Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Peter de Villiers for the England job, and Leinster and Munster to prosper this weekend

My tip for the new England Manager

Leinster face a tricky task at the RDS of subduing a resurgent Glasgow side. Edinburgh are the Scottish side that normally have the irritating habit of pooping Leinster party, but the Glaswegians will be on to keen to emulate them. Before last weekend, I would have put the men in a blue (which is apparently  VERY similar to that of a team in another unnamed code) way favourites against the Scots,  but given the turnout last weekend, I’d say Jonny Sextons boot is going to come in very handy again. BOD and Hines leave massive shoes to fill, hope the fillers are found soon. Leinster should win at home though.

I’m backing Munster to sort out Castres, their attack may not have the penetration of some of the other teams, but their defence is as tight as a ducks bottom.  Connacht proved against Quins that they are no walkover, but Toulouse are an altogether different proposition. However manky French form is away from home, and however vociferous the capacity home crowd is going to be, you’d still back Toulouse.  Ulster Leicester is likely to be the most competitive Irish tie, to me it’s the story of a team on the rise meeting a team in decline. At home the Tigers should still have the edge, but it likely to be a full blooded and bloody match.

London Irish are going to struggle against the Blues you’d think, I had high hopes for them – but you can’t lose at home. Pity Delon Armitage can’t take some time out from his busy suspension schedule and play some rugby.

Elsewhere, I fancy Gloucester/Quins could be a real humdinger.

New England Manager

Johno is no more, they may never find someone else to replace his magnificent scowling abilities, but can they get a decent coach? Front runner is Jim Mallinder, and why not, he’s on the up at the Saints. He’s won Parker Pen Shields, LV Cups and European Challenge Cups, and is most likely on the cusp of something great at the Saints. Other leading candidates are Graham Henry and Nick Mallet, and Conor O’Shea has had a mention. Eddie O’Sullivan is also on the market, may not be to eveyone’s taste, but how often did England beat Ireland when he was in charge? My favourite for the position is Peter De Villiers, just for the craic. With some of the English players acting like clowns, his insight into this area could come in handy. I’m going to go leftfield with my choice for the job though. Times have changed, the position has a media spotlight on it now, and the players are pretty well paid, and can misbehave and act like divas. I’d emulate English soccer and go outside the fold, with Toulouse coach Guy Nov├Ęs as a man that can handle the circus better than most.

Friday, 18 November 2011



Bath v Montpellier, Pl3, 15:00
Leinster v Glasgow, Pl3, 12:45
Biarritz v Saracens, Pl5, 13:30
Castres v Munster, Pl1, 15:40
Clermont Auvergne v Aironi, Pl4, 20:00
Connacht v Toulouse, Pl6, 18:00
Gloucester v Harlequins, Pl6, 15:40
Leicester v Ulster, Pl4, 18:00
Treviso v Ospreys, Pl5, 13:30
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Sunday, 20 November 2011
Cardiff Blues v London Irish, Pl2, 20:00
Edinburgh v Racing Metro 92, Pl2, 20:00
Northampton v Scarlets, Pl1, 20:00
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Saturday, 19 November 2011

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