First off, a huge thank you to the guys at Swordfish for letting us come down today. Also, thanks to the secretary with the red hair; that sandwich was dynamite. Dan and I had a solid 3 hours on the game played on the coolest TV I have ever seen. We didn't have a list of controls, so it's very likely that there are things we didn't manage to discover. I'll try and tackle the queries you guys wanted answering. Kicks Like in WCR, really. DGs are pretty difficult, as you're always taking the ball at pace, but that's not always a bad thing. Grubbers and punts work in the same way as WCR, as I remember; holding down the button brings up a range-meter out in front of the kicker to direct the kick and show how far it's going. The goal-kicking is a new system, and it's pretty cool. You can choose where to place the ball, then select the direction and amount of power (0-100%). After that a swing-o-meter comes up, and you have to try and stop it in the middle. The speed of the swing depends on the amount of power and the skill of your kicker. It takes a little bit of getting used to, but it's a good change. Pass/offloads By double/triple tapping pass, you can make huge mispasses, which makes for a good game. Sometimes, particularly at the base of a ruck/maul, the pass animation is a little bit odd, but I'm nitpicking. The offload system is really, really good. To start with you'll try it all the time, and the ball will probably go to ground, but timed right it's awesome. You can even offload out of a dump tackle, so while the other guy is celebrating a big hit, you can trot under the posts. Very good. The ruck system is the same as WCR, but the button-bashing has been toned way down. The scrum and maul system is another new aspect; a circle emerges above your team with a coloured quarter. A dot travels around the edge of the circle, and you have to hit X when the dot is in the coloured section. Sounds complicated, but it's really straight forward. Everytime you get it right it results in a shove forward. Sidesteps are R1 then L1, like WCR, but there are numerous animations. As well as the normal step (which ripped Dan apart in our first game, as Barkely carved up the Sarries midfield) and the spin that people like Robinson have, there's a step where you swing the ball around a bit Fijian style. The shouts of 'ole' while you do it are optional, but well worth it. Fends are made with O, but it's down to timing, and we didn't really get them to work much. The more powerful guys (everyone has a strength rating) bust through tackles after a split-second pause in contact. There are tons of tackle animations, from simply holding someone up for a maul, to ankle-taps. The big hit tackle isn't just limited to a shoulder barge that knocks out the ball, but also includes numerous driving tackles and dumps. The advantage doesn't last too long, but we were playing pretty frenetically, so we weren't sure whether it's due to time or playing advantage. There weren't a huge number of infringements in the games we played. I don't know if that's down to the fact that it's hard to give away penalties, or that we were playing champange rugby. The defense does line up about 10m back from the breakdown, but this doesn't happen when you get closer to the line. Dan was camped in my 22m for ages, and found it difficult to cross (although he did put 30 odd past me in one). We only played against CPU on Fun mode, so not sure how big of a threat they will be attacking-wise. The matchday squad is 22, and you can alter the starting XV prior to kick off. We didn't get a chance to look into editing the squads, but in career the squad is 25 (so you have 3 reserves). The squads are really up to date; Andy Farrell is included as an Outside Centre (someone wanted to know). In career, everyone gets the same basic squad (which includes Dan at prop and Rob at 8). You get to choose the name of your team, the home/away kits and all sorts. There are fitness/strength/skills coaches, and you have to look about how you're going to invest your money. We didn't get a chance to see if that included wages, but I assume you get more money from winning games. There is a transfer window at the start of the year. I think that at each window, there will be a different roster of free agents (where people who gave their details will appear at some point). I think that's right. If not, I'm sure I'll be corrected. Didn't get a chance to look at the Super 14 kits (they've got all sorts of crazy names, so I'm not sure who was who). The Aussie/NZ kits are just like WCR. In fact, I'm pretty sure the players names are the same (Sailor's Jeff Stanton, Gregan is Brian Dowling, like that gay guy who won Big Brother; accident?). Like WCR, you can tell who alot of them are. Off the top of my head, the licensed teams are England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Italy and a couple of other internationals. Didn't get a chance to see if the French teams we right, but the Celtic/GP teams certainly are. One point though; as the game's classed 3+, there's no alcohol sponsorship, so the likes of Bath, Bristol and Scotland won't have sponsors, but the kits are otherwise extremely accurate. The doesn't seem to be a problem with the Guiness Premiership being alcohol sponsorhip, so I don't know if London Irish will have Guiness on their shirts. England have their new shirts, but didn't see if Scotland did. I was sceptical when I heard the commentary was done by Inverdale and Dewi Morris, but it's actually very good (far better than WCR). The undoubted high point was when one game went to half time, Dewi Morris asked Inverdale if he fancied a pie. Ian assures us that there are plenty of bits like that hidden away. There are a ton of unlockables, which range from easy (we got the England 2003 squad by beating the CPU once) to damn near impossible (beat England with Fiji without passing left/win by only having possession once). You don't know exactly what you're going to unlock until you do it. The Classic teams you unlock can be used in friendlies. The only notable crowd chant was Swing Low. If you play at the Millenium Stadium in the day, the roof is open, but if you play at night, it's closed. Nice touch. You only have 6 stadiums to start with; Twickenham, Millenium Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Murrayfield, the Stade de Tournare (which sounds familiar) and another one I think is made up. There are 6 more to unlock. There are a few types of beard. Rob's differs greatly with Danny Grewcock's. The commentators didn't appear to have any trouble with the letter V. Just a couple of negatives (which I really had to look for); the ref and linesmen have their wrists and hands taped. Not sure why. Maybe they're doing a White Power demo, I'm not sure. One other thing that we noticed was that the ball carrier's legs can go into touch if they go into a ruck, but it won't be given as out unless the ball crosses the line. That's about the only real fault. That's about all I can remember now. I'm sure Dan will have other stuff in his review. I'll try and answer any questions you've got, but there was a lot in the game we didn't really have a chance to play with.