European Rugby at its Finest
The Champions and Challenge Cup Finals are fast approaching but which teams will duke it out at BT Murrayfield in the Final is still to be decided. The Quarter Finals kick off this weekend and there are some behemoth games taking place.
As previous champions clash there will also be teams who will be making history in the tournament as they attempt to progress further than ever before. Check out the fixtures for the Champions Cup Quarter Finals below as well as our preview of what to expect.
The leading clubs of their domestic leagues, Wasps and Leinster are in fantastic form for what looks to be one of the top games this weekend.
Leinster have been leading the way in the Champions cup, scoring more tries than any other team. Isa Nacewa has played a large part in that, scoring six tries in the group stages alone. Former England Coach, Stuart Lancaster, could well land a permanent job at Leinster if he can shepherd this team to the semi finals.
Meanwhile, Wasps are on the hunt for the first European trophy since 2007 and this team looks like it could be the one to do it. Bursting with talent fresh from 6 Nations, Leinster will be looking to lock down Nathan Hughes in particular.
Potentially one of the toughest games to predict of the weekend. Munster and Toulouse both have the potential to go all the way this year. Toulouse have offloaded their way to the quarter finals, successfully passing on over 140 balls in the group stages. The Munster defence will need to be quick and clinical in order to keep any gaps closed.
After disappointing European result last year, Munster have bounced back. Thanks to star performances from the likes of CJ Stander, Munster were able to take charge of a very tough group. Toulouse meanwhile barely scraped through their group on point difference, will the confidence of the pool stages give Munster the edge?
Saracens v Glasgow Warriors (13:00, April 2nd)
Glasgow Warriors drew the short straw of taking on the reigning champions at this stage of the tournament but this is by no means an easy game for Saracens.
Saracens have the confidence of having been here before but with domestic glory unattainable, Gregor Townsend will have concentrated all of Glasgow’s efforts on getting through this match as a last hurrah with the club. They will have to be clinical, if it is a sloppy performance, the boot of Farrell will punish Glasgow for the full 80 minutes. This game may feel somewhat of a repeat of the England v Scotland game in the 6 Nations, with many of the key players present. Glasgow will be hoping it won’t exactly be a repeat.
Clermont Auvergne v Toulon (16:15, April 2nd)
A rematch of the final in 2015 and 2013, this would be a satisfying win for Clermont who were denied the trophy both times. But playing against the team who has won more European trophies than any other is never easy.
Toulon have been a less dominating force in European rugby since 2015 but given the talent still available to the French giant, spectacular performances are still produced by the team. Clermont will be hoping that the home advantage might just be the difference to finally beat Toulon in their own Championship.
Challenge Cup Fixtures
Edinburgh Rugby v La Rochelle (20:00, March 31st)
Bath v Brive (12:45, April 1st)
Gloucester v Cardiff Blues (20:05, April 1st)
Ospreys v Stade Francais Paris (17:45, April 2nd)
What are your predictions for the quarter finals? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter.