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During the 18 months where he has been eligible for Wales again, after re-ing for the Ospreys, he has started just once, along with four further caps off the bench. But, as he he into the new season, he feels in as good shape as ever and would be very much ready to answer the call if it comes. As I say, I would love my three kids to see me do that, but for that to happen I have to play well week-in, week-out for the Ospreys. Having been chosen at No 9 for the Six Nations game against Scotland in Marchwhich was postponed due to Covid, he was selected there again for the opening Test of the new season against France in Paris.
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Dewi Morris News. Sky Sports' rugby union expert Dewi Morris takes a look back at in rugby union. They completed their autumn Grand Slam with two teams and if they don't win the World Cup inI will be amazed.
I have to Sale Sharks but not because I used to play for them. So far in the season they have dealt with the loss of players to international call-up of kept winning. They have a great chance of winning the Premiership this season. They are a bit of throw back to the 'good old days'.
They are a blend of a good bunch of l with the amateur ethos mixed in with professional era fitness and conditioning. Like the All Blacks they can play both games when necessary, and the managerial duo of Philippe Saint Andre and Kingsley Jones is working well.
Credit must be given to owner Brian Kennedy for sticking it out with Sale and turning the Sharks into one of the most outstanding sides to watch in England and Europe. Who has been the best player on the world stage this year?
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Everyone will pick Daniel Carter, and I couldn't disagree with them. He has been key to all they have done this year. Yes, they are good side, but you need a good fly-half and he is a sensational player. He is never fazed by what is going on around him and can do every part of the job required at stand-off.
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Notable mentions this year should also go to South African winger Bryan Habana who is raw pace. He has the best pair of wheels I have ever seen for a very long time! And also to George Gregan who plays in my old position of scrum-half.
He has become the world's most capped player and is still playing great rugby. Her gets flak from the media but it isn't his fault his team can't scrummage.
Anyone who can get that many caps, and play some of the best rugby of his life, deserves praise. And who was the best new face in rugby in ? Shaun Perry at Bristol.
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I agree with my old mate Richard Hill that there are no better exponents of No. He should be next in line for the England scrum-half berth and now Harry Ellis has picked up an injury maybe he will get a chance. Matt Dawson is 33 now and I ask whether he has still got the snap and desire required?
We will need a world class half back in and my hope is that Perry will be given a chance to prove he should be there. Perversely I enjoyed the Lions tour; because of the way the All Blacks played, because of all the hype, because of how Sir Clive Woodward got it drastically wrong and taking that buffoon of spin doctor.
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I love the country and the people are brilliant. It was a joy to be in a rugby mad country with a team playing so well. Sadly it wasn't the Lions. I love the Heineken Cup too because you are here, there and everywhere, one day Biarritz, the next in Limerick and then to Cardiff or Edinburgh.
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There is a vibrant diversity of grounds and supporters and occasionally you witness a great, exhilarating game. It is nice to see some flair after what is often served up in the Premiership. Most of it is supplied by Toulouse and the other French sides but Wasps and Sale have carried the torch for the English clubs. What has been the biggest disappointment in rugby this year? I could say the Lions performance but we have done that already so I will say Andy Robinson's lack of vision and resistance to trying new players, especially in the Samoa game this autumn. He needs to do what he says he is going to do - pick on form, not on the past.
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Mike Tindall has been a great servant to England but he has to go. The 6 Nations has to be a calling card for the youngsters. Anyone can see we will always have a massive pack to win plenty of ball. It is about time we had flair and invention behind the scrum.
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We have missed a trick by not blooding a few guys in that back line. I hope Robinson does just that in the 6 Nations, if not we have no chance of winning the World Cup in and our chances are very slim already.
Ireland: It has been a very disappointing year for Ireland. He needs to change things around and find a more creative fly-half.
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Wales: is their Grand Slam year so it will be remembered as a great one. The end of the year has proven that they do lack strength in depth, but they remain an interesting side to watch. A few injuries to key players up front and they can't win the ball. But when they are at full strength they are a lovely side to watch. If only England could play with some of the Welsh flair. Scotland: It has been a better year for Scotland and I think Frank Haddon will do a great job with them. It was a mistake to appoint the Australian Matt Williams as coach and I think Haddon will do the best possible job with limited resources.
It is the lack of depth in playing resources that hinders the Scots. How do you see the 6 Nations going in ? What should Andy Robinson have been hoping for in his Christmas stocking? The All Blacks have been almost unbeatable, the Lions were a huge disappointment and the autumn saw a series of intriguing internationals where England began show s of resurgence. Dewi Morris picks his highlights of the year.
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