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Articles by Sandra McDonnell

About Sandra McDonnell

As an Englishwoman married to a Scot, Sandra experiences some tension at home during Six Nations tournaments. Her enthusiasm for rugby was acquired through early visits to Fylde club matches with her father and her proud boast is that she has missed only two England home games at Twickenham since 1995. Sandra has three grown-up children, none of whom follow rugby. More Posts

Rugby-watching on the box

Yesterday – with the family away for the bulk of the day – I managed to settle in and watch three rugby matches live on television and still have time to prepare the evening meal in time to watch the opening stanza of Strictly Come Dancing which my youngest daughter insists is mandatory viewing [...]

September 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

The omens are so-so, as usual …

As rugby union’s Premiership 2018/2019 season begins this weekend, here’s a timely dose of welcome realism from Paul Rees, as spotted today upon the website of – THE [...]

August 29, 2018 // 0 Comments

Pre-season and some armchair watching

We rugby union fans are now in the annual ‘Phoney war’ period before anything actually happens. Thus the (rugby) media is full of little ‘puff’ pieces from every last Tom, Dick and Harry detailing how their poor form last season was due entirely to a long term niggle but happily – this [...]

August 6, 2018 // 0 Comments

(Don’t) play it again, Sam …

Whenever a group of Rust columnists convenes, as you’d expect, we chat mostly about everything and nothing but there always come a point in proceedings – sometimes brief – where the watchwords behind the very purpose of this organ and what we’re trying to do get mentioned if not [...]

July 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

Time to examine the entrails

Well, the England rugby team plugged a hole and managed to end their five-match losing stretch in a water-logged Newlands stadium in Cape Town yesterday with a necessarily-laboured 25-10 victory over the South Africa despite deservedly losing the series 1-2. This leaves the callow Springboks squad, [...]

June 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

Something’s got to give … or get better

With the rest of the family – settled in for a weekend-fest of the football World Cup only emerging from the drawing-room for meals or comfort breaks – I was able to follow the fortunes of England rugby at my leisure in the study/snug. It may have escaped your notice but the England [...]

June 18, 2018 // 0 Comments

It’s not over yet, but it could be …

First things first – a hearty salute to Scotland, who impressively defeated Canada 48-10 in Edmonton in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Meanwhile the traditional travails of France, England and Ireland upon their annual summer pilgrimages to the Southern Hemisphere continue in what is now [...]

June 12, 2018 // 0 Comments

Be careful what you wish for

I have posted previously upon the parlous state of rugby union’s finances, e.g. the negligible ‘profitability’ of English Premiership clubs and the fact that too little of the RFU’s healthy revenues is shared out to grassroots clubs and far-flung former bastions of the [...]

April 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

Rugby: sports fans and current issues

On Monday this week Harlequins’ director of rugby John Kingston parted company ‘by mutual agreement’ with the club following Quins’ abject performance against London Irish last weekend. See here for the story as covered by Robert Kitson upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN Upon hearing the [...]

April 11, 2018 // 0 Comments

It may get worse before it gets better

Life is tough in England’s rugby Premiership – I call in evidence the fact that, based upon most recently-published results, just one club made a profit – despite some arguing with not a little justification that the major teams not only operate a cartel via the [...]

March 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

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