Champions Cup Team Of The Season

Champions Cup Team Of The Season

Saracens claimed their third Champions Cup Title by beating Leinster 10-20 in the final in Newcastle. Following a thrilling season in the Champions Cup we have selected our team of the competition. 

Saracens and Leinster weren't dominant on their way to the final with Leinster's only hiccup coming against Leinster in the Pool stages. 

Understandably, the two finalists dominate the team while there are a few representatives from other clubs.

1. Mako Vunipola - Saracens

Injuries did hamper Vunipola's campaign, however, he was still able to produce when it mattered most for Saracens. He was busy around the park in all of his matches and hardly took a step backwards in the scrums. Cian Healy is incredibly unlucky not to take the #1 jersey, especially when factoring in his outstanding performance in a losing effort in the final.

2. Sean Cronin - Leinster

A close call between Cronin and George but the Irish just gets the nod. Both players played key roles for their respective sides as they made their way to the final with man of the match performances.

3. Tadgh Furlong - Leinster

A special mention for Saracens' Titi Lamositele who was a real standout for Saracens but the Leinster man gets the nod. Furlong was particularly impressive against Wasps during the pool stages and maintained a high standard throughout the competition. Charlie Faumuina was superb for Toulouse as too was Ben Tameifuna for Racing.

4. James Ryan - Leinster

Ryan produced tireless and outstanding performances for Leinster throughout the competition and finished the season as the top tackler and top ball carrier. Jonny Gray was superb for Glasgow while Itoje was good for Saracens. 

5. George Kruis - Saracens

Kruis quietly went about his work for Saracens throughout the season but is currently in arguably the form of his career. His performance in the final cemented his place in the side with Tadgh Beirne just losing out. 

6. Scott Fardy - Leinster

A number of contenders for the blindside role with Rynhardt Elstadt really pushing the former Wallaby for the #6 jersey. However, Fardy's outstanding game in the semi-final got him the nod over the South African. Peter O'Mahony also enjoyed a fine Champions Cup season. 

7. CJ Stander - Munster

The high number of outstanding candidates for the no.8 jersey has prompted us to select Stander in the #7 jersey. Francois Louw, Josh van der Flier, Joe Tekori and Callum Gibbins were all strong contenders but we just couldn't leave Stander or Billy Vunipola out of team. Stander was one of the top tacklers and carriers in the competition and played a vital role getting Munster to the Champions Cup semi-finals. 

8. Billy Vunipola - Saracens

Man of the match in the semi-final win over Munster and a strong contender for the same accolade in the final against Leinster. Vunipola was outstanding for Saracens stepping up at big times as they earned their third Champions Cup star. A number of candidates included Louis Picamoles, Jack Conan, Marcell Coetzee, Jerome Kaino and the exceptional Bill Mata. 

9. Antoine Dupont - Toulouse

The outstanding French scrumhalf was sensational for Toulouse whether he was featuring at scrumhalf or flyhalf. He was superb in Toulouse's win over Leinster in the group stages and stepped up against Racing 92 when his side went down a man after Zack Holmes was given his marching orders. 

10. Owen Farrell - Saracens

Ross Byrne is arguably the unluckiest candidate to miss out to Farrell who was excellent for Saracens in the final and through the group stages. Farrell's control over the Saracens attack guided them to their third title while he finished as the competitions top scorer once again. 

11. James Lowe - Leinster

Lowe lit up the pool stages with a number of outstanding performances including an incredible performance in the first round of the competition that set the tone for Leinster's run to the final. Jacob Stockdale, Liam Williams and Santiago Cordero were all in the running for a place in the side as too was Duhan van der Merwe. 

12. Brad Barritt - Saracens

Strong in defence and attack Barritt was sublime for Saracens throughout the competition and was one the best players this season despite not being nominated for the ECPR player of the year. He led his side superbly and was named man of the match in the final. 

13. Sofiane Guitoune - Toulouse

Another close call with Garry Ringrose just missing out to the Frenchman. Guitoune was in outstanding form in the group stages of the competition and took that form into the knockout stages with his form also leading most to believe that he will be included in the France World Cup squad. Guitoune scored four tries this season and was one of Toulouse's best players as they reached the semi-finals of the competition. 

14. Cheslin Kolbe - Toulouse

Simply outstanding! Kolbe was one of the standouts for Toulouse averaging over 6 defenders beaten throughout the competition and was only bettered by Jacob Stockdale by metres gained. Kolbe's form earned him a Springbok call and is set to see him feature at the World Cup in Japan later this year.

15. Alex Goode - Saracens

Voted as the best player in this season's Champions Cup, Goode was outstanding for Saracens whether he featured at fullback or at flyhalf. He stepped into the 10 jersey at the eleventh hour in the quarter-final against Glasgow and hardly put a foot wrong the entire season. 

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