As we bid farewell to 2013 and move into 2014, the European rugby circuit is still active, albeit less active than normal.
We take a brief look at the appointment of referees and match officials till 5 January 2014.
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill accused Sale of “cheating” at the scrum following their 30-23 victory over the Sharks at Welford Road.
Whilst South African and Southern Hemisphere referees are sitting with their feet up or bare feet in the sand at the coast this Festive Season, their Northern Hemisphere counterparts are still at work.
So where do you really want to live, in leisurely summer time in the Southern Hemisphere or in the cold gloom and doom of icy winter in the Northern Hemisphere?
Here are the referees doing duty till 29 December 2013.
Saracens (18) 49 / 10 (10) Leicester Tigers (Final Score)
Saracens and Leicester Tigers did battle in the Aviva Premiership at
Allianz Park at 17:15 SA Time (15:15 GMT).
This was the live match discussion Article.
The match was broadcast LIVE on SuperSport 1 & SHD on TV in SA.
It will be the Premiership leaders against the defending champions when Saracens host Leicester at Allianz Park for the first time on Saturday.
Saracens have lost just one match this season, leaving them ten points ahead of the Fifth-placed Tigers, but Leicester flank Jamie Gibson believes that things are beginning to click at the right time.
London Irish are set to announce a takeover of the club by a group of Irish businessmen on Thursday. The club have called a news conference at their training ground in Sunbury for 10:30 GMT, where they will announce further details of the takeover.
Bath director of rugby Gary Gold has left the Premiership club. The 46-year-old South African took over at the Rec in May 2012, replacing Sir Ian McGeechan.
The season may have ended for International sides like the South African Springboks and the New Zealand All Blacks, but we still officially have one Test weekend left on the End Of Year Tours in 2013, and it is this weekend!
The Barbarians take on Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon at 16:30 SA Time (14:30 GMT), with a number of prominent Springboks and All Blacks in the Barbarians side and Wales host the Wallabies from Australia at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff at 19:00 SA Time (17:00 GMT).
But that’s not all folks, we have some quality Sevens Rugby on Friday and Saturday (HSBC Sevens World Series, Dubai Tournament) and we also have the Varsity Sevens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday… all broadcast live. In addition we have Aviva Pemiership Round 9 rugby betwwen Gloucester vs Leicester Tigers and French Top 14 Round 13 rugby between Perpignon vs Clermont Auvergne on Friday night and an Aviva Premiershpi Round 9 rugby match between Newcastle Falcons vs Harlequins on Sunday
Here are the broadcast times for Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
Five players at English Premiership clubs have tested positive for recreational drug use during the 2012 / 13 season, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) announced on Tuesday.
Exeter Chiefs might have just got one over local rivals Gloucester Rugby in their own back yard, but head coach Rob Baxter insists there is plenty more to come from his side this Aviva Premiership season.
Aussie flank Ben White says Exeter Chiefs cannot wait to get stuck into Leicester Tigers in their latest Premiership encounter this Sunday.
Buoyed by back-to-back league wins over London Wasps and London Irish, the Chiefs are now busy preparing themselves for the visit of the defending champions to Sandy Park.
In what can surely only be described as a moment of madness Gloucester’s loose head prop Nick Wood looked down lifted his right leg and brought it down on former Bulls flanker Jacques Burger’s head as he lay prone at the bottom of a ruck. This meant Wood’s participation in Gloucester’s Premiership match away to Saracens on Saturday ended within a minute and a half of it starting as the referee quite rightly brandished the red card.
Leicester Tigers may have started the new Premiership season with a bonus-point victory but flank Julian Salvi insists the reigning champions are gunning for an even more ruthless performance next time out.
Newcastle Falcons will be keen to prove they are worthy when they get the 2013/14 Premiership season underway against Bath at Kingston Park tonight. While the opening round has a number of intriguing fixtures – London Irish v Saracens, Gloucester v Sale Sharks, Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs, London Wasps v Harlequins and Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors – it is the Falcons that will hog most of the early limelight.
Leicester boss Richard Cockerill has criticised the British and Irish Lions management over their handling of injuries to centre Manu Tuilagi and scrum-half Ben Youngs.
Marketing men rub their hands as Sevens format quickly gains ground around the world. “Get on the train and see where it takes you,” is how Mark McCafferty of the Aviva Premiership described this past weekend’s inaugural World Club Sevens.
Aviva Premiership Rugby club Bath have announced that Springbok flanker Francois Louw has signed a new long term deal with the Club.
Ulster and Ireland hooker Rory Best has been called up to the British and Irish Lions squad for their tour to Australia, which begins with a trip to Hong Kong to face the Barbarians next Saturday.
This is Saracens fourth successive Premiership semifinal and their fifth overall, however they have lost their last three semifinal encounters in all competitions.
Guy Mercer is under no illusions about the importance of Bath’s final match of the season, and insists the players are ready to end their Premiership season on a high.
When Toulon’s superstars roll into town for this weekend’s Heineken Cup semi-final they will find in their way a Saracens side who are the only English club left in the last four of Europe’s elite club competition.
This weekend sees action in the penultimate round of the league stage of the Aviva Premiership with the first match of the round being between Gary Gold’s Bath and Leicester Tigers. The final match of the weekend is scheduled for Sunday afternoon with London Wasps at home to Exeter Chiefs.
Ex-London Welsh team manager Mike Scott has been banned for life from rugby union for falsifying documents to make it appear a player was English.
The club were deducted five points and fined £15,000 on Thursday for fielding an ineligible player after selecting New Zealander Tyson Keats this season.
Bath second row Dominic Day admits that it is win at all costs when they welcome West Country rivals Gloucester to the Rec on Friday. Day and co will be itching to return to winning ways after their run of six straight victories in all competitions came to an end with their narrow 23-25 defeat at Northampton Saints.
Harlequins will look to cement their place at the top of the Premiership standings when they visit Salford City Stadium on Friday. Up against the troubled and bottom-placed Sale Sharks, defending champion Quins are expected to collect a full-house five points.
As pointed out by Scrumdown, one of our knowledgeable contributors, yesterday Saracens played their first Premiership game at their new home ground, the Allianz Park, in Barnet Copthall. The match was played on an artificial surface and although it is the second game that has been played there it was the first one that they played in front of ten thousand people which is a capacity crowd for the stadium.
With an exciting weekend of Premiership rugby the focus seems to be on the clash between table-topping Harlequins and fourth placed London Wasps.
Freddie Burns will look to lead Gloucester to victory over London Irish in a key Premiership clash at Kingsholm on Saturday.
Freddie Burns insists he’s relishing the added responsibility placed on his shoulders this season and believes Gloucester have every chance of celebrating a Premiership top-four finish this campaign.
Leicester Tigers will play host to Gloucester at Welford Road on Saturday in the key clash of the last round of the Premiership in 2012.
Today we had 2 Aviva Premiership games on TV, and we had this Live Game Article… but with a difference.
We were more casual, giving updates whilst talking nonsense inbetween.
How’s that for a nice mix?
The battle between the four frontrunners for pole position on the Premiership standings will heat up in this weekend’s Round 11 action.
So close is the title hunt that any of the Harlequins (33), Saracens (32), Northampton Saints (31) or Leicester Tigers (30) could top the standings at the conclusion of the weekend’s play.
Table-topping Harlequins will look to return to winning ways when they welcome Worcester Warriors to Twickenham Stoop in the opening Round 10 fixture on Friday.
It will be a bottom-of-the-table clash when Sale Sharks take on London Irish to kick off the Premiership action on Friday.
After two emphatic European victories Worcestor Warriors will be keen to give their home crowd something to cheer about in the Premiership against Sale Sharks on Friday.
Wing Mark Cueto admits it is easy for Sale Sharks to get bogged down with the negatives of their start to the Premiership season, but he insists only a positive frame of mind will bring a change of fortune.