Tonights rugby news aWalestarpivotal in Europe and Dan Bigga
2022-12-18

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Here are the latest rugby headlines on Sunday, December 11.

Wales centre Nick Tompkins combined with England captain Owen Farrell to cap off an incredible Saracens scramble defence to make a try-saving tackle in their tight 30-26 victory over Edinburgh.

Sarries returned to the top table of European rugby with a hard-fought win over Edinburgh at a freezing StoneX Stadium. After missing two years of the competition through suspension, the three-time winners produced a rusty performance and it was not until late on that they were able to subdue a spirited Edinburgh.

Elliot Daly, Alex Lewington, Ben Earl and Tom Woolstencroft scored Saracens tries, with Farrell adding two conversions and two penalties. Full-back Dalys conjuring proved enough to settle the contest, along with Farrell and Tompkins try-saving tackle on James Lang, whom they wrestled off the ground to deny Edinburgh a potentially match-winning try after a quick break from the Scots.

Luan de Bruin and Wes Goosen touched down for Edinburgh, with Emiliano Boffelli converting both tries and kicking four penalties.

Read next:Scarlets get Euro campaign off to winning start with stunning five-try victory

Wales fly-half Dan Biggar enjoyed a winning start to his new chapter with Toulon after they beat Zebre 24-21 in their European Challenge Cup clash in Parma on Saturday.

The Wales captain, who missed the autumn internationals as he recovered from a knee injury, missed his first two conversions before adding the extras to Gael Dreans winning try after 71 minutes.

The 33-year-old, who has moved to France after four years with Northampton Saints, started in a Toulon team led by veteran Italian No. 8 Sergio Parisse.

They enjoyed a 17-7 lead over Zebre at the break through a penalty try plus scores for Parisse and Drean, before the Italians fought back to go ahead on the hour mark. But Dreans second touchdown prove the difference.

Biggar could make his first home appearance for Toulon against Bath on Saturday, December 17, while their next Top 14 game is at home to Lyon five days later.

Gallagher Premiership referee Christophe Ridley has hit out at comments made by ITV football pundit Gary Neville following Englands quarter-final exit from the World Cup via a 2-1 defeat to defending champions France.

Neville was scathing of the referee following a number of controversial calls which didnt go Englands way, writing on Twitter: Ref is a joke!

Ridley has publicly taken issue with the comments, warning of a ripple effect trickling down.

Writing on Twitter, Ridley said: The ripple effect of this tweet impacts refereeing standards in the long term. Even for those who do pick up a whistle, in the end all youre left with is the referees that are able to tolerate and survive not the actual best referees! Unknowingly this damages the game.

Exeter Chiefs pulled off a 27-12 Champions Cup win in Castres with Wales duo Christ Tshiunza and Dafydd Jenkins in their ranks.

The Chiefs recorded their fourth win on French soil in the clubs European history and also picked up a bonus point as they scored two tries in each half.

Tshiunza started at openside flanker behind Jenkins, who made his Wales debut this autumn, in the second row.

Four penalties by Julien Dumora kept Castres, unbeaten at Stade Pierre Fabre for the previous 11 months, in the hunt at 12-12 at half-time despite Exeter tries from Sam Simmonds and Dave Ewers, the latters aided by aided by Jenkins. But Sam Maunder and Olly Woodburn crossed in the second half to wrap things up for the Chiefs.

Stuart Hogg has described the victory as one of the special nights for the 2020 champions, who now face South African newcomers the Bulls at Sandy Park in round two.

Im hugely proud of that performance, Hogg said. We talked about having special nights in Europe and we knew coming across to Castres was going to be one hell of a challenge for us.

To come away with a bonus-point win is everything we wanted. Now the challenge is to back it up next week. We stuck to our game plan and got a bit of a b*****king at half-time. After that we came out and showed them what we are properly about in the second half.

Sale started their Heineken Champions Cup Pool B campaign with an emphatic 39-0 victory over Ulster at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The visitors had to fly over on the morning of the match due to travel issues and struggled to deal with the physicality of their hosts in Salford.

Six different try-scorers crossed for Sale, captain for the day Rob du Preez converting three of them, while their Irish visitors drew a blank on a tough afternoon.

Glasgow lock Lewis Bean felt their stunning win at Bath was evidence of head Franco Smiths plans coming together.

Warriors began their Challenge Cup campaign in impressive fashion with a 22-19 victory at the Recreation Ground.

Bean crossed along with George Turner and Huw Jones before Duncan Weirs late penalty proved decisive for Glasgow, who host Perpignan in their second game in the competition on Friday night.

The former Worcester and Northampton player said in a Warriors club video: We have talked a lot about our away performances and we came up with a plan and stuck to it. I think we are seeing the plan come into action.

I have never won at the Rec as well so its brilliant for the club. I am proud of the boys and its a special moment.

Scotland centre Jones was making his first appearance since his summer return to Scotstoun while Cameron Neild, Jack Mann and Angus Fraser all made their Warriors debuts, the latter two also making their professional breakthroughs.

Its always great to integrate new players and young blood in the team, Bean said. It was great to have them and to get an away win.

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Gareth Southgate will stay on as England manager

Three Lions boss was uncertain about his future following the World Cup loss to France but is now reportedly ready to commit himself until 2024

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It was a huge performance from Toby Booths side as they breathed life into their Champions Cup campaign

Dragons 21-27 Pau: Last-gasp disallowed try denies Dragons victory

Max Clarks try appeared to have won it with the clock red, only for it to be overturned

Newcastle 10-47 Cardiff: Welsh side keep up unbeaten start in Europe with seven-try thrashing

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BBC Strictly Come Dancing 2022 final live results as winner crowned

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