Who’s hot… and who’s not!

Date published: December 7 2015

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It's time for Planet Rugby's weekly round-up of who has their name in lights at the moment… and who is making the headlines for the wrong reasons.

They're on fire!

Saracens and Exeter: Both claimed bonus-point wins at Newcastle and Wasps respectively to sit in first and second spot going into the European break. Saracens upped the tempo late on against the Falcons by scoring their third and fourth tries while for the Chiefs it was Thomas Waldrom's hat-trick leading the way. What a win that was at the Ricoh Arena against a Wasps side that has been in fine form.

Fiji Sevens: Deserved winners in the World Rugby Sevens Series opener in Dubai as they beat New Zealand in the semi-final before holding off England in the final. England deserve a mention for getting to the last two, while similar praise must go to USA, and their lethal flyer Perry Baker, who came mighty close to facing Fiji in the tournament showdown – but the weekend was ultimately Fiji's. They played some scintillating rugby in the UAE. Next up, Cape Town.

Toulon: Boy are they clicking right now. A 35-9 win away to Clermont was backed up by a 53-23 victory on home soil against Agen. Bernard Laporte's men are sitting nicely in third place in the Top 14 and look like the team to beat in that competition. Now comes the back-to-back games against Leinster as they look to get their Champions Cup campaign on the move. In this kind of form, expect two wins.

Tim Visser: The Flying Dutchman produced a hat-trick for his new club Harlequins against a hapless London Irish on Saturday to continue his bright start to life in the Premiership since his off-season move from Edinburgh. Scotland boss Vern Cotter will be pleased, as Quins dominated.

Alex Tulou: What a way to show the team who did not require your services just what they had let slip out the door. Tulou scored three tries for Castres in their 34-19 victory against Montpellier. A penny for Jake White's thoughts as his side slip to seventh spot.

Australia and Russia Women's teams: Australia won the first round of the Women's Sevens Series in Dubai on Friday, beating Russia 33-12. Massive credit must also go to Russia for reaching the final as they beat New Zealand in the pool and England in the semi-finals.

Brrrrr someone get these guys a warm cup of soup!

Henry Slade's injury: Whatever country you are from, it is always disappointing to see any player sidelined for a long spell. The Exeter Chiefs star suffered a broken leg on Saturday in his team's superb win at Wasps but it was marred by Slade being stretchered from the field late on. TV bosses wisely didn't show a close-up replay of the incident, with surgery following for a youngster who could well have been a major player for England in the 2016 Six Nations. We wish him well in his recovery as Slade has many qualities as a player.

London Irish and Newcastle: After six rounds of Premiership matches, these two sides are still languishing at the foot of the table and judging from their respective losses to Harlequins (38-7) and Saracens (38-3), they are set to remain there for some time. Both are winless with the Falcons on two points while the Exiles are firmly rooted at the bottom with none.

Oyonnax: They might have a new head coach in Johann Authier but the new Oyonnax boss certainly knows how much work needs to be done now after the Top 14’s bottom club were thumped 27-3 away to Toulouse on Saturday. Rooted in 14th spot with eight losses and a points difference of -156 through ten games. Next up for them? A double header in the Champions Cup against unbeaten Saracens.

Glasgow's schedule: Thousands of people in the UK were affected by ’Storm Desmond’ over the weekend following huge rainfall, and the Scotstoun pitch also suffered. Glasgow’s eye-catching PRO12 meeting with Leinster was called off to leave the PRO12 champions with a cluttered fixture list going forward, given that their first Champions Cup game was also postponed earlier in the year. 

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