Here Comes Summer !  

Summer is nearly here,  so it’s time to dig out the factor 50, or turn up the thermostat on the central heating, depending on which part of the UK you live.

In a season that seems to have no beginning and no end, the rugby circus packs up it tent, and heads to all parts of the world, bringing you the clowns, the Lyon tamers and the exhausted players walking a tightrope.

There are twenty two major internationals to be played in June, stretching from Sacramento to Suva, from Tokyo to Tucuman, and from Cape Town to Calgary.

As a fan the prospect is stirring, from a player welfare point of view it is bordering on the insane.

The one big plus is the fact the the so called tier two nations are getting a look in at last, with meaningful fixtures, and to give them a chance to experience Pro 12 refereeing at first hand.

But this article comes with a warning !

Plan your barbecues, family days out and holidays with care, one simple error and you could miss not just  a game, but the Euros, Wimbledon and Roland Garros.

Saturday June 11 is a prime example of the doomsday scenario that can occur if you do not plan properly, here is my recommended itinerary 

0830 New Zealand v Wales

1100 Australia v England

1500 South Africa v Ireland

1700 Wales v Slovakia (Euro 2016)

2000 England v Russia (Euro 2016)

And Saturday June 11 is just the start, so to prepare you, here is a list of the summers major international matches.

 Also next Sunday May 29, England face Wales at Twickenham , with a team devoid of any Saracens or Wasps players, who will be competing against eachother the previous day in the Aviva Premiership final.

Now I would go and watch Wales play England at needlework, but this surely has to be the most meaningless encounter in the rich history of matches between the two nations.

Wales fly out to New Zealand the following day, and I will be previewing the tour in a special Bank Holiday roar next Monday.

Le Weekend

A pulsating match in Dublin last Friday night saw Leinster beat Ulster to reach the Guinness Pro 12 final in Murrayfield on Saturday, where they will meet Connacht who defeated Glasgow Warriors to set up an all Irish final.

In the Aviva Premiership semi finals Saracens beat Leicester and Wasps were defeated by Exeter in draughty Devon to set up a thrilling  showdown at Twickenham on Saturday.

In the season that never ends the rugby just keeps on coming.


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