A thrilling weekend of Champions Cup action comes to an end today with Exeter Chiefs facing Castres, Lyon hosting Saracens and Glasgow and Cardiff going head to head.
These are our picks of the players to keep an eye on:
Ben Moon - Exeter Chiefs v Castres
Moon has gone from strength to strength since he filled in for Mako Vunipola in the England no.1 jersey. This weekend he has a tough test against a powerful Castres pack and will look to cement his position in Eddie Jones squad for the Six Nations. Moon will come off the bench for Exeter and look to make an impact similar to the ones he could be tasked with during the Six Nations.
Ben Urdapilleta - Exeter Chiefs v Castres
Castres still have a chance of going through a tightly fought group. The Castres’ pack has stepped up against all the opposing packs they have faced, however, their backs need a big performance starting with Urdapilleta who will need to lead the way. The Argentine will need to dictate play with Exeter possessing a massive pack that will test the Top 14 side.
Josh Navidi - Glasgow Warriors vs Cardiff Blues
The Cardiff openside flanker missed the November Internationals through injury and will be looking to reclaim his position in one of the most hotly contested areas in the Welsh squad. With Ellis Jenkins sidelined for the Six Nations, Navidi has the chance to prove himself and he will look to start with a big game against a strong Glasgow Warriors pack.
Oli Kebble - Glasgow Warriors vs Cardiff Blues
Glasgow Warriors will be looking for their first win of the New Year and will also be aiming to end a three-game losing streak this weekend. The Glasgow pack has struggled recently and will need the likes of Oli Kebble, Grant Stewart and D’Arcy Rae to step up and provide their backs with a better platform to attack from. The Glasgow pack was dominated in their Scottish derby against Edinburgh and struggled in Italy against Treviso. The Cardiff Blues pack is likely to provide the same kind of threat.
The Vunipolas - Lyon vs Saracens
Two of Eddie Jones’ most important starters are both in action this weekend having missed the November Internationals. Mako and Billy Vunipola will look to hit the ground running and take that form into the all-important Six Nations. The likes of Ben Moon and Mark Wilson stepped up in their absences but the Vunipolas will not let their starting positions go that easily.
Deon Fourie - Lyon vs Saracens
The South African Hooker/Looseforward has been in fine form for Lyon this season pestering the breakdown and has been incredibly hard to bring down despite his relatively small stature. He starts at no.8 for Lyon despite the club having the likes of Charl Fearns and Liam Gill to call upon. Gill is on the bench and is likely to come on and pick up from where Fourie left in the latter stages of the game.