Team of the Week: Champions Cup

Date published: January 25 2016

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With the dust having settled on Round 6 of the Champions Cup, we take a look back over the games to select our Team of the Week.

Sunday's finale was a thrilling finish to the tournament's pool stages, and there were a number of spectacular performances in the ten games.

Let's see who made the cut.

Team of the Week: Champions Cup

15 Jared Payne (Ulster)Payne tore Oyonnax to shreds from full-back, making 157 metres, scoring a try and beating seven defenders on 20 runs. We wonder whether Joe Schmidt will shift him to 15 for Ireland based on this effort. Superb assist in the build-up for Rory Scholes' try.

14 Josia Tuisova (Toulon)Toulon's wrecking ball of a wing has reportedly opted to play for Fiji instead of his adopted France, which is a huge boost for the Pacific Island side. It's frightening that he's still only 21. 

13 Elliot Daly (Wasps)Couldn't have done more to give Eddie Jones a reminder of his talent ahead of the Six Nations. Daly scored a breathtaking try for Wasps in their big win over Leinster. 11 carries for 83 metres from the young centre.

12 Jonathan Danty (Stade Français)Like Daly with England, Danty gave Guy Novès a nudge with an eye-catching performance. Runs with such a low centre of gravity that tacklers regularly bounce off him. Northampton's rising star Harry Mallinder just misses out.

11 James Short (Exeter)Two tries for the Exeter wing playing the best rugby of his career with the Chiefs. Has the speed, but it's his improved strength that's making Short a top threat out wide. Punished the Ospreys with his brace of scores. A mention for Munster's Ronan O'Mahony.

10 Jimmy Gopperth (Wasps)Virtuoso performance against his old side. Gopperth was so accurate off the kicking tee and his opening try got the ball rolling in Coventry for what turned out to be a heavy win.

9 Baptiste Serin (Bordeaux-Bègles)Called up by France on Monday. Serin's box-kicking stood out but he doesn't lack for speed either. The young number nine looks to have a big future ahead of him. Gets the nod ahead of Saracens' Ben Spencer.

8 Thomas Waldrom (Exeter)The Tank rumbles on. Two more tries for Waldrom takes his season tally to 10. For perspective, he's now the top try scorer in both the Premiership (six) and the Champions Cup (four).

7 Steffon Armitage (Toulon)Last year it looked as though Armitage would be playing his rugby at The Rec in order to make England's World Cup squad. That move fell through, but on his visit last weekend he proceeded to charge around the field and swatted away Bath captain and England fly-half George Ford for his try.

6 Robbie Diack (Ulster)Competition here from Luke BraidTom Croft and Tom Wood, but the two-time Ireland international caught the eye with his 17 carries, nine tackles and three lineout takes in a try-scoring outing on Saturday.

5 Jonny Gray (Glasgow)Glasgow's young captain weighed in with an impressive 15 carries, nine tackles, four lineout wins and a steal as Glasgow ended Racing's unbeaten run in the competition at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock.

4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps)Another big carrying performance from the England lock, who clocked up 14 runs to go with six lineout takes. Looks in good form. Paul Jedrasiak went well for Clermont.

3 Rabah Slimani (Stade Français)The best tighthead around was a try-scorer for Stade in their win on Sunday over Leicester and was swiftly removed at the start of the second half having made nine tackles, which will have kept France boss Guy Novès happy.

2 Jamie George (Saracens)Ulster captain Rob Herring just misses out after his barnstorming effort against Oyonnax, but it takes a special performance to be named Man of the Match against Toulouse away from home. George is having a fine season.

1 Alex Waller (Northampton)Gave Wales tighthead Samson Lee a torrid time in the scrum as Northampton got the job done at Parc y Scarlets. Very consistent.

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