Holding no punches
December 24, 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!
Seeing Red ...
Gloucester lock Jim Hamilton recently announced that he will be leaving the Aviva Premiership and there will be a few opponents breathing a little easier. Here the giant Scot comes to blows with London Irish's David Paice during the Exiles' crushing 52-18 victory at the Madejski Stadium last May. The pair are sinbinned by referee Dave Pearson for exchanging punches before they traded blows again on the way to the touchline, sparking a mass confrontation. The pair were both banned for seven weeks for the incident.
"French rugby is racist. It reflects a France which is very inward-looking and conservative."
Who was the top try scorer in international rugby this year? 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.
Leading the Lions
We've also trawled the archives for some of the best shots of year for your visual pleasure. Here New Zealand's Mark Jackman scores a try and takes out a camerman at the London Sevens.
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"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
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham