Rugby Union Daily

Rugby Union Daily

By BBC Radio 5 Live

Chris Jones, Ugo Monye and Chris Ashton deliver daily news, reaction and big name guests from every match week of the 2024 Men's Six Nations.

Between the bickering and tangents, they'll also be checking in with co-host Danny Care whilst he's away in the England Camp!

Get in touch with the pod via 5 Live Sport on social media or email rugbyunionweekly@bbc.co.uk, and remember to leave us your ratings and reviews.

Episodes

The big week three review!

Chris is joined by Ugo, Sam Warburton and John Barclay talking about the big stories from the weekend’s matches. The team unpick Scotland’s dominance over England and where it’s going wrong for Steve Borthwick’s team. Can anyone beat Ireland and are there now four poor teams in this Six Nations? And are the French fortunate to get a draw against Italy after a dramatic last minute missed penalty?Timecodes: 01:50 Moments from the weekend 03:30 Scotland performance 11:30 England jersey weighs heavy 31:40 Can Ireland be stopped? 44:10 Four poor teams?
26/02/24·54m 30s

Four in a row for Scotland and Ireland remain unbeaten

Chris is joined by Ashy, Matt Dawson and Johnnie Beatie in Edinburgh where Scotland beat England 30-21 to win their fourth Calcutta Cup in a row.Both captains, England’s Jamie George and Scotland’s Finn Russell, are on the pod and we give Scotland coach Gregor Townsend the final word from Murrayfield. Plus, there’s reaction from Dublin where Sara was joined by James Hook and Luke Fitzgerald to watch Ireland continue their push for the Grand Slam, beating Wales 31-7. 00:10 – Calcutta Cup discussion 12:59 – Finn Russell Interview 16:52 – Jamie George Interview 30:31 – Ireland v Wales reaction 44:43 – Gregor Townsend Interview 48:29 – Final thoughts from Murrayfield
24/02/24·53m 7s

It's Matchday!

Chris and Ashy are in John Barclay's recommended pub in Edinburgh where they’re joined by Rory Lawson on the eve of the Calcutta Cup. Up for discussion.. Scotland aiming to match their best winning streak in this fixture since there were “penny-farthings on the side” according to Ashy, or just the 1890s. Is the amount of chat about England’s new blitz defence disproportionate? And how will Finn Russell look to counter it having struggled against South Africa at the World Cup?England captain Jamie George is also on the pod, speaking with real poise about the death of his mother last week and how emotional the occasion will be for him and his family.And finally, Ashy reveals he thinks haggis is a vegetable.
23/02/24·37m 4s

Calcutta Cup teams are out!

George Furbank's selection at full-back is the big talking point as England and Scotland name their teams ahead of the Calcutta Cup this weekend. Sara and Ugo discuss this, plus Ollie Lawrence's return to the England midfield and our very own Danny Care earning his 99th cap. Chris and Tom join from Edinburgh to pick through the Scotland team which sees Blair Kinghorn return. We debate the strength of the two benches and who will have the upper hand at scrum time. There is also a look at the match in Dublin as Wales go in search of an unlikely win against a Ireland dreaming of back-to-back Grand Slams.
23/02/24·41m 32s

The Rivalries: Ireland v Wales

Has the success of Ireland and Wales in the Six Nations era created a rivalry between these two Celtic nations? Sara chats to Shane Horgan and Tom Shanklin to find out what it was really like to play in this fixture and relive those infamous encounters in 2005 and 2009. Has the gulf between the Welsh regions and the Irish provinces also been a contributing factor? They also look at how Warren Gatland has shaped this rivalry having coached both nations and raised eyebrows with his selections as Lions head coach over the years.
22/02/24·49m 52s

Inside the England camp

Danny again hosts Chris and Ashy at the England team hotel as the side prepare for a huge Six Nations clash against Scotland. DC discusses the prospect of starting on Saturday, the unique challenge of playing a Calcutta Cup game at Murrayfield, and how he is taking it hour by hour as he approaches a 100th England cap. Ollie Chessum is on the pod to talk about his number one supporter, his route to being an England regular, and the responsibility of running the social committee. And we are joined by Kevin Sinfield who opens up on leaving the set-up in the summer, working alongside the new defence coach Felix Jones, and why Murrayfield is a special place for him personally.
21/02/24·52m 44s

Nations Pod - Week 3!

Tom, Chris and Gareth are back to look ahead to another big weekend of action. After letting Tom have his brief say on “try-gate”, they discuss whether England can deny Scotland a fourth win on the bounce in the Calcutta Cup. Gareth crunches the numbers to tell us why Wales has no chance against the Irish in Dublin. Chris goes as far as to question whether any team in world rugby could get a result at the Aviva. And as France hosts Italy in Lille, will we see a marked improvement from their narrow win against Scotland?
20/02/24·51m 9s

The Rivalries: Scotland v England

Having been involved in 20 Calcutta Cups as either a player or a coach, Gregor Townsend knows a thing or two about out this famous fixture and why it is so special to him and the Scottish rugby fans. Chris sits down with the Scotland boss to discuss the Calcutta Cup matches that mean the most to him. We hear about his debut in 1993, his only victory as a player in 2000, the greatest draw of all time and ending Scotland's hoodoo at Twickenham.
19/02/24·26m 21s

The big week two review!

Week two of the Six Nations has come to a close so who better than Chris, Ugo, Ashy and Jiffy to get into all the big talking points from the weekend’s matches. They are start off with the late TMO drama at Murrayfield as Scotland narrowly lost to France. Was it a try in the dying minutes for Gregor Townsend’s men? The guys try to answer that and wonder how France improve after getting their first win of the tournament. Not only that, both England and Wales go under the microscope and Chris poses that all important question… are Ireland unstoppable? Timecodes: 05:30 – Scotland review. 17:00 - France analysis. 22:40 – England v Wales section. 33:35 – Future predictions. 38:00 – Ireland unstoppable?
12/02/24·39m 55s

England win ugly and Scotland slip against France

Chris is at Twickenham with Matt Dawson, Paul Grayson and James Hook where England came from nine points behind to beat Wales and to top the Six Nations table. Plus, we’re at Murrayfield with Sara and Johnnie Beattie, where Scotland were denied a famous win against France.Steve Borthwick and George North join us on the pod from Twickenham and there’s also reaction from a disappointed Gregor Townsend.TOPICS: 00:12 Reaction to England against Wales 09:20 Steve Borthwick interview 15:20 George North interview 21:40 Reaction to Scotland versus France 32:55 Gregor Townsend interview 35:45 Final thoughts from Twickenham
10/02/24·43m 41s

It's Matchday!

Sara is joined by former Scotland captain John Barclay in Edinburgh ahead of Scotland v France, with Les Bleus looking to get their first points on the board. Then, we're in the Wales camp with Chris who's joined by Wales prop, Gareth Thomas, before heading back to Edinburgh to chat Ireland v Italy.
09/02/24·32m 7s

England Wales, Traitors, and a Roy Keane impression

With the second round of fixtures fast approaching Sara and Ugo discuss the Scotland and France team news ahead of their Murrayfield showdown before chatting to Jamie George ahead of England against Wales. Bringing the good times back to Twickenham is high on this England squad’s agenda – we find out how they are planning to connect more successfully with their supporters. Also on the pod, a very left field book recommendation from Ben Earl and we invite Steve Borthwick to get involved in some pre-match mind games.
09/02/24·48m 46s

Nations Pod - Week Two!

Chris, Gareth and Tom reconvene, slightly later than planned this week, which is nothing to do with Tom’s broken microphone. Despite this, Tom is in good form after Scotland’s win in Cardiff, but how does that second half prepare the Scots for France? And just how lingering is the French World Cup hangover? We discuss Wales’ sweeping changes to play England, while Gareth has some alarming stats about the Welsh at Twickenham. Ioan Lloyd is given a start at number 10, but how will Wales go about trying to pull off a Twickenham heist?
08/02/24·53m 50s

Inside the England Camp

Ashy and Chris head down to England training ahead of the game against Wales. They catch up with the pod’s very own Danny Care who tells us how life in camp is and reveals why he and Ashy got thrown out of Oceania nightclub in Kingston a few years back. Tommy Freeman talks about how he's settling into the England fold after making his 6 Nations debut at the weekend. And Richard Wigglesworth is on the pod to talk about his role as attack coach.
07/02/24·53m 41s

What It Means: England v Wales

Since the very first match in 1881, there has been one fixture that every Welsh player and fan has looked for on the calendar: England. Former Wales captain Sam Warburton sits down with Chris to explain why this particular rivalry evokes so much emotion and passion. From watching Wales on TV as a 10-year-old boy to leading them out as captain in front of 75,000 people, Sam runs us through some of his memories of the fixture - both good and bad.
06/02/24·45m 22s

Weekend 1 Review with Warburton and Barclay

Sam Warburton and John Barclay join Chris and Ugo to look back on a brilliant opening weekend to the 6 Nations. Plus Jonathan Davies is a special guest as we pay tribute to the Wales legend Barry John who died on Sunday.
04/02/24·59m 12s

Wales scare Scotland and England edge Italy

After Scotland survived an incredible second half comeback from Wales to get their first win in Cardiff for 22 years, James Burridge is joined by Philippa Tuttiett and Andy Nichol, and we’re in Rome with Sara and Paul Grayson after England started their Six Nations campaign with a win over Italy. George Ford is on the pod after returning to the 10 shirt for England and we hear from Scotland’s new co-captain Finn Russell.00:30 – Wales v Scotland reaction 15:55 – Italy v England reaction 22:27 – George Ford Interview 27:33 – Finn Russell Interview 29:02 – Final thoughts on Wales v Scotland
03/02/24·31m 31s

Record-Breaking Ireland dominate France

Chris is joined by Ashy and Tommy to reflect on Ireland’s biggest ever away win. They look at what went right for the defending champions and what went wrong for France. Plus, they preview Saturday’s Six Nations action as England take on Italy while Wales face Scotland.
02/02/24·33m 7s

Captain Ant and Dec

Chris heads to Girona to sit down with Danny and the new England captain Jamie George. The pair explain why they have had to relinquish their roles on the social committee since Jamie’s appointment, and who has been tasked with replacing them. Jamie outlines what he wants from his England team this Six Nations and what kind of captain he will be. Will we see more of an attacking style? And are the young players ready to make the step up?
01/02/24·33m 34s

The Big Six Nations Preview – part 2

The big names keep coming on the Daily as we are joined by a trio of head coaches in Gregor Townsend, Andy Farrell and Steve Borthwick, as well as Michele Lamaro, the Italy captain. How will Scotland recover from a disappointing World Cup? Likewise for Ireland, is it about continuity or a fresh start? Borthwick outlines why it’s time England delivered in the Six Nations, and Lamaro promises a full-blooded effort from the Azzurri.
30/01/24·45m 27s

The Big Six Nations Preview pod – part 1

It’s Six Nations week, and the Rugby Union Daily is back! On the first of our bumper preview pods, Chris speaks to Wales boss Warren Gatland, new Scotland co-captain Rory Darge, the new Italy head coach Gonzalo Quesada and the new Ireland skipper Peter O’Mahony. Will Wales’ callow squad sink or swim? How do co-captains work together? What is it like following Johnny Sexton as captain of your country? And how tough a job is it coaching Italy? Gareth Rhys-Owen, of Nations pod fame, is also with us as we look ahead to what should be a fascinating Championship, and we discuss which teams will cope best with the loss of some talismanic figures.
29/01/24·57m 41s

Six Nations: Jamie George captains new-look England

Chris and Ashy are at Twickenham to chat to Steve Borthwick about his revamped Six Nations squad. Danny made the cut and is one of three scrum-halves in the 36-man squad which will be captained by Jamie George. Borthwick talks about Danny's inclusion and the importance of experience in a squad which contains seven uncapped players. He also explains why he feels George is the right man to lead his team and has some advice for the Saracens hooker as a former captain. We also get Ashy's take to the shock news that Louis Rees-Zammit is quitting rugby for the NFL and there is reaction to Ireland's squad as Andy Farrell names Peter O'Mahony as captain.
17/01/24·40m 5s

The pod's favourite number 9

Danny, Ashy and Chris are back on the sofa and there is loads to discuss after round 3 of the Champions Cup. Saracens are humbled in Bordeaux, there was controversy at Sandy Park and another impressive display from Northampton's youngsters. Is an Anglo/Welsh league the way forward for the struggling Welsh regions? We also look at what to expect from Scotland, Wales and England's Six Nations squad announcements this week. Plus, Ashy picks his two England wingers for Rome and we try to get some intel from Danny on where he is at with selection.
15/01/24·54m 53s

Lions Special: Andy Farrell named head coach

Ugo and Sara chat to Andy Farrell on the day he is named head coach of the British & Irish Lions for the tour of Australia in 2025. He explains why it is such an honour to be chosen to lead the Lions and reveals why he is 'embarrassed' of that infamous speech on the 2013 tour. They also chat to Ieuan Evans on why Farrell is the right man for the job and he pays tribute to JPR Williams, who sadly passed away at the age of 74 this week.
11/01/24·52m 32s

Owen in Paris?

Is Owen Farrell about to leave Saracens? Ugo, Ashy and Chris discuss the shock news that Farrell could be heading to Racing 92 in the summer. What would the motivation be for moving clubs at 32 and will former England head coach Stuart Lancaster play a big part in his decision? Northampton director of rugby Phil Dowson joins the pod after their sensational comeback at Sandy Park which sees them top of the Premiership. Steve Borthwick looks to have persuaded Immanuel Feyi-Waboso to join England over Wales so Ashy and Ugo also run the rule over England's options on the wing ahead of the Six Nations. Plus, we get top four predictions with the run-in to the Premiership season already in sight.
08/01/24·57m 1s

The race for No 10

Danny, Ashy and Chris look back on a memorable weekend for the club game with bumper crowds across the Premiership including a record turnout at Twickenham. They talk Marcus Smith and George Ford and their battle to become England's first choice fly half as both continue to impress. Will we see Immanuel Feyi-Waboso in a Wales shirt this Six Nations? Plus, Ashy picks his England XV to start England's opening game in Rome.
01/01/24·51m 39s

The end of year review

Chris, Ashy, Danny and Ugo round up an eventful 2023 for the sport and the pod. They reflect on Danny reaching a World Cup semi-final with England. There were some great finals to relive at Twickenham, Dublin, Cape Town and Paris. We also reminisce about Ashy breaking the Premiership try scoring record and calling time on his illustrious playing career. Plus, there was a record breaking day for Red Roses, a difficult year for Welsh rugby and we touch on what we can expect in 2024.
24/12/23·50m 11s

Exeter's clutch king

We've got a full house on the pod this week as Danny, Ashy, Ugo and Chris round up another eventful weekend in the Champions Cup. Exeter's clutch king Henry Slade joins the pod before a family trip to the cinema to discuss another big win for the Chiefs and if an England recall is on the cards. Antoine Dupont is the talk of the pod after he revealed he still has Danny's Quins shirt from 2015 and his Toulouse side underlined their tag as tournament favourites.
18/12/23·51m 35s

John Mitchell special

Sara and Ugo take the pod to Twickenham and sit down with Red Roses head coach John Mitchell. He says England have the potential to become a "phenomenal" team, but how does he intend to get them there? And why did he decide to take the role in the first place? He also talks about his relationship with captain Marlie Packer and the differences between coaching men's and women's rugby.
14/12/23·34m 54s

The King(horn) of Toulouse

Chris, Ugo and Ashy discuss a brilliant opening weekend of the Champions Cup. Exeter and Harlequins both pulled off famous wins in France, but which was more impressive? Elsewhere Bath continued their strong start to the season, as did Sale, while Leinster finally beat the double defending champions La Rochelle. A week after his mid-season move to Toulouse, Scotland’s Blair Kinghorn is on the pod to talk about what the move will do for his career, and when he might learn French and move out of his hotel. Meanwhile, on the subject of French moves, is it the right decision for Henry Arundell to stay at Racing 92? And Ugo has a shock announcement to make about his Christmas tree.
11/12/23·53m 11s

Champions Cup launch part 2: Ringrose, Turnbull & Casey

In part two, Ashy tries to build bridges in Munster as he chats to Craig Casey about the glory days at Thomond Park and what it means to represent the club. Josh Turnbull tells us why he's had part of his fibula removed and it led to him recreating a famous scene from Kill Bill. Sara chats to Gary Ringrose about his tough year with Leinster and Ireland. Plus, Ashy is reunited with another former team-mate and finally gets a good review.
07/12/23·40m 45s

Champions Cup launch part 1: Curry, Spencer & Rhule

Ashy and Sara are at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium for this year's Champions Cup launch. Bath's Ben Spencer reveals what it's like to have Finn Russell in your team and whether Ashy was a help or hindrance to his rise. Two-time winner Raymond Rhule tells us how he managed to walk away with the corner flag from last year's final and all about the 'manager' Ronan O'Gara. Ben Curry reminisces about his time with Ashy at Sale and how he will get his own back on brother Tom now he's out injured. We also hear from EPCR chairman Dom Mckay on changes to this year's format and where we're at with a potential Club World Cup in 2028.
07/12/23·43m 29s

The Farrell debate

The big talking point this week is still around Owen Farrell's decision to take a break from international rugby. Ashy, Danny and Ugo show their support for Farrell and give an insight into dealing with scrutiny from the media and fans when you're an international rugby player. England's Kyle Sinckler is on the pod and believes more could follow Farrell's example in the future if the authorities don't give more support to players. There is also a look at the another difficult week for Newcastle and Gloucester and our attention turns to the Champions Cup which returns this weekend.
04/12/23·49m 19s

Real or fake?

Before getting stuck into the weekend's action, Ugo, Ashy and Chris discuss the all-important question when it comes to Christmas trees: real or fake? There's a look at Gloucester's struggles, Maro Itoje's future and Blair Kinghorn's move to the greatest club side in the world. Ashy offers an interesting theory on why Owen Farrell and Luke Pearce clashed at the weekend. We also pick a new Premiership club for a listener and argue who is top of the Top 14.
27/11/23·49m 44s

Danny and his new England friend

Danny is back on the pod to tell Chris all about the highs and lows of his World Cup in France. He also invites his new England friend, and arguably the Premiership's in-form player, Ollie Lawrence on for a chat. There's lots to unpick from derby weekend as Saracens once again underline their credentials as the league's best. Abbie Ward caps a remarkable return on the PWR opening weekend and Antoine Dupont gets us talking after opting to ditch the Six Nations for the Olympics.
20/11/23·56m 38s

Wayne Barnes on the sofa

Wayne Barnes, one of the greatest rugby referees in history, joins Chris, Ugo and Ashy on the sofa. Barnes retired from officiating after taking charge of the Rugby World Cup final, his 111th international match. He reflects on his magnificent career, which games stick in the memory, and why a certain bar in New Zealand has a special place in his heart. Barnes also discusses what the sport should look like going forward, and whether refereeing is a science or an art.
13/11/23·1h 1m

Back on the sofa

Chris, Ugo and Ashy reconvene at the pod’s spiritual home, a far cry from promenades in Nice and beaches in Marseille. But the show goes on with plenty to discuss. How does a player reacclimatise to club duty after the highs of a World Cup? And how big a season is this for the Premiership? We also discuss where Wales go at fly-half, Rassie Erasmus continuing to take centre stage at the Springboks, and reflect on the Red Roses’ triumph in New Zealand.
06/11/23·48m 49s

Kolisi and Barrett preview the World Cup final

We welcome two of the biggest names in the sport onto the Daily as we continue our build-up to the World Cup final. Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and All Blacks star Beauden Barrett joins us from their respective team announcements in Paris. There is plenty going on off the field for Chris and Sara to discuss and Paul Grayson is back in our favourite bistro as he breaks down where the final will be won and lost on Saturday.
27/10/23·47m 28s

End of an England era

Chris heads to England's base in the outskirts of Paris to see Ben Youngs, who will call time on his international career after his 127th appearance on Friday. England's most capped men's player looks back on his illustrious career which spans four World Cups, reveals his favourite moment in an England shirt and why it's the right time to step away. Steve Borthwick is full of praise for Youngs and another England centurion, Courtney Lawes, who has also called time on his career. Borthwick also condemns the online abuse Tom Curry has received this week and how the team have rallied around the flanker ahead of his 50th cap.
25/10/23·25m 20s

New Zealand v South Africa: Rugby's greatest rivalry

To kickstart World Cup final week Sara sits down with All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens and former Springbok captain Bob Skinstad to look at the rivalry between these two great rugby nations. They start with their most famous encounter, the 1995 World Cup final, as Mehrts recalls meeting Nelson Mandela minutes before kick-off and the issues in the New Zealand camp during final week. We hear about the All Blacks winning their first Test series in South Africa one year later, and look ahead to the final this weekend as the winner becomes the first nation to win four World Cups. Skinstad explains what would it mean for the Boks to go back-to-back and gives a fascinating insight into head coach Jacques Nienaber.
23/10/23·37m 15s

The Earl of English rugby

Chris and Paul Grayson head into the England camp to get the inside track on their team to face the South Africa in the semi-final. A very excited Ben Earl joins the pod to tell us how he is feeling ahead of their showdown in Paris and how he’s dealing with ticket requests. Steve Borthwick explains the changes he’s made from the quarter-final and what this occasion means to him. We also chat to our favourite Springbok Bob Skinstad about Rassie’s latest mind games and where England can hurt South Africa in the semi-final.
20/10/23·38m 39s

Can Argentina shock the All Blacks?

Chris and Sara are reunited in Paris for the first time since the opening week as preparation for the semi-finals continues to ramp up. There are more hotel incidents to discuss, this time involving Paul Grayson. And with rain forecast this weekend, how will that affect the two semis? We visit both the Argentina and New Zealand camps as they announce their teams for Friday's semi-final. We hear from All Blacks World Cup winner Andy Ellis on Ian Foster's renaissance and Mark Telea's return. We also get the lowdown from Argentinian journalist Frankie Deges on being the underdogs and how a Pumas win could inspire the next generation of players.
19/10/23·33m 58s

How do England beat South Africa?

It’s semi-final week and Chris heads to find Danny for the lowdown on how England are preparing for their showdown with the world champions. We hear how the players marked their quarter-final win over Fiji and whether you should ever have chips with a Chinese. And after watching an epic in the Stade de France last weekend, Paul Grayson decides not to leave Paris, and offers a few ways England can shock the Boks on Saturday evening.
18/10/23·37m 43s

The definitive World Cup quarter-final preview!

In this bumper pod ahead of the World Cup quarter-finals, Chris and Sara track down some of the biggest names in the sport. Chris chats to World Cup winners Matt Dawson and Joel Stransky in Marseille about England and South Africa's picks at fly-half, what to expect from Fiji and the importance of Jac Morgan if Wales are to beat Argentina. Meanwhile in Paris, Sara sits down with Thierry Dusautoir and Richie McCaw to reminisce about the epic quarter-final clash in 2007, Antoine Dupont's return and Sam Cane's captaincy. Sara also gets an Ireland perspective on their quarter-final with former Ireland forward Chris Henry.
14/10/23·47m 47s

It's been Toulon: Ashy and Nick

Ashy has made it back to Toulon and heads to Wales media with Chris to be reunited with his former team-mate Nick Tompkins. What did he learn, if anything, from Ashy when they were at Saracens together? Tompkins also talks about nailing down a place Warren Gatland's midfield and going from a tough Six Nations campaign to the brink of a World Cup semi-final. We also join up with Sara on the outskirts of Paris with good friend of the pod Murray Kinsella to preview Ireland's blockbuster quarter-final against New Zealand. Is it finally time for Ireland to end their quarter-final curse?
13/10/23·41m 24s

The Big Weekend Review: Quarter-finals confirmed!

Chris and Ashy are reunited in Marseille after a brilliant final weekend to cap the pool stages. Fiji set up a quarter-final with England but the night belonged to Portugal in Toulouse. Argentina finally arrive at the World Cup, so how worried should Wales be? And are Ireland now favourites for the World Cup after their demolition of Scotland in Paris? Danny is also on the pod after his heroics against Samoa, but who does Ashy think should start in the midfield next weekend?
09/10/23·41m 17s

Matt Dawson meets Michael Lynagh

Matt brings you another special pod with a World Cup icon, Wallabies great Michael Lynagh. They look back on his three World Cups in the green and gold including their triumph in 1991, the mistakes they made in 1995 and what it was like to play with David Campese. Lynagh also gives his take on the current Australia team who are on the brink of being eliminated in the pool stages for the first time. Where has it gone wrong for this once great rugby nation? And can the sport once again compete with popularity of Aussie Rules and NRL down under?
05/10/23·47m 57s

DC and Disneyland

Danny and Chris link up in Le Touquet and there is plenty to discuss after an eventful trip to Disneyland for the Care family and a surprise result in the Padel tennis tournament. Kevin Sinfield talks about the progress they have made with England’s defence and how they‘re aiming to hit the ground running after the rest week. We also quiz Danny on England’s back line for the Samoa game and get his thoughts on the prospect of hybrid contracts.
04/10/23·32m 32s

Scotland set up Ireland showdown

Tom English takes over the pod to bring you reaction to Scotland thrashing Romania in Lille. Darcy Graham scored four of Scotland’s 12 tries in their biggest World Cup victory since 1995. The win sets up a mouth-watering encounter with Ireland in Paris next Saturday. Which players stuck their hand up for selection? And how do Scotland get the better of Ireland when they've lost their last eight encounters?
30/09/23·20m 6s

Matt Dawson meets Martin Johnson: 20 years on (Part 2)

In part two of this special look back at England's World Cup triumph, Martin Johnson and Matt Dawson look back at that dramatic final in Sydney 20 years on. They delve into the emotions of the week leading up to final and how they mentally prepared for the challenge of facing Australia in Sydney. We get a fascinating insight into how Johnson and Clive Woodward addressed the team on the field before extra-time and hear all about THAT drop goal that clinched the World Cup.
29/09/23·39m 46s

Matt Dawson meets Martin Johnson: 20 years on

Two of England's heroes from 2003, Matt Dawson and Martin Johnson, look back at their World Cup triumph 20 years on. In part one, they chart England's journey from quarter-finalists in 1999 to World Cup finalists four years later. But how much of their success was down to the players rather than the coaches? We hear why defeat in two Grand Slam deciders were just as important for their development as a famous victory over South Africa in Bloemfontein. And we hear all about their quarter-final battle with Wales, plus the semi-final victory over France and a very unhappy Olivier Magne.
28/09/23·48m 38s

Ireland’s party in Paris

Chris, Tommy Bowe and Bobby Skinstad react to Ireland’s 13-8 win over South Africa. They discuss how Ireland faced up to the South African power game, Johnny Sexton’s leadership and the Springbok’s kicking troubles. What will each team take from the game and what it means for the tournament going forward. We also head to Lille to hear from Sara, Matt Dawson, and Paul Grayson about England’s 71-0 victory over Chile. They talk about five tries for Henry Arundell and Marcus Smith’s performance at full back.
23/09/23·34m 16s

The big weekend preview

Will this be one of the great weekends in World Cup history? Chris meets up with Tommy Bowe and Stirling Mortlock in the heart of Paris to preview Ireland's showdown with South Africa and talk 7-1 splits. How worried is Stirling that Australia's World Cup could be effectively ended by Wales on Sunday? And is Eddie Jones' reputation on the line in Lyon? We also discuss the news that has threatened to overshadow the whole weekend with Antoine Dupont suffering a fractured cheekbone.
22/09/23·41m 35s

The Smith experiment and Farrell's return

It's bonjour from Lille as Sara pods from the England team announcement. She catches up with friend of the pod Marcus Smith who's been given the nod at full-back this weekend against Chile. He reveals it was Kevin Sinfield who first approached him about the playing at 15 and that Danny is suffering from pod FOMO. Captain Owen Farrell is back at fly-half after completing his ban and as Will Kelleher from the Times explains, he's very excited about it. There's also talk of bubble tea and what fans can expect from the city of Lille.
22/09/23·29m 11s

The Paris showdown

Chris catches up with All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens over coffee, croissants and cheese to preview another bumper weekend of World Cup action. We focus on the big showdown in Paris between Ireland and South Africa and ask where would Johnny Sexton rank in the pantheon of all-time greats if Ireland did go all the way this year. We go inside the Ireland camp to speak to scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park and we also get Springbok perspective from World Cup winning captain John Smit on Siya Kolisi and whether the class of 2023 is better than 2019.
21/09/23·34m 20s

Rugby World Cup Top Tens: 6. Tries

How many of Bryan’s record-equalling 15 World Cup tries feature in this episode’s top ten World Cup tries? How much will the great Jonah Lomu dominate the list? This is an episode in which Matt Dawson, Chris Jones and Bryan Habana struggle to agree with each other.
19/09/23·37m 19s

A Nice night out

Chris starts the pod at the Stade de Nice and is joined by Scrum V’s Nicky Robinson as Wales are given a scare by an inspired Portugal. With the Portuguese fans in full voice, he takes a bus into town to track down Ugo and watch Ireland produce a statement performance against Tonga.
17/09/23·28m 2s

The hero of Marseille

Amongst discussions around more hotel courtyards, hotel reviews and hotel breakfasts, Chris Ashton and Chris Jones speak to man of the moment George Ford.
16/09/23·36m 5s

In Nice with Wales

Chris and Ashy have arrived in beautiful Nice ahead of the second weekend of the World Cup. After being named to start Saturday’s match with Portugal, Wales fly-half Gareth Anscombe is on the pod to reflect on his journey over the past four years, how his game has changed in that time, and the differences between him and Dan Biggar. Pod regular Gareth Rhys-Owen and former Wales flanker Josh Navidi also join us to reflect on Wales’ tournament prospects after that huge win over Fiji and the main differences between touring as a player and a pundit. We end the day on the beach reflecting on some big injury news, while Ireland pick a strong side for their clash with Tonga.
15/09/23·40m 29s

Rugby World Cup Top Tens: 5. Teams

Nine sides have won the World Cup – which one was best? Does the best team always win it? Who’s the best side never to win it? Those are the questions that Bryan, Matt and Chris consider as they rank their best-ever teams to play in the World Cup.
14/09/23·36m 10s

The Nations Pod - Opening weekend debrief

Gareth, Tom and Chris convene to look back at the opening weekend of the World Cup. They pick through the bones of the four Home Nations performances, and how it sets them up for the rest of the tournament. Gareth claims to have never seen a better game than he saw in Nice. And there is a stark contrast in opinions about how England fared in the win against Argentina
12/09/23·41m 25s

France up and running with New Zealand win

France get off to the perfect start at the World Cup. Sonja McLaughlan, Sara Orchard, Andrew Mehrtens and Paul Grayson have all the reaction to Frances’ emphatic 27-13 victory over three time champions New Zealand at the Stade de France. Chris Jones and Chris Ashton also bring us the latest from Marseille and look ahead to England’s opening match against ArgentinaTOPICS 00:12 Intro 00:38 Where France won it 01:35 Grégory Alldritt 3:33 France a different team after half-time 10:28 New Zealand 17:10 Visualising the stadium 20:15 Mood in England camp 23:32 How to prepare for a late kick-off 29:14 Argentina players to watch
08/09/23·33m 51s

Paris awaits the opening match France v New Zealand

Chris and Sara are together in Paris hearing from the French and Kiwi camps ahead of the opening game of the tournament. This episode will whet your appetite for the huge game in Paris which kicks off the tournament. Sara hears from New Zealand journalist Daniel McHardy who gives all the other teams hope by detailing a number of the All Blacks weaknesses whilst French writer Julien Pretot joins Chris and Sara to discuss the mood in the French camp which seems to be growing in confidence.
07/09/23·31m 0s

Inside the England camp with Danny!

We are inside the England camp in Le Touquet with none other than Daniel Stuart Care! We hear about his new love for padel tennis, THAT oversized suit and how preparation is going for England’s opening game in Marseille. Chris also catches up with Owen Farrell who talks for the first time about his red card and responds to Danny Cipriani’s criticism of England.
06/09/23·28m 10s

Welcome to France!

It's officially World Cup week so the Rugby Union Daily is back! To kick things off, Chris jumps on the Eurostar to Paris to meet All Blacks great Andrew Mehrtens. They look ahead to a bumper opening weekend across Paris, Marseille and Bordeaux and discuss their pre-tournament favourites given the lopsided draw. Mehrts also talks about that chastening defeat for New Zealand at Twickenham and which northern hemisphere teams have caught his eye having spent the year living in France. Chris also goes inside the Ireland camp to catch up with Ireland's Keith Earls. He talks quarter-final heartbreak, what it means to be playing at a fourth World Cup and the difference between rooming with Paul O'Connell and Conor Murray.
04/09/23·41m 47s

Rugby World Cup Top Tens: 4. Moments

Moments make World Cups. Whether it be a trophy lift, a drop goal or an individual piece of individual skill, Chris Jones, Matt Dawson and Bryan Habana debate their greatest moments. How do they compare Mandela and Piennar to Wilkinson’s drop goal? How about a shock Japan victory? Or Lomu in full flight?
03/09/23·38m 57s

Rugby World Cup Top Tens: 3. Controversies

Sometimes, World Cups are remembered for their off-field moments more than what took place on the field. And it’s those controversies that Matt Dawson, Bryan Habana and Chris Jones attempt to rank. You can be sure England’s antics in New Zealand in 2011 will place highly. As might the odd referee decision. Sam Warburton’s red card? And Bryan’s tales of what happened to the South African players ahead of the 2003 World Cup is not to be missed.
03/09/23·41m 50s

Rugby World Cup Top Tens: 2. Upsets

No World Cup is complete without an upset. And that is the subject Chris Jones, Matt Dawson and Bryan Habana tackle in this episode. Does Japan beating Bryan’s South Africa in Brighton in 2015 top the list? And where will the likes of Tonga, Fiji and Western Samoa beating Tier 1 opposition rank?
29/08/23·44m 8s

Rugby World Cup Top Tens: 1. Captains

World Cup winners Matt Dawson and Bryan Habana join Chris Jones to rank their greatest World Cup captains. Find out whether Bryan has the 1995 South African captain Francois Pienaar at the top of his list. And where does Matt have his 2003 winning captain Martin Johnson? And where does Richie McCaw end up?
29/08/23·41m 49s

Where do England go from here?

Another pod, another England inquest. Chris and Ugo are on the sofa to discuss Fiji's triumph at Twickenham and the many issues facing Steve Borthwick with the World Cup under two weeks away. Are Argentina now the favourites for England's opener in Marseille? Not everybody is getting carried away by the Springboks big win over the All Blacks, there's a new special pod series coming your way and we also chat to Tommy Bowe about Andy Farrell's Ireland squad, Johnny Sexton and their tricky World Cup draw.
28/08/23·55m 43s

Everything is changing!

Chris and Ugo talk England, Wales, France, Scotland, Australia and South Africa as World Cup prep heats up! Warren Gatland has rung the changes for as Wales head to Twickenham on Saturday. Steve Borthwick's starting XV has a more familiar look, but how many are nailed on starters for their opener against Argentina? Eddie Jones rolls the dice again with World Cup selection, Scotland demonstrate their growing squad depth and South Africa announce their 33-man squad to big fanfare in Johannesburg.
10/08/23·40m 25s

The England World Cup squad pod!

It's a proud day for the pod as Danny is named in England's 33-man squad for the World Cup in France. Chris and Ugo catch up with him at Twickenham to find out just what it means to make the cut at 36 years young, and we ask the big question: will he be taking his golf clubs to France? We also speak to Steve Borthwick who reflects on the defeat by Wales on the weekend and explains the thinking behind his big selection calls. Bristol’s Max Malins has also secured his spot on the Eurostar and he talks to the pod about how he found out he was making his first World Cup squad, his versatility in the back three, and his own golf game.
07/08/23·54m 37s

Business is about to pick up!

Chris, Ugo and Ashy are back and are ready to hit the ground running with the World Cup now just 5 weeks away. Steve Borthwick has named his side to face Wales in Cardiff, but how many of the side are going to make the final squad? Elsewhere, Warren Gatland’s Wales are in transition, but can he repeat the tricks of his first time in charge? And can Eddie Jones with Australia? We also discuss a fully-loaded Scotland side and how big an impact Johnny Sexton’s ban will have on Ireland.
03/08/23·58m 14s

Bonus pod: Inside the England camp with Danny!

In this mini bonus pod, Chris heads to the England team hotel to catch up with Danny, who has been selected in Steve Borthwick’s World Cup training squad. Danny talks about how determined he is to get back in an England shirt, what he has made of Borthwick’s set-up, and how he has unfinished business with the World Cup. He also reflects on his “rollercoaster” international career and why the fires still burn bright at the age of 36.
04/07/23·17m 46s

Emergency London Irish pod

The emergency pod klaxon has sounded so Chris has risen from his sun lounger to get reaction to London Irish’s expulsion from the Premiership. Friend of the pod Alex Corbisiero joins us to discuss what's next for the club he played at for so long - and for the English club game.
07/06/23·35m 15s

The end of season lunch

Ugo, Danny and Ashy head to Chris' for the last pod of the season and steak sandwiches. We get more insight into Ashy's red card hearing and Cadan Murley's role from Marbella. There's more Ford-Farrell debate and Premiership final reflections, plus plenty of love for Munster after they won the URC title. There's also World Cup predictions and some end of season awards too.
30/05/23·1h

Sarries reign supreme

Saracens are Premiership champions for a sixth time after they edged Sale in an epic final at Twickenham. Chris is joined by Matt Dawson and Paul Grayson to reflect on a match that more than lived up to the hype. After defeat in last year's final and the salary cap scandal, might this be their sweetest title of all? The guys reflect on where the game slipped from Sale's grasp in the second-half and whether Alex Sanderson's side are primed to be at the top table of English rugby for years to come. And in the battle of the No.10s it was Owen Farrell who emerged victorious, but what impact will that have on Steve Borthwick's England selection for the World Cup?
27/05/23·32m 37s

Ford or Farrell?

Chris, Ugo and Ashy look ahead to the Premiership final at Twickenham. Who would make your combined Saracens and Sale XV? Would you have George Ford or Owen Farrell at fly-half? The guys pick their team and discuss the merits of the two England playmakers. Sale's Gus Warr joins the pod and we find out what Ashy was like as a team-mate, the importance of finger tape and what he's learnt from Sir Alex Ferguson. We also preview the URC final and Ashy talks about how he's finding retirement.
24/05/23·59m 57s

La ROGelle go back-to-back

Chris and Paul Grayson bring you reaction from Dublin as La Rochelle stun Leinster (again) to win the Champions Cup. Hear from Ronan O'Gara after another titanic tussle between the two teams in a final and his thoughts on the prospect of coaching Ireland. But where did it go wrong for Leinster after they raced into a 17-0 lead after 12 minutes? Leo Cullen joins the pod to explain. We also reflect on the Challenge Cup final after Toulon outclassed Glasgow, and the surprise retirement of Alun Wyn Jones.
21/05/23·47m 32s

Semi-finals weekend and the Prince of Paris

Chris and Ugo dissect a big weekend of semi-finals in the Premiership and URC. Sale reached their first Premiership final in 17 years and face serial finalists Saracens. It means for the second successive year it will be Ford v Farrell in the big dance at Twickenham. There was a big shock in the URC as Munster toppled Leinster thanks to Jack Crowley's late drop goal. How will this impact Leinster heading into this weekend's Champions Cup final. And our special guest this week is Sergio Parisse who talks Italy, World Cups, leadership and life in Toulon ahead of their meeting with Glasgow in the Challenge Cup final.
15/05/23·59m 49s

Coaches Special

Ahead of the Premiership semi-finals, Chris sits down with the four directors of rugby for a special bonus podcast. Mark McCall, Richard Wigglesworth, Phil Dowson and Alex Sanderson share what it’s like to run a top Premiership team and how they've helped each other along their coaching journey. What is the hardest part of the job? And what is the most rewarding? They also discuss the challenges of nurturing young players and the need for a better coaching pathway. Is there more the RFU could be doing? And finally, if the DORs could add one player to their squad next season, who would it be?
11/05/23·37m 28s

The Ford derby

Ugo, Ashy and Chris reflect on an action-packed final day of the Premiership season which saw Bath pip local rivals Bristol to the final Champions Cup spot. George Ford joins the pod to look ahead to the ‘Ford derby’ between Sale and Leicester this weekend and we preview the second semi-final between Saracens and Northampton. There’s also a new Red Roses head coach to discuss and Steve Borthwick has finalised his coaching ticket for the World Cup as another Tigers coach joins the set-up.
09/05/23·59m 43s

The Dublin finals and partying with Parisse

Ugo, Danny and Chris wrap up Champions Cup semi-final weekend after impressive wins for Leinster and La Rochelle, but who made the bigger statement? There's also plenty of excitement about the Challenge Cup after Glasgow reached their first European final and will now face a star-studded Toulon in Dublin. We hear what it’s like to party with Sergio Parisse in Paris, reflect on a memorable weekend at Twickenham and find out which F1 personality Danny is going to be at his end of season party.
01/05/23·53m 46s

Red Roses seal Slam in front of record crowd

England completed the Grand Slam in front of a record women's crowd of 58,498 at Twickenham. Chris, Sara and Kat Merchant bring you reaction from to a landmark day for the women's game and ask what is next for the Six Nations after a thrilling title decider at the home of English rugby. They also discuss Simon Middleton's legacy as Red Roses head coach as he ends his reign on a high.
29/04/23·26m 36s

All eyes on Twickenham

Sara and Philippa are back to preview the final round of the Six Nations. They chat to England captain Marlie Packer ahead of their Grand Slam decider at Twickenham. We hear about her injury scare last weekend, how the squad are dealing with Simon Middleton's departure and why leading the team out on Saturday will be extra special. Sara and Philippa are also joined by Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm, who reflects on their first Six Nations win in two years and tells us what it was like to meet Princess Anne.
27/04/23·50m 25s

Top Trumps and semi-finals

With the Premiership semi-final line-up already complete, Chris, Ugo and Danny look ahead to the final day of the regular season that promised so much. Is there enough jeopardy without relegation? And should the semi-finals be played over two legs? They also look at Bath's recent resurgence and play Premiership Top Trumps. They discuss Jack Nowell's £10,000 fine by the RFU for criticising referee Karl Dickson and look ahead to semi-final weekend in Europe.
24/04/23·54m 47s

Red Roses continue march to Grand Slam glory

England remain on course for another Grand Slam after they dispatched Ireland at Musgrave Park. Sara Orchard is joined by former Red Roses captain Sarah Hunter to discuss a mixed England performance, despite scoring in eight tries. They also discuss the injury to captain Marlie Packer, who could now miss the showdown with France at Twickenham, and find some positives for Ireland after a tough Six Nations on and off the field.
22/04/23·15m 24s

Women's Six Nations: Hollywood and WXV

Sara Orchard and Philippa Tuttiett are joined by former Ireland captain Ciara Griffin to talk all things Ireland and preview this weekend's game at Musgrave Park with runaway leaders England. We also tackle the important issues, like how Philippa earned the nickname 'Hollywood' during her playing career. Plus, Sally Horrox from World Rugby gives us the latest on WXV, the new international tournament for women's rugby which launches in October.
20/04/23·45m 43s

Ashy the centurion!

It's a special pod as Ashy celebrates becoming the first player to reach 100 Premiership tries! Danny and Ugo quiz him on what it means to finally reach the all-important landmark and THAT celebration after notching his 101st try. They also discuss the controversy surrounding Olly Woodburn's red card and assess the race for the play-offs.
17/04/23·52m 23s

Red Roses run riot in Cardiff

Sara brings you all the reaction from Cardiff as England scored nine tries as they thrashed Wales at a packed Arms Park. Sarah Hunter reflects on another dominant England performance and praises the impact of Tatyana Heard after naming her Player of the Match. Sara also gets to the thoughts of a rather downbeat Philippa Tuttiett after Wales were humbled by the Red Roses. They discuss what happened to Wales after a competitive start and why they weren't able to capitalise when England went down to 13 players.
15/04/23·19m 41s

Women's Six Nations: The Cardiff Showdown

Philippa Tuttiett and Sara Orchard are back to preview round three of the Women’s Six Nations. There's plenty of excitement ahead of the showdown between Wales and England in Cardiff, they speak to Wales forward Georgia Evans to get the lowdown from the Wales camp. England head coach Simon Middleton raised a few eyebrows this week suggesting a radical chance to goal-kicking rules in women's rugby so we speak to World Cup winning fly-half Katy Daley-McLean to get her take. And journalist Fiona Tomas joins the pod to discuss her article in The Telegraph about allegations of sexism at the IRFU.
13/04/23·50m 2s

Europe's elite and Ashy's latest debut

It's a momentous day for the pod as Ashy makes his long-awaited sofa debut. He chats to Danny and Chris about overcoming injury and another house move as he aims to end the season with another try record. We also talk Champions Cup as Exeter reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2020, but did the Stormers journey from South Africa have too much of a bearing on the tie? Leinster remain on course for 'home' final and the French clubs flex their muscles again, but is there only a select group of elite clubs capable of winning the tournament nowadays? It's a bit more unpredictable in the Challenge Cup with four different nations represented in the last four.
11/04/23·59m 55s

Champions Cup Review

Chris and Ugo review a Champions Cup weekend packed full of drama. Exeter’s Henry Slade joins the pod to discuss their thriller with Montpellier at Sandy Park. Ugo tells us about his weekend in South Africa and bumping into Rassie Erasmus in Cape Town. There was heartbreak for Gloucester, but Saracens and Leicester made it three Premiership sides in the last eight. But can anybody stop Leinster adding a fifth star?
03/04/23·58m 27s

Wales and England maintain perfect starts

Sara reviews round two of the Women's Six Nations as Wales and England win again. The pod starts in Edinburgh as Sara chats to Heather Lockhart and Philippa Tuttiett after Wales score five tries to claim a bonus-point win over Scotland. Sara then heads to Franklin's Gardens to catch up with Katy Daley-McLean as England continued their dominant start to the tournament.
02/04/23·22m 57s

A Sarah Hunter special

Sara Orchard sits down with England’s most capped player, Sarah Hunter as she retires from the game of rugby union. The Six Nations match in her home town of Newcastle on Saturday against Scotland will be her last in a Red Roses jersey. They discuss everything - from why, as England captain, she has decided to hang up her playing boots, her best memories of playing for her country - including that World Cup win in 2014 and of the lows as well. But not only that, there are cameo appearances from former England captain, Katy Daley-McLean, England and Loughborough Lightning team-mate, Emily Scarratt and England head coach Simon Middleton.Hunter also reflects on the very start of her career, her hopes for the women’s game going forward and her future plans.
21/03/23·38m 50s

The final weekend review with Barclay and Warburton

Our two favourite captains, Sam Warburton and John Barclay, are back with Ugo and Chris on the sofa in Media City to round up the final weekend of an enthralling Six Nations. They discuss what sets Grand Slam winners Ireland apart from their rivals, there's more on Freddie Steward's controversial red card in Dublin, and the home nations are graded on their performance in the tournament. Does a Slam mean Ireland should automatically receive top marks? The guys also pick their best players and moments of the tournament.
20/03/23·57m 59s

Fairytale finish in Dublin

Ireland are Grand Slam champions, and we bring the St Patrick’s Day Party to you from Dublin! England had to improve on last week and they did, but it wasn't enough to keep the men in green at bay, especially when Freddie Steward was served a controversial red card. Chris Jones, Matt Dawson and Jamie Heaslip discuss that decision and the impact it had, as well as what ultimately separated Ireland in terms of class, and the moment everyone knew the Grand Slam was in the bag. They also take a moment to appreciate the fitting Six Nations send off for Jonny Sexton as he became the all-time points scorer for Ireland, and reflect on why he is one of the greats of the game – and why he won’t be going quietly!
18/03/23·36m 9s

A Super Saturday for Ireland?

We look ahead to Super Saturday and the final round of the 2023 Six Nations. Sonja McLaughlan and Sam Warburton are in Edinburgh with Chris and Denis Hickie in Dublin on St Patrick's Day. They look ahead to Ireland's Grand Slam decider against England and the two Farrells. Reflect on a difficult tournament for Wales and the team chosen by Warren Gatland to face France in Paris. And with no Finn Russell and Stuart Hogg, can Scotland end their championship on a high after two successive defeats?
18/03/23·48m 13s

We're in Dublin!

The pod is in Dublin as Ireland chase a fourth Grand Slam with only England now standing in their way. Chris and Matt Dawson head to the Ireland team announcement and are joined by friend of the pod Murray Kinsella, who gives us an insight into the mood in Ireland this weekend. We also hear from a very relaxed Andy Farrell on the way he and his team have embraced the favourites tag since topping the world rankings. Matt gives us his take on the England team tasked with spoiling the party in Dublin, including the surprise selection of Henry Arundell on the wing. Chris then heads to the England team hotel to catch up with head coach Steve Borthwick to talk selection and bouncing back after the heavy defeat to France.
17/03/23·41m 55s

What do England do now?

After being dismantled by France at Twickenham, England now head to Dublin to face Grand Slam-chasing Ireland. Chris and Danny discuss whether Steve Borthwick’s side can bounce back after a record home defeat and spoil the party in Dublin. They look ahead to team selection and Danny explains what he wants to see from England on Saturday. You will also hear from Kevin Sinfield about the mood in camp and Ellis Genge promises fans they will see a big reaction this weekend.
16/03/23·59m 22s

The weekend review with Beattie and Ashy

Chris, Ugo, Ashy and Johnnie Beattie round up another compelling Six Nations weekend. Ireland are just one win away from a Grand Slam after showing their class at Murrayfield, despite losing key players in key positions. But why did Scotland fail to capitalise? Did they fall short on the big stage once again? And after England’s thrashing at Twickenham, we discuss whether the issues for Steve Borthwick are bigger than just selection and whether a continuous influx of overseas players has had an impact on developing young talent.
13/03/23·54m 30s

France run riot at Twickenham

Chris is joined by Matt Dawson and Paul Grayson to pick the bones out of England’s record home defeat in the Six Nations. You’ll hear the thoughts of Steve Borthwick after a chastening day for the England boss. They discuss where this England team go from here, and whether there’ll be wholesale changes for their trip to Dublin. You’ll also hear the thoughts of France team manager, Raphael Ibanez, on what he calls one of the biggest wins in French rugby history after their first Six Nations win at Twickenham since 2005. And of course there is plenty of love for their talisman, Antoine Dupont.
11/03/23·39m 21s

Smith gets the keys to No.10

Ugo and Chris are joined by French rugby expert Paul Eddison at the England team hotel as Steve Borthwick names his team for their showdown with France this weekend. The big news is at fly-half, with captain Owen Farrell dropped to the bench and Marcus Smith getting the nod. Borthwick explains the decision and how Farrell reacted to the news. Paul gives us the lowdown on the changes to Fabien Galthie's team and explains why this French team are desperate to win at Twickenham. Flanker Lewis Ludlam also joins the pod to chat about his impressive form in this year's Six Nations and why he is relishing the challenge this Saturday.
09/03/23·59m 32s

Michele Lamaro Special

Chris chats to the man spearheading the Italian rugby revolution, their inspirational captain, Michele Lamaro. He tells us what it means to play for the Azzurri and to sing the national anthem. He reflects on their momentous win in Cardiff last year, dealing with the favourites tag against Wales this weekend and restoring pride in the Italian jersey.
09/03/23·20m 46s

The Smith Conundrum

Danny, Ugo and Chris are back together and there is plenty to discuss including some big pod news. Marcus Smith was recalled by England after impressing for Harlequins at the weekend, but will it be enough to persuade Steve Borthwick to give him more game time? There is more fallout from Welsh rugby's financial crisis as Willis Halaholo voices his concerns over contract uncertainty and Jarrod Evans looks set to leave his boyhood club Cardiff. And with more English players looking to ply their trade abroad, do the rules around foreign-based players need to change? England head coach Steve Borthwick thinks so, but what are the potential ramifications and should there be a cap rule implemented?
07/03/23·59m 5s

Andy Farrell Special

As Ireland continue their quest for a first Grand Slam since 2018, Chris charts Andy Farrell's remarkable rise from rugby league prodigy to one of the most respected head coaches in rugby union. Ashy talks about idolising him during his Wigan days and reveals how Farrell revolutionised England training while he was assistant coach. Alex Corbisiero gives a fascinating insight into the 2013 Lions tour and how Farrell inspired his players for the series decider against Australia. And Stuart Lancaster is back on the pod to discuss Farrell's coaching journey, his development over the last decade, and his strengths as a coach and a person. We also ask what the future holds, with Farrell the clear favourite to take charge of the Lions in 2025.
06/03/23·59m 20s

The weekend review with Barclay and Warburton

John Barclay and Sam Warburton join Ugo and Chris to wrap up round three of the Six Nations. Scotland’s Grand Slam hopes are ended in Paris as France kept their slim hopes of another Six Nations title alive. Warburton discusses the issues facing Wales on the field after a dramatic week off the field. They discuss criticism of England’s performance in Cardiff and ask whether it was justified. And can Scotland bounce back to end Ireland’s Grand Slam dream at Murrayfield?
27/02/23·48m 4s

England have final say in Cardiff

We're at the half way point! And as ever, there is loads to discuss... Chris Jones, 2003 World Cup winner Matt Dawson and former Wales winger Philippa Tuttiett react to an edgy match in Cardiff, which ultimately pleased English fans the most. Whilst it was by no means a classic game or the usual arm wrestle between these two fierce rivals, the pod squad discuss what signs there were of England's progress, whether Wales have the depth to usher in a full changing of the guard before their trip to Italy, and the way Italy backed up their progress by pushing Ireland in Dublin earlier today. All eyes look ahead to the game on Sunday where Grand Slam hopefuls Scotland travel to play a wounded French side!
25/02/23·26m 50s

The game is on!

Chris, Gareth Rhys Owen and Tom English react to the news that Wales v England will go ahead this weekend. After another long day of negotiations, the interim WRU chief executive Nigel Walker and Wales captain Ken Owens spoke to the media outside the Vale to deliver the news. The 60 cap rule is no more, the players have representation at PRB meetings, and a compromise met on the fixed and variable contracts. So crisis averted, but for how long? And what has this whole saga done to Welsh rugby's reputation?
23/02/23·39m 31s

Finn Russell Special

Ugo and Chris take the pod to Edinburgh and go inside the Scotland camp to chat to Finn Russell. He talks about his favourite pre-match meals, reveals he has never tried a deep-fried Mars Bar and gives a fascinating insight into how he prepares for a match. We hear how Russell rebuilt his relationship with head coach Gregor Townsend and why there is still more to come from Scotland ahead of their trip to Paris this weekend. He also talks about becoming a dad for the first time and what sets him apart from the other fly-halves in the Six Nations.
22/02/23·45m 35s

Emergency Nations Pod

The Nations pod has been brought forward this week with the WRU in the midst of another crisis. Chris, Tom English and Lauren Jenkins discuss why Welsh rugby players are considering going on strike against England in the Six Nations this weekend.As many as 70 players out of contract this season still don't know if they will have a job beyond June. The WRU is working to agree a funding deal with its four regions, but why is it taking so long? And what are the sticking points when it comes to the deal the players are being offered?
20/02/23·47m 51s

The weekend review with Barclay and Jiffy

John Barclay and Jonathan Davies join Chris and Ugo on the sofa to wrap up another captivating Six Nations weekend. England went back to basics under Steve Borthwick to brush aside Italy, but can they compete against the world’s best sides with that game plan? And where might this leave Marcus Smith? There’s plenty of love for Ireland, Hugo Keenan and Caelan Doris. Antoine Dupont gets compared to Lionel Messi, Scotland's second-half performance earns rave reviews, but it's a different story for Wales as Jiffy gives his take on where it's gone wrong for the regions and the national side.
12/02/23·55m 29s

The Power of Scotland & Irresistible Ireland

We can all remember games that have not lived up to their billing, but that was certainly not the case for the opening matches of Round 2! Sara Orchard and former Irish winger Denis Hickie were in Dublin to witness a masterclass from Ireland, which brought France's impressive unbeaten run to an end in some style (32-19). Sara and Dennis reflect on how Ireland stretched France's famous defence, and what we learned about the depth of Andy Farrell's squad ahead of the World Cup. Chris Jones, former Scotland No.8 Johnnie Beattie, and three-time Six Nations champion Jaime Roberts, catch their breath after a match for the ages at Murrayfield, which saw Scotland bag another bonus point win (35-7) and secure their first back-to-back win in the championship since 1996 - when POTM, Finn Russell, was 3 years old! They discuss what is most exciting about Scotland at the moment, the gulf in class on display today, and what hope there is for hurting Wales fans?
11/02/23·36m 14s

A Classic Six Nations Saturday

Rory Lawson joins Chris as the pre-match atmosphere builds in Edinburgh. Dan Biggar is in bullish mood, so will the pressure get to Scotland? As Ireland and France prepare for a mammoth showdown in Dublin, we ask whether either team is due a loss, and we’re in the England camp with Sara and Henry Slade as Steve Borthwick makes some big calls to his side to face Italy.
11/02/23·42m 43s

Shaun Edwards Special

He's won Grand Slams with Wales and France, two Champions Cups and four Premiership titles. He's gone from Wigan, via Wales, to Perpignan in the south of France. His team are on a 14-match winning streak and he's considered the best defensive coach in the game. In this special episode, World Cup winner Matt Dawson catches up with his old Wasps coach Shaun Edwards. We find out how much prize money Edwards has earned for his unions and his favourite French phrase when coaching. They also discuss life in France, why rugby league coaches are thriving in union, Six Nations prize money and being a self-proclaimed rugby nerd.
09/02/23·38m 8s

The Nations Pod

The Nations Pod returns as Gareth Rhys Owen of Scrum V and BBC Scotland’s Tom English join Chris to mull over the questions emerging from the first round of matches of the Six Nations. They discuss the news that Steve Borthwick is to shake up his England coaching staff at the end of the season, and why it didn’t happen earlier. With England and Wales losing at the weekend, they debate what changes the respective coaches could make going into this weekend. And after the new World Rugby rankings came out this week, does this make winning the Grand Slam more difficult than the World Cup?
08/02/23·51m 6s

The weekend review with Barclay and Warburton

There are contrasting emotions on the sofa as John Barclay and Sam Warburton join Chris and Ugo to wrap up round one of the Six Nations. Will Scotland win their opening two matches for the first time since 1996? There's plenty for Warren Gatland to ponder after Ireland ruined his return to the Principality. France edged Italy in Rome so attention now turns to their showdown with Ireland in Dublin. And what are the areas of concern for Steve Borthwick after losing his first game in charge.
06/02/23·56m 25s

Scotland's Calcutta Cup hat-trick

We've been building up to it all week, but finally, the 2023 Six Nations is underway! Wales hosted Ireland for the Championship opener, and it was not the great Gatland second-coming that many had hoped for. With Ireland clinical from the off, Sara Orchard, Wales international Philippa Tuttiett, and former Irish winger Denis Hickie, talk us through exactly what happened in Cardiff, and ponder Warren Gatland's options for the rest of the Championship?Twickenham was in full voice again but it wasn't enough to stop Scotland bagging a hat-trick of Calcutta Cups, or Scotland's Duhan van der Merwe putting in an early bid for try of the tournament! Chris Jones, 2003 World Cup winner Matt Dawson, and former Scotland No.8 Johnnie Beattie, discuss the key areas Scotland were superior, why Finn Russell impressed so much, the mindset Scotland need to take into their next game and beyond, and (Dawson's favourite question!), how can England close out these big games? Chris also gets the thoughts of England head coach Steve Borthwick after his first test in charge, and an understandably satisfied Scotland coach, Gregor Townsend.
04/02/23·47m 48s

Gatland's big homecoming

Tommy Bowe, Tom Shanklin, Sara Orchard and Sonja McLaughlan are in Cardiff to preview the opening day of the Six Nations. They share their memories of Eddie Butler and look back at some of their favourite Six Nations moments. Tommy gets to relive Ireland's historic Grand Slam in 2009 and they also take a closer look at Warren Gatland’s return to Wales. Plus, Chris and Ugo drop by to build the excitement for the Calcutta Cup.
04/02/23·47m 34s

Teams are out!

Chris and Ugo go behind the scenes at the England team hotel as Steve Borthwick names his first side as head coach. There are some big calls as Manu Tuilagi is left out, so what is Borthwick’s explanation for omitting the Sale powerhouse? He also explains why Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell are together in the midfield, and why he has welcomed back some players from the international wilderness. We speak to one of England’s key players in Maro Itoje, while Gregor Townsend is also on the pod as he makes some brave calls of his own.
03/02/23·48m 31s

Six Nations Captains Special

Today’s episode is all about the Six Nations captains. Ugo Monye and Chris Jones chat to Johnny Sexton, Owen Farrell, Ken Owens, Michele Lamaro, Jamie Ritchie and Antoine Dupont. They find out what's the best thing about being a captain, the downsides, which reality TV show they'd most like to try, best and worst roommates and we ask which other sport they would love to captain.
02/02/23·35m 24s

The Nations pod is back!

Scrum V’s Gareth Rhys Owen and Tom English from BBC Scotland join Chris to look ahead to the opening round of matches in the Six Nations. With Warren Gatland naming his side to face Ireland, his first since returning to Wales, the guys debate whether he has got the blend of youth and experience right. Chris explains why there is a different vibe around the England camp under Steve Borthwick. And they take a forensic look at the issues facing the governing bodies of Wales, Scotland and England and ask how much damage it is doing to the sport.
01/02/23·47m 45s

Try to Survive

John Barclay is our special co-host today, as is tradition during Calcutta Cup week. He's alongside to Danny and Chris to discuss the task facing Scotland at Twickenham this weekend and whether England will carry on the Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell partnership. Danny tells us about being reunited with Antoine Dupont, there's more on tackle heights and we find out how John would feel if one of his William Wallace style speeches made it onto a Netflix documentary.
31/01/23·54m 1s

Big Six Nations Preview

Rugby Union Daily is back for the Six Nations and we start with a bumper episode as Ugo and Chris chat to the coaches ahead of the opening weekend.Warren Gatland tells us about his return to Wales and what he loves about the Six Nations. They quiz Gregor Townsend on Finn Russell's return and whether this will be his last year as Scotland head coach. Steve Borthwick predicts a very competitive tournament this year and addresses some of the challenges facing the game today. Italy head coach Kieran Crowley reflects on their resurgence following their sensational win in Cardiff, and Andy Farrell talks about leading the number-one side in the world. We also challenge the coaches to pick the one rival player they would like to have in the Six Nations squad!
30/01/23·56m 18s

Bonus Pod: Sinfield Special

Chris takes the pod to University of Gloucestershire to sit down with England's new defence coach Kevin Sinfield. They talk about his relationship with Steve Borthwick, what he's looking to bring to the role and how coaching is more rewarding than playing. Sinfield also talks about his good friend Rob Burrow and the work he has done to raise money and awareness for motor neurone disease (MND). They also discuss rugby league, his song choices on Desert Island Discs and his first meeting with the England players this week.
04/01/23·30m 41s

The Borthwick era begins

England's new head coach Steve Borthwick is our special guest on the pod this week. He tells Chris how much it means to lead his country and what fans can expect from his England team in their Six Nations opener against Scotland. We also hear from RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney on why Borthwick was always first choice for the job, and why Eddie Jones was sacked nine months before the World Cup. Ashy reveals how Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield broke the news to the Leicester Tigers squad at the weekend, and Danny talks gameplans and whether England can win the World Cup next year in France.
19/12/22·59m 25s

A tribute to Doddie Weir

Chris Jones, Andy Nicol and Paul Grayson pay tribute to one of the greats of Scottish rugby, Doddie Weir, who’s died at the age of 52 following his battle with motor neurone disease. Andy and Paul remember him as a team-mate and a friend and they hear from the man himself, in a 2019 interview with 5 Live’s Darren Campbell.
26/11/22·26m 50s

The Dan Biggar Special

Ugo and Chris take a trip along the M4 to bring you a special pod with Wales centurion Dan Biggar. He chats about his move to Toulon and learning French. We talk Wales and England after their shaky starts to the autumn. We also get an insight into Finn Russell, discover why Biggar loves being a captain and the reason he isn't on social media.
08/11/22·59m 29s

Six Nations Greatest: Coaches

What makes a great coach? Is silverware all that matters? In the final episode of the series Danny Care and Sam Warburton rank the greatest coaches of the Six Nations era. They discuss coaching styles and how best to win over a dressing room. They provide a fascinating insight into how Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland operate as well as share some hilarious stories involving a certain defence coach from Wigan.
15/03/22·54m 1s

Six Nations Greatest: Try Scorers

Who is the greatest try scorer in the Six Nations era? Should it be based purely on numbers and statistics or is it about quality over quantity? Former Grand Slam winners Sam Warburton and Danny Care rank their top six try scorers and reminisce about their own favourite Six Nations try.
07/03/22·38m 9s

Six Nations Greatest: Stadiums

This week Sam Warburton and Danny Care must choose their favourite Six Nations stadium. They've got the six current grounds to debate and rate them based on atmosphere, location, dressing rooms and which city offers the best night out.
21/02/22·49m 35s

Six Nations Greatest: Matches

Sam Warburton and Danny Care are back, and this time they're ranking the greatest ever Six Nations matches. Danny's favourite match doesn't make the shortlist and Sam forces him to relive their 2013 showdown in Cardiff. There's an Irish Grand Slam decider to discuss, plus one of the greatest comebacks in Six Nations history.
08/02/22·37m 54s

Six Nations Greatest: Captains

Who is the greatest captain of the Six Nations era? Grand Slam winners Sam Warburton and Danny Care have joined forces to pick their top six captains and then rank them from one to six. They also discuss what makes a great captain and explain why captaincy is so much more than what you see on the pitch.
31/01/22·45m 27s

Warburton’s Lions Legends: Paul O'Connell

In the final episode Sam Warburton speaks to his former Lions team mate Paul O'Connell, who played in three Test series and captained the Lions in 2009. Paul's first experience with the Lions was the tour of New Zealand in 2005. He reflects on where it all went wrong; from injuries, to tactics and a dodgy Alastair Campbell speech. Four years later in South Africa, Paul captained the Lions to a first Test win in eight years. He shares his leadership style and explains how they learnt from the mistakes of 2005. Sam and Paul also look back at their winning tour to Australia in 2013. Despite winning the first Test, there were still mixed emotions for Paul as his tour was ended by injury. How do you deal with that? And what role did he play in the side after that? Sam explains just how important Paul was nine years ago.
28/07/21·51m 22s

Warburton’s Lions Legends: Martin Johnson

Sam Warburton and Martin Johnson are the only players to captain the British & Irish Lions on back-to-back tours. So for this episode they sat down together to discuss their incredible achievement. They talk leadership, feeling under qualified, handling pressure and the art of a good team talk. Martin also relives the famous series win over South Africa in 1997. You’ll hear about training in the dark, getting stitches during a match and Jeremy Guscott’s winning drop goal. He also recalls his tour to Australia in 2001 and where it all went wrong. He shares his biggest regret, the issues with Graham Henry’s tactics and why he could have done more as captain.
21/07/21·1h 3m

Warburton’s Lions Legends: Gavin Hastings

Sam Warburton chats to Gavin Hastings, one of the greatest Scottish players to ever represent the British & Irish Lions. In 1989, Gavin helped the Lions to their first series win in 15 years. Despite being on the receiving end of a right hook from Australia’s Nick Farr-Jones in the second Test, Gavin scored a crucial try to level the series. He recalls David Campese’s famous error in the deciding Test and making the most of free champagne in business class on the flight home. Four years later he captained the Lions to New Zealand. Find out why he hung up on Ian McGeechan, which player taunted the crowd in Wellington with beer and all about a dodgy refereeing decision in the first Test.
14/07/21·50m 1s

Warburton’s Lions Legends: Sir Gareth Edwards

In the first episode of this new series, Sam Warburton speaks to Sir Gareth Edwards about his remarkable career with the British & Irish Lions. Gareth remembers his first Lions call-up in 1968 as a student and his joy at receiving a voucher for two pairs of boots. Three years later Gareth was back with the Lions and helping them secure their first - and only - series win in New Zealand. It was a gruelling tour with 26 matches that lasted over three months. How did he keep in touch with his family, what was the secret to his partnership with Barry John and why did a match against Canterbury anger his grandma? Shortly after the birth of his first son in 1974, Gareth was back with the Lions for a third tour - this time in South Africa. This side became known as the Invincibles after they returned unbeaten after 22 matches. He relives his drop goal in the first Test, explains the real meaning behind infamous ‘99 call’ and running out of Lions jerseys before the third Test.
07/07/21·55m 10s

Rugby and dementia

A special podcast looking at the issue of dementia in rugby. Ugo Monye, Matt Dawson and Chris Jones speak to former Wales flanker Alix Popham who is one of eight players to have been diagnosed with early onset dementia. Alix talks openly about his struggles and what changes he would like to see in the game. Matt talks about his love for rugby and how he face the consequences if he faced problems later in life. Danny Care tells us why a new gumshield could help improve safety in the sport and we debate whether the game should make significant changes in the future.
10/12/20·1h 3m

Rugby and race

Ugo Monye and Chris Jones are joined by England and Saracens lock Maro Itoje to discuss race in rugby. We also chat to Anthony Watson, Christian Wade, Beno Obano, Nathan Earle and coach Collin Osborne to discuss diversifying the game, the portrayal of black rugby players in the media and their experiences of racism in both rugby and society.
09/06/20·1h 18m

Saracens Special

Ugo and Chris are at Allianz Park for a special podcast to discuss the biggest story in club rugby history. With Saracens’ relegation from the Premiership confirmed, we’re joined by former Saracens director of rugby Brendan Venter and BBC reporter Laura Scott, who first broke the salary cap scandal, to chat what Saracens did, what's happening now and where they go next.
20/01/20·58m 49s

Rugby Union Weekly's team of the decade

In Rugby Union Weekly's Christmas special, Ugo Monye, Chris Jones and Danny Care choose their global team of the decade. How many Home Nations' players can edge out an All Black? Who makes it from Australia and South Africa and crucially, who coaches the side? Also, there's a chance for you to have your say as we ask you to select the captain.
23/12/19·1h 12m
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