Challenge Cup

Wasps' administration leads to second Premiership club Suspended

It was with much sadness this week that stakeholders heard of Wasps’ administration, which saw a second Premiership Rugby club suspended from the 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership. The London-based club released a statement saying, “Wasps Holdings Limited (the Company) was placed into Administration on 17 October 2022 and immediately ceased to trade”. With suspicion warranted prior […]

Worcester Warriors; Sione Vailanu breaks through Newcastle Falcon's defence at Sixways Stadium
Tom Wade - Apr 5, 2022

They may have a week off as the European Challenge Cup returns this weekend but that’s not to say that all associated with the Worcester Warriors will for one minute not be paying attention to this weekend’s fixtures. After finishing their European campaign back in January as they saw off United Championship Rugby side Zebre […]

Postponed Round Two Heineken Champions Cup a 'draw'

With the official word from European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) that all postponed Round Two Heineken Champions Cup/Challenge Cup games will now be recorded as a 0-0 draw. It means each team collects two points, irrespective of their squad Covid-status [at that time] or ability to travel. Following a series of meetings of the Board […]

Connor Dickins - Sep 17, 2021

Love them or loathe them, Saracens 2021/22 will certainly add some star power to the Gallagher Premiership this season. Will the former Gallagher Premiership champions manage to reach Twickenham for the Final? Ins and Outs for Saracens 2021/22 From their Championship campaign, club stalwart Michael Rhodes and hot prospect Ali Crossdale are the most notable […]

Connor Dickins - Sep 17, 2021

Worcester will be desperately hoping to improve on their last-place finish in the Gallagher Premiership last season. Worcester Warriors 2021/22 Director of Rugby Alan Solomons won’t have the fear of relegation, but, will hope the Warriors can be far more competitive. Worcester Warriors 2021/22 Gallagher Premiership Focus Can Worcester climb the table of such a […]

James Barker, Editor - Sep 10, 2021

Last Word on Rugby is refocusing attention on the Gallagher Premiership ahead of the 2021/22 season. We move on to London Irish, who can look forward to their first proper season back in London, with crowds allowed to return. Biggest departure It can only be stalwart Blair Cowan for this title. He stuck with them […]

James Barker, Editor - Sep 7, 2021

In the fourth article of our feature series, Last Word on Rugby focuses attention on the Gallagher Premiership ahead of the Gloucester 2021/22 season. This edition turns the focus on Gloucester Rugby, who will be aiming to improve on a disappointing 11th place finish last time out. Focus on Gloucester 2021/22 – Biggest departure The […]

James Barker, Editor - Jul 21, 2021

The Champions Cup 2021/22 draw was announced today as the build-up to the new season ramps up. As in last season, the 24 teams were drawn into two pools. Tier 1 sides will take on Tier 4 clubs, whilst Tier 2 and 3 teams will play each other home and away. After the success of […]

United Rugby Championship revealed: Opinion

The United Rugby Championship has been revealed, replacing the PRO14 and including four former Super Rugby teams from South Africa. This new competition is the realization of long-brewing plans to include the South African teams in European rugby after their fallout with Super Rugby. It should be noted though that the competition has yet to […]

Northern Hemisphere rugby playoffs began with JTL/EPCR fixtures

After the Japan Top Rugby and European Professional Club Rugby playoffs concluded, the scene is set for more Northern Hemisphere rugby playoffs over the next month. Japan Top League (JTL) finals played out on the opposite side of the globe, while the two leading European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) leagues played their respective finals; the […]

European Player of the Year nominees #EPOTY2021

Yet again, a selection of men from assorted clubs will be in competition to claim European Player of the Year 2021. Picked from all sides apart from the Gallagher Premiership, to discover the one player from French Top 14, and the Guinness PRO14 leagues who are judged by both in a public vote and most […]

Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16
James Barker, Editor - Apr 7, 2021

The hugely interrupted European calendar this season has provided an opportunity for live test changes to the tournament format. Original plans had the well-supported Champions Cup Round of 16 adjusted in the 2020/21 season. The group stages had already been cut from six games to four, and we ultimately only saw two games before Covid-19 […]

European Professional Club Rugby season overloaded

Forced to do it, the executive for European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) has taken the drastic decision to not rescheduled postponed matches in European competition. “The decision was made by the EPCR executive,” said Darren Childs. Premiership Rugby’s chief executive added: “The reason we can’t reschedule those is that there are no available weekends. Our season […]

Cardiff Blues
T.J. Davies - Jan 13, 2021

Cardiff Blues’ Director of Rugby, John Mulvihill, has left his role six months prior to its planned three-year expiry. The region shiftily cited “personal reasons”. Dai Young, original Blues coach, has returned as interim Director of Rugby. Blues are stalled in fourth place, having won five of eleven games in the Guinness Pro14 this season. […]

T.J. Davies - Dec 21, 2020

Wales‘ national team has had a torrid year and the regional teams haven’t fared much better, but the festive Welsh rugby derbies are here regardless. Can they add a little sparkle to an otherwise ugly year as they battle to be the best Welsh region? History has a little something to say about that. History […]

Joe Simmonds

The 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season is complete and Exeter Chiefs have been crowned champions. Looking back at the domestic and European campaigns of each of the 12 clubs, Robert Rees grades each sides performances. Grades are given based on a combined domestic/European contribution, but Champions Cup rates higher than Challenge Cup. Exeter Chiefs – A++ […]

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France's flanker Charles Ollivon celebrates win on November 12, 2022
Connor Dickins - Oct 26, 2020

Are ‘rugby values’ truly superior to those of other sports? Not according to Rugby analyst Robbie Owen (or Squidge Rugby, as preferably known). According to Owen, rugby often pats itself on the back for actions that “other sports can do without needing a round of applause”. Some fans may not like it, but he is […]

England's 'finishers' provide blueprint to beat the Springboks
Charlie Inglefield - Oct 26, 2020

Sir Clive Woodward is not a fan of the expression ‘Finishers’. His understandable argument is that all players should be capable of playing 80 minutes. But with all due respect to Sir Clive, England’s finishers nearly pulled off a remarkable victory over the All Blacks on Saturday. Messrs. Dave Ribbans, Mako Vunipola, Will Stuart, Freddie […]

Suspensions to Antoine DuPont/Pieter-Steph du Toit for red cards

With suspensions announced for star players Antoine DuPont and Pieter-Steph du Toit, it comes at the wrong time for World Rugby. The last fully contested weekend of the Autumn Nations Series was bereft of two superstars that are both former recipients of World Rugby men’s Player of the Year. It is bad timing, especially for […]

Russell and Townsend
Thomas Booth - Oct 26, 2020

Russell and Townsend, “Strange bedfellows?” At the time of writing this, Finn Russell is tearing it up at Murrayfield against Argentina. Admittedly, Los Pumas are depleted in numbers due to ill-discipline. Having said that, the players (Russell included) can only play against what they are presented with on the day. Darcy's at the double 🤩 […]

England can beat the All Blacks with a bit of unpredictability
Charlie Inglefield - Oct 26, 2020

England put on a much-improved performance against Japan after their limp display over the Pumas. An error-ridden Japan were poor, allowing England to rediscover their confidence ahead of this Saturday’s huge clash where they intend to beat the All Blacks. New Zealand, by contrast, was taken all the way by a brave Scottish team before […]

France Wins Bronze Medal over Rugby Canada in Auckland, New Zealand

This Saturday on the last day of the World Cup, France wins bronze medal at Eden Park. This was France’s third-straight bronze medal, and while disappointing not to appear in the Cup final, they completed a confidence-boosting win. Rugby Canada finished in fourth place [for the fourth time] and must look closely at this result. […]

RWC2023 headquarters staff under investigation by French authorities

Staff at the French Rugby RWC2023 headquarters are under investigation by authorities, with news that the France 2023 Ethics Committee was continuing its inquiry into the operation. Reuters stated that ‘Claude Atcher, the chief executive officer of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France [organization], has been sacked after a report by the French Labour […]

USA Eagles/Portugal RWC Playoff qualification match

After two rounds of RWC playoff qualification matches completed, two out of the four sides in this knockout tournament remain; the USA Eagles and Portugal. And one last game is scheduled for  Friday, November 18. Qualification for the 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC) is limited to 24 sides, and just one place remains in Pool […]