European Rugby Champions Cup: Pool 5 Preview

ERCC: Outright Preview 2018 -2019 Season

The European Rugby Champions Cup will get underway on the weekend of October the 12th. Darry Worthington takes a look at Pool 4 below.

The final Champions Cup pool is a rather strange looking one with Top 14 sides Toulon and Montpellier set to duke it out with English club Newcastle and Scottish side Edinburgh. The two French giants may be favourites with the 'books to qualify from this pool but it will be nowhere near as cut and dry - as both the French sides tend to struggle on the road.

Pool 5 Teams

  • Montpellier
  • Toulon
  • Newcastle Falcons
  • Edinburgh

Key Fixtures
  • 16 December
  • Montpellier v Toulon
  • Newcastle v Edinburgh

Players to Watch

  • Montpellier - Frans Steyn (Centre)
  • Toulon - Malakai Fekitoa (Centre)
  • Newcastle - Toby Flood (Fly-half)
  • Edinburgh - Blair Kinghorn (Fullback)

Pool Analysis
Pool 5 is a rather interesting one with French giants Toulon and Montpellier coupled with struggling English club Newcastle and a hit-and-miss Edinburgh side.

While Montpellier are favourites to top it, they didn't exactly shoot the lights out last season, failing to make the play-offs. They are also woeful travellers and will be heavily reliant on their home form to see them to a spot in the next round.

Montpellier's domestic rivals, Toulon, are in dreadful form at the minute and languish in 14th spot on the Top 14 standings (at the time of writing). They have struggled to score points this term and will need their star-studded back line to step up to the mark if they are to have any success in Europe.

Across the English Channel, Newcastle are experiencing a very similar start to the season as that of Montpellier - with the Northerners currently lying at the foot of the English Premiership table. I would still be wary of the English club, however, as no one expects them to do anything in Europe so the shackles will be well and truly off.

Of all the sides in this pool, Edinburgh have probably enjoyed the brightest start to their domestic campaign winning half of their opening six fixtures. They have a quality squad with their back row able to mix it up with the best in the tournament.

Verdict: Toulon
They may be in woeful form but I think a European campaign is what Toulon need to right the ship. They have a solid side, and if they click, they should be able to top this group.

That leaves second-place, which is really hard to predict. Yes, on paper it should go to Montpellier but their woeful away form makes me think they may struggle to qualify here. So for me, Edinburgh crack the nod as runners-up.

That leaves Newcastle, who I think are in for two major drubbings in France and a Pool 5 wooden spoon.

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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