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Leinster face crucial Heineken Cup battle with Clermont, says Stuart Barnes
The game in Clermont neatly summarised round three of the Heineken Cup. It simmered without ever quite exploding into life. It was intriguing without ever making you want to drop whatever might happen to be in your hands.Back to story
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Spidey Jones says...
Cipriani hodgosn food are all rubbish. Farrell jones wilko and biggar are the solid types of 10 gatland likes sexton will be startting 10 with 2 of those 3 as back uo
Posted 16:49 12th December 2012
Mick Collyer says...
Its not been that long a go that the Saints beat Ulster in the 1/4 final of the HC. Last Friday Saints were thrashed & humiliated by a vastly superior Ulster. Admittedly Ulster have improved but it also highlighted just how far the Saints have regressed.Saints only have a plan A, which has been worked out by most teams, have recruited poorly and have 2 only at best average number 10s. The gap will only get bigger unless drastic changes are made. I wish that Blanco was CEO of the Saints!!
Posted 15:37 12th December 2012
Andrew Jones says...
Colin, it's not really a point, no. Ireland (as an island) has a population of around 6 million, maybe 7 and England has around 53 million. Therefore if we're assuming population correlates to rugby success, there should be about 30 English teams playing at the level of the Irish Provinces. Ulster has about 2 million of the 6/7 and Leinster a bit more. The fact that Munster has produced such good teams from a pool of just over 1 million is pretty impressive. Anyway the argument doesn't really work in the professional era. In reality the provinces and the English clubs draw on a pool from the entire world, only support numbers are really relevant in terms of income.
Posted 14:17 12th December 2012
Colin Thompson says...
It has always befuddled me: why should we be surprised that Leinster, Ulster and Munster are generally much better than Leicester, Northampton and the like. Those Irish teams are being picked from a huge district/county while Leicester is one city!! I know I am being naive but it is a point, isn't it??
Posted 11:07 12th December 2012
John Quinn says...
Stuart, what are your opinions on a World Club Cup championship match? Surely the winner of the Heineken Cup should play the best club in the Southern hemisphere once a year at a neutral venue. It would be an amazing to see where northern hemisphere rugby stands in comparison to its southern counterpart. I know all of us, be you English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh or French would like to see that. I would love a yearly series of 3 games with the winner of the Heineken Cup playing their winner preceded by the loser of their final playing either the winner of the challenge cup or our Heineken Cup losing finalist. A group of all these teams would be an amazing advert for world rugby.
Posted 13:25 11th December 2012
Cameron Norbit says...
Hi Stuart, just wondering your opinion of Cipriani. I've been sceptical, however, after the Toulon match, where he spent a lot of time on the backfoot, he really impressed with the maturity and ability to play despite not receiving great ball. We all know he can play on the front foot, and with him now showing ability on the backfoot, do you think he's shown enough ability to be put back into the England team? In my opinion, Freddie Burns, Cipriani and Flood are the contenders, with Flood being the conservative safe option. What are your thoughts?
Posted 13:08 11th December 2012
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