johnson says: “I’m thinking “we’ve got these, we’re going to blow them away”.
For Ireland, Johnny Sexton is the man to watch.
Scotland was opposed to the idea, he said, adding that one Scottish official said the World Cup would never happen.
Each team was given a kit on arrival which includes everything from beanbags for their team room to kettles, toasters, ironing boards, travel adapters and cables etc. We thought of all that stuff because the majority of us working here have come from sporting backgrounds.
Brown admits that the 2013 loss, which denied England a Grand Slam, “is still inside of me”. It has an fantastic selection of craft beers, we recommend…all of them. Wales definitely seem to enjoy beating us, it’s intense.
“They’re a team who, and you saw it at the weekend against Argentina, have that quality even when things are going against them”.
I have played a number of times against him for England and in the Premiership final between Saracens and Northampton and he is such a hard player to defend against.
But to their credit Eddie Jones and his assistants have developed a level of fitness, a skill-set and game plan capable of competing on the biggest stage on any given day. “The physicality and intensity suits me down to the ground, I can’t wait to get out there”.