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.

England captain Chris Robshaw holds his head in his hands as he leaves the pitch after defeat in Dublin

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.

Watson & Joseph: England's likely lads

Read full article on Six Nations: England's Watson & Joseph are 'point of difference'

Point of difference. A curious phrase, shorn of emotion, clumsily opaque, and everywhere around the England camp as this Six Nations develops.

This, for the uninitiated, is modern rugby's prosaic way of describing what is also known as the X-factor - a sprinkling of stardust, that rare ability to lift us punters off our seats and get our hearts and fists pumping.

Wales v England: the key questions

Read full article on Wales v England: What we learned from Six Nations opener

It was, according to World Cup-winning coach Sir Clive Woodward, the biggest opening fixture in the history of the Six Nations - but what did Friday's epic between Wales and England actually mean when the dust and debris settled?

Are Stuart Lancaster's side gaining real momentum in World Cup year? Has Wales' defeat exposed them as one-dimensional and lacking strength in depth? And does this result really mean much in the longer term, bar a night of glory for the victors?

Can depleted England win in Cardiff?

Read full article on Six Nations 2015: Can depleted England beat Wales in Cardiff?

Sweet dreams and screaming nightmares are made of this: 70,000 cavorting Wales fans chanting, "Easy! Easy!" as their side butcher England by a record-breaking margin to steal the Six Nations title away.

Two years have passed since that dramatic dismemberment at a heaving Millennium Stadium, but as Wales and England prepare to meet in Cardiff again this Friday evening, memories and war-wounds are being opened afresh.

Is patriotism pivotal to Test rugby?

Read full article on Six Nations 2015: Is patriotism still important in international rugby?

"Look what this lot have done to Wales. They've taken our coal, our water, our steel. They buy our houses and they only live in them for a fortnight every 12 months. What have they given us? Absolutely nothing. We've been exploited, controlled and punished by the English - and that's who you're playing this afternoon."

This was how skipper Phil Bennett chose to ignite his red-shirted team-mates before Wales met England in 1977: a rousing oration to match the most stirring of sporting occasions.

The big man with a nice reputation

Read full article on Peter Crouch: The Premier League millionaire everybody likes?

Imagine a player with more Premier League assists than Cristiano Ronaldo or Paul Scholes, with more Premier League goals than Fernando Torres or Dennis Bergkamp.

Imagine if he had more goals for England than Kevin Keegan, Steven Gerrard or David Beckham, with a goals-per-minute ratio significantly superior to Michael Owen and Gary Lineker and twice as good as Alan Shearer.