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Heineken Champions Cup 22/23 - Rd 1

TRF_Olyy

English Arrogance
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A big win here could set us up for a home route all the way home, fully expect three wins from the next three.

Our last chance to get number 5 for awhile I reckon, we should already be there.
 
From the SA teams, I expect the Stormers game to be tight with a sneaky win (we haven't travelled particularly well, but Clermont aren't looking too great on the log)

Bulls to have a tough clash and win, then Sharks to lose likely. They technically should be our best based on their playing squad of stars, but their coaching has been terrible with their coach just recently fired. So let's see how they get on.
 
Leinster v Racing, Cas v Exeter, and Munster v Toulouse should be the games of the week. I'm expecting most of the English squads to lose and you can never tell which phase of the season the French teams are in.
 
Stormers travelling squad:
Forwards:
Hacjivah Dayimani, Ben-Jason Dixon, Joseph Dweba, Connor Evans, Neethling Fouche, Deon Fourie, Brok Harris, Steven Kitshoff, Salmaan Moerat, Junior Pokomela, Gary Porter, Sazi Sandi, Marcel Theunissen, Ernst van Rhyn, Andre-Hugo Venter, Ali Vermaak.
Backs:
Clayton Blommetjies, Angelo Davids, Paul de Wet, Dan du Plessis, Herschel Jantjies, Alapati Leuia, Manie Libbok, Ruhan Nel, Damian Willemse, Leolin Zas.

We are without Frans Malherbe, Marvin Orie and Evan Roos.

I'm expecting a lineup of ;

1 Kitshoff
2 Dweba
3 Fouche
4 Moerat
5 not sure who is next in line
6 Fourie
7 Theunissen though if he slots in at 5 perhaps Pokomela
8 Dayimani

9 Jantjies though I prefer De Wet
10 Libbok
11 Zas
12 Willemse
13 Nel
14 Davids
15 Blommetjies
 
I think we have a very very good shot of taking Toulouse this year.

It's funny how quickly things move, I think a minimum of 9 and maybe a max of 11 of our starting team from the Aviva in May could probably change for Sunday.

Murray, Earls and Haley are back fit. I'd only include Haley in the squad right now.

I'd probably go
1. Loughman
2. Scannell
3. Ryan
4. Kleyn
5. Edogbo
6. Beirne
7. O'Mahony
8. Coombes
9. Casey
10. Carbery
11. Daly
12. Fekitoa
13. Frisch
14. Nash
15. Haley

Bench: Barron, Wycherley, Salanoa, Kendellen, O'Donoghue, Patterson, Crowley, Campbell

I think what's picked will be reasonably similar. Tempted to start Barron but his throwing was crap last week even if he carried well. No second row there as Beirne can cover that, as could Coombes in a real bind. Also acceptable would be Beirne to the row, Edogbo to the bench and Hodnett at 7 with O'Mahony to 6.
 
Toulouse are 5 points clear at the top of the Top 14, it would be a bigger scalp for Munster than beating South Africa!

Three very difficult ties for the provinces, I'll have to wait for the Leinster team, early signs aren't promising, but I reckon three losses is on the cards/likely.
 
Toulouse are 5 points clear at the top of the Top 14, it would be a bigger scalp for Munster than beating South Africa!

Three very difficult ties for the provinces, I'll have to wait for the Leinster team, early signs aren't promising, but I reckon three losses is on the cards/likely.
Wobbly form of late though!!!
 
What kind of form are Ulster in atm?

We always **** the bed in Europe (putting up a spirited fight as massive underdogs away in France is about the extent of our good play), I'm not expecting this season to be much different
 
What kind of form are Ulster in atm?

We always **** the bed in Europe (putting up a spirited fight as massive underdogs away in France is about the extent of our good play), I'm not expecting this season to be much different
7 from 9 both losses to Leinster. They were up 21-3 against 14 men last week and ended up losing comfortably though whilst picking up injuries.

Most of their internationals were quite poor in the Autumn too bar McCloskey.

They're definitely for the taking but not an easy win at the same time. A playoff prem team with any European ambition would want to win this though.
 
I know Harlequins are favourites but I absolutely expect the Sharks to take the win at home, it wil be hot and humid in Durban, I think our old boys Lewies and Esterhuizen will be sharing a lot of of knowledge but at the same time, I hope our players make it difficult for them as a mark of respect, they were good players here but its important that they are kept quiet.

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Dan Cole set to play his 300th game for Leicester tigers.
He's played nearly 20,000 minutes of rugby for tigers.
Mad for a TH

With current form and if he stays fit can see him hitting 400 potentially, certainly see him starting next season still, then drifting to the bench with Heyes starting for another few seasons.
 
The longevity of some props is mad considering it's a position that definitely takes a toll on your body - I remember Alex Waller played 150 games in a row for Saints
 
Dan Cole set to play his 300th game for Leicester tigers.
He's played nearly 20,000 minutes of rugby for tigers.
Mad for a TH

With current form and if he stays fit can see him hitting 400 potentially, certainly see him starting next season still, then drifting to the bench with Heyes starting for another few seasons.
I'm expecting him to tear it up on Sunday seeing how **** Ospreys are. Looking forward to it.
 
Leinster Rugby (caps in brackets):

15. Hugo Keenan (45)
14. Jimmy O'Brien (59)
13. Garry Ringrose (108) CAPTAIN
12. Charlie Ngatai (7)
11. James Lowe (66)
10. Ross Byrne (137)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (117)
1. Andrew Porter (97)
2. Dan Sheehan (35)
3. Michael Ala'alatoa (32)
4. James Ryan (63)
5. Jason Jenkins (8)
6. Ryan Baird (43)
7. Josh van der Flier (118)
8. Caelan Doris (59)

16. Rónan Kelleher (40)
17. Ed Byrne (91)
18. Cian Healy (253)
19. Ross Molony (148)
20. Jack Conan (121)
21. Luke McGrath (182)
22. Harry Byrne (37)
23. Jamie Osborne (23)

C'est pas bien mec, c'est pa's bien.

Down our three best players. Advantage Racing

Edit: Yes, I don't think the WPOTY is one of Leinster's three best players.
 
Sale Sharks Starting XV:
15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Arron Reed, 13. Sam James, 12. Manu Tuilagi, 11. Tom O'Flaherty, 10. Rob Du Preez ©, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Bevan Rodd, 2. Akker Van Der Merwe, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Jean-Luc Du Preez, 7. Tom Curry, 8. Daniel Du Preez

Replacements:
16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Josh Beaumont, 20. Jono Ross, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Tom Curtis, 23. Byron McGuigan

Strongest we can put out from the available players, so no arguments from me.




Ulster:
(15-9): Mike Lowry, Ethan McIlroy, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak;
(1-8): Andy Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O'Toole, Alan O'Connor (Captain), Kieran Treadwell, Matty Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Tom Stewart, Eric O'Sullivan, Marty Moore, Sam Carter, Marcus Rea, Dave Shanahan, Stewart Moore, Ben Moxham.
 

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