Who's hot...and who's not!

29th Jan 2013, 14:41

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Comeback: Mathieu Bastareaud

Comeback: Mathieu Bastareaud

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.

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 smokin' ...!

Saracens pitch: Players and coaches from Sarries and Cardiff Blues gave the artificial turf at Allianz Park a vote of confidence, insisting it presented no serious problems during their recent LV=Cup match.

Jonny Sexton (if you're not Irish): Ireland's first-choice fly-half's decision to move to France for a reported 650,000 Euro a year contract will make him one of the biggest earners in the game.

Lions: After their convincing win over Russia, the Johannesburg-based outfit followed it up by beating the Cheetahs in a pre-season friendly at Ellis Park. Not bad for a side who were relegated from Super Rugby.

Cian Healy: The front-rower has been immense for Leinster in recent weeks and will be hoping to carry his good form into the upcoming Six Nations for Ireland.

Marland Yarde: London Irish's flyer underlined his class when he scored a hat-trick of tries in the Exiles' 46-24 LV= Cup win over Worcester.

Mathieu Bastareaud: The Toulon centre is poised to win his first international cap in three years after making the cut for les Bleus' squad for their opening Six Nations hit-out against Italy.




Someone turn on the heater!

France's injuries: France boss Philippe Saint-Andre is upset after Biarritz flanker Wenceslas Lauret and Toulouse wing Vincent Clerc were injured when the two clubs met in a Top 14 match just a week before the Six Nations kicks off.

Kings: Although the tournament hasn't started yet, Super Rugby's newest franchise are already on the back-foot after SARU turned down their request to include more than two foreign players in their squad.

Exeter: After an encouraging start to the season, Richard Baxter's troops are on a six-match winless streak, in all competitions, after last weekend's 16-6 LV= Cup loss to Bath.

Ospreys: After their draw with Leicester eliminated them from the Heineken Cup, the Welsh region suffered further ignominy when they lost to Treviso and the Dragons in successive matches.

Toulouse: These are turbulent times for the French heavyweights. Despite having the biggest budget in Europe, they failed to make the Heineken Cup play-offs and scraped to victory over Biarritz in the Top 14 last weekend. There are also wide-spread rumours of discontent within the camp as forwards coach William Servat is apparently yearning to lace up is boots full-time.

By David Skippers