17 January 2014

Canal+ deal dramatically distorts the rugby market

While the Heineken Cup is reaching the final round of the pool stages most people have averted their interest from the chaos surrounding the future of the competition. At this point it seems as if everybody has reached the point of fatigue on the subject. The weekly developments have become akin to a bad soap opera, the complete opposite to what is happening on the field of play.

At the same time, and almost below the radar, the Ligue Nationale de …..


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14 January 2014

Newstalk Sport

Newstalk – Off the Ball – Monday January 13th – Part 2

Timeline: 16:20 – 42:18

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14 January 2014

Five-day turnaround just not smart

Both Leinster and Northampton have been handed a five-day turnaround between Round 5 & 6 of their remaining Heineken Cup Pool games.

We all appreciate fixture lists are constructed for broadcasters who want to optimise their programming and that heavily influences the scheduling of games. He who pays the piper calls the tune so to speak. But there has to be limits to this scheduling.

After all, these players are not machines and recovery is a crucial part of preparation between performances.

It …..


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10 January 2014

Round 5 could resolve a lot of Heineken Pool outcomes

With two pool games remaining in the Heineken Cup a number of teams can cement qualification to the quarter finals this weekend before the final round of pool games are completed. The difficulty of that challenge can depend on the opposition and the possibility of that opposition making the play-offs.

If the opposition is playing away from home and has no chance of qualification they rarely make a huge effort to upset the apple cart. But playing at home can make …..


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07 January 2014

Newstalk Sport

Newstalk – Off the Ball – Monday January 6th – Part 2

Timeline: 12:05 – 38:23

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07 January 2014

Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership becoming predictable

The 2013/14 rugby season is just at the half-way point and before we turn our attentions to the final pool games of the Heineken Cup and the 6 Nations, it is worth taking a snapshot of the domestic tournaments. Unfortunately there is s certain predictability about the Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership as to who will be in the shake-up to be crowned champions at the end of the season.

This is hardly the ideal scenario with half the season remaining.

The …..


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17 December 2013

Newstalk Sport

Newstalk – Off the Ball – Monday December 16th – Part 2

Timeline: 11:15 – 26:20

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17 December 2013

Heineken dog fight is compelling viewing

This year’s Heineken Cup has turned into one hell of a dog fight. It is impossible, even at this stage of the tournament, to pick a favourite and who will even qualify for the quarter-finals is far from decided yet. In terms of sports drama it is compelling viewing.

Each of the six pools has it’s own tale to tell and their possible outcomes are largely unpredictable with just two rounds of pool games remaining.

In Pool 5, Ulster are the only …..


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10 December 2013

RTE Sport

Podcast: The Rugby Show – December 9th 2013

Timeline: 14:59 – 48:15

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