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THE ECSTASY and agony of the Lions series is transported to the pages of Rugby World’s August issue, in which we have exclusive interviews with some of the main men. They include Paul O’Connell and Mike Phillips, who helped the Lions maintain their invincible Test run in Brisbane, and Mako Vunipola, who has acquired something of a cult following after his surprise selection in the 37-strong squad.

Stephen Jones explains why the Lions must play hard ball for 2017, we recall the replacements who became stars on Lions tours, while our Pro Insight sheds light on the recovery processes used by Britain and Ireland’s finest.

But it’s not all Lions this month – far from it. England’s historic series win in Argentina has upped the selection ante and former captain Martin Corry picks his XV for the autumn. One of his selections, Matt Kvesic, reveals his amazing family history.

Wales, Ireland and Scotland also toured this summer and we report on their mixed fortunes, plus catch up two men making their mark on foreign soil – Japan coach Eddie Jones and Melbourne Storm CEO Mark Evans.

And with a major new scrum law being trialled from 1 August, former Scotland U19 prop Alan Dymock explores how the scrum looks set to pan out this season – and beyond – in a special eight-page investigation.

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Front Row…

Letters – Have your say

Sidelines – Lions fans, women’s rugby, Junior World Cup, sevens…

Eddie Jones – The Japan coach on their historic win over Wales

Marting Corry – Should Chris Robshaw lose his England captain’s armband?

Mark Evans – Why rugby union’s position is under threat in Australia

Spotlights…

Ben Morgan – England’s No 8 enjoyed a barnstorming tour to Argentina. Owain Jones reports

James King – He might have been serving aces at Wimbledon but instead he’s been big in Japan, says Matt Lloyd

Al Strokosch – The flanker was at his best in adversity during Scotland’s summer tour, writes Katie Field

Ian Madigan – After two starts and two wins on tour, the Ireland fly-half tells Katie Field about his American dream

Centres…

Mike Phillips – More success and settling down are on the No 9’s to-do list

Mako Vunipola – The all-action prop has been tearing it up Down Under

Sean Maitland – What makes this Scot so hot? Read our exclusive insight

Paul O’Connell – The Irish legend on where his inspiration comes from

Late Arrivals – These Lions made an impact as injury replacements

Stephen Jones – Why the Lions deserve much more respect on future tours

Pro Insight – We learn the best recovery techniques from the Lions

Fitness/Pro Play – Build base strength and Barry Maddocks on a plan of attack

Minis – Lineout jumping and a fun game

Scrum Special – Our in-depth investigation:
- 84 Why is change needed?
- 86 What happens next?
- 88 What does the future hold?

Picture Special – A French photo legacy from late photographer Michel Birot

Matt Kvesic – Read the fascinating story behind England’s classic No 7

Hambo meets -  New Leinster coach Matt O’Connor on his move to Dublin

Rugby in Asia -  We report on a coaching boom ahead of RWC 2019

Backs…

Essentials – The latest books and products

Uncovered – Ian Evans on being the joker

Tour Tale – An unlikely French prize!

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