Tom Fordyce

Chief sports writer, BBC Sport

Analysis and opinion from our chief sports writer

About Tom

Tom is the BBC's chief sports writer.... Read more about Tom Fordyce

With cricket, rugby, athletics and tennis among the sports he covers, he provides insight and commentary into the characters, stories and big events that make the sporting world go round.

He has covered Olympic Games, World Championships, rugby World Cups and Ashes tours home and away, as well as the Ryder Cup and multiple Wimbledons.

Winner of Sports Blogger of the Year, he is an amateur sportsman of minimal note but was recently included in the UK Press Gazette's list of the top 50 UK sports journalists.

six nations ireland

'Finale where we fell back in love'

Read full article on Six Nations: Final day was surely championship's most thrilling ever

Somewhere, shaking his cauliflower ears in dismay, a grizzled old retired prop was probably secretly wishing someone would just stick the ball up his jumper and make a cautious three inches.

For everyone else watching this was surely the most thrilling day that Five or Six Nations rugby has seen: a fantasy finale, a chest-squeezer and knee-knocker, a day to fall back in love.

Does watching sport make us happy?

Read full article on International Day of Happiness: Does sport make us happy?

Does watching sport make us happy? That seems an easy one: when our lot win it does, when they lose it doesn't.

Except it's never that simple. Only one team in a division can win the title each season. Only one player can win a Grand Slam event or major. Only one captain can raise the Six Nations trophy this weekend. "Sport is about people who lose and lose and lose," the great American journalist Gay Talese once wrote. "They lose games, then they lose their jobs."

Thorpe on how to play spin

Read full article on Thorpe on how to play spin

Two Tests in, the dominant plotline of England's series in India could not be more clear.

With due deference to the weary seam toilers, this is a contest defined almost entirely by the two team's relative successes in playing spin. In Ahmedabad it was England's batsmen sent spiralling, losing seven wickets for 71 in their pivotal first innings; in Mumbai, India lost all but one of their 20 wickets to Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann.

Fragile England dreamy & nightmarish

Read full article on Six Nations 2015: Inconsistent England dreamy & nightmarish

Sir Clive Woodward, as so often, had a catchy acronym for it: T-CUP.

Unlike some of his footballing equivalents, the former England coach was not throwing them against dressing-room walls. It was less about smashing than the cerebral: Thinking Clearly Under Pressure.

Should England expect to win Slams?

Read full article on Six Nations 2015: Should England expect to win Grand Slams?

Is it over-ambitious or arrogant for England supporters to dream of Grand Slams?

For dreaming is all they can do for another long year after Ireland's comprehensive 19-9 win in Dublin, even as England's players will be experiencing nightmares about balls raining down on them from the icy heavens for weeks to come.

The Apprentice v The Master

Read full article on Six Nations: Apprentice George Ford v The Master Johnny Sexton

One will be the smallest man on the pitch, a 21-year-old international novice in his first season of Six Nations rugby. The other is teak-tough and combat-hardened, 400 international points further down the line and - at 29 years old - arguably the best player in his position in world rugby.

The battle between opposing fly-halves George Ford and Johnny Sexton in Dublin this weekend should be scarcely that, more apprentice and master than heavyweight contest.

How do you make rugby a safer sport?

Read full article on Six Nations 2015: Nine ways to make rugby a safer sport

Blood and thunder, guts and glory. The Six Nations has always been defined by physical confrontation, but this winter has seen the bodies piling up like seldom before.

George North, struck twice on the head with sickening force. His Wales team-mate Samson Lee concussed, the forehead of his fly-half Dan Biggar lacerated in another collision.

Clubbable Clarke in good shape to lead

Read full article on Darren Clarke has all qualities required for Ryder Cup captaincy

A list, in no particular order, of the ideal qualities required by a successful Ryder Cup captain: a stellar playing record in the contest, experience as a vice-captain; deference from his own players and respect from the opposition's; the ability to flourish under pressure, a relish for precision planning.

All of which makes Darren Clarke's appointment to lead Europe in the early autumn of 2016 the most straightforward selection this edition will see.

Further progress, but more to come

Read full article on Six Nations: George Ford sparks England but plenty more to come

After the unexpected delight for England supporters of last week's stirring comeback victory over Wales, Saturday's 47-17 win over Italy appears a predictable pleasure: six tries, some scintillating running, a 21st victory in 21 contests between the two.

Then you look at the statistics, and a more complicated picture emerges: a 30-point winning margin but less possession than Italy, less territory, more tackles missed and fewer line breaks made.