Team of the Week: Champions Cup

Date published: January 18 2016

Team of Round Five

The fifth 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 Simon Zebo (Munster): Looked in good shape at the back for an improved Munster side as he crossed for a try amongst nine carries. Zebo seems to enjoy the greater freedom he has in attack when he wears number fifteen and Munster will hope this form continues.

14 Louis Dupichot (Racing 92): Juan Imhoff will be the first to thank Dupichot for his opening try against Scarlets as a lovely offload saw the Pumas wing race over. Dupichot's try later on though was something special as he stepped his way to the line from range.

13 Casey Laulala (Racing 92): The powerful midfielder scored a hat-trick on Sunday against Scarlets as Racing made another statement about their European credentials. Starting alongside Dan Carter in midfield rolled back the years as Laulala enjoyed a fine day.

12 Adam Ashley-Cooper (Bordeaux-Bègles): Shifting in one position from 13 to 12 is this Wallaby who was a workhorse against Exeter. If anyone doubted his commitment ahead of his move from the Waratahs, this performance will have silenced them. He scored, almost grounded for what would have been a remarkable second and was busy in defence. Bordeaux-Bègles have got themselves an excellent signing.

11 Blair Connor (Bordeaux-Bègles): The Australian was a joy to watch on Saturday as he cut through Exeter's defence at will in an entertaining victory. Regularly a willing option in midfield, he beat seven defenders and deserved his try in another solid showing.

10 Sam Davies (Ospreys): A mention for Racing fly-half Remi Tales, who made four try assists for his side over the weekend and Owen Farrell for Saracens. However, there was a super-sub in Swansea who claims our ten jersey as Davies was outstanding off the bench for Ospreys, directing the region around a wet field with his monster boot whilst knocking over penalties and a drop-goal. Even an injured Dan Biggar was impressed.

9 Yann Lesgourgues (Bordeaux-Bègles): Four defenders beaten and three clean breaks from this excellent scrum-half as he sees off Ospreys veteran Brendon Leonard, Leicester's Ben Youngs and Wasps' Joe Simpson to our nine jersey. Lesgourgues was a constant threat against Exeter Chiefs.

8 Guy Thompson (Wasps): Several number eights stood out over the round such as CJ Stander, Viliami Maafu and Billy Vunipola. But for his excellent shift in Toulon, Wasps back-row Thompson gets the nod. 18 carries and 70 metres for the try-scoring man-of-the-match.

7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys): He has it all; fitness, skills, hard work. Tipuric was outstanding in the black jersey on Friday with one moment in particular standing out when he helped win a turnover, booted the ball downfield and then reappeared on the shoulder of Leonard to carry on the break-out. In this kind of form one wonders what he has to do to start for Wales during the Six Nations.

6 Sam Underhill (Ospreys): It's hard to believe he is just 19 years of age after that performance against a strong Clermont side but Underhill was a rock in defence for Ospreys, making 18 meaningful tackles. The absence of Dan Lydiate due to injury was not felt as the England U18 flank impressed with his physicality on a night where the dirty work needed to be done. Exeter now know what to expect.

5 Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys): When last did he have an average outing? Jones was a rock once again for the Welsh region as he inspired Ospreys in the rain at Liberty Stadium. 12 carries and 20 tackles saw him claim the man-of-the-match award in a captain's effort.

4 Ross Molony (Leinster): With their knockout chances over, Saturday's fixture against Bath was a chance to look at the next generation for Leo Cullen. 22-year-old Molony certainly grabbed his opportunity and was named the man-of-the-match by the host broadcaster. A mention for Leicester's Dom Barrow.

3 Antoine Guillamon (Oyonnax): One of the many positives from their Toulouse scalp was Guillamon. Strong in the set-piece and busy around the field, the tighthead had a good day at the office as his team savour a memorable victory that takes them third in the pool.

2 Dimitri Szarzewski (Racing 92): A solid performance from the captain as they marched to a home quarter-final. Could he be holding the Champions Cup trophy later this year? Alongside the powerful Ben Tameifuna and Eddy Ben Arous, this is a formidable front-row.

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens): The cult hero at Welford Road, Logovi'i Mulipola, was at his carrying best last Saturday against Treviso but misses out to Vunipola at Saracens, with the England prop making a whopping 17 carries for his side. Another impressive game.

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