Top 14

French Top 14 semi-finals all set

With the French Top 14 semi-finals, all set to go from Friday, June 17, matches including Castres, Toulouse, Montpellier, and the Bordeaux Begles will determine who can claim the famed Bouclier de Brennus shield. The pinnacle prize in French Rugby, the sides will compete as much to display their club’s abilities to peak but to […]


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 […]

Jerome Kaino wins second Top14 trophy to add to his rugby-collection

In securing his second French Top14 trophy, Jerome Kaino added to his ‘rugby-collection of awards’ over an almost 20-year career as a professional rugby player. Heralded for his individual skills, as well as his team-first priorities, Kaino has gone from provincial to International, to the European rugby market, in search of challenges – and he […]

Toulouse aiming for double after Top 14 final round
James Barker, Editor - Jun 8, 2021

Stade Toulousain are the team to beat following the conclusion of the Top 14 final round. After 26 rounds of almost non-stop action, the Champions Cup winners finished top of the league and will be looking to win their 21st Bouclier des Brennus.  #TOP14 – J26Voici le classement définitif de la saison 2020/2021 !🥇🥈Toulouse et […]

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 […]

Plenty for Jono Gibbes to do after ASM Clermont Auvergne switch
Jeremy Inson - Apr 28, 2021

Jono Gibbes is highly unlikely to change the nature of the team, but he is likely to see the sense in ensuring his side know what to do when the tide of a match starts to turn against him, and a strong defence is called for.
It may involve him opening his contacts to bring in a snarling, Kiwi attack dog to whip the defence into shape. After all, keeping a tighter defence will make life easier for Clermont when they eventually go on the attack,

James Barker, Editor - Jan 9, 2021

Following reports that Bath back row Zach Mercer will sacrifice his chances of England caps by joining Montpellier Hérault, it has been announced that Gabriel Ibitoye will join the club as a ‘medical joker’.  Neither will be impressed by their new club’s current form, however. In Round 14 they lead 19-0 at half time away […]

La Rochelle
James Barker, Editor - Nov 9, 2020

La Rochelle leads the French Top 14 after eight rounds of league action, after beating top of the table Clermont Auvergne  19-10. Last Word on Rugby brings you a summary of this weekend’s action and senior editor James Barker looks at the disrupted season so far. #TOP14 – J8Il y en a eu pour tous […]

Gavin Harper - Sep 27, 2020

Finn Russell was delighted to have helped guide Racing 92 to the Heineken Champions Cup final. The Scotland stand-off was at the heart of their win over defending champions Saracens in Paris on Saturday, and is now setting his sights on next month’s final. Racing 92 advance to the @ChampionsCup final! 💙 The Parisians end […]

Tell Us - do you read the Rugby Papers?

In these modern times, the good old Rugby Papers have appeared to become a second rate option. Compared to all the ‘rugby pods’ or independent websites available today, how does the average rugby reader actually consume content these days? Here at Last Word on Rugby, we decided to ask you ‘what is your preferred option?’ […]

French Top14 ready as September return date reached

It seemed an extreme timeline yet, French Top14 rugby has met and passed the September return date. Now rugby fans can rejoice, players can again celebrate together, as the whistle blows ‘time on’. Sitting idle for nearly four months, after the French government ruled that all sport would be postponed during the Coronavirus pandemic, there […]

Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup

There will be 24 teams in the newly announced 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup (also called the European Rugby Champions Cup). This is an increase of 20 teams from the 2019/20 Champions Cup structure. These teams will include the top eight clubs from Premiership Rugby, Guinness PRO14, and French Top 14. This new format was created […]

James Barker, Editor - Jul 3, 2020

Unlike the Gallagher Premiership and the Pro14, the French Top 14 has ended the 2019/20 domestic season. With no promotion or relegation, the existing teams are busy organising their squads ready for the restart in September. Here we have collated all the Top 14 transfers to have taken place. For obvious financial reasons, there won’t […]

Toronto Wolfpack
Sam Harris - Jun 20, 2020

Over the years there has been a natural divide for fans, players and coaches alike when it comes to rugby league and rugby union.  However, some players have switched between the codes and Last Word on Rugby has decided to look at five of the best players to play both. Sonny Bill Williams Sonny Bill […]

The Northern Hemisphere has a few cities that have both rugby union and league. These cities have one rugby code in the first-tier and a second-tier in another code. Furthermore, all three of these cities could very easily have a tier-one team in both codes of rugby. Two of them had first-tier teams in both […]

Gallagher Premiership

With the Pro14, Top14, Super Rugby and Gallagher Premiership either cancelled or postponed, the crowds seem unlikely to return to stadiums for at least a few months, maybe even next year. Therefore, Robert Rees has worked out the average attendances for all sides involved, domestically and for those in Europe.  All the average Guinness Pro14,  Gallagher Premiership […]



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France's flanker Charles Ollivon celebrates win on November 12, 2022
Connor Dickins - May 21, 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 - May 21, 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 - May 21, 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 - May 21, 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 […]