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Category: Champions Cup

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Rugby union: talking points from the European Champions Cup

Dan Robson’s display is silver lining for Wasps, Tadhg Beirne outmuscles Exeter while Saracens look Leinster’s biggest threatDan Robson’s performance for Wasps was one of the few shining lights on what was a difficult day for the home side, even if the…

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Irish clubs have strength in depth but Saracens can reach European final | Robert Kitson

European quarter-finals coincide with Brexit date but clubs are expected to fulfil their fixtures without any fussReaching the last eight of Europe may yet prove the easy bit for those involved in this season’s quarter-finals. With the United Kingdom c…

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Leinster cruise past tame Wasps and train their sights on Ulster

• Wasps 19-37 Leinster• Home team end European campaign without a victoryAlmost three years ago to the day Leinster came here and were duly sent home, tails between their legs, having shipped more than 50 points. If ever there was a demonstration of ho…

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Joey Carbery helps Munster kick battling Exeter Chiefs out of Europe

• Pool 2: Munster 9-7 Exeter• Don Armand try not enough in epicSaracens will again be the only English club in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup after Exeter lost narrowly in a gruelling match at Thomond Park. The Chiefs did not just hav…

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Saracens into Champions Cup last eight as top seeds after beating Glasgow

• Pool 3: Saracens 38-19 Glasgow• Form of Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola gives England a liftOn the day Saracens announced the latest blow for England with the loss of Owen Farrell, they duly gave English rugby the sort of fillip only they are qualified…

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Wasps face the might of Leinster and then another player exodus

• Leinster hammered Wasps 52-3 in Dublin in October• Hughes, Le Roux, Cooper-Woolley all set to leaveWhen Wasps last entertained Leinster in Europe, they won 51-10 on their way to the Champions Cup semi-finals. It was only three years ago and completed…

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Edinburgh sink Montpellier to qualify for quarter-finals with Glasgow

• Edinburgh 19-10 Montpellier• Darcy Graham’s second-half try clinches Murrayfield battleEdinburgh sealed Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final places for themselves and Glasgow with a 19-10 victory over Montpellier. Related: Exeter target finest Champi…

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Exeter target finest Champions Cup feat with qualification on line at Munster

• Premiership club must win at Thomond Park in pool decider• Baxter unhappy at having less recovery time than MunsterExeter are being challenged to pull off one of the great escapes in European rugby history when they face Munster in their Pool Two dec…

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Champions Cup pool-by-pool preview: Saracens’ Brad Barritt chases home tie

Barritt returns to captain Saracens on the weekend that decides the pools as his side seek to set up a home quarter-finalJonathan Joseph makes his first appearance for Bath since April after recovering from a long-term foot injury. Joseph, who was left…

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The Breakdown | Concentration of Ireland rugby talent leaves English trailing in Europe

Leinster – and the fast-rising Scottish sides – are packed full of internationals while Test players are spread more thinly across their Premiership and Top 14 rivalsThe Premiership goes into the final round of the European Champions Cup group stage th…

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Rugby union: talking points from the Champions Cup weekend action

Ross Byrne dominates for Leinster, Exeter can still make progress, and Maro Itoje returns for Saracens who stay on topThere is no stopping Leinster, that defeat at Toulouse proving a blip, and they will surely be too powerful for Wasps when the champio…

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Saracens win in Lyon to guarantee place in Champions Cup quarter-finals

• Lyon 10-28 Saracens• Bonus-point win secures qualification for away sideSaracens became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals with a bonus point victory over Lyon and they will secure the position of top seeds if they defeat Glasgow at All…

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Exeter keep slim Champions Cup hopes alive with win over Castres

• Exeter 34-12 Castres• Chiefs will need to beat Munster in Limerick next SaturdayExeter kept alive their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final hopes with a 34-12 bonus-point victory over Castres at Sandy Park.But the Gallagher Premiership leaders still…

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Seven-try Montpellier push weakened Newcastle out of Champions Cup

• Dean Richards bemoans loss of key players• Jacob Stockdale tries inspire UlsterNewcastle, struggling at the foot of the Premiership, made a meek exit from Europe with a Champions Cup defeat at Montpellier, the French side hammering the Falcons 45-8.M…

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Rhys Priestland’s kick snatches victory for Bath from Wasps’ grasp

• Pool 1: Bath 18-16 Wasps• Late penalty edges hosts to first winNeither side had anything to play for, and it showed. An amusing first half deteriorated into a mind-numbing second, where two of English rugby’s fallen giants attempted to outdo each oth…

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Champions Leinster move top after ending Toulouse’s unbeaten run

• Pool 1: Leinster 29-13 Toulouse• Holders close in on securing a home quarter-finalLeinster moved to the top of their Champions Cup group with a bonus point victory over previously unbeaten Toulouse and will secure a home draw in the quarter-finals if…

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Gloucester out after Munster’s Joey Carbery eclipses Danny Cipriani

• Gloucester 15-41 Munster• Ireland fly-half scores two tries and 26 pointsGloucester did not so much bow out of Europe last night as sink without trace on another bruising evening for English self-esteem. Munster may not be quite the force of old but …

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Champions Cup pool-by-pool preview: Leinster’s Johnny Sexton out injured

Holders without five Ireland internationals for visit of Toulouse; Edinburgh hope to reach knockout stage for only third timeDefeat by Toulouse at the RDS would leave holders Leinster needing to be one of the best three runners-up to qualify for the kn…

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Resurgent Toulouse leading the French rugby renaissance | Robert Kitson

A group of young talents offer the potential for France to re-establish their elite status in time for this year’s World CupTo say French rugby is overdue a renaissance is easier than predicting precisely when it will occur. Last time out in November t…

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Champions Cup could be downsized to protect player welfare

• Organisers seeking commitment to tournament beyond 2022• Television and sponsorship deals expire in three years’ timeCrucial talks on the future of European club rugby are about to commence with Heineken Champions Cup organisers seeking assurances th…