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RFU announces four year plan and further investment in Women’s Rugby

The first round of rugby union’s Autumn International’s took place last weekend with victories for a free-flowing Ireland team, an all-attacking Scotland team and a somewhat lacklustre England team. Wales were the only home nation to lose to an in form Australia. Whilst the rugby fest in the men’s game continues over the next three … Continue Reading

2017 Autumn Internationals – Yet more games for elite rugby players.

This weekend sees the opening of World Rugby’s Autumn International window where the top teams from both the Northern and Southern hemisphere will do battle in various ‘friendlies’ in order to better their standing in the World Rankings. Rugby has become increasingly professional over the last decade as a result of which there is a … Continue Reading

Sports team initiations: when a culture problem becomes a legal problem

Today, the RFU has reportedly attributed to “initiation ceremonies” huge drop-offs in participation in the sport by university age players.  According to the RFU, the reputation of initiations has led to up to 10,000 players leaving the sport between school age and university.  Stories reported by the Times range from players having to fish dead … Continue Reading

‘Gatland’s Law’: Playing for your country or securing your family’s financial future?

It is a stark choice but one that is faced by an increasing number of professional rugby union players around the world. Many of the top rugby nations have adopted explicit rules around the selection of players based abroad for the national team and others utilise similar, albeit unwritten, “guidelines” in order to maintain the … Continue Reading

Squire Patton Boggs @ the Law Society Rugby 7s and Netball Tournament

Yesterday saw Squire Patton Boggs lawyers compete in the first combined Law Society rugby sevens and netball tournament, sponsored by Marston Holdings, in the glorious sunshine at the Richmond Athletic Ground. With the sevens team completing the grand slam of City Sevens and Law Society Sevens titles in 2016, hopes were high for another strong … Continue Reading

Does Southern hemisphere rugby have a recreational drug problem?

Another week, another drugs scandal in Southern Hemisphere rugby. Or more accurately another four scandals. On Monday, it was announced that New Zealand rugby league captain Jesse Bromwich and international teammate Kevin Proctor would not be selected for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup having breached the team’s code of conduct following allegations that both … Continue Reading

Part One – common ownership of sports teams and Mohed Altrad’s aborted investment in Gloucester RFC

Earlier this month, it was reported that Premiership Rugby had voted against a proposed investment in Gloucester RFC by the France-based billionaire Mohed Altrad. Under the terms of the proposed investment, Altrad would have purchased a 45% stake in the Cherry and Whites, who compete in the Aviva Premiership and will face Stade Français in … Continue Reading

British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand 2017

Yesterday saw the squad announcement for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand which kicks off against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei on 3 June this year. The Lions have only had a single successful tour in the land of the long white cloud when John Dawes led them to a … Continue Reading

Update: Racing 92 and Stade Français merger is OFF. But what did the proposal say about the finances of European club rugby?

On Friday 17 March 2017, Sports Shorts posted about the unlikely proposed merger of two of France’s largest and most prestigious club rugby sides: Racing 92 and Stade Français.  The announcement, made by the Racing 92 Chief, Jacky Lorenzetti and the Stade Français President, Thomas Savare, on 13 March 2017 sent shockwaves through the rugby … Continue Reading

A selection of the biggest sporting defeats in history: a little light relief for Scottish sport fans

In an attempt to move on from the nightmare Calcutta Cup fixture on 11 March 2017 (in which Scotland lost to England 61-21, a score line that equalled Scotland’s greatest margin of loss against its old rivals), this author went on the hunt for some of the biggest sporting defeats in history. A little background … Continue Reading

England v Italy – The fox outfoxed. Coaching masterstroke or a devaluing of the game?

During the Autumn Internationals in November last year Australian jackal-in-chief David Pocock seemingly loitered in an offside position before intercepting a pass from Ireland’s Connor Murray and nearly scoring a try. It subsequently transpired that Pocock was aware of, and exploiting, a loophole in the rules of the game created when no ruck is formed … Continue Reading

Lift the Weight – a positive approach to tackling mental health problems in rugby

On Sunday 19 February 2017, the Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) launched ‘Lift the Weight’, its online hub and campaign, that ‘aims to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues and offer the necessary tools and support to enable our members to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life, both on the field and off it.’. … Continue Reading

RFU announces Arscott decision and deems tactical leak to be “Inside Information”

Last month, Sports Shorts considered Tom Arscott’s sacking by the Aviva Premiership Rugby side Sale Sharks.  Not only was this a fairly novel occurrence of a member of a sports team being sacked by their current employer for a breach of confidentiality, it also served to highlight, in a broader employment context, the obligations of … Continue Reading
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