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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

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

Marvin got it so right

[Today I am straying beyond the safe and narrow path of my rugby union remit of the Rust and into unchartered and perhaps random and unconnected waters – and so I begin by begging my readers to bear with me on the journey.] Marvin Gaye, shot dead by his own father on 1st April 1984, the day [...]

March 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

Manchester abuse does not bode well for rugby union

As I type this I am not aware  whether the unsavoury incident in Manchester last Sunday morning, in which England rugby’s head coach Eddie Jones was verbally abused by four men on his way to watch a soccer match at Old Trafford, involved four of my own countrymen, but it does draw attention [...]

March 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

With Braveheart on our lips

Like many Scots, this weekend’s Calcutta Cup clash at Murrayfield against the ‘Auld Enemy’ fills me with a mix of over-excited anticipation and just a dash of dread. The irrelevancies of everyday life seem to have paled into insignificance as those of us old enough to do so recall [...]

February 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

A successful man-management lesson? Possibly …

Yesterday Quins prop Joe Marler was widely quoted in the press talking about how things have been since he re-joined the England training squad towards the end of his six-week ban after being re-carded for ‘clearing out’ TJ Ioane at a ruck with a deliberate shoulder-shot to the head, allegedly [...]

February 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

Thanks and farewell to a treasured rugby icon

And so Ian Robertson is retiring from his BBC jobs as rugby union commentator and reporter. Declaring my twofold interest immediately – ‘Robbo’ is both my fellow countryman and has been a ‘secret crush’ of mine ever since his international playing days – [...]

February 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

Six Nations: it’s early days yet

At their elite levels rugby union football is a very different sport to its association counterpart because of its physicality. Arguably, there is little more delightful to watch than a great soccer team going about its business – not for nothing is it called ‘the beautiful game’ – and [...]

February 5, 2018 // 0 Comments

It never rains but it pours

No apologies from me today for continuing to chronicle the the plethora of troubles facing the sport of rugby union – and certainly none of them attracting ‘I told you so’ comments from me. DOES THE THE GAME’S ADMINISTRATION WORK FOR EVERYONE? Last week I spoke to a [...]

January 21, 2018 // 0 Comments

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