European Team of the Week

European Team of the Week

With just four top flight matches taking place in Europe this weekend, we select our team of the week from the Champions and Challenge Cup semi finals. 


Leinster and Saracens cruised to victories in the Champions Cup beating Toulouse and Munster respectively while La Rochelle and Clermont secured their places in the Challenge Cup final with wins over Sale and Harlequins.

1. Mako Vunipola - Saracens

A massive return from injury on the big stage for England's first choice loosehead. Vunipola was at his best against Musnter despite having last played in the Six Nations. Cian Healy was superb for Leinster while Etienne Falgoux was one of the standouts for Clermont. 

2. Jamie George - Saracens

George joins his fellow Saracens teammate in the front row after yet another strong showing for the Premiership Champions. George was all over the park against Munster and pips Leinster's James Tracey to a place in the side.

3. Uni Atonio - La Rochelle

Atonio showed off his scrummaging prowess as La Rochelle egeded Sale Sharks at the Stade Marcel-Deflandre. He carried the ball well and hit hard in the tackles, ultimately edging Tadgh Furlong and Rabah Slimani to a spot in the side.

4. Maro Itoje - Saracens

Yet another outstanding performance from Itoje who seems to always step up for Saracens in the big matches. He was beaten by Billy Vunipola for the match of the match award but was certainly in the mix for the accolade. Itoje hit double digits in the tackle and carry stats while other standout locks included Devin Toner and Matt Symons. 

5. James Ryan - Leinster

Another workman like performance by Ryan this weekend as he helped Leinster to back to back Champions Cup final. Like Itoje, he hit double digits in the carry and tackle stats and beats the likes of George Kruis and Sebastien Vahaamahina to a place in the side. 

6. Scott Fardy - Leinster

Scott Fardy's efforts for Leinster sees him edge Clermont's Arthur Iturria, Saracens' Michael Rhodes and Harlequins' Jack Clifford to a spot in the side. The former Wallaby scored a crucial try in the win over Toulouse and proved to be a pivitol link between the forwards and backs while also smashing through his work at the rucks and on defence. 

7. Chris Robshaw - Harlequins

An outstanding performance by the England flanker as he continues to press for a recall following a tough time with injuries. He was everywhere on attack and defence for the Harlequins and was a pest at the breakdown as the Harlequins looked to steal a come from behind win in France. Sean O'Brien was superb for Leinster as too was Jackson Wray for Saracens.

8. Billy Vunipola - Saracens

A man of the match performance from Billy Vunipola help Saracens reach the Champions Cup final after defeating Munster. Vunipola carried the ball superbly for Saracnes and scored a crucial try for the Premiership Champions. Elsewhere, CJ Stander was excellent for Munster while Alex Dombrandt was sensational for Harlequins. Finally, Jack Conan put in a fine shift for Leinster topping the tackle count in the encounter.

9. Morgan Parra - Clermont

Parra was back to his best for Clermont as they survived a late Harlequins onslaught to book their place in the final of the Challenge Cup. He dictated play well and got Clermont out of a number of sticky situations with his left boot. He kicked well off the tee and worked well in tandem with Camille Lopez before he was replaced for Greig Laidlaw. Luke McGrath was solid for Leinster while Alexis Bales was good for La Rochelle. 

10. Jonathan Sexton - Leinster

Three flyhalves had outstanding games and could have made our team of the week. Camille Lopez kept the scoreboard ticking over for Clermont and made some intelligent decisions in their win over the Harlequins while Owen Farrell guided Saracens to a win over Munster with his accuracy from the tee and his general game management but in the end Jonathan Sexton gets the nod. Sexton was solid off the tee and controlled the game brilliantly for Leinster and was rightfully named man of the match. 

11. James Lowe - Leinster

James Lowe looking threatening with every touch of the ball against Toulouse and beats the likes of Liam Williams, Cheslin Kolbe and Alivereti Raka to place in the side. Lowe could have easily scored a hattrick against Toulouse but walked away with just the one try from a stellar team effort in the first half. 

12. Levani Botia - La Rochelle

A number of strong candiates for the 12 jersey with Robbie Henshaw and Wesley Fofana enjoying fine outings for their side but La Rochelle's verstile Fijian gets the nod after an all round strong and destructive performance against Sale Sharks. 

13. Garry Ringrose - Leinster

 

Ringrose was excellent in defence alongside Robbie Henshaw as Leinster suffucted the Toulouse backline. He hand some nice touches to get his wingers into some space and beats George Moala to place in the side due to his overall performance. Moala was a joy to watch alongside Welsey Fofana this weekend linking up with some slick offloads and stellar running lines.

14. Damian Penaud - Clermont

The young French flyer showed off his superb footwork and sheering pace against Harlequins this weekend and was unlucky to walk away with just the one try. He proved to be a real handful for the solid Harlequins defence. Jordan Larmour also impressed for Leinster while David Strettle is incredibly unlucky to miss out. 

15. Alex Goode - Saracens

Another classy display from the Saracens fullback who made metres with ease, kicked brilliantly and was solid defensively. Rob Kearney came close to take the jersey from the Englishman while Mike Brown impressed for the Harlequins. 

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