European Champions Cup 2018-19: pool-by-pool guide

Can anyone stop Leinster from winning an unprecedented fifth title? Are Exeter equipped for a real challenge? We mark your card for Europe’s top competition

A pool featuring four former winners and 11 titles but it is hard to see anything other than Leinster topping it with ease. Indeed, few would bet against them claiming a fifth title in May and becoming Europe’s most successful side, having pulled level with Toulouse last season. Back-to-back fixtures against Bath will be intriguing now the club stalwart Girvan Dempsey looks after the West Country side’s attack but they, along with Wasps and Toulouse, appear to be scrapping for second place. Todd Blackadder has cited the Champions Cup as the reason his squad took such a hit last season so it may be that Bath do not prioritise the latter rounds if unlikely to qualify, whereas Toulouse have started the season brightly, with something of a return to their commitment to free-flowing rugby. Wasps have been hit by injuries in key positions at just the wrong time.

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