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The new Rugby Podcast from The Times & The Sunday Times Owen Slot and a selection of rugby luminaries provide insight and analysis on the latest events in rugby




The American damp squib and "rugby royalty"

Stephen Jones, Owen Slot and Alex Lowe are joined by rugby royalty in the form of Rachael Burford. They talk about exporting rugby to the USA and developing grassroots players. Also we hear Rachael's perspective on the World Cup Final and she reveals who she believes to be the greatest player.

Duration: 00:33:29

Crises everywhere you look

Stephen Jones welcomes Owen Slot and Alex Lowe from The Times and deputy editor of Rugby World Magazine, Sarah Mockford. The panel discuss their highlights of the rugby weekend (02.00) what Semesa Rokoduguni needs to add to his game to contend for an England place (04.00) and suggestions Leicester are already in crisis are quickly swatted away (07.00). There's a review of all the other Premiership action (09.00) and the Pro 14's new teams sluggish start to life in the division (16:00)....

Duration: 00:34:43

Contracts, new laws and a complete Premiership preview

The Ruck returns for a brand new season as Owen Slot welcomes Stephen Jones, from The Sunday Times, Alex Lowe from The Times and Adam Hathaway, "Rugby's premier greyhound owner". In this weeks show the panel discuss England's "ridiculous" tour to Argentina. (02:00) There are reflections on the opening weekend (8:00) including debate as to whether Leicester have redesigned the way they play (9:00) Stephen asks do the new rules send premiership rugby closer to super rugby? (10:00) Alex Lowe...

Duration: 00:33:17

The Ruck on tour: The biggest Lions series reviewed

Stephen Jones presents the season finale of The Ruck banishing all others to offer his final thoughts on an incredible series which he describes as "the biggest ever". In the shorter episode he pays tribute to Lions who "return in triumph" after their performances. He selects those who stood out, and praises the courage and confidence of the team unit as well as detailing the reasons they ultimately fell short. Finally Stephen reflects on making the podcast with a colourful cast of...

Duration: 00:11:06

The Ruck on tour: One of the biggest games in history

Owen Slot welcomes Stephen Jones, Peter O’Reilly and Stuart Barnes to preview the deciding test. The panel bill the game as "one of the biggest games in the history of the sport" due to the initial tour negativity and speculation surrounding the Lions future, all twinned with New Zealand's status as world champions. Also debated in the podcast: Should Mako Vunipola have been dropped, what other changes would the panel make, what influence will the referee have on proceedings, where do the...

Duration: 00:35:18

The Ruck on tour: resolute Lions will only be happy with series win

From Auckland, Stephen Jones, Peter O’Reilly and Nick Cain review a stunning second test. Later Owen Slot and Jonny Fordham report from Queenstown. Covered in the podcast: Memories of an incredible weekend, what changed for the Lions, does Warren Gatland need to make changes, plus how will Steve Hansen respond with selection? And do you agree with the kiwi description of Owen Slot? Finally theres a journey to the world famous Stephen Jones urinal.

Duration: 00:30:13

The Ruck on tour: second test team selection baffles

The panel are totally confused by Warren Gatland's second test team selection. Stephen Jones, Peter O’Reilly, Owen Slot and Alex Lowe attempt to make some sense of the XV with only Peter offering any positives for the Lions amongst their detailed analysis. There's also review of the recent draw, and a debate on the 'geography 6' debacle. Finally, Wellington is reviewed in the travel section which closes the pod.

Duration: 00:28:04

The Ruck on tour: reasons to believe

Stephen Jones welcomes Owen Slot, Peter O'Reilly and long time sports photographer David Rogers from Getty Images. David has been to nearly every Lions match since 1980 and he recalls the great matches, players and journalists he's seen down the years with a host of anecdotes. Later the panel give us reasons to believe the Lions can turn it around, also what changes Gatland will make? And how good are this New Zealand side compared to the greats? There are mouse-gate and shoe-gate updates...

Duration: 00:27:07

The Ruck on tour: Warren Gatland won't die wondering...

Ahead of the first test, Stephen Jones, Alex Lowe and Owen Slot analyse Gatland's thinking, decide who's unlucky, and debate whether the logic stacks up for the selection. They also cover: the Lions ambassadors, chaos in the gym, Alex Lowe's dreadful footwear. Stephen Jones then stars in shoe-gate as he attempts to be reunited with his size 15's also there's no glee at all from the panel at Telegraph writers encountering mice in their accommodation. The next episode airs Thursday.

Duration: 00:28:02

The Ruck on tour: has the shirt been devalued?

Recorded From Hamilton, New Zealand Stephen Jones is joined by Stuart Barnes, Owen Slot and Peter O'Reilly. Discussed by the panel: can Henshaw, Williams or Stander force their way into contention during the midweek game? Also who will captain in the first test and who makes everyones first test side? Finally, in the first ever Ruck Book Club you can hear the panels reading material on tour from the pretentious to the corporate.

Duration: 00:27:09

The Ruck on tour: a journey to the Vegas of New Zealand

Stephen Jones is joined by Stuart Barnes, Owen Slot and Peter O'Reilly for a review of NZ pape​rs and a key examination of 'Gatland's Law' in the selection for the Maoris. Also hear why Stuart Barnes is now one fifth Maori and everyones personal highlight of the tour so far. The next episode is on Monday

Duration: 00:29:19

The Ruck on tour: Lions personalities shining through

Owen Slot and Stephen Jones go head to head on a range of Lions issues and come out with about 30 seconds worth of agreement. The weekend victory is reviewed, forthcoming test sides picked and despite the lack of a jingle, there's even a new feature in 'Lion of the Week'. Also featured, a review of England's victories in both mens and women's game. The next episode airs on Thursday

Duration: 00:35:01

The Ruck on tour: how many defeats can the Lions take?

Recorded in Christchurch, The Times' Owen Slot welcomes Stephen Jones from The Sunday Times, Nick Cain from The Rugby Paper and Tom Hamilton from ESPN, to discuss the latest from the tour. There's a preview of the crucial match against crusaders. The panel also debate the merits of their location and each select Lions who have adapted well to New Zealand so far. Next episode on Monday

Duration: 00:20:58

The Ruck on tour: are the Lions doomed?

In this second episode on the road in New Zealand. Stephen Jones is joined by Nick Cain from The Rugby Paper alongside regulars Stuart Barnes and Owen Slot. Up for debate: are the Lions doomed after one match? There's also a full preview of the Lions v Auckland and Stephen reviews the NZ papers, comparing the quality writing to Enid Blyton...

Duration: 00:20:52

The Ruck on tour: Jetlag, roadworks and the first match preview

Recorded in New Zealand The Times' Owen Slot welcomes a bleary eyed Stephen Jones from The Sunday Times, and a jet lagged Jonny Fordham from The Sun for the first Ruck on tour. The panel bring you a flavour of the early days of the tour, hear about team bonding, impressions of the city, a detailed look ahead to the first match, and a comment from Jonny about the Kiwi press seeming a bit 'Aussie lite' which should make him very popular. The Ruck will run bi-weekly from New Zealand, with...

Duration: 00:29:17

The Lions Live Preview Special: Part Two

In this second special edition of the podcast Owen Slot is joined by Stephen Jones, Stuart Barnes, Lawrence Dallaglio, and a live studio audience to preview the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand. The second part sees the panel field a range of challenge questions from the audience.

Duration: 00:37:44

The Lions Live Preview Special: Part One

In this special edition, Owen Slot is joined by Stephen Jones, Stuart Barnes, Lawrence Dallaglio, and a live studio audience to preview the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand. The panel talk about pre-tour excitement, the challenges of touring a nation completely obsessed with the game and analyse both sides. Also find out why Steven has a special connection to Donald Trump in a Queenstown bar, why in 2005 Lawrence found himself in an deserted hospital after breaking his leg, and...

Duration: 00:47:05

17. Premiership final preview and Lions build up

In the final northern hemisphere podcast of the season Owen Slot, Stuart Barnes and Stephen Jones preview the Premiership final, the Pro 12 final and build up to the lions, talking major injuries and starting combinations. Next week the podcast comes from New Zealand as the Lions Tour finally begins.

Duration: 00:37:23

16. Are Saracens the greatest club side ever?

This week Stephen Jones welcomes Owen Slot, Alex Lowe and Adam Hathaway. The panel discuss their highlights of the week, if the Rugby Sevens is actually about rugby and whether Saracens are the greatest English club side of all time. They'll also preview the Premiership and Pro 12 semi-finals before trying to make sense of yet another confusing Eddie Jones selection.

Duration: 00:33:08

15. Should the residency rules be changed?

Owen Slot is joined by Stephen Jones and Stuart Barnes to debate all things rugby from the last 7 days. On the agenda: a review of the final weekend of the Premiership and pro 12 seasons. A comprehensive preview for both of the weekends European finals. Theres a fierce debate over residency rules and whether Mike Brown's recent treatment was fair.

Duration: 00:35:02

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