Simon Halliday’s Blogs

As an Ex England International and current Chairman of European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), Simon has a unique insight into the world of rugby on and off the field. His blog discusses the big issues of the moment and offers frank opinions – within reason!

The Business Of Rugby

As the denouement of the Six Nations, Heineken Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and domestic leagues have played out over the last few weeks, it was tempting to look off-field as well as on-field for all the rugby stories. Here are a selection of some which caught my eye and my theme is the business of […]

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Wales Hunt A Grand Slam As Italy Seeks Redemption Against The French

It was said that England lost the Rugby World Cup Final of 1991 against Australia through inflexibility. Our narrative was that we felt our strategy was going to work, and then it didn’t! The Campese deliberate knock down hardly helped but we didn’t mix up our game enough to keep the Aussies guessing when the […]

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England Wing It Into Cardiff For The Big One

It has all been about England in this year’s Six Nations, with some very smart kicking strategy and then the ball most often in the hands of their playmakers and matchwinners. With this approach, the traditional back row contests and set piece battles become statistics but not match defining. I can think of plenty of […]

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So Here It Is… The England Midfield At Last

There comes a time when an English rugby team has suffered enough, certainly after two humbling defeats against the Irish in past years depriving them of silverware in one case and suffering in silence their grand slam celebrations at Twickenham in another.  England had all the psychological advantages against a country which carried uneasily the […]

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Scottish Rugby In Bloom For The 6 Nations?

It may have appeared that Round 6 of the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup was confirming known truths about Irish dominance and the resurgence of Toulouse as well as a brooding Saracens who look very tough and menacing at full strength. The real story though is for Edinburgh and Glasgow in the last 8 […]

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A Rugby World In Union In 2019?

It was easy to eulogise about the Irish last year – they have the best set up in World rugby and their results were no fluke at National and provincial level. Rarely can Twickenham have been silenced so easily on a big match day as when a chilly first half made Ireland’s 2018 Grand Slam aspirations a […]

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Irish Repeat Success In Europe But No Racing Certainty

Some say that Ireland is God’s own country and certainly the rugby gods smiled on them with a clean sweep of European wins this past weekend, a triumphant National team this autumn and the good news goes on, it’s no coincidence. Continuing the theme, I found myself in Galway to watch Connacht take on Perpignan accompanied by a storm of […]

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Eastern Promise From A Dramatic Rugby Fortnight

As if the drama of England’s near miss over the All Blacks two weekends ago wasn’t enough, the Springbok’s two tries (one disallowed) in overtime eventually killed off a valiant French challenge in Paris. But more was to come as Ireland finally lived up to a favourite’s billing by downing the men in Black last […]

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