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Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news


We select the 10 best rugby union moments of a turbulent and disturbed 2020 …

We take a look at 10 of the best moments of the 2020 rugby union season and explore the achievements of the northern and southern hemispheres …

10. Nigel Owens retires after 100 international tests

Since 2001, Welsh referee Nigel Owens has honored the European match. He quickly took to the world stage and emerged as one of the most recognizable figures in the sport.

Owens refereed at the Test level from 2003 and went on to officiate four Rugby World Cups – 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 – earning the ultimate reward by refereeing the final at Twickenham in 2015.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

In December, Nigel Owens announced his retirement as an international referee, finishing with 100 caps

In December 2020, the 49-year-old announced his retirement from international refereeing after a long and distinguished career, finishing on 100 tests.

9. France comes back to life

Despite all the unpredictability and excitement France has offered in the past, the 2010s proved to be quite predictable in the sense that Les Bleus never competed for a Six Nations title from a distance, finishing in both. first only once, and that was in 2011.

An unprecedented trophy drought followed in a decade-long malaise, but in 2020 Les Bleus came back strong, playing a very attractive rugby brand that should have seen them clinch the Six Nations title.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

France, led by personalities like Antoine Dupont, is now a real force to be reckoned with on the world stage, such is their talent and their potential.

A group of young and talented players have emerged to lead the way, with a lot of depth, and there finally seems to be a half-back combination established between Romain Ntamack, 21, and Antoine Dupont, 24. In total, France have fielded 34 different half-back combinations since 2012, but now they are settled and playing brilliantly.

8. All blacks pick up the Tri-Nations

The All Blacks may not have been vintage in 2020, and the Rugby Championship / Tri-Nations may not have had a vintage either, but by the end of it New Zealand did. found the silverware.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news 5:08
New Zealand bounced back from back-to-back defeats with a 38-0 victory over Argentina in the fifth round of the Tri-Nations, before lifting the trophy

New Zealand bounced back from back-to-back defeats with a 38-0 victory over Argentina in the fifth round of the Tri-Nations, before lifting the trophy

World champion Springboks withdrew due to lack of preparation time following Covid-19, while the All Blacks were exceptionally fortunate not to lose at home to Australia for the first time since 2001 before its start, drawing a 16-16 draw at Wellington. .

At the Tri-Nations held in Australia, the All Blacks went on to lose two of their four matches – against Argentina for the first time, and against Australia too.

But, at the end of the tournament, it was the All Black players who won the medals.

7. Leinster is undefeated in the PRO14 triumph

The 2019/20 PRO14 season may have been reduced by six games due to the effect of Covid-19, but for Leinster, going undefeated in the season as he won the title was still a fantastic achievement. .

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

Leinster clinched a third PRO14 title in a row, unbeaten in the 2019/20 domestic season

In 15 regular-season games, Leinster proved perfect to dominate Conference A before beating Munster and Ulster in the semi-finals and the final – both in Dublin.

The success was the first time in history that a club has won three PRO14 titles (or the equivalent of the Celtic League) in succession, and also the first time a team has avoided defeat by winning the title since. the inaugural league in 2001.

6. England win the Six Nations in October behind closed doors

The history of the Six Nations took place in 2020 because for the very first time, a team was crowned champion behind closed doors in October.

The 2001 championship – like 2020 – was actually postponed until October, but on that occasion it was an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Britain that caused the cancellation of three tests in Ireland, and at the time, the championship ended in front of crowds.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

England became the first nation to win the Six Nations title behind closed doors in October

In 2020, we saw four games canceled due to Covid-19 – Ireland vs Italy in the fourth round, and all three games in the fifth round: Wales vs Scotland, Italy vs England and France vs Ireland.

Matches were postponed for the last two weeks of October in front of empty stadiums, and although France played the most entertaining rugby and did indeed beat England well in the first round, Eddie Jones’ men eventually did. earned on the point difference due to a crucial loss bonus. -point recovered late in Paris.

5. Alun Wyn Jones breaks record for most test selections

Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones tied the world record for test match appearances of 148 when he captained Wales against France in October, and has since extended the record to 152 (143 Country Wales, 9 British and Irish Lions).

The 35-year-old padlock played his 148th game in Paris to tie the mark set by New Zealand skipper Richie McCaw, World Cup winner.

4. Red roses seal another Grand Slam

Like the Six Nations men, the women’s championship was halted due to Covid-19 and restarted in October.

The Red Roses of England have largely shown their quality by winning a 2020 Grand Slam, with a 54-0 win over Italy at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi – their second consecutive Grand Slam triumph and their third in four years.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news 4:29
The Red Roses won a sensational third Grand Slam in four years in 2020

The Red Roses won a sensational third Grand Slam in four years in 2020

A flawless campaign in an almost flawless era for the Simon Middleton accusations.

3. Super Rugby Aotearoa

The first country to restart with rugby after the initial Covid-19 lockdown period was New Zealand, which returned in the form of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news 1:37
Crusaders celebrate fourth title in four years by running their own Haka, after stellar Aotearoa Super Rugby

Crusaders celebrate fourth title in four years by running their own Haka, after stellar Aotearoa Super Rugby

The conventional Super Rugby structure between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa had to be abandoned in favor of separate competitions within countries.

What followed was one of the best rugby clubs we have witnessed, as all five New Zealand franchises played out over 10 successive weekends, producing outstanding offensive play.

2. Exeter conquer Europe and the Premiership

In October, Heineken Champions Cup history was made when the Exeter Chiefs first became champions, beating Racing 92 31-27 in a stunning final at Ashton Gate in Bristol.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

In their first-ever European final, Exeter became the 2020 Champions Cup winner, capping an incredible story

Going all the way, the glory of Exeter has crowned a remarkable history – not least because of the origin of the chefs in such a short time.

The Chiefs had never experienced top-level rugby until 2010 – and 20 years ago they finished ninth in third place, below the Met Police. They shared a stadium with local speedway team Exeter Falcons until 15 years ago, and as recently as 2008 the Chiefs were playing in front of less than 500 people.

They went from vagabond championships to a real European force, and all in 10 years. Unbelievable.

For the previous four years leading up to 2020, the Chiefs have also made the Premiership final every year. They lost three of the four finals, however, and two in a row in 2018 and 2019. They broke that rut to clinch a historic double in 2020.

1. Pumas make history against the All Blacks

Defeating the All Blacks for the first time is extremely special, but beating them the way Argentina did, given the larger context, was nothing short of miraculous.

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news

Rugby Union’s 10 Moments of 2020: Exeter Chiefs, Argentina, Six Nations, Super Rugby Aotearoa |  Rugby news 6:43
Argentina claimed their first-ever victory over New Zealand with a magnificent 25-15 triumph in Sydney

Argentina claimed their first-ever victory over New Zealand with a magnificent 25-15 triumph in Sydney

They did it without having played a test in 13 months; 402 days. Training alone, in their gardens and homes, with family, on Zoom calls for six months of quarantine in Argentina. More than 20 members tested positive for Covid-19 in August and September.

Yet at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney on November 14, 2020, history was made as Argentina succeeded in what seemed impossible. A victory against all odds. A monumental and global sporting shock.





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