It is time for our weekly wrap up of who has their name in lights right now…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.
They're on fire!
Wasps, Northampton and Cardiff Blues: Both the English clubs claimed valuable victories over Bath and Exeter respectively. Wasps' triumph pushes them into the play-off positions for the first time this season and the Saints' win means they are the first outfit to beat the Chiefs at Sandy Park in the league this season. Cardiff Blues meanwhile sent shock waves through the PRO12 when they claimed a deserved success at Munster. This victory boost Phil Davies' troops ahead of this weekend's Heineken Cup Pool clash over in Toulon as they look to keep their foot off the gas.
Racing Metro: The Parisian outfit did what many observers thought was impossible by beating Top 14 pace-setters Toulon at Stade Felix Mayol. That result has given hope to the chasing pack in France with second-placed Clermont now trailing Bernard Laporte's troops by four points. Anyone back Racing to win at 16/1?
George Skivington: London Irish couldn't buy a win during recent times. No form, direction, leadership and most importantly defence had seen them slip slowly towards the foot of the Aviva Premiership and made them relegation favourites. But their win over Gloucester has dramatically changed the picture at the bottom and Skivington was at the heart of a tough showing from the Exiles pack, with the former Leicester Tiger grabbing a brace of tries.
Elliot Daly: The young Wasps back seems to get better and better with every game he plays. Daly has already starred for England U20s and after glimpses of his potential during last season's relegation dogfight, with a dominant pack up front Daly is beginning to express himself. He showed his pace and ability with the boot time and again during the victory over Bath last weekend. Daly should be in the EPS mix with the Saxons on Wednesday.
Get these guys a cup of warm soup!
Sale: The club always knew one win would not be enough, but they struggled to create much-needed momentum against Saracens, going down by 20. All in the week that a blog revealed the activities of their management company in recent years and John Mitchell's return to South Africa. London Irish's win over Gloucester leaves them five points adrift.
Hendre Fourie: If you haven't seen the story then where have you been for the last 24 hours? South African-born Fourie's Sale contract was cancelled last week after a shoulder injury forced the 33-year-old to retire. Now that he is not playing professionally, Fourie cannot secure a visa to remain in England and that means he and his family will move back to the Rainbow Nation. Cue Twitter campaigns from fellow players and supporters to help him stay. Fourie has not helped his case, however, with comments made about the United Kingdom “protecting the rights of terrorists”. We wait to see how this one pans out.
Decisions at Adams Park: The call to send Wasps wing Tom Varndell to the sin-bin was harsh to say the least and when Dom Day of Bath followed the Wasp for making contact with a jumper in the air, referee Andrew Small somewhat swayed towards a, 'because of the earlier decision' vibe. As one pundit explained that he genuinely feared that rugby was becoming non-contact, many others were amazed at the two wrongs make a right mindset.