Evans above and French vultures
December 22, 2012
It's that time of year again and in what is now surely a tradition to rival the turkey, the tree and all the trimmings, we're delighted to herald the return the ESPNscrum Festive Countdown for your amusement.
Once again, we'll be counting down the days until the big one with an assortment of trivia and novelties to brighten your day - sadly, chocolate not included. Check out our latest offering below and be sure to check back tomorrow for your latest dose of festive fun!
Player of the year ...
Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans was in scintillating form as he helped his team to a maiden Premiership title last season. He was voted RPA's Players' Player of the Year, continued that form at the start of the season and was voted September's Aviva Premiership player of the month.
"The vultures have been circling for months, picking off Welsh players like pieces of meat."
Who else apart from Richie McCaw has won 100 caps for the All Blacks? Find out here
And something you may have missed...
ESPNscrum endeavours to bring you an intoxicating mix of news, views and analysis and one or two of these gems may have passed you by over the last 12 months - but don't worry, we've dusted them off for your pleasure.
Heineken Cup future up in the air
Europe's leading clubs were still deadlocked over the future of the Heineken Cup and Amlim Challenge Cup as 2012 drew to a close. After four meetings in Dublin, London and Rome, the impasse between the England and French clubs and their RaboDirect Pro12 counterparts had not been resolved, meaning talks will continue in 2013.
We've also trawled the archives for some of the best shots of year for your visual pleasure. Here Toulouse's Yoann Huget celebrates his try against the Ospreys in the Heineken Cup.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
Despite having lost all four of their 2014 Six Nations games, the future of Italian rugby is bright with the team showing a new youthful core, argues Enrico Borra
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column