Can Eddie Jones get the English chariot swinging again?

Can Eddie Jones get the English chariot swinging again?

The first overseas coach to guide England has now begun his work to repair the squad after the host nation’s embarrassing exit from the recent Rugby World Cup. His four-year deal extends to the 2019 World Cup in Japan, the country he guided to that extraordinary 34-32 upset of South Africa back in September of this year. The England job is not an easy one. Stuart Lancaster came in with all the correct credentials, yet it would be fair to say his managerial reign imploded in disastrous fashion. After the conclusion of the World Cup there were few who believed Lancaster would stay on. Indeed, the writing was on the wall for Stuart Lancaster ever since the infamous 25-28 loss at the hands of Wales, now etched in history as one of the most gut-wrenching defeats for the English national rugby side. The arrival of Eddie Jones suggests a new era, a new style of play and, for many, a new sense of optimism for the future. Jones himself has expressed his delight to be given the chance to work with the English national side. “The opportunity to take the reins in, possibly, the world’s most high profile international rugby job doesn’t come along every day and I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity,” Jones said. “I’m now looking forward to working with the RFU and the players to move beyond the disappointment England suffered at the World Cup and hope to build a new team that will reflect the level of talent that exists within the English game. I believe the future is bright for England.” Jones...
Who will dominate golf for the next five years?

Who will dominate golf for the next five years?

As a thrilling year of golf draws to a close, debate has been raging in BAC HQ over who will dominate golf for the next five years. Following Tiger Woods’ third back operation in less than a year, friend and long-time understudy Rory McIlroy stated that he feared for Woods’ future ability “not just to play golf but just for everyday life and being able to do everyday things”. Woods now ranks outside the world’s top 350 golfers. A startling statistic for an athlete not yet 40, and who in the years preceding his final major win in 2008 dominated the sport in a manner few have done before – and none since. Numerous golfers have raised their hands to be Woods’ successor, including prestigious major winners Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and England’s own Justin Rose. However, the outstanding candidate to dominate golf for the next five years had been Rory McIlroy. The young Northern Irishman, with four major wins to his name and time on his side looked a certainty to boss the game for years to come. But the last two seasons have seen the rise of fierce competition in Jordan Speith and more recently Jason Day. It looks like a three-horse race, but they aren’t the only contenders. We take a closer look at who will dominate golf for the next five years. Rory McIlroy With back-to-back major wins, McIlroy closed out 2014 in style and looked untouchable. Contrastingly, 2015 hasn’t gone quite to plan. Several injuries, including a notorious football-related ankle problem, impacted his consistency and availability – although he did once again prove himself...
The future of NFL in the UK: Our predictions

The future of NFL in the UK: Our predictions

After watching the Jacksonville Jaguars narrowly defeat the Buffalo Bills in a packed-out Wembley on Sunday we began to discuss the future of NFL in the UK. The clash was the 13th of the NFL International Series, a regular fixture in the Wembley calendar since 2007. There’s no doubt there is a dedicated NFL fanbase in this country. The league have carried out significant market research themselves and claim the number of Britons saying they’re “very interested” in American Football has doubled to more than three million since 2010. Whether these figures are precise or not, to sell out Wembley in the middle of the Rugby World Cup with two “lesser” NFL sides is no mean feat. The BBC clearly thinks there’s a future to the sport in the UK – their Match of the Day-style highlights show is scheduled to launch next month. So, what should we expect for the future of NFL in the UK? The NFL are pushing for expansion – expect to see it It was announced last week that Wembley will play host to at least two games per season until 2020 with an option to extend the deal until 2025. International expansion is high on the agenda of the bigwigs at NFL HQ. Mark Waller, an executive vice-president, recently described his desire for “a league that is not constrained by geographic boundaries”. Plans for games in Mexico and Germany in the near future are underway but it’s clear the NFL regards the UK as its most feasible future venture. Last season’s Super Bowl was watched by 114 million viewers in the States. Officials...
The globalisation of Formula 1: A new world

The globalisation of Formula 1: A new world

  The globalisation of Formula 1 is a topic never short of debate and conflicting opinions. As the dust settles in Sochi following Lewis Hamilton’s victory at the Russian Grand Prix, F1 fans now turn their attention to the Austin Grand Prix in Texas, another circuit that has only appeared in the calendar during the last decade. Many from the Formula old-school believe that the sport is losing its soul by expanding and moving away from the traditional European circuits, whereas others believe investment in areas such as Asia is a necessary step in modernising the world of motorsport. Can Abu Dhabi capture the magic of the Monaco Grand Prix? Can Kuala Lumpar host an event as enthralling as the Belgian Grand Prix? Is Baku a “worthy” host-city for the greatest F1 drivers in the world? These are all questions frequently contested by those deliberating the globalisation of formula 1. Moving away from the past Europe’s most iconic racing landmarks, Monte Carlo, Hockenheim, Silverstone, Monza, Spa and Imola, are names that are sewn into the very fabric of motorsport. However, this is not to say that this cannot change. Indeed the globalisation of formula 1 is well underway. Nowadays, circuits in Austin, Malaysia, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Singapore and many others are beginning to gain a reputation for providing exciting races with breathtaking backdrops. Those lucky enough to visit the new circuits are able to see the levels of investment in modern grandstands, excellent hospitality and a real passion for motorsport demonstrated by the local communities. The new Grand Prix circuits not only give an opportunity for those living outside...
How sporting tournaments bring a nation together

How sporting tournaments bring a nation together

Every couple of years we see how sporting tournaments bring a nation together. A football World Cup, the Euros, the Ashes, the 6 Nations or the Rugby World Cup – whenever these major tournaments roll around something quite spectacular happens to the national psyche. United by their sporting teams, countries are brought together as they share in their nation’s pride, and desire for success. When looking back at some of the most iconic sporting moments it’s clear a nation’s pride is shared on the pitch, court and field with the athletes themselves. The Rugby World Cup One week into the 2015 Rugby World Cup and there have already been some stand out moments. Taking place on home soil, the England team kicked off the opening game against Fiji at rugby’s spiritual home, Twickenham. Excitement around the country had been building for months, and the raucous crowd revealed a nation unified behind the rose. England’s work is cut out for them as they try to recreate the glory of the 2003 World Cup win, particularly given their tough pool featuring Wales and Australia. The standout match so far has been the surprise win from the underdog, Japan, against a tournament favourite South Africa. Little did those who attended the Brighton Community Stadium know what they would witness. Japan, having never played against South Africa before and only ever won one World Cup match, put in a defiant performance to win 34-32. The Springboks were gracious in defeat and the largely English crowd were delighted with the Brave Blossoms’ performance. The rugby world was captivated by the Japanese performance, and we saw a multitude of nations...