Late call to this one: late morning on Friday, September 3, a day before the Top 14 season kicks off, and an email drops in asking for a club-by-club preview of the season, with arrivals and departures, coaches and key signings. Could I do it?
There are often questions to ask when you get a late brief like this. One of my key considerations is whether I like working with the publication. And in the Exa’s case that answer is a resounding yes. Questions of availability and time fade into insignificance once that question is answered. Could I do it? Damn right, I could.
The first weekend also features the Paris derby, as Racing 92 travel to Stade Francais, while JJ Hanrahan is expected to feature for Clermong, who head to Lyon on Sunday. However, a repeat of last season’s Top 14 and Champions Cup finals between La Rochelle and Toulouse tops the bill in round 1.