Today's rugby news as Wales hopefuls face huge day in front of Gatland and Warburton makes Farrell feelings clear on live TV

-Credit: (Image: TNT Sports)
-Credit: (Image: TNT Sports)

Here's your round-up of all the latest rugby news for Saturday, June 1.

Wales bolters gearing up for final audition

Warren Gatland will likely be keeping a close eye on Judgement Day at Cardiff City Stadium later today, as the four Welsh regions step into the spotlight.

Gatland is set to name his squad for the summer Tests with South Africa and Australia on Monday, and Saturday's festival of rugby represents a final chance to for many hopefuls to catch the eye. Ospreys take on Cardiff and the Scarlets face the Dragons, and any standout performances could help to settle any 50/50 selection dilemmas.

Keelan Giles or Theo Cabango, will go head-to-head on the day in a bid to impress, while Keiran Williams, Ben Thomas, Johnny Williams and Eddie James are among those hoping to muscle into Gatland's midfield.

Taine Basham and James Botham are two players who need to outshine one another, while Morgan Morris is another looking to make a final push for selection.

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Popham says government could take action on concussion

Former Wales rugby international Alix Popham says government may have to step in if the game’s governing bodies don’t tackle the problem of concussions.

The retired flanker revealed in 2020 that he had been diagnosed with probable CTE and early onset dementia, caused by traumatic brain injury suffered during his 13-year career.

Nearly 300 ex-players from Wales and England have since taken legal action against the game's governing body World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), in a bid to convince authorities to take action over brain injuries.

Popham says government action could now be required if the game can't get itself in order on the issue.

He told the South Wales Argus: “I think it could come down to that (political action) if World Rugby don’t make the changes that need to be made but I still love rugby, I want it to carry on but players, mums and dads need to know the truth.

"If it doesn’t happen from World Rugby, and doesn’t filter down (to the unions) I think the government will step in, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that.”

Tompkins' Saracens denied Premiership final berth

Nick Tompkins' Saracens were denied a place in the Premiership Grand Final, after slipping to a narrow 22-20 defat to Northampton Saints on Friday night.

Fin Smith kicked five penalties to inspire his side to victory in a tense affair at Franklin's Gardens, in a result that also denied Owen Farrell the chance to sign off on a high in what was his final appearance for Saracens.

Burger Odendaal’s try put the home side 10 points clear at half-time, before Saracens hit back through Alex Lewington.

Lucio Cinti's 79th-minute try set up a grandstand finish but Saints held on.

The advance to the Twickenham final on June 8, and will face the winners of the Bath v Sale Sharks game, which takes place later today.

Warburton's praise for departing Farrell

Meanwhile, TNT Sports presenter Sam Warburton summed up the contribution of departing Sarries fly-half Owen Farrell perfectly post-match. Farrell leaves the Premiership side to head to Paris and Racing 92 next season for a new chapter in his illustrious career.

“When you take a step outside, which will be Saracens soon, you will realise how loved you are in the rugby world and what you have contributed to the Premiership, England, British & Irish Lions, is nothing short of remarkable,” Warburton told Farrell.

“It is hard now but you will one day take a step away and think ‘I did all right.’”

After Farrell had left the live TV interview, Warburton added: “I have always defended him. He is one of the game’s greats. Anybody who can’t see that has very little rugby IQ.

“He is one of England’s greatest players, a great player, a great influence, and it will be sad to see him leave the Premiership.”