The autumn Tests are upon us and Rugby World is the perfect accompaniment to a month of high-quality international action because the latest issue is packed with big names from across the globe. We have exclusive interviews, expert analysis, fantastic photos and much more – here are ten reasons to pick up a copy of RW’s December issue…
1. England captain Dylan Hartley
In an exclusive interview with Rugby World, the Northampton hooker reveals how captaincy has changed the way he prepares for games and increased his attention to detail. He also explains how this England team can raise their standards further during the autumn series. Plus, we speak to Hartley’s predecessor as England captain – Chris Robshaw.
2. Why Wales must go on the attack
Wales’ attacking game has been under fire in recent years, with many fans calling for more flair and a return to a traditional Welsh style of running rugby. So RW editor Owain Jones has put forward a plan of how Wales should play this November – and selected the team they should pick now as well as the team for the 2019 World Cup. Will you agree with his selections?
3. Paul O’Connell exclusive
We sat down with the Ireland icon to discuss a myriad of subjects. Find out O’Connell’s views on Ireland’s chances against New Zealand, Irish rugby’s player production line, dealing with stress, his favourite game, retirement and more.
4. Is Beauden Barrett the best player in the world?
The New Zealand fly-half has wowed rugby fans in the southern and northern hemispheres in 2016, but is he currently the world’s best player? Stuart Barnes, the former England No 10, analyses the All Black’s game and delivers his verdict.
5. Two top Scots
Tommy Seymour has been in a rich vein of form this season and aims to continue that during Scotland’s three autumn Tests. The winger tells RW why this is a season of redemption for him, particularly with Australia – the team that knocked Scotland out of last year’s World Cup with a controversial late penalty – first up. We also catch up with Finn Russell to talk jokers, juggling and junk food in a more offbeat interview.
6. Springboks in freefall
It’s not been a good year for South Africa, their recent hammering by New Zealand a case in point, so where are things going wrong for the once mighty Springboks? Stephen Jones looks at the problems facing South African rugby and offers solutions.
7. A trio of women’s stars
The world’s best women’s teams are in action this November too, with France playing England before a four-team tournament involving the world champions, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. We interviewed three players who’ll be looking to impress – Ireland wing Alison Miller, Canada back-row Jacey Grusnick and New Zealand scrum-half Kendra Cocksedge.
8. Advice from leading internationals
England Women’s prop Rocky Clark, who is set to overtake Jason Leonard’s tally of 114 this autumn and become the most-capped England player ever, lays out a ‘Ruck Attack’ move in Pro Playbook. Saracens and England lock Maro Itoje also gives his top tips for stealing lineout ball.
9. Argentina’s new generation
The Pumas play Wales, Scotland and England this November, with many backing this latest generation of talent to become their best ever. We met up with three youngsters who have stood out over the past 18 months – Facundo Isa, Pablo Matera and Guido Petti – to find out more.
10. Ones to watch
November is packed with matches for Tier Two nations as well as those leading the world rankings and the top women’s teams are busy too, so we’ve put together a map showing when and where those fixtures are taking place. We’ve also highlighted a few interesting players to look out for away from the limelight.