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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

End of term report

Yesterday the England rugby autumn international season ended with a relatively straightforward 37-18 home victory over a depleted Australian side at Twickenham for an overall three wins, one loss (15-16 to New Zealand) record. Personally, I’d describe this as a 7 out of 10 outcome given where [...]

November 25, 2018 // 0 Comments

Something wrong in the state of Denmark?

Through my slight connections with those who have spent time in English rugby administration, I possess a degree of ‘insider knowledge’ upon what goes on in the Premiership and indeed at the Rugby Football Union. Over the past four years I have often listened to the exasperation of a [...]

November 17, 2018 // 0 Comments

Upon the eve of battle

Last night a member of the RFU Council asked my opinion upon the outcome of this afternoon’s rugby union international between England and the All Blacks – [there, I’ve always wanted to write that opening line (or at least something very like it) and for the first time in my life can [...]

November 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

Squeaking home at HQ

Yesterday’s 12-11 England victory against South Africa at Twickenham was an example of international rugby union at its best, a no quarter-given epic between two sides with a chance of being quarter-finalists or better at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. Forget the recent proliferation of [...]

November 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

Here they come!

This afternoon the Northern Hemisphere (European) autumn international series will kick-off: England play South Africa at Twickenham, Wales play Scotland and Ireland play Italy. It goes without saying that rugby fans all over the United Kingdom and Eire – let alone our Italian brethren -will be [...]

November 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

Eddie picks his squad

Yesterday England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones named his 36-man squad for the Northern Hemisphere autumn series of matches at Twickenham Stadium. For weeks now better journo scribes than me have been filling acres of website & newspapers column-space with speculation, analysis and reports [...]

October 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

The history and joys of Irish rugby in a broader context

Last night I watched my recording of recent BT Sport-transmitted Shoulder To Shoulder, a excellent and thought-provoking documentary made/presented by Irish rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll on the strange not to say unique place that the sport of rugby union occupies in the relationship between Eire [...]

October 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

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

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