Champions Cup Team of the Week: Thomas Ramos stars as Toulouse, Leinster, Exeter Chiefs and La Rochelle dominate selection

James While
Champions Cup team of the week

Now that the dust has settled on the quarter-final stage of the Champions Cup, we have had a discussion and picked our Team of the Week.

Once again it was the home teams making it through as Leinster, Toulouse, Exeter Chiefs and La Rochelle progressed to the final four later this month.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at who made the cut in our selection.

Champions Cup team of the quarter-finals

15 Thomas Ramos (Toulouse): It’s hard to believe the skill-set of this remarkable full-back as once again he set the tournament alight. If two tries weren’t enough, the nonchalant back four pass to his goalkeeper Romain Ntamack under the posts would have impressed Antoine Griezmann let alone Antoine Dupont. Hugo Keenan was also outstanding for Leinster but Ramos was our Player of the Week.

14 Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster): A try for himself and two try assists capped off a wonderful Friday evening from one of the lesser stars of Leinster. O’Brien was busy and industrious, as was our runner-up, Exeter Chiefs skipper Jack Nowell, who scored a committed try at Sandy Park.

13 Garry Ringrose (Leinster): A Rolls-Royce centre these days blessed with silky running, brilliant defence and great leadership skills, Ringrose scored two in the opening 16 minutes against Leicester in a typically stylish display. Henry Slade absolutely dominated the Stormers in one of the finest performances we’ve seen from him in some time. Both men were outstanding and it was very hard to separate them.

12 Jonathan Danty (La Rochelle): A big shift from the big centre saw him lead an amazing backline defensive effort with typical power and intelligence. Dan du Plessis was one of the more influential South Africans, the most impressive Stormer down at Sandy Park in a solid defensive shift.

11 Olly Woodburn (Exeter Chiefs): It seems ridiculous that Woodburn has never attracted the attentions of the England selectors given his ability on both sides of the ball. He was magnificent against the Stormers, whilst elsewhere Matthis Lebel also impressed for Toulouse.

10 Romain Ntamack (Toulouse): Ntamack’s interplay with Ramos swapping fly-half and full-back roles and both running off the genius of Dupont is a rugby watcher’s feast. Joe Simmonds and Antoine Hastoy both deserve a mention for impressive displays for their respective clubs, Exeter and La Rochelle.

9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (La Rochelle): OK, this selection was more for variety than anything else, given Antoine Dupont’s five try assists, but Kerr-Barlow was also absolutely outstanding in a more brutal manner and gets the nod in this week’s team. Jamison Gibson-Park drove Leinster all evening, scooting over for a try himself.

8 Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs): A brilliant performance of pace from the flying Chief saw him rip the Stormers apart to score a 25 metre try. Sikhumbuzo Notshe was one of the Sharks’ better performers in Toulouse, whilst Gregory Alldritt was huge for La Rochelle in defence and set up the Kerr-Barlow score.

7 Levani Botia (La Rochelle): Dynamic, fast and effective, Botia had a game of dreams as he grabbed four turnovers, set up a try and had another disallowed. Caelan Doris might have played out of position and was carded against the Tigers but he was still monumentally effective, as was Thibaud Flament, showing his versatility at seven for Toulouse.

6 Jannes Kirsten (Exeter Chiefs): 10 huge carries and 10 monstrous tackles only tell a part of the story as the big Saffer took it to his fellow countrymen all afternoon. Jack Willis impressed once again for Toulouse as he moved across the back-row to six.

5 Will Skelton (La Rochelle): Skelton really added power and menace to the Black and Yellow effort and was at the centre of creating chaos at breakdown time. The Leinster lighthouse James Ryan shone once again in another brilliantly abrasive display as he carried seven times, hit 13 tackles and stole three lineouts.

4 Emmanuel Meafou (Toulouse): Meafou played at number five lock on Saturday but we need to squeeze him in after another huge performance of power and clout, completing possibly the biggest lock partnership in history alongside Skelton. Exeter’s Jonny Gray also delivered the goods in a superb effort at Sandy Park.

3 Tadhg Furlong (Leinster): The Jukebox once again churned out the tunes as he was instrumental in demolishing the Tigers scrummage but still had energy to gallop around the pitch. La Rochelle’s Uini Atonio was massive on the Atlantic coast as he troubled the Sarries pack all afternoon.

2 Dan Frost (Exeter Chiefs): Frost is selected for the second weekend running as he was Exeter’s heartbeat all afternoon in another impressive outing. Toulouse’s French international Peato Mauvaka shone in the sunshine, nipping over for a 68th minute score as his team ran riot in the last quarter against the Sharks.

1 Andrew Porter (Leinster): A superb performance from the big prop saw him approaching his absolute best as he responded well to an early scrum penalty against him. Scott Sio also put in an impressive shift for the Chiefs and in La Rochelle, Reda Wardi was superb in a big 60 minute effort for the Black and Yellows.

READ MORE: Champions Cup: Two Cents Rugby picks his top five players of the quarter-finals