It's time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights at the moment … and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.
It is time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights at the moment … and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Romain Teulet: 'Robocop', as they like to call him in the Tarn, became the first player in history to score 3000 points for a single club when he landed the first penalty against Clermont on Saturday. The Castres full-back ended the day on 3010 career points and with Les Castrais now into the Top 14 play-off, he's unlikely to stop knocking 'em over any time soon.
Harlequins: After finishing seventh last year and eighth the year before that, Quins have set the pace for most of this season's campaign. Victory over Sale on the last day of the regular season assured Conor O'Shea's men of a home semi-final. After stumbling in Europe, can they now produce the goods when it matters most?
Brumbies: Most pundits had written the Brumbies' youngsters off before the season had even started, but Jake White has molded a team that is ticking all the boxes. Last weekend's demolition of the Waratahs was confirmation the team from the capital represent Australia's best hope for the title.
Leinster: Runaway leaders for most of RaboDirect PRO12 season, finishing ten points clear at the top, and favourites to defend their Heineken Cup crown, it would be hard to deny that Joe Schmidt's team are Europe's best side at the moment.
New Zealand Sevens: Victors in Glasgow and now need only to reach the Plate final in London to retain the Series crown. They overcame England in the Cup final last weekend despite having a young team that was once again led superbly by the likes of DJ Forbes and Tomasi Cama.
Someone turn on the heater…!
Brive: To avoid relegation from the Top 14, Brive must win with a bonus point in Clermont this weekend. Since no team has tasted victory there in 42 games, it's safe to assume Brive will drop to the Pro D2 next season. In 25 rounds, les CorrÃ©ziens spent just one week (back in September) out of the relegation zone and when the chips were down last week, they melted under pressure against Bordeaux-Begles. Their fate is all but sealed.
Newcastle: They put up a brave fight, but in the end Falcons SHOULD be relegated. We wait to see if Bristol can recoup their 21-point deficit against Cornish Pirates this Sunday and then go on to win the Championship final.
Jim Hamilton and David Paice: Brian Smith branded Jim Hamilton “a disgrace” after the Gloucester captain and London Irish hooker David Paice were sent off during the Exiles crushing 52-18 victory at the Madejski Stadium. The pair were dismissed seven minutes into the second half after two confrontations. They were initially shown yellow cards by referee Dave Pearson after trading blows for the first time, but when they clashed again when leaving the field, it triggered an unseemly mass brawl near the touchline. Paice had required a dozen stitches in a cut head.
Stade FranÃ§ais: Have missed the Top 14 play-offs for the third consecutive season. Not great for a club with one of the largest budgets in France.
Aussie Super Rugby conference: Only one team in the top half of the standings. If the standings were based on pure merit and not that irritating 'conference leader gets a top three spot' rule, the Brumbies would be fifth.
Premiership/Championship debacle: So with Bristol – the sole side in the second tier play-offs able to gain promotion into the top flight – having lost their first leg at the Cornish Pirates by 21 points, the odds are now stacked heavily in the favour of Newcastle staying in the Premiership next season. Surely if stadium facility requirements are such that only one out of the Championship members in the knockouts was able to get into the big-boy league, then they should consider just scrapping relegation altogether?