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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

‘Tisn’t fair! (but it may be life)

Please pardon the self-pitying whine but there’s little doubt that the sports fans among us could be forgiven for coming to the view that we have more to lose than most from the present coronavirus crisis. Arguably elite female sport in the UK has come under huge pressure precisely because its [...]

May 27, 2020 // 0 Comments

After the virus – or fiddling while Rome burns

In these uncertain times it is inevitable that occasionally one’s thoughts turn to the future and specifically how things might – or will – be once “normality” has returned. Admittedly the concept does have its complications – whose “normality” are we talking about? Many I speak to [...]

May 21, 2020 // 0 Comments

One down, four to go

Yesterday the McDonnell household – this North-of-the-Border member still reeling from “what might have beens” after Saturday’s Ireland v Scotland clash – was enlarged by one as usual: an eighty-year-old pal of my late father who traditionally watches Six Nations games with us because [...]

February 3, 2020 // 0 Comments

The growing pains of a major world sport

Rugby union’s capacity to exhibit the complexities and difficulties of a modern sport trying to advance in all directions – without yet generating the sort of income, turnover and profit that make any business model being applied actually work – continues to startle. The lack of any [...]

January 17, 2020 // 0 Comments

A blast from the past

Those familiar with the Rust’s sports pages may recall an era now fast receding in the rear-view mirror during which fellow columnist Derek Williams, a Harlequins fan of many years, reported upon matters relating to Premiership rugby. In what became in many ways a fascinating but sobering [...]

January 5, 2020 // 0 Comments

Upon leaving for the Land of the Rising Sun

This will be my first-ever visit to Japan – a veritable treat sprung upon me only ten days ago – and I have barely had time to leave Himself adequately set-up to run the family in my absence as I now look forward with barely-concealed excitement to seeing something of the beguiling nation that [...]

October 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

With half-time approaching …

As the Pool stage draws to its conclusion this week it seems to me that the Rugby World Cup has served primarily to highlight some of the sport’s strengths and weaknesses as it seeks to develop its global reach. Whilst its special qualities have ticked the boxes as a festival of athleticism, [...]

October 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Cranking up the pressure …

For domestic reasons which need not concern the average Ruster I have yet to witness more than a pair of BBC New bulletin brief reports’ worth of coverage of the matches played so far but – as yet – the 2019 Rugby World Cup experience seems to have been progressing much as World Rugby and the [...]

September 22, 2019 // 0 Comments

At last the Phoney War is over …

After a rather hectic day of domestic engagements and chores yesterday, in the evening I served my particular take on Welsh rarebit (involving Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce and extra mature cheddar since you ask) and uncorked a bottle of chardonnay in order to join the family in front of the [...]

September 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

A bit of a damp squib

For my sins – despite the ‘Phoney War’ nature of all these Rugby World Cup warm-up games – yesterday I made a point of watching Channel Four’s live coverage of the Welsh 13-6 victory over England in their return fixture at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. It the event, for all the [...]

August 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

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