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Category: Champions Cup

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The Breakdown | European rugby can ill afford complacency in Champions Cup

La Rochelle’s coach, Ronan O’Gara, could be the man to pep up the competition and help it grab wider attentionThere are two easy ways to look at this year’s Champions Cup semi-final draw and both are overly simplistic. Viewing the last four purely thro…

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Jalibert’s boot sinks Racing 92 and puts Bordeaux-Bègles in semi-finals

Bordeaux-Bègles 24-21 Racing 92Bordeaux reach last four of Champions Cup for first timeBordeaux-Bègles are through to the Champions Cup semi-finals for the first time after the kicking of Matthieu Jalibert secured them a dramatic 24-21 victory over Rac…

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Jordan Larmour strikes twice as Leinster knock out holders Exeter

Exeter 22-34 LeinsterLarmour’s double tilts topsy-turvy clash Leinster’s way And then there were none. This year’s Heineken Champions Cup semi-final draw is still to be made but there will be no English involvement for the fourth time in the past dozen…

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La Rochelle outclass Sale to reach their first Champions Cup semi-final

La Rochelle 45-21 SaleRaymond Rhule inspires La Rochelle in second halfLa Rochelle have been bubbling under in European rugby for a little while but now, at their third attempt, they have themselves a semi-final in the main event. Sale marched on the A…

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Alex Sanderson backs Sale to fly under radar to first Champions Cup semi

Sale’s director of rugby hopes a ‘wildcard scenario’ will help his side make club history away to La Rochelle on SaturdayThe received wisdom in Europe is that success comes only by learning from your failures and there are few better placed to pass jud…

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Meet Dave Ewers, Exeter’s cake-baking ‘gain-line monster’

The Exeter back-row – one of the best uncapped players in England – provides Leinster with a giant challenge on SaturdayEvery team sport has them. Year after year they perform to a reliably high standard for their club but, for whatever reason, interna…

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Exeter’s Rob Baxter plays down talk of French dominance in Champions Cup

Five of eight sides left in competition are from FranceHolders Exeter host Leinster on Saturday in last-eight tieFive of the eight remaining sides in this season’s Champions Cup are from France but Exeter’s director of rugby, Rob Baxter, believes a fir…

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Rest is best for Leinster’s bid to storm fortress Exeter, says Tadhg Furlong

Prop says fresh legs from missed Toulon tussle boosts chancesFurlong expects fierce performance from defending championsThe Leinster prop Tadhg Furlong believes an extra week’s rest following their last-16 walkover last Friday can work to their advanta…

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Bristol rue ill-discipline as Jalibert takes Bordeaux into last eight

Bordeaux-Bègles 36-17 BristolBristol’s Pat Lam: ‘There is a big sense of frustration’Bristol have ruled the roost in the Premiership this season but their European ventures are over. In the sunshine of the impressive Stade Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux becam…

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Champions Cup: Cockerill galled after Edinburgh left in the dust by Racing 92

Racing 56-3 Edinburgh‘The scoreboard doesn’t lie and I won’t shy away from that’The Edinburgh head coach, Richard Cockerill, gave a brutally honest assessment of his side’s display in the 56-3 Champions Cup defeat against Racing 92 in Paris, admitting …

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Jonny Hill’s double leads holders Exeter to win over Lyon in Champions Cup

Exeter 47-25 LyonChiefs fight back to set up quarter-final against LeinsterThe leading French clubs may be looking ominous but the defending champions Exeter are not about to relinquish their European title meekly. Even without a raucous home crowd the…

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Matsushima stuns Wasps to snatch Champions Cup win for Clermont

Wasps 25-27 Clermont Camille Lopez’s conversion denies Wasps at deathThere is something about Clermont and the agonising. Year after year they have proved the darlings of European rugby, their attacking game the stuff of dream teams – and yet they have…

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Faf de Klerk: ‘South Africa want to show we deserved to win World Cup’ | Robert Kitson

The world’s most recognisable scrum-half talks haircuts, this year’s British & Irish Lions tour and why Sale are desperate to beat the Scarlets in the Champions CupThere are plenty of big issues to discuss with Faf de Klerk but first things first. …

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Leinster v Toulon last-16 Champions Cup tie called off after Covid positive

Unnamed player in France side squad tests positiveWinner of tie due to meet Exeter or Lyon in last eightThe Champions Cup last-16 tie between Leinster and Toulon in Dublin’s RDS Arena on Friday has been cancelled, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR…

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Leinster v Toulon showdown the pick of Champions Cup’s Easter feast | Robert Kitson

The new-look last-16 draw has produced a slew of compelling fixtures full of potential for sudden-death frissonNot so long ago the Easter weekend was reserved for end-of-season club tours and festival frolics. These days the holiday egg chasing is a gr…

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Leinster v Toulon showdown the pick of Champions Cup’s Easter feast | Robert Kitson

The new-look last-16 draw has produced a slew of compelling fixtures full of potential for sudden-death frissonNot so long ago the Easter weekend was reserved for end-of-season club tours and festival frolics. These days the holiday egg chasing is a gr…

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European rugby competitions to abandon group stage for last-16 knockouts

Only two out of four group games have been playedChampions Exeter could meet Wasps in last 16he shape of both this season’s European club competitions is set for a radical makeover with the group stages poised to be abandoned and the Champions Cup and …

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European rugby competitions to abandon group stage for last-16 knockouts

Only two out of four group games have been playedChampions Exeter could meet Wasps in last 16he shape of both this season’s European club competitions is set for a radical makeover with the group stages poised to be abandoned and the Champions Cup and …

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European rugby competitions to abandon group stage for last-16 knockouts

Only two out of four group games have been playedChampions Exeter could meet Wasps in last 16he shape of both this season’s European club competitions is set for a radical makeover with the group stages poised to be abandoned and the Champions Cup and …

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Premiership calls off matches for two weeks despite some clubs keen to play

European Cup and Challenge Cup are suspended Six Nations preparations put in further doubtPremiership Rugby announced a two-week break on Monday night in a move that risks the anger of several directors of rugby who wanted to play rearranged league fix…