5 Players to Watch Out for in this Weekend’s Provincial Champions Cup Action

This weekend is huge when it comes to the European Cup with all the Irish sides coming up against strong opposition these are the five players who will cause carnage for the provinces looking to progress in the competition.

Ma’a Nonu

Starting big (very big!) it’s the All Black veteran centre who has started to make South of France his home and with the choice of Giteau or Basteureud by his side he should reek havoc on the Leinster defense. He impressed hugely for the reigning champs on his debut against Agen. Laporte and Toulon supporters saying they expect to see an even better performance against Leinster.

It’s not looking good for Leo and the boys ahead of this crucial double header with Toulon. Both teams need a win after both losing to Wasps and Leinster losing to Bath.

Ma'a Nonu on his debut for Toulon
Ma’a Nonu on his debut for Toulon

Vereniki Goneva

Now, we move on to Leicester’s Fijian Flyer. This speedster  scored a magnificient try against Wales at the World Cup and has been on fire for Leicester ever since scoring left, right and centre for the English outfit. Along with his quick feet and electric pace he is, like most other Fijians, a powerhouse and doesn’t shy away from ball carrying. He is a huge structure standing in the way of Munster’s qualifying hopes and our wingers will have to play extremely well to quiet him down.

The Red Army have been woeful in the past two weeks and Leicester have been exactly the opposite of that so Axel’s men need to be ready for the storm that is about to hit them.

The Fijian Flyer shining for Leicester.
The Fijian Flyer shining for Leicester.

Thierry Dusautoir

“French Legend”, “Unbelievable Leader”, “Perfect Flanker”. These are just some of the words used to describe the recently retired French Captain. Ulster are in for a real challenge when they face Toulouse this weekend as him and his back-row partners will be causing carnage at ruck-time. Dusautoir is well known for his rucking skills and Ulster’s back-rows will have to shut him out and Pienaar will have be extremely quick to get ball out.

Ulster may have huge problems against Toulouse as they have suffered massive injury blows to important players like Iain Henderson, Dan Touhy and Darren Cave.

The Newly Retired French Captain.
The Newly Retired French Captain.

Duane Vermuelen

The South African monster has only made 3 appearances for the European Champions and has been explosive. He seems to have pushed team-mates Fernandez-Lobbe and Steffon Armitage out of the 8 position and his form is ever improving. Leinster will have to keep an eye out for this Springbok behemoth who is a mighty ball carrier.

Leinster are gonna have huge problems trying to deal with Toulon’s back-row who are all strong ball carriers and impressive ruckers. Leinster who have been proven to  be poor at rucktime this season will have to up their game to deal with the French side’s power upfront.

Thor when he signed for the Reigning Champions.
Thor when he signed for the Reigning Champions.

Marcos Ayerza

The Argentine has a huge influence for Leicester as he is a vital cog in their impressive scrummaging. He will cause huge problems for Munster who could be without a first team tight-head prop. Ayerza impressed everyone at the World Cup with his performances for Argentina at the World Cup.

Munster’s scrum has come under scrutiny in the past few weeks due to injuries to key players like Botha, Archer, Sherry, Casey, O’Donnell and O’Mahony but this Saturday’s game will be a definitive test.

Ayerza will cause huge problems for Munster at scrum-time.
Ayerza will cause huge problems for Munster at scrum-time.

Paul Hurley of Munster Haka


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