French publication Midi Qlympique have named their best XV from the final round of Champions Cup pool fixtures.
20 teams were reduced to eight over the course of the final weekend as the remaining sides booked their places in the quarter finals of the competition, leaving four French sides, two Irish and one each from England and Wales to battle it out for a place in the final in Bilbao this coming May.
France’s domination of the last eight hasn’t quite been reflected in Midi’s XV of the week, with five players from Top 14 represented in the lineup.
Those five, namely Dany Priso and Levani Botia of La Rochelle, Ben Tameifuna from Racing 92 and Clermont’s Fritz Lee and Morgan Parra, all come from the forwards.
The only English inclusions, meanwhile, are Bath fullback Anthony Watson, Saracens outhalf Owen Farrell and Wasps lock Joe Launchbury. Scottish international Sean Maitland is also named in the XV, the Sarries wing scoring in last weekend’s demolition of Northampton Saints.
From the Irish provinces, Keith Earls crowns a man-of-the-match display in Munster’s crushing of Castres with a spot on the wing, joined by Leinster duo Sean Cronin and Robbie Henshaw. The Irish contingent is bolstered with Tadhg Beirne of Scarlets, in his final year in Wales of course before he joins up with Munster next season.
Haldeigh Parkes of Scarlets and Matt Fagerson of Glasgow are the final names on the combined fifteen.
Midol’s team of the weekend pic.twitter.com/aJu0j0JWpu
— Mike Pearce Rugby (@MPsportsdragon) January 21, 2018