Team of the week: English clubs impress in Champions Cup
Last Updated: 24/11/15 10:35am
There's an English injection in our team of the week as the Premiership sides won six from six in the Champions Cup.
Eddie Jones will have enjoyed his first weekend in charge of England after each English side came out of Europe's premier competition with a victory.
There was some uncapped talent that shone in the Champions Cup, as well as a former international in David Strettle, who perplexed defenders for a pair of stellar tries.
Meanwhile, five Wasps make it into the pack - so here's our team of the week in full...
15 Telusa Veainu (Leicester Tigers)
Anthony Watson was superb for Bath, but Veainu pipped him for a place in the team against his brace against Treviso. The Leicester No 15 showed tremendous footwork for his second try, made four tackles, beat four defenders in 12 carries and won a turnover for his side as they won 36-3 in Italy.
14 David Strettle (Clermont Auvergne)
David Strettle is the latest in a list of Englishmen who have found a new level after moving to the Top 14. The winger scored two brilliant individual tries in Clermont's 34-29 win over the Ospreys, upending Dan Evans in the first and ghosting through a mob of defenders in the second. He beat eight defenders in France and made an average of 17.1 metres per carry.
13 Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne)
An experienced performance from the 76-Test international. Rougerie was measured in the midfield to get Clermont home before a fightback from the Welshmen tightened the scoreline. Rougerie also crossed for a try in the first half, running a great line off the shoulder of Camille Lopez to go in untouched.
12 Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs)
Strong in defence and a genuine threat with ball in hand, Sam Hill was the perfect partner to Henry Slade in the first and second receiver positions as Exeter beat Bordeaux-Begles 34-19. Hill put in five tackles in total but stretched the opposition defence with 13 carries for three offloads and three defenders beaten.
11 Olly Woodburn (Exeter Chiefs)
A busy day for the Exeter winger, who finished off two opportunities but created even more. He showed great pace to cross in the corner for the Chiefs' opener before rounding off the night with the bonus-point try on the back of a team effort started by Henry Slade.
10 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs) / Owen Farrell (Saracens) / George Ford (Bath)
The weekend made for good viewing for new England coach Eddie Jones. The man at the helm at Twickenham was treated to enterprising displays from three potential candidates for the No 10 jersey in next year's 6 Nations.
Individual brilliance for Woodburn's second try signalled Exeter team-mate Slade's attacking capabilities, while Ford calmly slotted a match-winning goal three minutes from time as Bath beat Leinster 19-16. The show and go from Farrell to set up Taylor's try in Saracens' 27-9 win at Ulster on Friday went a long way to dispel the thinking that he is not much more than a goal kicker, but who will have impressed Jones the most?
The injection of a new coach appears to have brought out the best in players competing for places.
9 Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92)
The Frenchman ran the show as Racing 92 ripped the Scarlets apart in front of their home fans. The scrum-half beat DTH van der Merwe to the ball for the first try for the Parisians, and his quick-thinking handed them the bonus point in a 29-12 away success when he broke blind and fed Marc Andreu for a score in the corner.
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Saracens' England international fell foul of the referee at scrum time early on in Belfast, but managed to assert his dominance as the game wore on. Vunipola made 11 tackles on Ulster ball carriers - flanker Jacques Burger was the only member of the team to put in more tackles on the day.
2 Ashley Johnson (Wasps)
Wasps' Johnson came on early for the injured Carlo Festuccia against Toulon and made an impact in defence with 15 tackles - including a real rib-tickler on prop Levan Chilachava. The South African was also superb with his lineout throwing, hitting his man in eight out of eight. He held his nerve by throwing to Joe Launchbury at the tail for Nathan Hughes' bonus-point try, and he joined the maul to take out Lobbe which allowed Hughes to burrow over in a 32-6 triumph.
3 Moray Low (Exeter Chiefs)
Northampton's Kieran Brookes was awarded man of the match against Glasgow - another player getting his name on Eddie Jones' radar - however it's Exeter's Low who gets the nod in the team. The prop scored a great try against Bordeaux, driving up the middle of their maul and after checking with the ref that he was legal, he ripped the ball away and dived over the line. Brains and brawn from the forward.
4 Luke Charteris (Racing 92)
No less than 17 tackles from the Welshman who was part of a first-half performance from Racing 92 that wrapped things up early at Parc y Scarlets. He was also the primary target at the lineout, securing the ball six times for the visitors.
5 James Gaskell (Wasps)
Gaskell only got the call at 8am that he would be replacing Bradley Davies but showed no evidence of disruption in the way he performed for Wasps. The former Sale man was excellent in the lineout, at the breakdown, in his link play, and also produced a great clearing kick late on as Toulon turned the screw. Ten carries and 13 tackles added to his day.
6 James Haskell (Wasps)
Not many would have predicted a Wasps win over the all-conquering defending champions. Fewer would have predicted a comfortable win, and almost none would have predicted that Toulon would fail to score a try. But Dai Young's men tackled all day long, led by a dogged Haskell with 20.
7 George Smith (Wasps)
Jacques Burger's 18 tackles got him close to selection, but after Wasps' George Smith led a breakdown-battle win over Steffon Armitage and Toulon, the Australian edges the Namibian. Smith only put in one less tackle than Burger but carried more than the Saracens man with eight carries against the defending champions.
8 Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
Two tries, eight tackles, 11 carries, three defenders beaten, one offload and a turnover from the No 8 who showed all of his experience to complete an all-Wasps back three. Hughes was born in Fiji but has expressed interest in playing for England - will Jones be the catalyst for his international career taking off in Twickenham?