Stuart Barnes

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Tom Williams of Harlequins walks off with physio Steph Brennan to be replaced by team-mate Nick Evans in the closing stages of the 2009 Heineken Cup quarter-final at The Stoop. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Heineken Cup quarter-final: Harlequins v Leinster, The Stoop, Sunday, April 12th, 2009. The stain of ‘Bloodgate’ may never be removed from Harlequins(...)

England are back in contention for the 2020 Six Nations after Sunday’s crushing win over Ireland. Photograph: EPA

Redemption day; Eyes on the prize; Turbo-charged England back to their best; England land a KO to rekindle Six Nations bid. A selection of Monday mor(...)

Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton kicks a penalty in the Six Nations game against England at the Aviva stadium in February 2019. Photograph:   Billy Stickland/Inpho

Sitting in the corner of a pub on the outskirts of Taunton is the man whose unseen work could shape the upcoming World Cup. Without him Jonny Wilkinso(...)

Reece Hodge of Australia celebrates his try during the 2019 Rugby Championship test match between Australia and  New Zealand last Saturday. Photograph:  James Worsfold/Getty Images

Uneasy lies the crown. The feeling that this year’s World Cup is undoubtedly the most openly competitive in yonks, perhaps ever, was strengthened by t(...)

Joe Schmidt can’t quite put his finger on why Ireland have started this year’s Six Nations so poorly. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Ireland’s Icarus complex History regularly parallels the Ireland rugby team with Icarus. Remember those delirious seconds following Gordon Hamilton’s(...)

Stuart Barnes in action for Bath against Saracens in April 1993. Photograph: Dave Rogers/Allsport

The language of rugby has changed hugely in the past quarter of a century. What used to be a tackle is now a big hit and wingers have wheels or gas as(...)

James Ryan takes a lineout at The Rec. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Flag-gate precedes Leinster’s win over Bath Mean spirited prohibition or jobsworth living his best life? Either way, Leinster’s mini-invasion of Bath(...)

New Zealand players perform the Haka on the pitch before the England. It would be best not to sing ‘The Fields of Athenry’ when they come to Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

You couldn’t but fear for England when Twickenham attempted to drown out the Haka with that Chariot tune; the one thing you really don’t need to be do(...)

Danny Cipriani has made an impressive start to the season with Gloucester. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

Increasingly Danny Cipriani looks fated to be a quiz answer for years to come. Name the most gifted English sportsman of his generation who never play(...)

Pundits on New Zealand programme ‘Break Down’ sugggested Mako Vunipola should have been sent off duting the Lions’ win over the All Blacks in Wellington. Photograph: David Davies/PA

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Except when there’s plenty more than one of them maybe. Recall, if you will, the manner the Irish (...)

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