Top Six Nations talent dominate domestic action

Wales Leigh Halfpenny  24/2/2018
The return of a whole host of Six Nations big guns was the catalyst for a thrilling week of domestic rugby action across Europe.

The return of a whole host of Six Nations big guns was the catalyst for a thrilling week of domestic rugby action across Europe.

International stars, refreshed after their Test exertions in June, lit up the Gallagher Premiership and Guinness PRO14 and produced several classic contests.

Topping the bill was an eye-catching re-run of last season’s PRO14 final, a top-four tussle between Wasps and Exeter and Benetton’s stealthy win over Cardiff Blues.


Rugby is in Adam Hastings’ blood – his dad is Scotland legend Gavin – but a composed display to see Glasgow Warriors past Munster suggests ice runs through his veins as well.

The 21-year-old, called into the Scotland squad for their final Six Nations match against Italy in March, made his international debut against Canada over the summer.

And following in the footsteps of his full-back father, part of the 1990 Grand Slam winning side, good form could  propel him to further stardom in the 2019 Championship.

A sparky display saw Hastings provide assists for two tries on Friday night at Scotstoun, running 40 metres and beating three defenders in the 25-10 triumph.


No fewer than 14 members of Six Nations squads were on show as last season’s PRO14 finalists renewed rivalry at Parc Y Scarlets.

And Leigh Halfpenny offered a timely reminder of his match-winning capabilities with 13 points from the tee to seal a 23-21 win.

It was a performance reminiscent of his 24-point spree against Scotland in this year’s Championship, that saw his country to a 34-7 victory at Principality Stadium.

Tries from Wales forward Ken Owens and Gareth Davies saw Scarlets bounce back from their opening week defeat to Ulster in style.


In a battle between two perennial Premiership title challengers, Exeter Chiefs emerged with a 42-31 win over Wasps with a pair of England aspirants to the fore.

Sam Simmonds, handed his international debut for England’s Six Nations clash against Italy earlier this year, dotted down twice to help earn his side a vital early-season victory.

Henry Slade, on the back of starts in all of his nation’s three summer Tests in South Africa, also secured a brace in the bonus-point win.


Tommaso Allan has history for delivering when it matters for Italy and his feats continue to spill over into his club rugby ventures with Benetton Rugby.

It was the fly-half’s steely composure from the kicking tee that proved the difference as Benetton beat Cardiff Blues 27-25 in Italy.

The 25-year-old kicked two penalties and converted all three of his team’s tries, even holding his nerve in the closing moments to add the extras on Monty Ioane’s winning score.

Allan has emerged as a vital figure in Conor O’Shea’s side, drawing on his efforts in the 2018 Six Nations that saw him named Man of the Match against Scotland.