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!

Rugby Greens And Gold Paint A Picture Of Progress

Summer tours have sometimes appeared to be tiresome and meaningless. But not one year before a World Cup. We have in fact learnt a lot about aspiring hopes and that the All Blacks do not have the field to themselves. This final weekend’s rugby, before beaches become littered with bruised International bodies, will not change […]

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Rugby Finals Scaling New Heights

In this pre World Cup year, we have seen what it is going to take to be successful. Pace and power running from the forwards with ability to pass out of the tackle. Midfield creativity and counterattack – not endless, mindless phase play. It seems to have worked for the winners this season at International and Club level. The difference in […]

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Munster And Scarlets Get The Blues On Semi Final Day

I played for a Champion Club in the 80’s, the serially successful Bath who won multiple Knock Out cups and in fact never lost a semifinal or a Final. But there was always a regret that the public never saw the best of us. We often played well within ourselves even though winning the match.   The reason […]

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VISION AND CLASS WILL DECIDE MATTERS IN SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST

We all thought that the International season was over but we were wrong – even hardened cynics doffed their caps to some incredible contests at the Quarter Final stage of the European Champions Cup Rugby Competition. Despite injury lists reaching epidemic proportions the rugby public was treated to some sumptuous entertainment of the highest class.   Tribalism was in abundance, club jerseys worn […]

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No Luck In This Irish Slam!

Why did I imagine that Ireland was not good enough for a Grand Slam – nerveless (40 plays before the miracle Sexton drop goal in Paris), clinical (Italy), and coldly predatory (Scotland and Wales), before rendering the tumultuous St Patrick’s Day clash somewhat academic after 40 remarkable minutes at Twickenham. Trying to stay warm became a major consideration […]

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Irish Triumph Would Be The Grandest of Slams

Ireland is on a five day party in England!  Cheltenham first then on to Twickenham to pitch for a Grand Slam – which would be an incredible achievement against a wounded England who are the two times defending Six Nations champions. That would hurt beyond hurt for the hosts and be an all time achievement in my mind […]

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‘Le’ Crunch Time For England

I should have known better than risk a visit to Murrayfield with a Scottish team ready to hand out a reminder to England and others that they are a sustainable force again in world rugby. No doubt about that, and it was in the way they won rather than just the result. A cloudless sky […]

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Scotland Await England – In Hope More Than Expectation

You know something is afoot when Sir Ian McGeechan featured some of the greatest Calcutta Cup clashes in his weekly article in the Sunday Telegraph. I happened to have played in six of those games back in the 80’s and 90’s and they were all titanic struggles. The implication is that this weekend will be another […]

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SCARLET FEVER BREAKS OUT AS PACEY ENGLAND AWAIT

The Six Nations got off to a mixed start last weekend as two cracking openers sandwiched a real stodge of a match in France, where neither side deserved to win or lose in all honesty.   Eddie Jones got it right when he said that European form did not matter for his England Squad. However, it absolutely impacted on Wales. The Scarlet influence […]

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Scarlets Breathe Fire Into The Champions Cup

I made a late decision to go to West Wales for the Scarlets Toulon match at the weekend because I had a feeling about it and also to support the stunning impact that Scarlets have had on the competition. With my birthplace just down the road and Llanelli the scene of many dramatic encounters when I was a player, I have […]

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