Six Nations Team News

Ireland with just 2 changes due to Ringrose injury. Henshaw starts and Farrell onto bench.

Ireland: Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Hugo Keenan, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rob Herring, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Will Connors, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Peter O’Mahony, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Chris Farrell

England Squad to play Italy

Backs

Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 83 caps)
George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 13 caps)
Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 50 caps)
Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)
Max Malins (Bristol Bears, uncapped)
Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 3 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 56 caps)
Dan Robson (Wasps, 2 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)
Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)
Jacob Umaga (Wasps, uncapped)
Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 43 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 99 caps)

Forwards

Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 23 caps)
Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)
Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 49 caps)
Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, 1 cap)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 38 caps)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 65 caps)
Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 8 caps)
Beno Obano (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, uncapped)
Jack Singleton (Gloucester Rugby, 3 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 35 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 59 caps)
Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps)
Jack Willis (Wasps, uncapped)

T&D DTRR Final reckoning

First of all huge congratulations to Exeter. Double winners. During the game I actually thought we could do it but the lineout didn’t function all game. Absorbing match and actually CMK wasn’t too bad. Next season (in a couple of weeks is looking promising already. I don’t think the league lead will be quite such a procession but Exeter are still the team to beat.

Our final standings didn’t change over the playoffs. so the results prior to the playoffs stand. So congrats to Monty and Mani for the share of the trophy. I propose 6 months each with the trophy and the rum to be shared among all the refugees. Final table below.

1Mani2.33
1Monty2.33
3Anonymouse2.83
3B2P2.83
3Travel Exec2.83
6Exlock2.92
7Grump3.00
8Bart3.17
8D Hanley3.17
8George3.17
8JD Kiwi3.17
8Novo3.17
8Slamma3.17
14Bigger Picture3.25
15Adrian3.33
15Firepies3.33
15Gladders3.33
15Global Fan3.33
15Ruck3.33
15Tanker3.33
21Hugh3.42
22CMJS3.50
22Dalton Lad3.50
22GEPC3.50
256mph3.67
25Tomski3.67
27Bris3.83
27Coshie3.83
27Mr Wu3.83
Final Table

Now before we get taken over by an England thread and tanker moaning about fazz and bkb I’d like to get the predictions for next year. I’m doing a slight change for next year so that we will besides positions have final points. So the final table this year was.

So just your predicated position for each team and their final points tally for the teams below. I’ll do average points per game and keep everyone updated. Position to count for 80% of your score and the points for 20% of your score smallest average of the differences to actuals to be the winner.

 PositionPoints
Bath  
Bristol  
Chiefs  
Glaws  
LI  
Newcastle  
Quins  
Saints  
Sale  
Tigers  
Wasps  
Wuss  

Gladders on a Bike – One year on

With last Thursday the 15th October being the one year anniversary of my arrival in Argentina and  Monday the 19thbeing the actual start  of the cycling and the departure date from Ushuaia, I thought I‘d give you an update on the trip. Some of you will already know that I am currently in Chile, on the coast about 75miles west of Santiago, in a place called Concon.

My trip has taken me across Tierra del Fuego from Ushuaia in Argentina, the most southerly place on continental America (oddly enough it is actually an island) to Porvenir (480km) where I took a ferry to the mainland proper and the Chile’s largest southerly city – Punta Arenas.

I then headed north to Puerto Natales for a week or so and explored the Torres del Paine National Park. Breath taking. I had met an Italian cyclist 150km from Ushuaia who was about to end his own odyssey from Mexico City south and he recommended the Carretera Austral as an option north. Pampas are flat(ish), very windy and with nothing special to see.  One of the best bits of advice that I’ve taken.

I hopped on a ferry north which went through the western Isles and canals and fjords. Yet more remarkable scenery – like Scotland on steroids.

I joined the Carretera  Austral at Caleta Tortel and headed north through Alpine-like valleys, over mountains, alongside lakes, glaciers, rivers and the odd Guanaco (think Llama).

The road was mostly ripio (gravel) and it is very hard going, especially the uphill parts– the bike kept sliding sideways and I had to push it up several ascents.

I had one or two moments when I did ask myself what I was doing but as Slamma suggested, I looked for a hairy, strawberry blonde hand to give me a boost.

I eventually made it to Puerto Montt, the end of the C Austral with a feeling of trepidation. So many cars and people after 6 weeks of relative solitude.

Onwards east across and along half a dozen lakes and into Argentina and Bariloche; where I parked my bike and flew to Buenos Aires for Christmas.

New Year brought a renewed vigour and desire and I travelled along Argentina’s fabled Ruta 40 through the region of Los Lagos (Villa La Angostura – one of my favourite places) and on to San Martin de los Andes and back into Chile. More lakes, ferries and so many volcanoes. Fantastic. After weaving north west for a bit, I reached Temuco where I joined the Ruta 5, part of the Pan American highway system, which runs north/south for approx. 3,500 km.

This part was fairly dull and the only thing of note was getting sprayed with tear gas in Rancagua by Chile’s finest – the carabineros. If ever there was a wrong time and wrong place moment, this was it. Travelling on the hard shoulder (can you imagine doing that in the UK?) I managed to get some serious mileage (700km) in a relatively short time, averaging 20kmh+ and 70-80 km a day against 8kmh and 40-50 km a day through the mountains and gravel.

After 3 and half weeks in Santiago, I headed west to meet some mutual friends from Kabul who live south of Valparaiso. A quick side trip to Easter Island (another remarkable place) and I caught the second last flight back to mainland Chile and the onset of the bastard CV19.

I have been sitting out the pandemic now since March and have decided to stay here until next year.

The numbers:

Distance travelled 4,000 km excluding the 7,000km return journey out into the south eastern Pacific and back.

Accidents – 0

Flat tyres -0 for 3,700 km and then 3 in 75km!

Nights wild camping -6

Ferries taken -7

Lakes crossed – 4

Brits met – 3

And most importantly money raised for Deany’s nominated charity My Name’5 Doddie

£ 2,781 plus gift Aid of £372.50

An enormous thank you to all of you have donated or followed my journey so far, you know who you are…and, in particular, to my family, friends and the Rugby Refugees.

For the moment the odyssey is on hold until the world becomes a less crazy place but it is my intention to reach the Caribbean coast of Colombia – only 8,000km to go.

Would I do it again? You bet I would.

Donate Here

The Grand DepartHanging Glacier at PuyuahpiA serious low point. 6pm, no camp site and that climbLake & Volcano...what could be better apart from a pie & a pintBack in Chile100km from SantiagoCerro San Cristobal, Santiago

England Squad

FORWARDS

Tom Curry, Sale Sharks
Alex Dombrandt, Harlequins*
Tom Dunn, Bath Rugby*
Charlie Ewels, Bath Rugby
Ellis Genge, Leicester Tigers
Jamie George, Saracens
Joe Heyes, Leicester Tigers*
Ted Hill, Worcester Warriors
Maro Itoje, Saracens
Alex Moon, Northampton Saints*
Beno Obano, Bath Rugby*
David Ribbans, Northampton Saints*
Will Stuart, Bath Rugby
Sam Underhill, Bath Rugby
Billy Vunipola, Saracens
Mako Vunipola, Saracens
Mark Wilson, Newcastle Falcons

BACKS

Ali Crossdale, Saracens*
Fraser Dingwall, Northampton Saints*
Owen Farrell, Saracens
Piers Francis, Northampton Saints
George Ford, Leicester Tigers
George Furbank, Northampton Saints
Willi Heinz, Gloucester Rugby
Jonathan Joseph, Bath Rugby
Ollie Lawrence, Worcester Warriors*
Joe Marchant, Harlequins
Jonny May, Gloucester Rugby
Alex Mitchell, Northampton Saints*
Ollie Thorley, Gloucester Rugby*
Anthony Watson, Bath Rugby
Ben Youngs, Leicester Tigers

*denotes uncapped players