Lawrence Dallaglio, England great and Amlin rugby ambassador, casts his eye over this weekend’s European fixtures involving London clubs using the Amlin Opta Index. To view the full Amlin Opta Index results ahead of this week’s action, head to the news section on ercrugby.com
SARACENS V CLERMONT AUVERGNE
(TONIGHT, HEINEKEN CUP)
Schalk Brits is Saracens’ top rated player in the Index and has carried for 192 metres, 72 more than any other front row forward in the competition.
MUNSTER V LONDON IRISH
(TOMO, HEINEKEN CUP)
Denis Leamy is Munster’s top rated player with 1180 Amlin Opta Index points, having made 51 carries and 42 tackles, both club highs.
HARLEQUINS V BAYONNE
(TOMORROW, AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP)
Nick Easter was Quins’ leading ball carrier when they lost 16-12 at Bayonne, with 11 carries for 30 metres.
WASPS V TOULOUSE
(SUNDAY, HEINEKEN CUP)
Joe Worsley is the leading defensive player in the competition. He’s accrued 779 points in defence having made a remarkable 77 tackles, 20 more than any other player.
Leinster are already through from this pool but Clermont are after one of the best runners-up slots and will give it everything. Saracens are out and so can only hope to keep up some form to carry into the Premiership, but I expect Clermont to prevail in this one.
This is the first time Munster have failed to reach the knockout stages in 13 years so they’ll be wounded and seeing this as the start of next year’s competition. Irish did incredibly to end their losing run against Ospreys last week, but I don’t see them winning here.
Harlequins are really on a roll at the moment, with seven wins in succession, and are particularly strong at home, where they have taken some notable scalps. Another victory would ensure they go through as winners of Pool 1, and I expect them to get that win.
Last week’s disastrous defeat in Glasgow has left Wasps an uphill battle to qualify. Toulouse will top the pool regardless and Wasps must win and hope other results go their way. Stranger things have happened and I think they will win, but it may not be enough.