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Champions Cup

European Champions Cup Round 6 Predictions

90% correct last week, how will we go this weekend?

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Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

We’ve put together our predictions for scores and possible bonus points for the final pool games in Round 6 of the Champions Cup. We got 90% of results predicted correctly in both Round 4 & Round 5.  We’re aiming for 100% this weekend.

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Edinburgh v Montpellier

It’s winner takes top spot in the first fixture of the weekend at BT Murrayfield. If Edinburgh win, they will most likely grab themselves a Home Quarter Final which would be huge for the Scottish side. Montpellier have named a strong lineup that includes 9 South Africans and will be out themselves to try and take top spot. We’re backing Edinburgh to get the job done.

Prediction – Edinburgh to win (+4)

RESULT – Edinburgh 19 – Montpellier 10 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Newcastle v Toulon

This total dead rubber match is a hard one to call. Both teams are out of Europe and struggling domestically. Both teams have named strong line ups with Toulon boasting Savea and Tuisova in the centres but Newcastle have Sinoti and Goneva on the wings, so arguably the hardest pick of the round.

Prediction – Toulon to win (+15) Try Bonus Points for both teams

RESULT – Newcastle 24 – Toulon 27 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Cardiff v Lyon

Another dead rubber game with both teams having no hope of qualifying. Lyon are yet to register a point in Europe this season so we’re expecting a Cardiff victory.

Prediction – Cardiff to win (+18) Try Bonus Point

RESULT – Cardiff 33 – Lyon 14 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Saracens v Glasgow

Another pool deciding tie. Glasgow could top the pool by turning over Saracens in London but we don’t expect this to happen. Saracens to continue their unbeaten run in Europe.

Prediction – Saracens to win (+13)

RESULT – Saracens 38 – Glasgow 19 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Racing 92 v Scarlets

We’re expecting one way traffic here. Racing 92 are top of the group and will be wanting to bounce back from their defeat in Belfast last weekend. Expecting a comfortable win for Racing 92 this weekend in Paris.

Prediction – Racing 92 to win (+25) Try Bonus point

RESULT – Racing 46 – Scarlets 33 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Leicester Tigers v Ulster

Ulster need points. Sitting 2nd in the pool behind Racing 92 who we expect to comfortably see off the Scarlets it’s essential that the Irish Province get points, and they’ll want the win. Irish Internationals Iain Henderson & John Cooney return from injury which is a huge boost for the side. Leicester, on the other hand are playing for nothing other than pride in Europe but certainly won’t roll over at Welford Road.

Prediction – Ulster to win (+9)

RESULT – Leicester 13 – Ulster 14 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Munster v Exeter Chiefs

Tie of the round. Somehow, despite drawing one game and losing two others, Exeter can still qualify. Munster have their destiny in their own hands and a win will see them top the pool. We’re expecting a ding dong battle in Thomond Park but we’re backing Munster and their 16th man to get them across the line.

Prediction – Munster to win (+5)

RESULT – Munster 9 – Exeter 7 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Castres v Gloucester

Nothing to see here. Both teams out.

Prediction – Castres to win (+18)

RESULT – Castres 24 – Gloucester 22 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Toulouse v Bath

Toulouse can only top the group if Leinster slip up but are in prime spot for one of the best runner up spots. Bath will be hoping to spoil the party and cause an upset in France. Freddie Burns doesn’t make the trip to France to try and right his wrongs after his clanger in Round 1.

Prediction – Toulouse to win (+21) Try Bonus point

RESULT – Toulouse 20 – Bath 17 – 

Prediction – Correct

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Wasps v Leinster

Wasps have been in the headlines this week with a flurry of transfer activity. They announced that Nathan Hughes & Willie Le Roux would both be leaving the side but softened that blow announcing that 2 All Blacks would be joining their ranks next season. Wasps are still without a win in Europe and we don’t expect that to change. Leinster welcome back a host of Internationals and anything but a bonus point win would be a huge surprise.

Prediction – Leinster to win (+21) Try bonus point

RESULT – Wasps 19 – Leinster 37 – 

Prediction – Correct

This weeks results : 10/10 – 100%

Champions Cup

Leinster v Saracens: Lineups announced.

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(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Jackson Wray makes his 250th appearance for Saracens this weekend v Leinster. He is joined the back row by Mike Rhodes, who is closing in on 100 outings for the Men in Black, and Billy Vunipola – a try scorer in last season’s European final.

His brother Mako returns to the front row alongside England teammate Jamie George and South Africa international Vincent Koch, while Maro Itoje is partnered by Tim Swinson in the second row.

Scotland international Swinson will run out for his 50th European match in Dublin.

In the back division, Owen Farrell’s suspension sees Alex Goode switch to fly-half to play outside scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth.

Elliot Daly fills in at full-back with Sean Maitland and Alex Lewington taking spot on the wings. Captain Brad Barritt and Duncan Taylor make up the midfield.

Replacements Alec Clarey and Dom Morris will earn their Champions Cup stripes should they enter the fray.

Saracens team to face Leinster:

15 Elliot Daly (10)
14 Alex Lewington (51)
13 Duncan Taylor (130)
12 Brad Barritt (260)
11 Sean Maitland (77)
10 Alex Goode (300)
9 Richard Wigglesworth (247)
1 Mako Vunipola (169)
2 Jamie George (230)
3 Vincent Koch (85)
4 Maro Itoje (123)
5 Tim Swinson (3)
6 Mike Rhodes (97)
7 Jackson Wray (249)
8 Billy Vunipola (114)

Replacements

16 Tom Woolstencroft (40)
17 Richard Barrington (192)
18 Alec Clarey (5)
19 Callum Hunter-Hill (21)
20 Calum Clark (54)
21 Aled Davies (4)
22 Manu Vunipola (26)
23 Dom Morris (24)

The Leinster Rugby team, as sponsored by Bank of Ireland, to face Saracens in the Quarter-Final of the Heineken Champions Cup tomorrow at Aviva Stadium has been named by Head Coach Leo Cullen (KO 3.00pm, live on BT Sport and RTÉ Radio).

In team news, Johnny Sexton will captain the side with two players, Hugo Keenan and Will Connors, making European debuts from the start and a third, Ryan Baird, from the bench.

Jordan Larmour is selected at full-back and the former St. Andrew’s College man will win his 50th cap for Leinster in the number 15 jersey.

Keenan will make his European debut on the right wing with James Lowe selected on the left.

In the centre once again Cullen has selected Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose as his partnership.

In the half-backs, Luke McGrath starts at scrumhalf alongside captain Sexton.

Cian Healy will become the fourth most-capped Leinster player of all time when he pulls on the number one jersey tomorrow. The Clontarf native is closing in on Jamie Heaslip who is in third place on 229 caps.

Seán Cronin is selected alongside Healy in the front row as is Andrew Porter.

Devin Toner and James Ryan will again form the second-row partnership for Leinster Rugby this week.

Finally, in the back row, Caelan Doris will start at blindside flanker, with Will Connors selected at openside and Jack Conan at number eight.

On the bench, Ryan Baird is another player in line to make his European debut should he be introduced.

Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets)

15. Jordan Larmour (49)
14. Hugo Keenan (17)
13. Garry Ringrose (75)
12. Robbie Henshaw (47)
11. James Lowe (46)
10. Johnny Sexton (166) CAPTAIN
9. Luke McGrath (126)
1. Cian Healy (219)
2. Seán Cronin (184)
3. Andrew Porter (65)
4. Devin Toner (248)
5. James Ryan (38)
6. Caelan Doris (32)
7. Will Connors (19)
8. Jack Conan (92)

16. Rónan Kelleher (14)
17. Ed Byrne (56)
18. Michael Bent (139)
19. Ryan Baird (9)
20. Josh van der Flier (83)
21. Jamison Gibson-Park (92)
22. Ross Byrne (88)
23. Rory O’Loughlin (70)

Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (FFR)

Press Releases from Saracens and Leinster Rugby

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Champions Cup

Big names missing for Ulster v Toulouse

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The Ulster coaching group has named the match-day squad for Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final versus Toulouse (Stade Ernest-Wallon, kick-off 12:30pm UK/Irish time).

Scrum-half, John Cooney returns to the starting line-up, and is one of four changes to the side that played in the Guinness PRO14 Final versus Leinster last week.

Cooney will be paired with Billy Burns at fly-half, while the rest of the starting backline remains unchanged. Michael Lowry is named at full-back, with Jacob Stockdale and Rob Lyttle on the wings. Midfield duo, Stuart McCloskey and James Hume, will once again start.

In the front row, Jack McGrath comes in at loosehead to join Rob Herring at hooker and Tom O’Toole at tighthead prop. Iain Henderson will lead the side and is joined by Alan O’Connor in the second row. Sean Reidy makes a positional switch to blindside, while Jordi Murphy and Nick Timoney come in to the starting XV at openside and number eight.

Dan McFarland has again gone for a 6-2 split on the bench. John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Kieran Treadwell and Matthew Rea will provide forward options, while Alby Mathewson and Matt Faddes offer cover for the backs.

Ulster team to play Toulouse, Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Sunday 20 September at Stade Ernest-Wallon, kick-off 12.30pm UK/Irish time, live on BT Sport, Channel 4 & Virgin Media:

(15-9) Michael Lowry, Rob Lyttle, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, John Cooney.

(1-8) Jack McGrath, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor, Iain Henderson (Capt.), Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney.

Replacements (16-23): John Andrew, Eric O’Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Kieran Treadwell, Alby Mathewson, Matt Faddes, Matthew Rea.

Press Release from Ulster Rugby

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Challenge Cup

Champions Cup And Challenge Cup Finals Moved From Marseille

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(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Due to the many uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been decided that the 2020 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals will not now be held in Marseille as planned and the matches will be played at a new venue or venues.

With tens of thousands of fans scheduled to travel to the south of France, the Board of EPCR and the local organising committee have agreed that insufficient safeguards are currently in place during the public health crisis to stage two high-profile matches at the 67,000-capacity Stade Vélodrome.

As a consequence, EPCR is currently working with its shareholder leagues and unions to secure an alternative venue or venues for the two finals which will be played on the weekend of 16/17/18 October, and details will be announced as soon as practicable.

As part of this adjustment to its future planning, EPCR is pleased to announce that Marseille will now host the 2021 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals at the Stade Vélodrome on the weekend of 21/22 May, and that the matches at the 62,000-capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London will be rescheduled for 2022.

Tickets for this season’s finals will be valid for the 2021 weekend with no change to category or seating, and all ticket holders will be contacted by email within the next 48 hours with details of how to avail of a full refund if required.

As previously communicated, the quarter-finals of both tournaments will be played on the weekend of 18/19/20 September with the semi-finals scheduled for the weekend of 25/26/27 September. Exact dates, venues, kick-off times and TV coverage will be announced as soon as possible.

As is now customary during the pandemic, the matches will be subject to government guidelines with the health and welfare of players, club staff, match officials, supporters and the wider rugby community to the fore.

2020 EPCR dates:

  • Quarter-finals: weekend of 18/19/20 September
  • Semi-finals: weekend of 25/26/27 September
  • Heineken Champions Cup final: weekend of 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)
  • Challenge Cup final: weekend of 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)
  • Start of 2020/21 season: weekend of 11/12/13 December.

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