Rugby Union Daily

Rugby Union Daily

By BBC Radio 5 Live

Rugby Union Daily is back for the 2024 summer tours! We'll be in New Zealand following England as they take on the All Blacks in Dunedin and Auckland. We’ll be inside both camps to bring you the latest news and best interviews, plus all the usual analysis and insight from Ugo Monye, Danny Care and Chris Ashton. You’ll also get the latest from Wales, Scotland and Ireland's Summer tours and the Nations Pod returns!

If you’re following your country this summer we'd love to hear from you on the pod; email rugbyunionweekly@bbc.co.uk or search for 5 Live Sport on social media to send us a message.

Episodes

Wins, Losses, and Lessons

Ugo, Ashy and Danny are back on the sofa to look back at a busy weekend for the Home Nations. They begin with Ireland’s impressive victory over South Africa despite the absence of several key players. With England once again coming so close against the All Blacks, the guys ponder whether it was a missed opportunity for Steve Borthwick’s side. And how close are Wales to ending their winless streak having not won since October? Plus, they delve into what has been learnt about each of the four team as the season reaches its conclusion.
15/07/2454m 12s

Another near miss for England

Chris is at Eden Park and looks back on another narrow defeat for England against New Zealand who win the test series 2-0. It was an important learning curve for Steve Borthwick's side, but what are the positives from two straight defeats? What can the team learn from this tour? All Blacks legend Ian Jones and World Cup winner Paul Grayson discuss, plus Chris speaks to England captain Jamie George, head coach Borthwick and New Zealand boss Scott Robertson.
13/07/2435m 41s

Can England pass rugby’s ultimate test?

We’re less than 24 hours from the second Test at Eden Park which finally brings the curtain down on a long season, and Alex Lowe is back on the pod to preview it all with Chris in the heart of Auckland. England will be without George Furbank who has been ruled out through injury. How much will the absence of the Northampton full-back change England’s gameplan on Saturday? We hear from England flanker Sam Underhill on Freddie Steward coming in to replace Furbank and he tells us how much he’s relishing the Eden Park challenge. Chris has also been speaking to Chandler Cunningham-South about his rapid rise to becoming an England international after growing up in New Zealand.
12/07/2432m 29s

Inside the England camp with Jamie George

Chris is at the England team hotel in Auckland to chat to captain, and friend of the pod, Jamie George. We hear how the England team watched their footballing counterparts reach the Euro 2024 final and why Gareth Southgate is such a big inspiration to Jamie and Steve Borthwick. Who will be England's Ollie Watkins at Eden Park on Saturday? Chris also chats to Andrew Strawbridge, who recently joined England's coaching set-up on a permanent basis having helped the All Blacks to reach the Rugby World Cup final in October. But in 2015 Strawbridge was given days to live after contracting sepsis in Samoa. He recounts his near-death experience, the impact it has had on him physically and how it has shaped his approach to life.
11/07/2425m 48s

The Nations pod

Tom channels his inner Rassie Erasmus as he highlights some issues with the officiating in the 1st Test between South Africa and Ireland. The Boks use of the bench is once again up for discussion. GRO tries to come up with some positives following another defeat for Wales that’s seen them fall to 11th in the world rankings. And where do England need to improve if they are to end New Zealand’s long unbeaten run at Eden Park?
10/07/2449m 48s

Eden Park: The All Blacks' fortress

There is no venue in world rugby like Eden Park in Auckland. It is now 30 years since the All Blacks have lost a game at the spiritual home of New Zealand rugby. Ahead of the 2nd Test match with England on Saturday, we ask what is so different about Eden Park, and why do the All Blacks never lose there? Chris is joined by one of the voices of New Zealand rugby in Nigel Yalden, as well as All Blacks legend Ian Jones, who remembers when France stormed the fortress in 1994. And New Zealand back Stephen Perofeta tells us how this current crop are determined to continue the Eden Park legacy.
09/07/2440m 58s

The weekend review with Danny, Ashy and Ugo

Ugo, Ashy and Danny pick through the bones of a busy weekend of games. They ask whether England could have done more to steal a win against the All Blacks in Dunedin and explain why a win at Eden Park next weekend is more than a possibility for Borthwick’s men. Did Wales' lack of discipline and experience cost them in Sydney against the Wallabies? And did South Africa against Ireland in Durban live up to the hype? Plus, the guys reveal what fixture they are most looking forward to this weekend.
08/07/2451m 11s

A tight, titanic tussle of a test match

Chris is at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin reflecting on a narrow 16-15 defeat for England in the first test match. All Blacks legend Ian Jones is alongside him, with World Cup winner Paul Grayson joining in from London. It was a case of missed chances for England, but they can take lots of positives into the second and final test at Eden Park next Saturday. Chris speaks to head coach Steve Borthwick, a disappointed England skipper Jamie George and New Zealand head coach Scott 'Razor' Robertson who said he was relieved to get the win.
06/07/2436m 37s

Can England shock the All Blacks in Dunedin?

Can England claim their first win in New Zealand since 2003? On the eve of the first Test, we take advice from one of our loyal listeners and head to a bar in Dunedin where Chris chats to rugby correspondent Alex Lowe from The Times. You'll also hear from centre Ollie Lawrence who is back in New Zealand for the first time since 2017 when he toured the country with his school. We find out what the All Blacks captain Scott Barrett is expecting from England and look ahead to Wales and Ireland's assignments on a super Saturday of rugby.
05/07/2437m 23s

New Zealand's new era

Chris is at the All Blacks team hotel as Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson announces his first New Zealand team – and there’s a big surprise at fullback. We get the thoughts of NZ Herald correspondent Liam Napier on Robertson’s squad to face England which also sees the return of TJ Perenara and Damian McKenzie at fly-half. You will hear from the reigning world player of the year Ardie Savea on the challenge he is expecting from England in Dunedin. Chris also manages to grab a word with NZ Rugby chief Mark Robinson about the strength of the All Black brand and the challenges they face in the modern game.
04/07/2438m 37s

The Nations pod

Chris, Tom English and Gareth Rhys Owen battle time zones and technical difficulties to bring you the first Nations pod of the summer. We do a deep dive into the many challenges facing Wales on their tour to Australia. Would drawing the series actually suit both Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt? Tom is still basking in the glory of some Scottish silverware and is there anything other than revenge on the minds of the Springboks as they look to end their losing run against Ireland.
03/07/2452m 25s

We're in Auckland as Steve Borthwick names his team

Chris has made it to Auckland – short of both sleep and a suitcase – and he heads into the England hotel as Steve Borthwick names his team for the first Test with the All Blacks. Borthwick tells us what he wants from Marcus Smith after picking an unchanged backline, and why Fin Baxter and Ollie Sleightholme are both set for their debut. Vice-captain Henry Slade is on the pod to give some jetlag tips and to reflect on his journey from Test rookie to one of the squad’s senior players. And Alex Mitchell discusses the Northampton influence in the team and why Saturday could be a memorable day for English sport.
02/07/2433m 41s

The big summer preview!

Chris, Danny and Ashy are joined by Jamie George and Nick Tompkins to look ahead to a brilliant few weeks of international rugby. Can Ireland win in South Africa, or is it a step too far for Andy Farrell’s side? There is an element of the unknown about the All Blacks, so do England have a chance of making history in New Zealand? Meanwhile Wales have a chance to restore some pride in the jersey against the Wallabies, while Scotland will be gunning for four wins on their tour of the Americas.
01/07/241h 6m

The England debrief and HuwRC

Danny gives Chris and Ashy the lowdown on his day with the Barbarians at Twickenham which ended with another yellow card! England passed their Tokyo Test with flying colours as Eddie Jones’ homecoming ends in defeat. Has Marcus Smith done enough to nail down the 10 shirt for the All Blacks series? Glasgow’s Huw Jones joins from Johannesburg airport after winning the URC. We hear all about their celebrations and get his take on what this victory could do for Scottish rugby. We also talk Wales, the PWR final and if Michael Cheika is the right man to takeover at Leicester Tigers.
24/06/2459m 5s

Inside the Barbarians with Danny, Whitelock and Mercer

Chris tracks down Danny, who is a little worse for wear, for a special episode from the Barbarians team hotel in Mayfair. They're joined by some of Danny's Baa Baas team mates starting with All Blacks legend and captain for the week Sam Whitelock. Can Danny convince him to become vice-captain? Zach Mercer talks openly about his move back to the UK and his struggles with England selection. Saracens' new recruit Fergus Burke also joins, plus we discuss the England's team to play Japan and the size of the task that awaits an inexperienced Wales side at Twickenham.
19/06/2458m 24s

A Barbarian and a Warrior

Danny is on the sofa with Ashy and Ugo before he joins up with the Barbarians this week, but his fitness is quicky called into question after a chance encounter with a set of scales at Centre Parcs. Scotland centre Huw Jones joins the pod fresh after reaching the URC final with Glasgow. He talks about their big win at Thomond Park before flying out to South Africa to prepare for their showdown with the Bulls in Pretoria. We also look ahead to Japan v England and Eddie Jones v Steve Borthwick.
17/06/2457m 4s

England summer squad pod

The pod is back at Twickenham two days after the Premiership final, but this time we're talking England as Steve Borthwick names his 36-man squad for the tour to Japan and New Zealand. Danny, Ugo, Ashy and Chris quiz the England head coach on his decision to take Tom Curry, the inexperience in the back line and style of play. With George Ford missing the summer through injury, which Smith will be wearing the 10 jersey this summer? We also take ski goggles, trophy parades and look ahead to the business end of the URC season.
10/06/2455m 35s

The Saints go marching in

Chris, Ashy and Matt Dawson bring you reaction to a thrilling Premiership final as Northampton beat 14-man Bath at Twickenham. Courtney Lawes is back on the pod after ending his Saints career on a high and ending the club's long wait for a title. But as Lawes departs, is this current squad full of homegrown talent destined for more success in the future? You will also hear from a disappointed Johann van Graan, we discuss Beno Obano's red card and analyse Finn Russell's performance.
09/06/2437m 13s

Premiership final: Russell and Lawes

We're continuing our build-up to the Premiership final by speaking to two of the biggest names in the game who will run out on Saturday. Sara has been to Bath's training centre at Farleigh House to catch up with Finn Russell, who talks about his desire to win a first trophy since 2015, his partnership with Ben Spencer and how he deals with nerves and pressure. You will also hear from the departing Courtney Lawes ahead of his final appearance for the Saints after 17 seasons. He tells Chris about the strong position he leaves the club in, his longevity as a player and how he still feels he is still improving at 35. Which club will end their long wait for Premiership glory at a sold-out Twickenham?
06/06/2451m 55s

The Premiership final and Farrell's farewell

Ugo, Danny & Ashy are on the sofa to round-up Premiership semi-final weekend as Northampton and Bath both emerged from two titanic tussles to book their spot in the big dance at Twickenham. With the top two sides in the league going head-to-head in the final, we pick our combined XV. Which club ended up with the most players? They also discuss Owen Farrell's legacy after he bowed out from English rugby, where does he rank amongst the all-time greats of the English game? There is a look at the URC quarter-final line-up and a tribute to the great Rob Burrow.
03/06/2455m 16s

The big play-off preview pod

Ashy and Chris are suited and booted for the RPA awards in central London where they manage to track down some of the biggest Premiership names who will be involved in this weekend's play-offs. First up on the pod it's Northampton duo Courtney Lawes and Fin Smith who look ahead to their showdown with Saracens which will be Lawes' final game at the Gardens after 17 seasons! They also grab a word with England and Saracens back row Ben Earl who says they're so focused for Friday night it's 'scary'. Ashy is forced to pick between George Ford and Finn Russell as we look ahead to Saturday's semi-final between Bath and Sale. Plus we grab a word with the legendary England and Lions centre Jeremy Guscott, who was part of the last Bath team to win the title back in 1996!
30/05/2444m 0s

Premiership play-offs: DOR special

It's Premiership semi-final week, so to kick things off we have a special episode with the directors of rugby from the four clubs competing for a spot at Twickenham this weekend. Mark McCall, Johann van Graan, Phil Dowson and Alex Sanderson are all together to chat to Chris about the challenges of a season that was delayed by the World Cup and put on hold during the Six Nations. Does a 10-team league work? And are we any closer to achieving promotion and relegation? They also discuss big name players leaving for France and whether the RFU should relax its eligibility rules for overseas players. And with four of the best fly-halves around on show this weekend, each DOR explains why their 10 is the best.
27/05/2445m 24s

The Sale Avalanche

Sale's Ben Curry is our special guest this week after they stunned Saracens in the final round of the Premiership. He tells Chris and Ashy what's been behind their remarkable run to the play-offs and why Alex Sanderson had them catching tennis balls wrapped in white tape all week. We also discuss Saracens' farewell tour and whether Northampton's decision to rest key players for the semi-finals will backfire. Also, is the Champions Cup final this weekend the unofficial World Cup final?
20/05/2449m 59s

Premiership play-offs and Gnasher the Goldfish

Will Saracens or Bath secure a home semi-final? Can Sale hang onto fourth spot? Or will Exeter, Harlequins or Bristol leapfrog them? Ashy, Ugo and Sara look ahead to the final round of the Premiership season which has all the makings of a classic weekend. There is also plenty of fallout from round 16 including THAT 90-0 defeat for Gloucester, late bonus points and emotional send-offs. We find out how Saracens are taking inspiration from Ted Lasso their run-in and Ashy's pet goldfish.
13/05/2451m 36s

Leinster have it all Toulouse

Fresh from his trip to Toulouse, Danny gives Ugo and Chris the inside track on Quins’ defeat in the south of France. He tells us about his latest rendezvous with his favourite scrum-half and how Blair Kinghorn ended up in his bad books on Sunday. We also discuss Northampton’s narrow defeat at Croke Park and ask who will have the edge in the final at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. But will an English club get a better chance of competing for club rugby’s biggest prize? And will Gloucester’s season be considered a success if they manage to lift the Challenge Cup despite their struggles in the Premiership?
06/05/2454m 17s

Danny’s discipline and the English Wallaby

Chris, Danny and Ashy are on the sofa as the race for the Premiership play-offs hots up. Are Bristol genuine title contenders after another big win? Elsewhere Harlequins beat the league leaders Northampton, but should Danny have been sent off? And why are scrum-halves the lowest-paid players in the league? We also chat to former England lock Geoff Parling after his appointment to the Australia coaching staff, and discuss how is he set to make rugby history next summer.
29/04/241h 4m

England's Grand Slam hat-trick

Sara is pitch side in Bordeaux with World Cup winner Katy Daley-McLean after England wrapped up a third straight Grand Slam with victory over France. They speak to an emotional John Mitchell and Katy is reunited with two of her favourite former team-mates. They also speak Ellie Kildunne who reveals some big news on the pod. Sara and Katy also wrap up the rest of the final round drama as Wales left it late at the Principality and there was surprise win for Ireland over Scotland.
27/04/2422m 47s

The Grand Slam decider

Sara, Chris and Philippa preview the final round of the Women’s Six Nations as England chase a third successive Grand Slam. Red Roses captain Marlie Packer talks about the challenge of facing France out in Bordeaux. We look ahead to a big day for Wales at the Principality as they look to avoid the wooden spoon, and the battle for third place which would secure World Cup qualification.
25/04/2453m 11s

1994 World Cup Special: 30 years on

On the 30th anniversary of England's victory in the 1994 World Cup final, Sara sits down with Giselle Mather and Gill Burns to relive that historic day in English women's rugby. It was the tournament that almost never happened, but Scotland stepped in to host at the last minute and the rest as they say is history. Gill and Giselle take us back to the struggles being a rugby player in the early 90s juggling work and even sharing beds with players while on tour. They also delve into the final itself and explain how they toppled the defending champions USA in front of packed stadium in Edinburgh.
24/04/2443m 56s

The Top 4 and the Top 9s

We're talking reunions on this week's pod after Ugo's trip to see Blue in Liverpool. If there was one team or player in their prime you could pay to watch, who would it be? Bristol get some love after crashing the top four party in the Premiership and that's time of year where we start to talk end of season awards. We get Danny to run the rule over England's plethora of in-form nines now that he has called time on his international career. There are big wins for Munster and Ospreys in the URC, Leinster sign a Barrett brother and Ugo considers launching a new career as a gymnast.
22/04/2458m 25s

Inside the England camp at Twickenham

Sara Orchard and World Cup winner Kat Merchant are at Twickenham chatting to Megan Jones and Maud Muir ahead of Ireland on Saturday. Megan and Maud talk the Twickenham noise and how the team have been preparing for the loud atmosphere. Plus Sara has been catching up with Ireland co-captains Edel McMahon and Sam Monaghan and how they think their familiarity with the Red Roses players could work to their advantage. Kat and Sara also chat the challenge that faces Wales as France travel to the Principality and the grudge match between Italy and Scotland.
18/04/2450m 31s

All aboard the Quins rollercoaster

We're at full strength on the pod this week with Ugo, Danny, Ashy and Chris all on the sofa to review the Champions Cup quarter-final weekend. We had to start with the thriller in Bordeaux, friend of the pod Marcus Smith drops by to give us - and Danny - the lowdown on that epic win. Is it working having the South African teams in the competition? Do we need a neutral host city for semi-final weekend? We also talk Croke Park, rowing and our favourite Blue hits as Ugo heads to Liverpool for the Blue reunion tour.
15/04/2456m 9s

Ruthless Red Roses thrash Scotland

Sara is in Edinburgh to bring you reaction to another big win for the Red Roses as they remain on course for another Grand Slam. England ran in eight tries as they thrashed Scotland in front of a record crowd for Scottish women's rugby, despite being reduced to 14 players in the second half. Sara is joined by former Scotland prop Heather Lockhart pitch side to get her thoughts, they also grab a word with England's Jess Breach and Scotland's Fi McIntosh.
13/04/2423m 18s

Mums, Moloney and 4.5 size ball mania

Sara Orchard and former Wales captain Philippa Tuttiett head into the England camp ahead of their trip to Scotland in the Women's Six Nations. They hear from the retiring Red Rose Vickii Cornborough after she had twins last year, whilst also speaking with current England lock Abbie Ward about her return to play after the birth of her daughter. Italy and Sale lock Sara Tunesi joins the pod from Parma to talk about her sides hopes of making history ahead of their clash with France. There's also plenty of chat about the possible return of Ireland hooker Cliodhna Moloney and the World Rugby 4.5 size ball trial.
10/04/2457m 22s

Danny: 101 and out

It’s a big day for Danny as he calls time on his England career after 16 years and 101 caps. He tells Chris and Ashy what was behind the decision, the conversation he had with England boss Steve Borthwick and we get to the bottom of how David Beckham sent him a video message for his 100th cap. We also round up the action from the weekend as the Premiership came back with a bang as Saracens laid down a big marker, Gloucester shocked Leicester and Finn Russell finally landed his first drop goal.
25/03/2457m 25s

The big Women’s Six Nations preview

The Six Nations continues as the Women’s tournament gets under way this weekend! Sara and Philippa Tuttiett are at the launch event to speak to the home nations captains and explain why the battle for third place this year will be so intense. They speak to England's Marlie Packer as she prepares to win her 100th cap for the Red Roses. Sara bounds with Scotland’s Rachel Malcolm over a certain reality TV show. We find out why Ireland's new co-captain Edel McMahon is called 'tricky', plus we hear from Hannah Jones on whether Gloucester's dominance in the PWR will bring more success to Wales. We also discuss what France and Italy can bring to the party and there’s a special cameo by a Gladiator!
21/03/2456m 14s

Nations Pod: The final word

Chris, Gareth and Tom reunite for one last pod to bring the curtain down on the 2024 Six Nations. What mark out of 10 does this year's tournament deserve? The guys pick their favourite match of this year's championship and their player of the tournament after the four-man shortlist was revealed. Can one scrum-half count himself unlucky to have missed out? And should there have been more than one Italian on the list? We also look at what's next for the home nations ahead of some intriguing assignments in the summer.
20/03/2453m 54s

The big Six Nations review!

Chris is joined by Ugo Monye, John Barclay and Sam Warburton to go through the Six Nations after Ireland win back-to-back titles, while Wales pick up the Wooden Spoon for the first time in 21 years. The team rate each country and pick out some key moments from the tournament. Who overachieved and who came up short and why? And what next for those teams evolving and going through transition? Sam also gives his thoughts on the future of Welsh rugby and shares a story from a post match function, after Scotland’s win over Wales in Cardiff.
17/03/2458m 54s

Ireland win back-to-back Six Nations titles

Chris is joined by Tommy Bowe and Fraser Brown for on the whistle reaction from the Aviva after Ireland beat Scotland to win back-to-back Six Nations titles. Plus Chris has pitch side reaction from Jack Crowley and Robbie Henshaw. The team also chat Wales’ loss to Italy and what’s next for them. Elsewhere Sara is out in Lyon with Matt Dawson and Chris Ashton following France’s 33-31 victory over England after a late Ramos penalty. Sara also speaks to England captain Jamie George.
17/03/2449m 47s

Will it be a Super Saturday?

Chris manages to track down Tom English in Dublin to look ahead to the final round of the Six Nations. They debate where back-to-back titles would leave Andy Farrell's Ireland after they missed out on successive Grand Slams. Rory Darge joins the pod with Scotland in the hunt for a first Triple Crown since 1990. How do they end a run of nine straight defeats against Ireland? Could this weekend be Manu Tuilagi's final appearance for England? Sara catches up with him in Lyon as England look to end their championship on a high. And we discuss the wooden spoon decider in Cardiff between Wales and Italy.
16/03/2435m 2s

We're in Dublin and Lyon!

Will Ireland wrap up back-to-back Six Nations titles or is there a big shock in store? The teams are out for Super Saturday and Chris is in Dublin to preview Ireland's clash with Scotland and get the thoughts of Luke Fitzgerald, who was part of the last Irish team to win successive titles. Sara is Lyon and has been to the England team hotel to speak to fly-half George Ford who hopes to mark his birthday this weekend with a first England win on French soil since 2016.
15/03/2438m 1s

The Rivalries: France v England

In the last episode of our rivalries series, Chris sits down with Martin Johnson to discuss the fixture known simply as Le Crunch. They look at the brilliant French side of the 80s and England's dominance in the 90s as Johnson made his breakthrough. We look at how the psyche of the French rugby player is built on emotion and why facing France in Paris was such a daunting task. Johnson also reveals why this rivalry meant the most to him as a player and that his favourite try of all time was scored by a Frenchman.
14/03/2448m 6s

All over for round four!

Sara is joined by John Barclay and Philippa Tuttiett for on the whistle reaction from a very loud and lively Principality Stadium after France beat Wales to complete round four of the Six Nations. They discuss what went right for France and what next for Wales, who host Italy on the final day. They also console a rather sad John Barclay after Scotland lost against Italy and look ahead to what will be a really ‘Super Saturday’ next week which also includes Ireland taking on Scotland and England travelling to France. And not only that Sara works out those all-important permutations!!
10/03/2429m 4s

England drop for glory once more

Chris Jones, Matt Dawson, Paul Grayson & Tommy Bowe reflect on England's shock win over Ireland. The team discuss what was a 'bouncing gantry' as England galvanised the Twickenham crowd to put a stop to Ireland's back-to-back grand slam hopes. We hear from Marcus Smith, whose drop goal won it for England to keep their Six Nations dream alive, and also discuss the end of the road for Scotland as Italy came back to win in Rome.
09/03/2441m 6s

Can England stop the Irish juggernaut?

With the Irish a bonus point victory away from another Six Nations title, Chris is at Twickenham chatting to The 42’s Murray Kinsella. They discuss takeaways from Peter O’Mahony’s press conference, what the England gameplan should be, and the fact that Ireland have barely come under any pressure during the competition to this point. England defence coach – and former Ireland international – Felix Jones is also on the pod talking systems, shape, and who his family will be rooting for on Saturday.
08/03/2429m 13s

Danny joins England's 100 club

After 16 years on the international scene, Danny is set to win his 100th England cap this weekend. Chris and Ashy chat to him about the highs and lows of his career, his favourite tries, and how a chocolate cookie threatened to detail matters in 2017. We also ask if – and how - England can cause an upset against Ireland this weekend.
06/03/2432m 50s

The Rivalries: England v Ireland

In the latest episode of our rivalries series, Jamie Heaslip chats to Chris about the battles between England and Ireland down the years and how the rivalry has evolved. Has the move to professionalism helped Ireland turn the tables on England? We pick out some Jamie's memorable victories over England and remember that historic encounter at Croke Park back in 2007. Heaslip also gives us his take on the meeting at Twickenham this weekend as Ireland look to make it four wins in a row over their great rivals.
04/03/2442m 37s

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.
23/02/2441m 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.
22/02/2449m 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.
21/02/2452m 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?
20/02/2451m 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.
19/02/2426m 21s

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.
04/02/2459m 12s

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?
01/02/2433m 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.
30/01/2445m 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.
29/01/2457m 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.
17/01/2440m 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.
15/01/2454m 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.
11/01/2452m 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.
08/01/2457m 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.
01/01/2451m 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.
24/12/2350m 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.
18/12/2351m 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.
14/12/2334m 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.
11/12/2353m 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.
07/12/2340m 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.
07/12/2343m 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.
04/12/2349m 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.
27/11/2349m 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.
20/11/2356m 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.
13/11/231h 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.
06/11/2348m 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.
27/10/2347m 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.
25/10/2325m 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.
23/10/2337m 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.
20/10/2338m 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.
19/10/2333m 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.
18/10/2337m 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.
14/10/2347m 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?
13/10/2341m 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?
09/10/2341m 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?
05/10/2347m 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.
04/10/2332m 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?
30/09/2320m 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.
29/09/2339m 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.
28/09/2348m 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.
23/09/2334m 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.
22/09/2341m 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.
22/09/2329m 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.
21/09/2334m 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.
19/09/2337m 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.
17/09/2328m 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.
16/09/2336m 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.
15/09/2340m 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.
14/09/2336m 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
12/09/2341m 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
08/09/2333m 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.
07/09/2331m 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.
06/09/2328m 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.
04/09/2341m 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?
03/09/2338m 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.
03/09/2341m 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?
29/08/2344m 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?
29/08/2341m 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.
28/08/2355m 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.
10/08/2340m 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.
07/08/2354m 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.
03/08/2358m 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.
04/07/2317m 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.
07/06/2335m 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.
30/05/231h

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?
27/05/2332m 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.
24/05/2359m 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.
21/05/2347m 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.
15/05/2359m 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?
11/05/2337m 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.
09/05/2359m 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.
01/05/2353m 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.
29/04/2326m 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.
27/04/2350m 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.
24/04/2354m 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.
22/04/2315m 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.
20/04/2345m 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.
17/04/2352m 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.
15/04/2319m 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.
13/04/2350m 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.
11/04/2359m 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?
03/04/2358m 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.
02/04/2322m 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.
21/03/2338m 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.
20/03/2357m 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!
18/03/2336m 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?
18/03/2348m 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.
17/03/2341m 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.
16/03/2359m 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.
13/03/2354m 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.
11/03/2339m 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.
09/03/2359m 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.
09/03/2320m 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?
07/03/2359m 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.
06/03/2359m 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?
27/02/2348m 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!
25/02/2326m 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?
23/02/2339m 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.
22/02/2345m 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?
20/02/2347m 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.
12/02/2355m 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?
11/02/2336m 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.
11/02/2342m 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.
09/02/2338m 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?
08/02/2351m 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.
06/02/2356m 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.
04/02/2347m 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.
04/02/2347m 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.
03/02/2348m 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.
02/02/2335m 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.
01/02/2347m 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.
31/01/2354m 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!
30/01/2356m 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.
04/01/2330m 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.
19/12/2259m 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.
26/11/2226m 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.
08/11/2259m 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.
15/03/2254m 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.
07/03/2238m 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.
21/02/2249m 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.
08/02/2237m 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.
31/01/2245m 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.
28/07/2151m 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.
21/07/211h 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.
14/07/2150m 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.
07/07/2155m 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.
10/12/201h 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.
09/06/201h 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.
20/01/2058m 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.
23/12/191h 12m
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Heart UK
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