Mediocre start from England…

By all accounts it wasn’t a good match, and they are vulnerable against ‘real’ opposition, but are they ripe for a thrashing? It could be just the pre-tournament hype telling again (although reliance on ‘old talent’ like Catt and Dallaglio tells its own story). Bryn Palmer has Olli Barkley standing head and shoulders above the rest. Today’s matches continue the minnow theme Wales v Canada in Nantes, 13:00; South Africa v Samoa in Paris, 15:00; and Scotland v Portugal in St Etienne, 17:00; Ireland v Namibia in Bordeaux, 19:00.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty