Rugby Union Weekly
Rugby Union Weekly
Om Rugby Union Weekly
Rugby Union Weekly is presented by Ugo Monye, Chris Jones and Danny Care. Between the bickering and tangents they’ll bring you special guests and cover the biggest stories in the game.
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In part two, Ashy tries to build bridges in Munster as he chats to Craig Casey about the glory days at Thomond Park and what it means to represent the club. Josh Turnbull tells us why he's had part of his fibula removed and it led to him recreating a famous scene from Kill Bill. Sara chats to Gary Ringrose about his tough year with Leinster and Ireland. Plus, Ashy is reunited with another former team-mate and finally gets a good review.
Ashy and Sara are at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium for this year's Champions Cup launch. Bath's Ben Spencer reveals what it's like to have Finn Russell in your team and whether Ashy was a help or hindrance to his rise. Two-time winner Raymond Rhule tells us how he managed to walk away with the corner flag from last year's final and all about the 'manager' Ronan O'Gara. Ben Curry reminisces about his time with Ashy at Sale and how he will get his own back on brother Tom now he's out injured. We also hear from EPCR chairman Dom Mckay on changes to this year's format and where we're at with a potential Club World Cup in 2028.
The big talking point this week is still around Owen Farrell's decision to take a break from international rugby. Ashy, Danny and Ugo show their support for Farrell and give an insight into dealing with scrutiny from the media and fans when you're an international rugby player. England's Kyle Sinckler is on the pod and believes more could follow Farrell's example in the future if the authorities don't give more support to players. There is also a look at the another difficult week for Newcastle and Gloucester and our attention turns to the Champions Cup which returns this weekend.
Before getting stuck into the weekend's action, Ugo, Ashy and Chris discuss the all-important question when it comes to Christmas trees: real or fake? There's a look at Gloucester's struggles, Maro Itoje's future and Blair Kinghorn's move to the greatest club side in the world. Ashy offers an interesting theory on why Owen Farrell and Luke Pearce clashed at the weekend. We also pick a new Premiership club for a listener and argue who is top of the Top 14.
Danny is back on the pod to tell Chris all about the highs and lows of his World Cup in France. He also invites his new England friend, and arguably the Premiership's in-form player, Ollie Lawrence on for a chat. There's lots to unpick from derby weekend as Saracens once again underline their credentials as the league's best. Abbie Ward caps a remarkable return on the PWR opening weekend and Antoine Dupont gets us talking after opting to ditch the Six Nations for the Olympics.
Wayne Barnes, one of the greatest rugby referees in history, joins Chris, Ugo and Ashy on the sofa. Barnes retired from officiating after taking charge of the Rugby World Cup final, his 111th international match. He reflects on his magnificent career, which games stick in the memory, and why a certain bar in New Zealand has a special place in his heart. Barnes also discusses what the sport should look like going forward, and whether refereeing is a science or an art.
Chris, Ugo and Ashy reconvene at the pod’s spiritual home, a far cry from promenades in Nice and beaches in Marseille. But the show goes on with plenty to discuss. How does a player reacclimatise to club duty after the highs of a World Cup? And how big a season is this for the Premiership? We also discuss where Wales go at fly-half, Rassie Erasmus continuing to take centre stage at the Springboks, and reflect on the Red Roses’ triumph in New Zealand.
We welcome two of the biggest names in the sport onto the Daily as we continue our build-up to the World Cup final. Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and All Blacks star Beauden Barrett joins us from their respective team announcements in Paris. There is plenty going on off the field for Chris and Sara to discuss and Paul Grayson is back in our favourite bistro as he breaks down where the final will be won and lost on Saturday.
Chris heads to England's base in the outskirts of Paris to see Ben Youngs, who will call time on his international career after his 127th appearance on Friday. England's most capped men's player looks back on his illustrious career which spans four World Cups, reveals his favourite moment in an England shirt and why it's the right time to step away. Steve Borthwick is full of praise for Youngs and another England centurion, Courtney Lawes, who has also called time on his career. Borthwick also condemns the online abuse Tom Curry has received this week and how the team have rallied around the flanker ahead of his 50th cap.
To kickstart World Cup final week Sara sits down with All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens and former Springbok captain Bob Skinstad to look at the rivalry between these two great rugby nations. They start with their most famous encounter, the 1995 World Cup final, as Mehrts recalls meeting Nelson Mandela minutes before kick-off and the issues in the New Zealand camp during final week. We hear about the All Blacks winning their first Test series in South Africa one year later, and look ahead to the final this weekend as the winner becomes the first nation to win four World Cups. Skinstad explains what would it mean for the Boks to go back-to-back and gives a fascinating insight into head coach Jacques Nienaber.
Chris and Paul Grayson head into the England camp to get the inside track on their team to face the South Africa in the semi-final. A very excited Ben Earl joins the pod to tell us how he is feeling ahead of their showdown in Paris and how he’s dealing with ticket requests. Steve Borthwick explains the changes he’s made from the quarter-final and what this occasion means to him. We also chat to our favourite Springbok Bob Skinstad about Rassie’s latest mind games and where England can hurt South Africa in the semi-final.
Chris and Sara are reunited in Paris for the first time since the opening week as preparation for the semi-finals continues to ramp up. There are more hotel incidents to discuss, this time involving Paul Grayson. And with rain forecast this weekend, how will that affect the two semis? We visit both the Argentina and New Zealand camps as they announce their teams for Friday's semi-final. We hear from All Blacks World Cup winner Andy Ellis on Ian Foster's renaissance and Mark Telea's return. We also get the lowdown from Argentinian journalist Frankie Deges on being the underdogs and how a Pumas win could inspire the next generation of players.
It’s semi-final week and Chris heads to find Danny for the lowdown on how England are preparing for their showdown with the world champions. We hear how the players marked their quarter-final win over Fiji and whether you should ever have chips with a Chinese. And after watching an epic in the Stade de France last weekend, Paul Grayson decides not to leave Paris, and offers a few ways England can shock the Boks on Saturday evening.
In this bumper pod ahead of the World Cup quarter-finals, Chris and Sara track down some of the biggest names in the sport. Chris chats to World Cup winners Matt Dawson and Joel Stransky in Marseille about England and South Africa's picks at fly-half, what to expect from Fiji and the importance of Jac Morgan if Wales are to beat Argentina. Meanwhile in Paris, Sara sits down with Thierry Dusautoir and Richie McCaw to reminisce about the epic quarter-final clash in 2007, Antoine Dupont's return and Sam Cane's captaincy. Sara also gets an Ireland perspective on their quarter-final with former Ireland forward Chris Henry.
Ashy has made it back to Toulon and heads to Wales media with Chris to be reunited with his former team-mate Nick Tompkins. What did he learn, if anything, from Ashy when they were at Saracens together? Tompkins also talks about nailing down a place Warren Gatland's midfield and going from a tough Six Nations campaign to the brink of a World Cup semi-final. We also join up with Sara on the outskirts of Paris with good friend of the pod Murray Kinsella to preview Ireland's blockbuster quarter-final against New Zealand. Is it finally time for Ireland to end their quarter-final curse?
Chris and Ashy are reunited in Marseille after a brilliant final weekend to cap the pool stages. Fiji set up a quarter-final with England but the night belonged to Portugal in Toulouse. Argentina finally arrive at the World Cup, so how worried should Wales be? And are Ireland now favourites for the World Cup after their demolition of Scotland in Paris? Danny is also on the pod after his heroics against Samoa, but who does Ashy think should start in the midfield next weekend?
Matt brings you another special pod with a World Cup icon, Wallabies great Michael Lynagh. They look back on his three World Cups in the green and gold including their triumph in 1991, the mistakes they made in 1995 and what it was like to play with David Campese. Lynagh also gives his take on the current Australia team who are on the brink of being eliminated in the pool stages for the first time. Where has it gone wrong for this once great rugby nation? And can the sport once again compete with popularity of Aussie Rules and NRL down under?
Danny and Chris link up in Le Touquet and there is plenty to discuss after an eventful trip to Disneyland for the Care family and a surprise result in the Padel tennis tournament. Kevin Sinfield talks about the progress they have made with England’s defence and how they‘re aiming to hit the ground running after the rest week. We also quiz Danny on England’s back line for the Samoa game and get his thoughts on the prospect of hybrid contracts.
Tom English takes over the pod to bring you reaction to Scotland thrashing Romania in Lille. Darcy Graham scored four of Scotland’s 12 tries in their biggest World Cup victory since 1995. The win sets up a mouth-watering encounter with Ireland in Paris next Saturday. Which players stuck their hand up for selection? And how do Scotland get the better of Ireland when they've lost their last eight encounters?
In part two of this special look back at England's World Cup triumph, Martin Johnson and Matt Dawson look back at that dramatic final in Sydney 20 years on. They delve into the emotions of the week leading up to final and how they mentally prepared for the challenge of facing Australia in Sydney. We get a fascinating insight into how Johnson and Clive Woodward addressed the team on the field before extra-time and hear all about THAT drop goal that clinched the World Cup.