The bye week can be a sorrowful time for 6 Nations fans, but rest assured, we at In The Loose have picked out some of the best games to feast your eyes upon this weekend…
Las Vegas 7s (Across the Weekend, Sky Sports)
The best time to catch it will be from Sunday 11pm to 1am the following day if you can afford to stay up. That’s the time when the serious games are likely to take place, and if you want your fix of international action, Vegas is your best bet. If you watch the highlights of the 7s so far this season, it has produced some mind-blowing attacking rugby. The Vegas leg is so intriguing as three countries are still in the hunt: Fiji, New Zealand, and hosts USA. In terms of athletic ability, the standard doesn’t get any higher than the World 7s series.
Hurricanes v Brumbies (Friday 1st March, 6.35am, Sky Sports Action)
Super Rugby looks far more interesting this year with the Australian sides starting to show some bite. The Brumbies are one such example, who totally annihilated the Hamilton-based Chiefs in Canberra. Their forward pack has become impressive, and Tom Banks at 15 has had various comparisons to Australia legend Chris Latham. Hurricanes away is a tough fixture, especially with All Blacks such as Jordie Barrett and Dane Coles at their disposal. But they haven’t reached the heights of recent seasons in their opening games, so could this be a real opportunity for the Brumbies to make a statement?
Rebels v Highlanders (Friday 1st March, 8.45am, Sky Sports Action)
Alongside the Brumbies, the Melbourne Rebels will be looking to put Australian pride back into Super Rugby. These Australia/New Zealand club clashes will be a fascinating indicator to the state of Australian rugby. The Highlanders are 2 from 2, and the Rebels won a tough derby against the Brumbies before a rest week. The most exciting feature of the game is Quade Cooper, who was truly back to his best in his debut for the Rebels. Once one of the most exciting fly halves in the world, what a treat to the rugby world it would be to have the Australian back to his best.
Newcastle v Worcester (Sunday 3rd March, 3pm, BT Sport 1)
It’s at the opposite end of the table to other games on this list, but in terms of pure drama and the repercussions of the game, Kingston Park is the place to be. The Falcons have gone from a play-off team to relegation favourites, lying 9 points off survival. If there’s a game you have to win to stay up, it’s 10th placed Worcester Warriors at home. Like Bristol in 11th, Worcester are also 9 points adrift from Newcastle, so this game is a real 8-pointer. Lose, and Newcastle will be in a position of crisis.
State Francais v Toulouse (Sunday 3rd March, 3.50pm, Sky Sports Action)
The money is so grand in French Rugby that even in International periods, clubs boast an array of superstars in their starting XV. This is arguably the pick of the Top 14 fixtures this weekend, with league leaders Toulouse away to the Parisians who are hunting a play-off spot. Fans of the Heineken Cup will know how beautifully Toulouse are playing at the moment, and watching Cheslin Kolbe and his outrageous sidesteps is an absolute joy.
Written by Connor Dickins