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Category: Champions Cup

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Chris Boyd sees signs in Northampton that promise a new song for Europe

Saints, like Leicester, swap domestic travails for European competition, though Exeter will be daunting opponents Chris Boyd described last weekend’s east Midlands derby at Welford Road as the dance of the desperate, one of the English game’s tradition…

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Maro Itoje focused on Saracens and Champions Cup but eyes overseas move

Lock ready to face Leinster in Champions Cup quarter-final‘I’d love to spend at least a season somewhere’Maro Itoje has revealed he intends to spend at least a year of his career abroad in a move that would make him unavailable for England – but not be…

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Maro Itoje focused on Saracens and Champions Cup but eyes overseas move

Lock ready to face Leinster in Champions Cup quarter-final‘I’d love to spend at least a season somewhere’Maro Itoje has revealed he intends to spend at least a year of his career abroad in a move that would make him unavailable for England – but not be…

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End of Saracens era looms as European Champions Cup returns | Robert Kitson

Whether or not Leinster beat them on Saturday, a defining period in English and European rugby is about to concludeThis is the endHold your breath and count to 10Feel the earth move and thenHear my heart burst againAdele – SkyfallNo great sporting dyna…

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The Breakdown | Benches could prove difference in Leinster v Saracens showdown

In recent years replacements have been given different names to give their role a more positive, inclusive flavourIf Saracens win the European Champions Cup next month, they will not stand accused of breaching the Premiership’s salary cap regulations. …

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We must show against Leinster what being a Saracen means, says Goode

Champions Cup may be Barritt’s and Wigglesworth’s last hurrah Goode warns Saracens have harnessed anger over relegationSaracens are looking to pour all the frustrations of the past year into one definitive 80-minute statement in their European quarter-…

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Leinster may be favourites but the rest of Europe is out to get them | Robert Kitson

A fired-up Saracens will present a formidable test in Dublin but they may be the least of the Irish province’s problemsSuccess in rugby is generally mined from the painful depths of failure. Look at the most recent European champions and a glint of sil…

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Owen Farrell plays Johnny Sexton role to help Saracens prepare for Leinster

Suspended Farrell running opposition plays in trainingAlex Goode or Manu Vunipola will come in at fly-halfOwen Farrell is steeling his Saracens teammates for their Champions Cup quarter-final against Leinster by adopting Johnny Sexton’s role in trainin…

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Stuart Lancaster steels Leinster for ‘far from broken’ Saracens backlash

The former England head coach will not be underestimating the task facing the Irish side in their Champions Cup quarter-final, saying of relegated Saracens: ‘This is their last dance’ When asked if he would consider becoming an international head coach…

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Champions Cup squeezes schedule to kick off week after eight nations

EPRC reveals new 24-team tournament for next seasonLittle rest for international players involved in tight scheduleEuropean Professional Club Rugby officials have revealed the format of a revised 24-team tournament for next season, with two-leg quarter…

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The Breakdown | Quarantine questions put European rugby schedules on razor’s edge

If governments are not aligned then the Champions and Challenge Cups risk being cancelledThe Pro14 resumes this weekend with a series of derbies that will not involve cross-border travel before the play-offs on the first two weekends of September. Whet…

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World club championship could start in 2022, says European club rugby chief

Simon Halliday claims idea has solid supportPlans still fluid ‘but there is a lot of dialogue going on’Simon Halliday hopes a world club championship will start in 2022 following a groundbreaking World Rugby conference this month that involved delegate…

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Who will get a kick out of Champions Cup silence when rugby returns? | Robert Kitson

Away sides and Irish kickers could be the beneficiaries if teams ever get back on the road to Marseille, where the final should have been this weekendThis should have been one of the grand weekends of the rugby year. The Champions Cup final was due to …

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Premiership and Champions Cup hang by thread as France ends Top 14 season

Champions Cup unlikely to finish in satisfactory fashionPremiership in serious limbo with one club under threatAny chance of a neat and tidy end to this European club rugby season looks increasingly forlorn following the decision in France to cancel th…

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European clubs on collision course with World Rugby over ‘unacceptable’ plans

July Tests would clash with club games if moved to autumn EPCR intends to stage Champions Cup final in October European rugby’s governing body has told World Rugby it intends to stage the Champions Cup final in October and says it is “unacceptable” to …

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Months not weeks before rugby resumes in Wales, warns WRU

Union expects significant financial lossCall for joint plan for remainder of seasonThe Welsh Rugby Union has warned its clubs it is likely to be “months rather than weeks” before the season resumes in Europe and expects to make a substantial financial …

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Premiership and European rugby prepares for coronavirus shutdown

Length of postponement to be confirmed on MondaySRU announce hardship fund for grassroots clubsPremiership rugby union fixtures are to be postponed with immediate effect because of the coronavirus outbreak with European competitions set to be mothballe…

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Saracens risk Champions Cup expulsion over fielding ‘ineligible’ player

Troubled Saracens face Lamositele hearing on Friday nightChampions are due to play Leinster in April quarter-finalSaracens’ Champions Cup defence could be under threat after it emerged that prop Titi Lamositele may have been ineligible to play against …

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Rugby union: talking points from the weekend’s Champions Cup action

Exeter will take some stopping in the knockout stages, Leinster have top-seed status and Racing 92’s reward is to face ClermontLeinster secured top-seed status after a hard-earned victory at Treviso. They did not need a bonus point which was just as we…

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‘Punishment is not proportionate’ – Saracens fans lick their wounds | Ian Malin

Nervy win over Racing 92 took champions into quarter-finals but Allianz Park atmosphere was darkened by off-field troublesA quarter of a century ago, when Nigel Wray began investing in Saracens, the club played on a public recreation ground in the nort…