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Inside the 22

The Top 5 Rugby Podcasts

I love podcasts. As a keen runner who also travels frequently for work, I get through hours (literally) of podcasts every week. Although I listen to a range of podcasts including TED Talks, Guardian Football Weekly and News in Slow German to name a few random ones. The majority of my podcast time is Rugby related.

Coming into the Christmas period a lot of you will be travelling or will need to distract yourself from family events (ugh) so I decided to put together my top 5 must listen Rugby pods. Let me know what you think.

5. The Rugby Pod

This is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Hosted by Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton, half of the pod is made up of discussion around eating cat food, penis sizes and cross dressing. It is basically university rugby ‘banter’ but in a
pod hosted by 2 ex-pros in their 40’s. They also do live shows if you are into chopping pints of piss and Veet (not for me but each to their own). Host Andy Rowe does well to try and keep some structure to it.

If you can get through the cringe-inducing banter then the rugby analysis is actually very good and it is great to get an uncensored inside view on the professional game. The special guests are better than on any other pod with the likes of Joe Marler, Stuart Hogg, Rory Best and Lawrence Dallaglio all making appearances already this season.
The Rugby Pod

4. Rugby Union Weekly (BBC)

Very informative and very much a Rugby news pod. No nonsense and can be a little dry but if you want detailed Rugby news this is for you.

Presented by Chris Jones and Ugo Monye, both are very likeable and easy to listen to and I love the way Ugo analyses the game (at least the attacking side of the game, not much scrummage talk!). Interesting debates and some high-profile guests with the professionalism of a BBC Podcast. You need to be a bit of a Rugby nerd to really enjoy this one.
Rugby Union Weekly

3. Flats and Shanks

Similar to The Rugby Pod this is presented by 2 ex-pros but is for the more mature (mentally) rugby fan. Where the Rugby Pod is a Bacardi Breezer and Marlboro light, Flats and Shanks is a glass of brandy and a cigar.

Both are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about the game but also have a relaxed and very likeable tone. Flats is obviously known for his TV work but he is also an ambassador for the game and hearing about his weekly schedule travelling around the country attending different Rugby and Charity events is an interesting insight behind the curtain. A good balance of deep Rugby analysis and light-hearted stories from David Flatman and Tom Shanklin (Warning: Flatman can get annoying after catching up with 3 pods in a row).
Flats & Shanks Podcast

2. Blood and Mud

This is a very close 2nd place. Presented by a grumpy Welshman in Josh Gardner and an even more grumpy Northerner Lee Calvert, I genuinely think you do not need to be a Rugby fan to find this funny.

Having a Welsh twist means you get a real mix of domestic rugby from both the Premiership and the Pro 14. Calvert is originally from Leigh (I think?) and so there is also some Rugby League chat included.

Both have played rugby at amateur level and have some good stories. There are also some quite entertaining recurring segments (including with varying degrees of success ‘The Challenged Cup’ and ‘In the Clubhouse’).

The chat very much meanders between Rugby, Film, Music, Pop Culture, Politics, Cardiff and enjoying English failure (even Lee). Very funny and very informative.
Blood & Mud Rugby Podcast

1. Eggchasers

This is actually my favourite podcast (not just Rugby). Hosted by Tim Cocker from BT Sport with JB and Phil. I have laughed out loud on more than one occasion.

It is simply 3 mates who love the game sitting around chatting all things rugby. It has a great mix of professionalism and insight that makes it a must listen. They release new pods every Monday like clockwork and some of them can last almost 2 hours. The commitment from the lads to the pod is impressive.

All 3 have some outspoken views (just follow JB on Twitter) and do not pull any punches. They are 3 genuine Rugby fans who spend their lives watching (and sometimes playing) rugby. They even organise a Tier 2 tour every year and cover Rugby in countries like Spain and Germany which for me personally is great. I am hoping they pick Frankfurt for the 2019 Tour but let’s see!

If you want to hear about Sale Sharks, Bath, Snowflakes and in-depth reviews and previews then make sure you check it out.
Eggchasers Rugby Podcast

Special Mention

Rugby Dungeon

Not a weekly pod but a series of special interviews with players, coaches, journalists and anyone else related to Rugby.

Hosted by JB from Eggchasers, entertaining and thoughtful hour-long interviews (as opposed to the normal few minute interviews in other pods). Great to get behind the scenes views and news.
Rugby Dungeon Podcast

That is my list of holiday listening. If you are travelling (or not) over the festive period make sure you download these to keep you entertained. If you disagree then let me know in the comments. Any podcasts that I have missed out?