Team of the Week: Champions Cup

Date published: December 21 2015

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The fourth round of Champions Cup matches has come to a close, making it time for us to select our Team of the Week.

Let's see who made it into our side.

Team of the Week: Champions Cup

15 Alex Goode (Saracens): A mention for Telusa Veainu after another all-action display for Leicester but we cannot look past Goode here, as he continues to show new England head coach Eddie Jones his variety of skills. Scored a decent try and made the right calls time after time on Saturday against an albeit poor Oyonnax side. Surely he is at the front of the full-back queue ahead of the Six Nations.

14 David Strettle (Clermont): He was brilliant against Exeter, continuing an excellent start to life in France. Strettle ran excellent lines and deserved his early try as Clermont dominated the Chiefs from minute one. Josaia Raisuqe of Stade Français was man-of-the-match for his two-score showing against Treviso but Strettle gets the nod here, once again showing he is worth more than his 14 caps.

13 Jonathan Davies (Clermont): It was looking like Elliot Daly would be our number 13 after another impressive performance in Wasps colours against Bath. However, Wales international Davies then put in arguably his best showing in Clermont colours on Sunday to get the nod here. Over 100 running metres to go with a try as Davies won a few more admirers at Stade Marcel Michelin after a tough first year.

12 Stuart McCloskey (Ulster): Recently named in our Newbies of the Year and the 23-year-old was again impressive in Ulster's win in Toulouse. He made 70 metres from ten carries to see off Leinster's Luke Fitzgerald, who gave Ma'a Nonu plenty of problems in Dublin.

11 Chris Ashton (Saracens): Ashton had been going through a try drought before Saturday but that all ended with a hat-trick against Oyonnax. He will thank Owen Farrell and Richard Wigglesworth for two of those scores as we move him to 11 to accommodate Strettle.

10 Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps): Plenty of candidates for this jersey as Clermont's Camille Lopez, Ospreys' Dan Biggar and Paddy Jackson of Ulster stood up well. But Gopperth was superb for Wasps as he scored a try and was solid off the tee in a great win at Bath.

9 Ruan Pienaar (Ulster): He made all the right decisions in a typical display from Pienaar in the white shirt. With Jackson kicking well off the tee, Pienaar was able to focus on putting Ulster in the right areas and he certainly did that in victory at Toulouse. The South African won the man of the match award and beats Clermont scrum-half Morgan Parra, who impressed against Exeter, to this spot.

8 Nathan Hughes (Wasps): Another player surely making an impression on England boss Jones as he yet again put in a shift in Wasps colours. 88 metres from 17 carries is a superb effort as Hughes gets the nod ahead of two-try Saracens number eight Samuela Vunisa.

7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys): The Wales openside was excellent in his side's defeat to Bordeaux-Bègles, scoring one of their four tries and making 82 metres from nine carries. Appeared to thrive when the match opened up and stood up to UBB's physical back row.

6 Juan Smith (Toulon): Emphasising the depth in quality Toulon possess in their back-row, Smith came into the XV, scored a try and picked up the man of the match award. He was later replaced by Mamuka Gorgodze as the champions fought back for crucial victory.

5 Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont): The 202cm lock never shies away from the physical stuff and was prominent in Clermont's win over Exeter, scoring a try and racking up five carries as well as three turnovers and a line-out steal. A man-of-the-match display.

4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps): Just as the England captaincy spotlight began to drift off Launchbury, he steps up with another impressive showing for Wasps. Effective on both sides of the ball with seven carries and 11 tackles, his form is yet to dip this season.

3 Wiehahn Herbst (Ulster): Toulouse certainly knew about Herbst after last week but this week he was a brute. Massive hits knocked the Frenchmen backwards as he mixed solidity at both the scrum and in defence nicely. Zurabi Zhvania gets a mention for his try.

2 Tom Youngs (Leicester): Not exactly a shock to see Richard Cockerill come out and say his hooker is the best in England, but a possible England captain? Anyway, Youngs was a force to be reckoned with against Munster as he made ten carries, seven tackles and secured nine wins for his side at the line-out too. One of his rivals for the Test spot, Jamie George, and Benjamin Kayser also impressed.

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens): Rock solid in the scrum and roamed everywhere around the park on Saturday. Vunipola finished the win over Oyonnax with six carries and seven tackles in a free-scoring afternoon for the Premiership leaders. Surely now an England starter.

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