French Top 14
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.
Australia winger Digby Ioane will make his much-anticipated Stade Francais debut against Perpignan on Sunday, his club said Saturday.
Welsh rugby seems set to reach a new crisis point next week as the four regions are not expected to sign a new participation agreement. The Welsh Rugby Union had set a deadline of 31 December to sign a new agreement, replacing the current five-year deal that expires in June 2014.
All focus for big-spending Racing-Metro and 2009 champions Perpignan will be on the top six when the second half of the French Top 14 season gets under way this weekend.
Both Racing and Perpignan came into this season with heady ambitions both at home and on the European front.
The Premiership clubs have been dealt a huge blow in their quest for a new European competition as the French clubs today agreed to stay in the Heineken Cup for another season.
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:
Rory Kockott was voted French Top 14 player of last season on Monday night at the awards ceremony in Paris.
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.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button told the story of a man who lived his life backwards, being born an old man before dying many years later as a newborn baby. Johnnie Beattie is doing something similar with his rugby career.
Toulon are hoping to sign England veteran lock Simon Shaw as injury cover for South African Bakkies Botha in France’s Top 14.
A month into the season and the usual complaints are being tossed around. The moans have once again begun about matches being determined by penalty goals rather than tries, that the scrums are a mess and there are too many dead spots in games.
As the international season winds up, Greg Growden rates the top competitors before next year’s World Cup in New Zealand.
MONDAY MAUL – Greg Growden surprised me with this article. I thought everything he says is pro Australia and he never criticize his own team. Well read this article by him. He makes a few very debatable statements and hits the nail on the head with some others. Enjoy it..
Injuries have reduced the Wallabies to a make-shift line-up. If all players were available, they would look a vastly different side. Greg Growden reports from Bloemfontein.
Yes, the Waratahs do deserve to be in the Super 14 finals. They’ve certainly had their lucky moments and dead spots over the past three months, but showed against the Hurricanes they have the qualities to be a finals side.
A load of bull has been uttered about the Bulls. So what if they rest up to 13 top-tier players for the final round match against the Stormers this weekend? That is the privilege of finishing well ahead of everyone else. That allows them certain luxuries.
Article by Greg Growden on Rugby Heaven, Australia
With six rounds to go before the Super 14 finals, Greg Growden provides his half-term report and tells who are the finals contenders and pretenders.