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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

The 2021 women’s Six Nations begins

This weekend the new slimmed-down version of the Women’s Six Nations rugby union tournament began –  the nations split into two groups of three and then the winners of each group to contest the final – with as much of a publicity splash as it could muster, featuring the theory that [...]

April 4, 2021 // 0 Comments

The lessons of Dublin may not be learned by some

It is not easy being an England rugby union supporters at the moment. I very much doubt that anyone like me who troubled to watch yesterday’s match in Dublin on television in which Ireland effectively humiliated “our boys” 32-18 – a margin, incidentally, that did not flatter the hosts – [...]

March 21, 2021 // 0 Comments

A sign of the times perhaps …

One might venture to suggest that one of the plusses of the global Covid-19 pandemic is that it has forced the human race to confront – or revisit – some of the threats to its way of life, if not existence. Most of them can be summarised or epitomised by the description “itself” – namely [...]

December 8, 2020 // 0 Comments

English rugby: waving … drowning … or what?

And so the 2019/2020 English professional rugby union season came to its protracted end last night in the virtually-empty vastness of a cold, windswept, monsoon-lashed Twickenham Stadium with Exeter Chiefs completing an epic Double of winning the top European club cup competition and overcoming [...]

October 25, 2020 // 0 Comments

Once more unto the breach … (again)

For obvious (coronavirus) reason Rugby’s 2019-2020 Premiership season made a welcome but weird and tentative return last night at the Stoop some three months after it had scheduled to finish in May, with the 7th in the table Harlequins hosting 2nd-placed Sale Sharks. Despite its inherent sexism, [...]

August 15, 2020 // 0 Comments

Fiddling while Rome burns (and why not?)

Somewhere around 6.30am this morning Him Indoors will be bringing me my first cup of weekend tea in bed. After that we shall gradually prepare to make our way to the drawing room to watch Sky Sports’ live coverage of the Highlanders taking on the Chiefs in Dunedin in the opening game of Super [...]

June 13, 2020 // 0 Comments

‘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

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