The Champions Cup is the pinnacle of club rugby in Europe and never fails to present compelling matchups. This week is no exception with a number of teams in do-or-die situations as they vie for one of the biggest prizes in the sport. The good news for the Americas is that almost three time as many players as in the Challenge Cup will see the field in the senior competition.
Benetton Treviso are playing for pride after dropping their opening three matches. They nearly upset Scarlets in Llanelli last weekend and could well turn the screw at home on Saturday. No Americas players are in the starting lineup but a pair of Argentines are on the bench in hooker Tomás Baravalle and midfielder Juan Ignacio Brex.
Racing 92 are almost certainly out of contention in this year’s competition and only a big win over Castres in Paris can give them any hope at all. Juan Imhoff starts at fullback for the home side with the visitors opting to start the game with regular captain Rodrigo Capó Ortega and flyhalf Benjamín Urdapilleta as second half options if things go sour.
Toulon on the other hand remain hot in the hunt for another European title and roll out a bruising forward pack for their game against Bath at the Recreation Ground. Samu Manoa is in the second row with Pumas pair Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe and Facundo Isa manning the flanks.
Two more Argentine exports are in the match day squad for Saracens in their pivotal match at Clermont on Sunday. Marcelo Bosch starts at outside center for the defending champions and Juan Figallo is a front row reserve. Former Eagles skipper Chris Wyles is at his familiar left wing spot.
Current Eagles prop Chris Baumann is on the bench for Leicester when they host Munster at Welford Road, and Canadian star Jeff Hassler is on the wing for Ospreys for their home game against Northampton Saints, who take their first steps without departed coach Jim Mallinder.