Thursday, 26 July 2012

Heineken Cup 2012/2013 fixtures

Heineken Cup 2012/2013 fixtures were announced yesterday (25.07.2012). The most important club tournament in Europe, as usual, promises very exciting events. There will be clash of the titans in the first round. Aviva Premiership champions – Harlequins will play with very strong French team Biarritz Olympique. French champions – Toulouse will face Leicester Tigers. Apart from this, there will be, of course, more interesting games in the first weekend. This year’s finalist – Ulster will play with Castres. Best European team – Leinster will challenge competition newcomers Exeter Chiefs. Munster will travel to Paris to meet with Racing Metro. Sale Sharks’ opponent on the new stadium will be Cardiff Blues.

History will be made in the round two. For the first time ever Heineken Cup game will be played in Belgium. Saracens and Racing Metro will entertain spectators in Brussels.

Complete schedule of Heineken Cup 2012/2013

Round One
Friday, 12 October
Ulster v Castres
Ospreys v Treviso
Saturday, 13 October
Racing Metro v Munster
Edinburgh v Saracens
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs
Clermont v Scarlets
Harlequins v Biarritz
Sunday, 14 October
Northampton Saints v Glasgow Warriors
Sale Sharks v Cardiff Blues
Toulouse v Leicester Tigers
Toulon v Montpellier 

Round Two
Friday, 19 October
Glasgow Warriors v Ulster
Castres v Northampton Saints
Saturday, 20 October
Scarlets v Leinster
Treviso v Toulouse
Saracens v Racing Metro
Exeter Chiefs v Clermont
Connacht v Harlequins 

Biarritz v Zebre
Sunday, 21 October
Munster v Edinburgh
Cardiff Blues v Toulon
Leicester Tigers v Ospreys
Montpellier v Sale Sharks 

Round Three
Friday, 7 December
Northampton Saints v Ulster
Connacht v Biarritz
Saturday, 8 December
Toulouse v Ospreys
Scarlets v Exeter Chiefs
Sale Sharks v Toulon
Leicester Tigers v Treviso
Munster v Saracens
Racing Metro v Edinburgh 

Zebre v Harlequins
Sunday, 9 December
Cardiff Blues v Montpellier
Clermont v Leinster 

Round Four
Friday 14 December
Edinburgh v Racing Metro
Biarritz v Connacht
Saturday, 15 December
Ospreys v Toulouse
Treviso v Leicester Tigers
Leinster v Clermont Auvergne
Exeter Chiefs v Scarlets
Ulster v Northampton Saints
Montpellier v Cardiff Blues 

Harlequins - Zebre
Sunday, 16 December
Castres v Glasgow Warriors
Saracens v Munster
Toulon v Sale Sharks

Round 5

Clermont Auvergne - Exeter Chiefs
Edinburgh Rugby - Munster Rugby
Harlequins - Connacht Rugby
Leinster Rugby - Scarlets
Northampton Saints - Castres Olympique
Ospreys - Leicester Tigers
Racing Métro 92 - Saracens
Sale Sharks - Montpellier
Toulon - Cardiff Blues
Toulouse - Benetton Treviso
Ulster Rugby - Glasgow Warriors
Zebre - Biarritz Olympique

Round 6
Benetton Treviso - Ospreys
Biarritz Olympique - Harlequins
Cardiff Blues - Sale Sharks
Castres Olympique - Ulster Rugby
Connacht Rugby - Zebre
Exeter Chiefs - Leinster Rugby
Glasgow Warriors - Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers - Toulouse
Montpellier - Toulon
Munster Rugby - Racing Métro 92
Saracens - Edinburgh Rugby
Scarlets - ASM Clermont Auvergne

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sale Sharks new kit

Recently, Sale Sharks and their new kit supplier Canterbury presented us with new shirts for the season 2012/2013. After a bit controversial Leicester Tigers' kit design, some Sale Sharks fans were a bit concerned about Sharks following Tigers’ steps. New shirts were however warmly welcomed and received positive feedback from the supporters. The only thing which can be a bit disappointing to some is the lack of “Sale” in Sale Sharks’ logo. The team presented the new shirts during JP Morgan 7s. The next chance to see Sale Sharks live is at the warm-up game with Glasgow Warriors on the 18th of August and a week later on the 24th with Leinster.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Funny rugby games

Fans of the oval ball know that rugby games belong to the most interesting sport events in the world. In my blog, I have already mentioned the unique rugby atmosphere. Today, I would like to introduce the game from a totally different perspective.  Over years as a rugby player and supporter, I witnessed or played in games which were full of funny and unpredictable situations. I took part in the match where the pitch was located on the hill, so my team struggled to play uphill in the first half to get advantage in the second half. Another time, the game started on one pitch and finished on the other. We played late in the afternoon and when the visibility was next to zero, the referee decided to move the game to a nearby pitch which luckily had artificial lighting.

I could share many more similar situations with you, and I’m sure that the followers of my blog can add more to it. (If you would like to share your funny rugby stories, feel free to leave it in the comments or on

Below you will find a few funny rugby pictures and a short footage from the Internet.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Aviva Pemiership fixtures for 2012/2013

The Aviva Premiership fixtures were announced on Wednesday (04.0712). Newly-promoted London Welsh awaits a tough start. They will open their Aviva Premiership debut season at home to Leicester, and travel to Harlequins in the second round.

Sale Sharks will start new season at Exeter. Saracens will be the first league visitors to the new stadium at Barton.

Below is the full fixtures list:

Round 1
Exeter Chiefs - Sale Sharks
Gloucester Rugby - Northampton Saints
Worcester Warriors - Bath Rugby
London Wasps - Harlequins
Saracens - London Irish
London Welsh - Leicester Tigers

Round 2
(07.09 -09.09)
Bath Rugby - London Wasps
Harlequins - London Welsh
Leicester Tigers - Worcester Warriors
London Irish - Gloucester Rugby
Northampton Saints - Exeter Chiefs
Sale Sharks - Saracens

Round 3
Bath Rugby - Northampton Saints
London Welsh - Exeter Chiefs
Harlequins - Sale Sharks
London Wasps - London Irish
Saracens - Leicester Tigers
Worcester Warriors - Gloucester Rugby

Sunday, 1 July 2012

London Welsh to join Aviva Premiership

London Welsh are celebrating a promotion to Aviva Premiership! Although the season has finished more than a month ago, it turned out only yesterday that Newcastle Falcons will be relegated and London Welsh will debut in the English top division. Initially, the RFU champions were declined the promotion as, according to the RFU, the club had not achieved the stadium criteria. It appeared that despite finishing at the bottom of the league Newcastle would stay in. However, after successful appeal, it occurred that Oxford United’s  Kassam Stadium has sufficient standard to host top rugby games. Soon, (on the 4th of July) we will find out who is going to be the first opponent for the new team.

And now, a few facts about London Welsh. The club was established in 1885 by and for London’s Welsh community. Although the first XV squad is now fully professional, the amateur teams playing in the lower divisions are still strong part of the club. Over the years, London Welsh have trained many wonderful rugby players and contributed more than 170 players to the Welsh national team and over 40 to the British Lions. Seven London Welsh players were selected to the 1971 British Lions tour - a record that remains unbroken to this day.

Despite the entire fuss with the promotion, I hope that including the club in the top division will be beneficial to London Welsh, Aviva Premiership and rugby fans. I look forward to watching the Sale Sharks – London Welsh game.