Saturday 10 December 2016

English sides' rise a big worry for provinces

Published 27/11/2015 | 02:30

'Europe is getting more and more competitive every year'
'Europe is getting more and more competitive every year'

This season's Champions Cup has been all about the rise of the English sides, and it was really evident last weekend, with the bonus-point win for Wasps against champions Toulon.

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There's no stopping Wasps at the moment - it's amazing to think they are only eighth in the Premiership, because in Europe they have been a class apart.

They have got themselves on a fine financial footing, and I'm sure Ulster are getting a little unsettled at the thought of Charles Piutau getting too comfortable in Coventry.

They might play their home games there, but Wasps still do a lot of their training in London, and I'm sure the lure of that lifestyle will make it very difficult to leave the club.

Exeter Chiefs are the only other side to have lost so far in the Champions Cup, and that was away to Ospreys in Round 1.

Northampton have two wins against Scarlets and Glasgow, Saracens have beaten Toulouse and Ulster, and Leicester have two wins on the board as well.

Europe is getting more and more competitive every year, it's worrying for the Pro12 - the English and French are at the top of the rich list.

Irish Independent

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