This weekend marks the return of European rugby, and you can find reports from all the action across Friday and Saturday in the Investec Champions Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup in The Rugby Paper this Sunday.
Owen Farrell makes his return with Saracens as they travel to South Africa to play the Bulls, and a former England captain is backing the most recent player to serve in that role. Chris Robshaw says Farrell should be leading England into battle four years time for the next World Cup, despite the Saracens fly-half’s decision to take a break from the international game for his mental wellbeing.
With social media abuse at the forefront of discussions about Farrell, Tom Varndell wants better training for players knowing how to deal with it, as revealed in a podcast appearance where he also discussed issues such as low attendances in the top flight.
On that subject, after our recent findings showed gates falling, we take an in-depth look at the ticket prices across the top two divisions to see which club is the most affordable and most expensive.
Looking at a more positive note from the Premiership though, freescoring Sale winger Arron Reed discusses his new tattoos and a special changing room rapport with director of rugby Alex Sanderson.
While men’s domestic top tier action takes a break for continental competition, the Women’s Premiership Rugby remains across our pages, and Saracens scrum-half Ella Wyrwas discusses how she is flourishing with club and country after earning herself a full-time international contract last week in our Red Roses column.
Alongside the women’s top level, we will also be across National Leagues One, Two North, Two East and Two West, and round-up the Welsh Championship with that nation’s Premiership and England’s Championship taking a break this week.
There’s also weekly gossip from our Blindside Column, with Bristol Bears set to splash the cash and England hooker Jamie George looking likely to remain at Saracens despite outside interest.
And finally, don’t forget to read our other weekly features as former Wasps, Bath, Sale and England hooker Rob Webber picks the strongest XV of players he’s taken the field alongside or fronted up against in Dream Team, ex-Worcester and Leicester lock Graham Kitchener looks back in My Life in Rugby and Northampton Saints scrum-half talks to Ben Jaycock as our Young Gun.
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