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The Varsity Match

In my 65 years I have witnessed sporting events go up and down in popularity and esteem. Not so long ago the Cup Final, on the last Saturday of the football season, the Derby (on a first Wednesday in June) and the Boat Race were significant events on the sporting calendar. Similarity the rugby [...]

December 13, 2013 // 0 Comments

Reaction to the 2015 Rugby World Cup tickets announcement

Yesterday’s announcement of venues and ticket prices for the 2015 Rugby World Cup has produced the inevitable acres of protest from media pundits and lobby interests alike. I have some sympathy for the tournament organisers. As with soccer World Cups and Olympics, there’s a degree to which both [...]

November 28, 2013 // 0 Comments

Quins-watch (6)

It’s now nearly the end of November and the Harlequins’ season progresses as before, uneasily and without much of the trademark dazzling, off-loading, game upon which their reputation has been built. There is no sign of any form to speak of.  They play in patches – good then average, [...]

November 27, 2013 // 0 Comments

England v New Zealand – a worthy contribution

Following yesterday’s Twickenham encounter between England and New Zealand, a word about the refereeing performance of South Africa’s Craig Joubert. Folklore has it that the sign of a good refereeing outing is how little the official is noticed, but Joubert has a special place in rugby [...]

November 17, 2013 // 0 Comments

Quins-watch (5)

With Messrs Robshaw, Brown and Marler all giving a reasonable account of themselves in  England’s 22 – 30 loss to New Zealand at Twickenham yesterday, the attention of Quins fans has returned to the pressing issue of the moment – the Club’s stuttering start to the 2013/2014 season. The [...]

November 17, 2013 // 0 Comments


Both women’s rugby internationals I have witnessed in the flesh have been staged at the Twickenham Stoop. Three years ago, the atmosphere was special, and the place rocking nearly an hour before kick-off, when New Zealand prevailed by the margin of 13-10 over England in the 2010 Rugby World Cup [...]

November 14, 2013 // 0 Comments


ENGLAND v ARGENTINA Of the Quins contingent yesterday, Mike Brown failed to match his outstanding display against Australia. However, he was solid in all he did and – to my mind – has cemented his position as the Numero Uno full back. Joe Marler (loosehead prop) was inconspicuous and [...]

November 10, 2013 // 0 Comments


Yesterday Quins scrum half Danny was added to the bench for today’s England international against Argentina, because of a Ben Youngs injury niggle. Lee Dickson of Northampton Saints is unaffected as the starting 9. You might say I’m biased but Danny is the top scrum half in England. Ben Youngs [...]

November 9, 2013 // 0 Comments


I feel I ought to begin my new column with a disclaimer. I’ve been a committed fan of rugby Premiership club Harlequins F.C. for nearly a quarter of a century. Before that, even at my father’s knee, I was infused with the notion that – of all clubs – the Quins were the glamourous top-drawer [...]

November 6, 2013 // 0 Comments

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