This is Talking Rugby’s longest episode to date and not without good reason! We are delighted to welcome our first special guest to the show, David Barnes, current chairman of the Rugby Players’ Association in England and former West Hartlepool, Newcastle, Harlequins and Bath prop.
We also welcome back Doc and William from Ireland while Mike chimes in from Durham, England. Along with David Barnes, we discuss the topical issues in rugby at the moment, most notably the upcoming Heineken Cup semi-finals where we are 2 victories away from an all Irish final.
0:00 – The team say hi!
PART 1: RABODIRECT PRO12 REVIEW
3:10 – Leinster severely dented Ulster’s playoff hopes with a win at Ravenhill, ahead of their Heineken semi-finals.
7:10 – Munster eeked out a disappointing draw in a poor game away to Scarlets, but the result puts them in the playoffs. Meanwhile Matthew Jarvis was the hero for Connacht as they earned a last minute victory at home to Aironi.
13:00 – David Barnes gives his 2c on the Rabo.
PART 2: HEINEKEN CUP SEMI-FINALS PREVIEW
14:45 – We look ahead to the first Heineken Cup semi-final: Ulster vs Edinburgh at the Aviva Stadium. Ulster are strong favourites but can Edinburgh spring a surpise?
25:40 – Clermont host Leinster in Bordeaux in a highly anticipated clash, probably the two sides in Europe will be on show here. A contest that is tough to call!
PART 3: AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP + AVIVA PREMIERSHIP TALK
38:05 – It’s two all French affairs in the Amlin Challenge Cup: Toulon vs Stade Francais & Biarritz vs Brive. The panel also debate the merit of the existence of the competition, compared to the “big stage” that is the Heineken Cup.
50:20 – We talk Aviva Premiership, with a look at the relegation battle and what it entails for the side that do go down.
PART 4: DAVID BARNES SPECIAL
1:06:30 – David talks about his career.
1:15:00 – David talks about the Rugby Players’ Association, the background behind its founding and his work with the Injured Players’ Fund.
1:19:10 – We take some fans’ questions for David, leading to discussions about player welfare, a global parallel rugby season and the scrum.
Note: Bet of the Week will be tweeted and posted on our facebook page by friday afternoon.
Talking Rugby is by the fans, for the fans. If you would like to advertise, sponsor or simply get involved with the show, drop us an email to TheWorldsTalking@gmail.com.
To make tuning in again easier for you:
1. We’re available on the iTunes Store directory, type in “Talking Rugby” into the search bar and you’ll find the show and be able to subscribe.
2. You can also subscribe via our RSS feed http://talkingrugby.podomatic.com/rss2.xml
3. You can find old episodes here: http://talkingrugby.podomatic.com/
4. We are also on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Worlds-Talking/191923120895223
5. And Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TheWorldsTalkin