There has been much celebration of an excellent career so far on Monday with the news that Ospreys playmaker James Hook is to retire at the end of the season. The 34-year-old played 81 times for Wales, is still doing a fine job for Ospreys but is planning to turn his hand to writing children’s books.
Meanwhile the BBC also carries the story of Dragons lock Cory Hill’s excitement about the upcoming Guinness Six Nations, and his positional focus after three appearances at blindside flanker.
The fifth round of European action threw up plenty of thrills and spills for the Guinness PRO14 sides as the road to Marseille intensifies. With the action now having drawn to a close, we’ve had a scan around for all the best reaction from the clubs.
We start with Leinster, who kept up their unbeaten record in the Champions Cup with a 42-14 victory over Lyon on Sunday despite having already qualified for the quarter-finals. They only led by seven points at half-time but two tries from Dave Kearney helped push to their fifth win in Europe, which Leo Cullen says was vital as he drives on his side to secure top seeding for the knock-out stages.
Meanwhile, Munster’s Peter O’Mahony stressed the importance of next week’s must-win European clash against Ospreys after his side succumbed to a 39-22 defeat to Racing 92 in Paris.
Peter O’Mahony reaction | We are all hugely disappointed in there. It’s tough to take.
This competition means so much to this club.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) January 12, 2020
Staying in Ireland and we get some more reaction from Connacht head coach Andy Friend, who is urging his side to start learning from their defeats after their Champions Cup hopes ended against Toulouse on Saturday.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the Irish sides as Iain Henderson’s Ulstermen know a win over Bath on Saturday would take them to the quarter-finals. Bath’s defeat by Harlequins means they cannot progress to the last eight, but that doesn’t mean Ulster will take their threat for granted.
Over in Wales things could be looking up for the Dragons after their 42-14 defeat to French side Castres on Sunday, as fellow Guinness PRO14 side Scarlets’ loss to Toulon boosted their hopes for Challenge Cup qualification.
A bonus-point victory over Russian side Enisei-STM on Friday will allow them to get there, and that’s all Dean Ryan will be focusing on this week according to the BBC.