Rugby Union Today: Short side and analysis

Date published: January 16 2020

Another busy day in the rugby union game as we look at the main talking points ahead of the action in the European Champions Cup this weekend.

What’s on the site

There are some big encounters in the Champions Cup this weekend and we have delved into the main issues going into the contests in ‘The short side.’

None of those games take place on Friday but there are two matches in the Challenge Cup as Worcester Warriors, Castres and the Dragons battle to top Pool 1.

Elsewhere, analyst Sam Larner returned to Planet Rugby to discuss Teddy Iribaren’s remarkable pass which led to Teddy Thomas’ try for Racing 92 last weekend.

What’s in the news

Former Wales international Jamie Roberts will play in Super Rugby this season after signing a contract with South African side the Stormers. The centre departs Bath after playing 34 games and has been replaced by Josh Matavesi, who joins the West Country outfit from Newcastle Falcons.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors have found their replacement for Jonny Gray, who will leave for Exeter Chiefs at the end of the campaign, by signing his brother Richie on a two-year deal.

Finally, there have been several contract extensions as Alex Dombrandt, Tom Ellis and Adam Beard agreed new deals with Harlequins, Bath and the Ospreys respectively.

What’s on social media

The Highlanders didn’t waste any time at the start of their season by highlighting the fact that scrum-half Kayne Hammington is vertically challenged.

What’s on TV

It is the final round of the Champions Cup pool stages and BT Sport will again show all 10 games. There are several interesting contests, including Lyon v Northampton, Saracens v Racing 92 and Toulouse v Gloucester.