Planet Rugby

Mallinder wary of pool rivals

10th June 2014 15:31

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RUGBY RUGBY UNION RUGBY UNION TOURNAMENT AMLIN CHALLENGE CUP EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP JIM MALLINDER

Looking ahead: Jim Mallinder

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder has stressed that no one should underestimate the Saints' European Champions Cup pool.

Mallinder's outfit have been paired with Racing, the Ospreys and Treviso, with some of the other pools having earned the 'Group of Death' tag.

However, the Saints boss insists that Racing and the Ospreys have squads containing plenty while Treviso are a strong Italian team and will threaten.

"We haven't played Racing Metro before, and going to Paris will be an exciting challenge," Mallinder commented after Tuesday's draw.

"Racing is an ambitious club and showed in their recent play-offs win away at Toulouse just how dangerous they can be. They have a squad packed with quality players and are strengthening even further over the summer.

"While Racing is a new opponent for us we know what to expect from the Ospreys. We had to work extremely hard for our results against them last season and it will be no different in 2014/15. Dan Biggar is a top goal kicker and Alun Wyn Jones is an outstanding captain and any side that has that number of internationals deserves to be respected.

"We haven't played Treviso for a few years, and it will be good to go back to Italy. But while that will be a good trip for the supporters we will have to make sure we keep our focus on the job in hand, which is to get a win over a team that beat Munster and ran Leinster and Ulster close on home turf in the PRO12 last season.

"We know that as Aviva Premiership champions other teams are going to raise their game against us, which means we are going to have to raise our own standards as well."

The fixtures themselves will be confirmed in mid-July.

  • Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins vs Castres19:45
Saturday , October 18
Sale vs Munster13:00
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Leicester vs Ulster19:45
Glasgow vs Bath15:15
Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton17:15
Sunday , October 19
Leinster vs Wasps17:15
Toulon vs Scarlets15:15
Toulouse vs Montpellier13:00
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso13:00
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster622
2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon624
2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulouse623
2Saracens620
3Connacht613
4Zebre60
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne624
2Harlequins616
3Scarlets611
4Racing Metro Paris67
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ulster626
2Leicester Tigers621
3Montpellier611
4Treviso60
Pool 6
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67