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THE FESTIVE season is a time to take stock, to assess the fortunes of the autumn and plan for the renewed battles ahead. The January issue of Rugby World reflects on some of the movers and shakers of the November Tests, including full features on Alex Goode, Richardt Strauss and Alex Cuthbert, and explores issues to occupy minds in 2013.

Should Scotland be promoting the use of project players? Who should Wales pick at No 7? What makes the current All Blacks quite probably the best team ever? And most probing of all, what is it that England team-mates call Brad Barritt that gets on his wick?

We have a host of Christmas gift ideas, including the best new rugby books and charity calendars, and there’s a quiz of the year – the winner will take possession of the Aviva Premiership trophy for a day and get VIP treatment at the final.

Elsewhere, Stephen Jones passes judgment on the law trials, we get the low-down on Bath’s code convert Kyle Eastmond, and Leigh Halfpenny explains the secrets to catching high balls in our technical section.

There’s plenty more in our January issue, so don’t miss out.

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Forwards…

Our Christmas gift guide

Meet a rugby stuntman

Martyn Williams – The former Wales flanker on the Warburton v Tipuric debate

Craig Chalmers – Scotland must make changes, says the former Lions fly-half

Brian Smith – Why are the All Blacks so good? The London Irish DoR’s view

Spotlights…

Joe Launchbury – The Wasps lock has been causing a buzz. Sarah Mockford finds out more about England’s newbie

Stuart Hogg – The Scotland full-back is convinced good times lie just around the corner, says Gavin Mortimer

Keith Earls – The talented Irish back has his sights set on a second Lions tour. Katie Field reports

Matthew Rees – The Wales hooker tells Owain Jones about the highs and lows of professional rugby

Centres…

England full-back Alex Goode on his struggle to reach the top

A sporting background paved the way for wing Alex Cuthbert

We analyse the burning issue of ‘project players’ in Scotland

Richardt Strauss reveals his pride in representing Ireland

Leigh Halfpenny gives his top tips on taking the high ball

Fitness – How to lose that festive flab

Pro move – England Sevens coach Ben Ryan provides this month’s move

Mini Rugby – How to play Bulldog Push-ups

Photo Special – Blow-by-blow action as rugby stars don their boxing gloves

Hambo meets… Rugby league legend turned union coach Andy Farrell

Harlequins – Meet the characters that make the English champions tick

Stephen Jones – Are the law trials a success? Our columnist offers his view

Kyle Eastmond – We get the low-down on the latest code convert at Bath

Backs…

Grass roots – All the club news from around the country

Schools – Who’s our Team of the Month?

Essentials – Latest books and products

Uncovered – Scotland’s Alasdair Strokosch on France, karate and crêpes

Tour Tale – A saucy Lions tale from 1955

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