Sunday Social: A special birthday, new laws and a big hit

Date published: July 5 2020

It is time for Planet Rugby’s Sunday Social, your quirky recap of the serious and not so serious talking points from the past week’s action.

We start in Scotland where former international forward and motor neurone disease sufferer Doddie Weir celebrated his 50th birthday on Saturday. Check out this powerful and emotional tribute posted by the British & Irish Lions.

Down in New Zealand, the Highlanders’ pre-game song got the crowd at the Forsyth Barr Stadium into the spirit of things ahead of their clash with the Crusaders.

In that game, All Blacks scrum-half Aaron Smith was in fine form on player cam in the build-up to Highlanders flyer Ngane Punivai’s try on the right wing.

Meanwhile, All Blacks legend Dan Carter returned to action in Christchurch for his local club, Southbridge, and rolled back the years by arriving at his match after getting a lift from his dad.

Although Southbridge cruised to victory against West Melton, Carter was shown no mercy and was on the receiving end of this big hit from one of his opponents.

Elsewhere, Reds scrum-half Tate McDermott made full use of the new law trials on display in the Super Rugby AU tournament in his team’s victory over the Waratahs.

Staying in Australia, where the Brumbies got their Super Rugby AU campaign off to a winning start against the Rebels and they celebrated with their team song after the game. It’s been a while since they’ve done this so it was clearly extra special.

In Wales, Cardiff Blues celebrated the return of “The Big Red Machine”, Rhys Carre, with this video, as he is set to rejoin the PRO14 outfit from Saracens.

Speaking of Cardiff Blues, this was brilliant and got the hairs on the back of the neck standing up. A great way to get fans back on seats when rugby eventually returns.

Elsewhere, England and Saracens stalwart Maro Itoje showed his admiration for the Ivory Coast, who scored this fantastic try against France at the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

And finally, behemoth Fijian flyer Nemani Nadolo is clearly feeling the cold in his new surroundings at Leicester Tigers. We’re afraid summer has been and gone, Nemani.