England Rugby World Cup Squad, August 2018

Prior to the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the England squad were training at Clifton Rugby Club, and the sponsors O2 laid on a "meet the squad" event. Happily, this took place round the corner from my office so I booked an afternoon off work and went. After an interminable wait, (most of) the players eventually arrived and generally mingled, posed for photos and signed autographs.There were also some interviews - Joe Marler is very funny, although I think he had to keep reminding himself to keep the content and language suitable for all ages... As a Northampton Saints fan I was of course on the lookout for our players - Piers Francis wasn't around, I didn't get to meet Courtney Lawes (he was called off to do a "grip & grin") but I did manage to see Lewis Ludlam and wish him luck. ...
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Saints v Sale

It's been a while since I've posted any rugby photos. The Brother and I always go to the last home game of the season - the weather is often good and it's a chance to show our appreciation for the players who are leaving, and this year it was particularly worthwhile as two of the fans favourites were playing their last home game - Soane Tonga'uiga and Brian Mujati. And it was a lovely day on Saturday - I do enjoy watching a game in the sunshine in a t-shirt, although I do think that rugby should be a winter game. It has to be said though that the sun, particularly later in the game, did make shooting quite difficult. To top it all off, Saints thrashed a relatively inexperienced Sale Sharks side 47-7, with Sale's 7 points coming with no time left at the end of the game. Oh, and the Saints had the decency to score 4 second-half tries down in "my"...
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Walcot v Brixham

More than 10 years ago now, I took a fair few photos at Walcot RFC in Bath - a colleague was initially captain, subsequently chairman and is now secretary. The old (film!) photos are on my sports website. Anyway, I was asked to go to their first home game of the season (against Brixham) to take some photos for them to use on their website. It was a decently sunny day, which always helps the quality of the photos - it was just a shame about the result, as Brixham racked up 40 points. Walcot are in black and white, Brixham in the rather fetching pink. It's still possible to be a bit creative when taking sports photos. This is undoubtedly the shot of the day - the Walcot winger taking out his opposite number high and in the air as he went up for a high ball. It was very obvious, but amazingly the referee and touch judges all missed it - the...
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Saints v Saracens, 25/04/2010

Last home game of the season, Saints v Saracens in the 4th meeting of the season - and with potentially another one to come in the playoff semi-finals!A glorious sunny day, and a cracking game of rugby - the only problem being the final result - 28-27 to Saracens. Saints had a chance to win it, missing a conversion with only 2 minutes left. To be fair, Saracens played really well, and looked massively dangerous with the ball in hand - which is a major change compared to how they played at the start of the season.Lots of good photos this week, with the good light really helping.Some nice acrobatic stuff, as Jon Clarke doesn't quite get it right under a high ballBen Foden and Bruce ReihanaDylan Hartley flattens Neil de Kock just as he gets the ball awayLee Dickson gets hit pretty damn hardEuan Murray and Dylan Hartley prepare for the forthcoming collision.Bruce ReihanaAnd finally, a couple that I...
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