All I want for Christmas is...
December 18, 2012
So what would Steve Diamond want for Christmas? © Getty Images
So it will not be long before the big man pushes his way down our chimneys, laden with gifts a plenty, with seasons greetings to one and all. This got me thinking, if the Aviva Premiership's director of rugby's and head coaches wrote a list to Father Christmas this year - what would they and their teams wish for?
Dear Mr Claus,
Thanks for the belated gift of a brand new stadium - it is one of our best presents ever and was well worth the wait. However, things haven't gone as well as we would've liked since moving in. So this year my best mate John and I would please like some Premiership points. It's not much to ask for is it? A couple of wins to lift us off the bottom of the Premiership pile?
I promise to be a good boy and keep all my coaches if my wish comes true!
It is Richard here - I'm feeling much better this year compared to how I was this time last year. The World Cup period was not good for us. It was a tough few months leading up to your arrival last Christmas but you delivered what I asked for and we got to the Premiership final. Now this year at the top of my Christmas list is actually winning it again!
Second on my list is keeping hold of George Ford please. Think he might be on Jim from Northampton's list too, so if his letters could get lost in the post that'd be awesome.
Would a new tight-head be on Wasps' Christmas list? © Getty Images
It's Dai here. Well it has been a tough 12 months but we got through it and things are looking much better. Thank you for my main present last year - finding new owners for Wasps was amazing. But you let me down with my other wishes.
I asked for no more injuries to the boys - think you misread that one…! I asked for some away form; still waiting on that one too but to be fair we're still in the Premiership and we are doing pretty well. Adams Park is becoming a fortress once more and things are definitely looking up!
So all I ask for this Christmas please is a few more Christian Wades and a world class tight-head to give all my Christian Wades more quality ball!
Dear Father Christmas,
I am in a very good mood writing my letter this year - we have just beaten Ulster at Ravenhill and I tell you what - not many teams do that, so I might have a few glasses of the sherry I was going to leave you.
Anyway, this year I have a couple of things on my list but at the top of it is to win a major trophy with this group of players I have - we've been threatening for a while but we do tend to choke on the big occasions. After hearing that Brian Mujati and Soane Tonga'uiha have asked you for a French dictionary - I would also like Alex Corbisiero (please don't tell Brian from Reading) and a fly half - preferably George Ford (please don't tell Richard from Leicester).
Jim Mallinder (Northampton)
Brian here - just in case you did not know, I'm back in England after the World Cup fallout and back with the Irish. Right, things did not start too well, but we are playing some better stuff of late - just not getting the results. Two wins so far in the Premiership is not good enough - so on my list (as is on Steve's from Manchester I am sure) is quite simply Premiership points.
With everything crossed,
What about you Santa?....Merry Christmas
Saracens' new stadium is a timely Christmas present © Getty Images
Cannot wait for my main present this year - I know your elves have been busy working on our new stadium and it is almost done. If you could ask them to stick around and come and watch us play there - that would be much appreciated!
I am not going to ask you for too much, things are going well for us, we would love a bit of European success to back up our Premiership efforts but I am pretty satisfied.
Mark McCall (Watford soon to be Barnet)
Know you have got a few Welsh DOR's writing to you this year but I feel I should get special attention because my boys and I have been much better than everyone though we would this season!
Santa you made our dreams come true last year by having a word in the right ears and sorting it for us to play Premiership rugby so I am not expecting to get a huge amount this Christmas. Consolidate our position in the league is all I ask for.
Lyn Jones (London/Oxford)
Top of the morning to you Santa,
Thank you so much for the Premiership trophy last season - it was like all my Christmases came at once, so this year please, I would like it again.
If you could add the Heineken Cup to the list too that would be fantastic. Thank you for my early present of Nick Evans - in fact, that alone for the next three years is the best gift you could have given me.
Chris Robshaw celebrates the Premiership triumph with Conor O'Shea - they got their Christmas wish © Getty Images
Conor O'Shea (London)
Dear St Nic,
Greetings from the West Country - it's been another good year, so all I ask for this year is that we keep progressing in the same way - I don't need any superstars - what we have is doing me nicely. European rugby next year would be great and if you could wrap up a top four spot and stick it in my stocking I'll leave you an extra mince pie.
Rob Baxter (Exeter)
Hey Santa - how's it?
I am enjoying my time here in Bath - 100% record in Europe and steady in the Premiership. One of the things I'd like please for Christmas is a bit of discipline; it only came to me after our trip to Welford road and I think that would help us progress in the league. European rugby is also at the top of my list and that your gift last year - Stephen Donald - continues his good form…
Gary Gold (Bath)
Well I asked you for a some tries last year - they have finally come. Better late than never Santa, good job I am a patient man!
If we could continue developing our attacking play that would make me very happy and I tell you what…this league is so tight - a few more results go our way and we could be looking at a top six finish. Sprinkle a bit of magic dust over us at Sixways as you pass on your sledge will you Santa?
Nadolig Llawen Mr Clause,
Right, firstly my address has changed - I am no longer in Llanelli so if you could deliver my gifts to Gloucester this year I'd be very grateful!
Things are going well for me at Kingsholm - so all I want for Christmas is a top four finish, Heineken Cup rugby and if you can stretch it to a knighthood from my backs coach that would be awesome!
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Sarra Elgan is an ESPN roving reporter
With the retirement of Adam Jones, Welsh rugby says goodbye to a great player and one of its biggest personalities too, writes Tom Hamilton
Cards, kicks, slips and scores: It's The Week in Pictures, the finest snaps from the last seven days of rugby
Huw Richards Rewinds to 1975 when three Welsh legends were handed their debuts and assesses their legacy
Seven places in the Champions Cup quarter-finals are up for grabs; we break down the permutations for each group in the final round of matches