THE START of the 2012-13 domestic competitions in Europe are hoving into view – and the September issue of Rugby World starts its countdown with features on some of the names expected to cause a splash in the new season: Northampton and England full-back Ben Foden reveals his wish list, Ulster and Ireland wing Tommy Bowe takes us on a tour round Belfast, Edinburgh captain Grieg Laidlaw explains his transition to Scotland fly-half, and Scarlets and Wales centre Jonathan Davies discusses the work ethic that is driving him to the top.
Elsewhere, we meet Leicester’s Youngs brothers, Ben and Tom, hear about Bath coach Toby Booth’s gruelling river challenge, examine the merits of covered stadia in our Big Debate and grill arguably Europe’s most innovative coach, Leinster’s Joe Schmidt, on his plans. There’s also a behind-the-scenes picture special with Wales’ Grand Slammers, a six-page special on Great Britain’s wheelchair rugby team ahead of the Paralympics, and a no-holds-barred inquest into the London Welsh promotion shambles – including seven lessons for the future.
And, of course, there are all the usual favourites – from Spotlights to star columnists, coaching advice to our comic tour tale – in an issue that will soon have you forgetting about Olympic fever and instead get you worked up about the new rugby season!
Our guide to the August pre-season friendlies
Qualifying for RWC 2015 is well under way, and we take a look at the contenders.
Phil Vickery’s charity mission
Craig Chalmers – The former Scotland fly-half on his educational trip to Oz
Mark Evans – Quins’ ex-boss on how clubs are trying to grow their fan bases
Marco Bortolami – The Italian star sheds light on rugby’s newest arrival – Zebre
Dean Mumm – The former Wallaby tells Sarah Mockford why he’s left the Sydney sunshine for a new life in Exeter
Steve Tandy – The Ospreys coach is plotting new success after last season’s Celtic League title, says Owain Jones
Angus Macdonald – Richard Bath says the former All Black’s mentality makes him the pick of Glasgow’s new signings
James Downey – Having swapped Northampton for Munster, the centre is after an Ireland call. By Gavin Mairs
Ben Foden – The Northampton and England star has plenty on his wish list for the coming years
Jonathan Davies – He’s gone from bit-part player to Wales’ main man. We meet the fast-improving centre
Tommy Bowe – The Ireland wing is back in Belfast and hungry for action after a lengthy injury lay-off
Greig Laidlaw – Scotland have struggled for a fly-half in the pro era – but this man is now excelling at ten
Tech Zone – Dan Cottrell explains how to win your own scrum ball
Mini Zone – Hares & Hounds is a great game to keep the kids focused plus learn how to Jack-Knife roll
Fitness Zone – Why you should hit the beach and a conditioning workout plus tackle your in-season fitness
Four Nations – All you need to know about the new Rugby Championship
London Welsh – Stephen Jones on the Exiles’ promotion and how to prevent another shambolic affair
Funny Tales – Eight stories from around the world in the past year that are sure to tickle your funny bone
Toby Booth – The coach explains why he spent pre-season in a canoe and reveals his plans for success at Bath
2012 Grand Slam – Behind-the-scenes pictures from Wales’ camp in the Six Nations
Joe Schmidt – The Leinster head coach has become a wanted man. We examine the Kiwi’s credentials
Paralympics – Catch up with GB’s wheelchair rugby team ahead of their bid for a medal at London 2012
Phil Godman – The Scotland fly-half is aiming to reignite his rugby career after joining up with London Scottish
Big Debate – Do we need more covered stadia? Roger Lewis and Rob Baxter give their thoughts
Leicester – Ben and Tom Youngs are two of English rugby’s brightest prospects. We meet the brothers
Lions Tour – Former Australia centre Nathan Grey relives the highs and lows of the 2001 Lions tour
Armchair Zone – All the latest books and products on the rugby market
Naked Truth – Ireland hooker Jerry Flannery opens up on life after rugby
Tour Tale – Fighting talk from Moss Keane
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