category: rugby news

Paul AckfordPaul Ackford

Paul Ackford is a former English rugby union international who played lock forward. He was formerly an Inspector in the
Metropolitan Police and is now a journalist. Partnering Wade Dooley, Ackford became an important part of the new side captained by Will Carling. He went on the 1989 British Lions
tour to Australia, where he played all three tests.

He was part of the England side that won a Five Nations Grand Slam in 1991. He
retired from international rugby after the 1991 World Cup, becoming a journalist
and writing for the Sunday Telegraph.


Latest Articles:

Jonny Wilkinson kicks England into final 14/10/07

England 14 France 9

It was a game to tell your grandchildren about. A game so close and tense and taut that it almost went beyond enjoyment. One man turned it England's way. No prizes for guessing the name. Jonny Wilkinson kicked England into another World Cup final. Four years ago he saw off France with his boot and last night in a sensational rugby match he kicked England into a second successive climax.

England were heroes to a man because for long periods of this match they had to defend and dig themselves out of their own territory. But this is a team with bags of character and when it mattered, when it really, really mattered they forged towards the French line for Wilkinson to deliver two decisive knockout blows. more

England arrive by accident in World Cup 7/10/07

Could this be England's World Cup again? The second extraordinary quarter-final on a day of upset and raw emotion has pitted England against France in Saturday's semi-final at the Stade de France. New Zealand, far and away the best team in the four years between World Cups, have blown another tournament. In a sense they have gone backwards. Under John Mitchell, Graham Henry's predecessor, the All Blacks reached the semi-finals. Yesterday they crashed and burned in the round before.
No one, no one, will have a clue as to what Saturday's Anglo-French clash will bring. This World Cup has made a mockery of pundits, bookies, everyone. Already it is the most sensational competition in terms of upsets there has ever been which is why only a fool would attempt a prediction. more

England grind out win 23/9/07

England 44 Samoa 22

Another worringly nervy and disjointed performance by England. And all this against a Samoan side who did not have a line-out to speak of and could barely absorb the pressure at the scrummage. But at least England did grind out a victory, which means that their continuation in this World Cup rests on a straight shoot-out against Tonga at the Parc des Princes on Friday. Only a victory will do, but if the Tongans play with anything like the ferocity and precision they showed against the Springboks yesterday, England are in for another tough night. more

Jason Robinson's heroics can't help England 16/9/07

Very occasionally a game comes along which renders the normal emotional responses redundant. That match happened on Friday night at the Stade de France when England were poleaxed by South Africa. England were so inept, so woeful that the now customary reaction of anger or frustration following their dismal performances to date was inappropriate. This time the feelings went beyond rage to a dull ache of recognition that this World Cup has been calamitous for England's reputation around the world, that the players by and large are not of Test stature and that there have been serious shortcomings in the squad's selection and preparation. more

Paul Ackford

Jonny Wilkinson kicks England into final 14/10/07
England arrive by accident 7/10/07
England grind out win 23/9/07
Heroics can't help England 16/9/07
Argentina's night to remember 9/9/07
England may roar 3/9/07
Hopes and fears for WC 2/9/07
England's calamity 19/8/07
Greatest of all time  5/8/07

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