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Tokyo Calling - Rugby 2019

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    They're not really cousins according to an interview with the two of them a while back :

    I say that we are direct cousins because it takes too long to explain how we are actually related, Vunipola said. I think our mums are distant cousins, but Tonga is such a small country that everyone has connection to everyone. Our relationship means that we are closer than a lot of cousins anyway.
    Though clearly that's not the point here, very disappointed in Faletau.

    Anscombe's signing for the Ospreys next season apparently. Another good fly half Cardiff can't keep hold of but at least he's staying in Wales and avoids the 60 cap rule.

    Speaking of which, wasn't that rule a Gatland suggestion and one that might be dropped/relaxed by Pivac?

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      Sam Davies on the move then, probably to the Dragons or else into exile. Anscombe would have left Wales if it wasn't for the RWC, he's on 350k as he's not a Lion. Biggar is on 600k in England.

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        A very carefully worded statement published by Saracens allegedly from Vunipola which does not apologise and justifies his stance really as it's a religious belief. It may appease some but it's not enough. The RFU have given him an official warning that lasts for five years.

        As expected really.

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          Originally posted by Antepli Ejderha View Post

          Yep, he liked his cousin's post along with half a dozen England players.
          Which England players? I can find a piece about an All Black who liked the post but nothing about England players.

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            RFU to grill Billy Vunipola over social media post defending Israel Folau

            https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...y_to_clipboard

            Four named here plus Faletau but I've seen another piece with a few more named. I'll try to find that.

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              Thanks. What the hell is wrong with these people? I had no idea that Vunipola was a spokesperson for C4 - I didn't even realise they covered any rugby.

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                They are members of a church that has tied their eternal salvation to the demonisation of the vast majority of the human race.

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                  Originally posted by Tony C View Post
                  Thanks. What the hell is wrong with these people? I had no idea that Vunipola was a spokesperson for C4 - I didn't even realise they covered any rugby.
                  They've had a few of the summer tour games plus one match per round of this season's European rugby. I'm not sure exactly what his role was.

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                    Originally posted by Tony C View Post
                    Thanks. What the hell is wrong with these people? I had no idea that Vunipola was a spokesperson for C4 - I didn't even realise they covered any rugby.
                    Well, they believe in eternal heaven and hell for a start. When you come up with a concept as fucking warped and twisted as that to begin with, deciding who to put in which room is the least of the problem.

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                      Anyone else watching the Stade Rochelais v Sale European Challenge Cup semi-final? It's a really entertaining, chaotic, ding-dong match, 24-17 with twenty minutes left.

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                        Insane ending going way past the 80 minute mark and finishes 24-20. A suitably crazy finish to the game, lots going on throughout the game to keep Nigel Owens and the other officials busy.

                        Glad Stade Rochelais make their first final and that Steve Diamond is denied one, he's a scumbag.

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                          Fantastic end to the other semi too. Harlequins 32-8 down early in the second away to Clermont but pull it back to 32-22 with ten minutes left before some typical idiocy from Sinckler gives away a penalty and all momentum when Quins were attacking on Clermont's twenty-two.

                          They managed another try with 30 seconds left but it finishes 32-27. The real positive turnaround was the introduction of Fijian Sevens convert and Olympic Gold medalist Semi Kunatani in the back row on 55 minutes, he gave an astounding display and almost hauled Quins in to the final.
                          Last edited by Ray de Galles; 20-04-2019, 21:10.

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                            Originally posted by Tony C View Post
                            Thanks. What the hell is wrong with these people? I had no idea that Vunipola was a spokesperson for C4 - I didn't even realise they covered any rugby.
                            Further to AE's comment above, they have live coverage of the Leinster v Toulouse Champions Cup semi tomorrow.

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                              Leinster versus Saracens in the Champions Cup final in Newcastle.
                              Clermont versus La Rochelle in the Challenge Cup final.

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                                A completely avoidable Champions Cup Final that. Two vile, cynical sides.

                                The one the night before could be tasty though, hope Stade Rochelais manage to win it.

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                                  Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                                  A completely avoidable Champions Cup Final that. Two vile, cynical sides.

                                  The one the night before could be tasty though, hope Stade Rochelais manage to win it.
                                  The only thing I'll disagree with you on is I'm a huge Clermont fan, that match could be amazing and as it's a Friday in Newcastle actually possible to get tickets for.

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                                    Good article here about the contrasts between London Irish and Richmond, who were promoted and relegated respectively from the English Championship after meeting last weekend. There a few mentions of Hartbury's dubious squad-boosting which helped them avoid going down.

                                    In other news, it appears Gatland has been offered the 2021 Lions job and Gareth Anscombe has a tricky match ahead of him on Saturday's "Judgement Day".
                                    Last edited by Ray de Galles; 25-04-2019, 12:59.

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                                      One wonders if the Premiership will eventually become a closed shop.

                                      I would expect that CVC would see that as a feature rather than a bug.

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                                        Apparently there were more than the four England players named by the Guardian for liking Folau's post. Dave Ewers of Exeter also liked it.

                                        The four banned named were all black. Ewers is white. Hmmmm. Lazy journalism?

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                                          Do you mean "banned" or is that an auto-correct snafu?

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                                            Originally posted by Ray de Galles View Post
                                            Do you mean "banned" or is that an auto-correct snafu?
                                            Typed named and it must have come up as banned.

                                            Yep, the five players named were all black. The four from England and Faletau.

                                            Bundee Aki also liked it but has since said he liked it without reading the content and has lots of gay friends etc. I suppose it's better than nothing.

                                            Alfie was excellent on Channel Four, particularly about Folau. Just very open and honest.

                                            As expected the RFU have swept it under the carpet pretty much.

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                                              Hmmmmm ;

                                              Rugby X: New five-a-side format to debut at O2 Arena in October


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                                                Mathieu Bastareaud is going to play for New York in MLR next season.

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                                                  Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                                  Mathieu Bastareaud is going to play for New York in MLR next season.
                                                  Wow. That's big news.

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                                                    Very much so

                                                    He will be the highest profile player in the league by at least an order of magnitude.

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