Monday 23 September 2019

Only one Irish representative in Champions Cup Team of the Week

Wasps' Nathan Hughes offloads as he is tackled by Johnny Sexton of Leinster
Wasps' Nathan Hughes offloads as he is tackled by Johnny Sexton of Leinster Newsdesk Newsdesk

With Leinster's humbling at the hands of Wasps, Munster stuttering to a bonus-point win over Treviso and Ulster no in action, only Simon Zebo makes the cut.

Here is the team chosen by The Daily Telegraph after the opening weekend of the Champions Cup.

15. Charles Piutau (Wasps)

What a player Wasps have here. Piutau couldn't get into the New Zealand side but would stroll into most others; a stunning performance in Dublin capped with a try

14. Chris Wyles (Saracens)

Provided the rapier thrust to Saracens' attacking play as his two tries ensured four-time champions Toulouse were well beaten

13. Josh Matavesi (Ospreys)

A key cog in the Ospreys machine and scored the breakaway try that put paid to Exeter's hopes of a comeback on Sunday night

12.Brad Barritt (Saracens)

Back with Saracens and back to his best as Barritt barrelled through the Toulouse defence at Allianz Park

11. Simon Zebo (Munster)

Considering all the speculation over his future it must have been difficult for Zebo to concentrate on the job in hand. But he did and scored the bonus-point try against Treviso

10. Owen Farrell (Saracens)

Dan Biggar was exceptional for the Ospreys but Farrell's 17-point haul against Toulouse sees him take the fly-half spot

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9. Joe Simpson (Wasps)

The scrum-half seems to find an extra gear whenever the try-line is in sight. Another fine score against Leinster and in stunning form right now

1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens)

Vunipola looks like he has a point to prove after a disappointing World Cup. A try and a sumptuous offload to Owen Farrell was a good start.

2. Jamie George (Saracens)

Saracens' defeat of Toulouse was based on utter dominance up front, and George certainly did more than his fair share of work in that regard.

3. Jake Cooper-Wolley (Wasps) (wearing no.3)

If one moment summed up why Wasps won so handsomely in Leinster it was when Cooper-Wooley took out not just Ian Madigan but also the man he offloaded to, Rob Kearney. A fine display.

4. Jake Ball (Scarlets)

When Ball gets going he's a very hard man to stop. Alun Wyn Jones was again in fine form for Ospreys but Ball gets the nod here.

5. Joe Launchbury (Wasps)

The England international hailed his side's stunning victory in Leinster as the best in his time at the club, and he played a large part in making it happen

6. Tom Wood (Northampton)

Another who has been taking his England frustration out on anyone who crosses his path. Last week it was Owen Farrell, this week the Scarlets.

7. Brendon O'Connor (Leicester)

You know it's been a good debut when the cry immediately goes up: 'Is he eligible for England'? Via Hawkes Bay, England (potentially) have a serious breakdown prospect.

8. Nathan Hughes (Wasps)

Hughes will be an England international as soon as he is eligible, no matter who the coach is. Wiped the floor with Jamie Heaslip, and very few can do that.

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