“Me r c i l e s s L e i n s t e r will be favourites to pro­ceed”

Yet St ephen Jones pr edict s t he Ir ish pr ovince will f ace a st er n chal­lenge in his Cham­pi­ons Cup pool-by-pool pre­view…

Rugby World - - TOULON -

ERE IS just a flavour, an amuse-bouche (that thing that comes be­fore the starter you pre­tend to like). Le­in­ster are go­ing for their sec­ond suc­ces­sive Euro­pean ti­tle on the back of an un­prece­dented dou­ble last sea­son. Toulouse look like them­selves again. Sara­cens’ power play­ers are now al­most all fit, big Billy in­cluded. Dan­ger.

Else­where, the Scar­lets should have Jonathan Davies fit for the

Hcom­pe­ti­tion they trea­sure most. Ed­in­burgh, wak­ing each day to the sound of the Cock­er­ill, could gal­vanise Scot­tish rugby by reach­ing the last eight. Mun­ster are gear­ing up for an­other sea­son drenched in pas­sion. Glouces­ter may have a new club logo that looks like a cross be­tween a pet cat and the Ele­phant Man, but they are back in the big time.

Lyon are in the main event too, so we can look out for Dy­lan Cretin, a name as splen­did as that of Jean Con­dom in the 1980s.

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