Euro­pean ri­val­ries re­sume to a fan­fare

Rugby World - - Editor’s Welcome - Owain Jones, Editor

Gone are the sun-dap­pled days of sum­mer, re­placed by the first chills of au­tumn, an an­nual in­di­ca­tor that the rugby sea­son is up and run­ning. For the play­ers, early sea­son L-plates should be cast off and club’s new coaches, game plans and sign­ings must be bed­ded in.

oc­to­ber means the Cham­pi­ons Cup and Chal­lenge Cup take cen­tre stage and this year Sara­cens, so im­pe­ri­ous last time, will look to go back-to-back in ed­in­burgh in may, as alex Goode elo­quently ex­plains on P34. We also take flight to euro­pean aris­to­crats Toulouse (P48) to see if they can re­light their euro­pean fires af­ter a few sea­sons of un­der­achieve­ment.

Last year not a sin­gle Celtic team reached the knock­out stages of the Cham­pi­ons Cup and I hope this is a blip rather than the trend to­wards a French-english du­op­oly, which would lessen the com­pe­ti­tion’s al­lure as a bona fide pan-euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion.

one chip­per duo who think they have more than a puncher’s chance is Jonathan and James Davies (P54), while the Ir­ish, for so long the Celtic flag­bear­ers, may be cham­pi­oned by Ul­ster, who have the squad depth (P66) to match any on the con­ti­nent. Glas­gow have re­vi­talised olympic sil­ver medal­list mark ben­nett (P44) to add to their firepower.

What­ever tran­spires, we will be with you for ev­ery step. en­joy the is­sue!

email: owain.jones@timeinc.com Phone: 01252 555271 Twit­ter @owain­jtjones

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