Rugby – CE – The barometer of the favorites of the European Cup

Before the start of the European Cup this Friday, a little rundown of the main favorites of the 2021-2022 edition, with the usual giants and some new outsiders.



Outgoing champion, Stade Toulousain is leaving with the status of legitimate favorite for this new edition of the European Cup. Worn by exceptional players who are also making the heyday of the fifteenth of France, the team of Ugo Mola will be driven by the objective of retaining its continental crown. A « back-to-back » that Toulouse has never achieved despite its five stars.

Exeter (ENG)

Winner of the event in 2020, the Chiefs remain serious contenders for the title. With a five-star squad made up of many internationals, Exeter is doing well in the Premiership and has the weapons to derail some fine teams in the competition. Especially since the English will be keen to erase their performance last year, eliminated from the group stage.

Leinster (IRL)

With Toulouse, it is the other team that marked the history of the European Cup, with four titles won (2009, 2011, 2012, 2019). The Irish can draw on many members of the Fifteen of the Clubs and an almost unparalleled collective experience. And his hen schedule (Bath, Montpellier) does not seem insurmountable.

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La Rochelle

Vice-champions of France and Europe, the Maritimes changed status last season and are now advancing as credible candidates for the title. But their mixed start to the Top 14 season does not give rise to optimism. Manager Ronan O’Gara’s competitive experience (record holder of matches played [110] and points [1365]) could prove invaluable.


After their European semi-final last year, and in the wake of their excellent start to the season in the Championship, the Bordelais can legitimately nurture certain ambitions for this new edition. The workforce has gained experience and seems more relaxed than ever, managing to make the most of its potential by constantly adapting to the context.

Leicester (ENG)

Leader of the English Championship, the Tigers seem invincible since the start of the season (9 wins in 9 matches) and advance to this European Cup with a status they no longer had for a long time. What to reconnect with the glorious hours of the club in the H Cup (two titles in 2001 and 2002)? The first shock against UBB this Saturday will give a good indication.

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Munster (IRL)

Eternal scarecrow of the European Cup, Munster will once again be part of the teams to be reckoned with. Especially when you know how difficult it is to win at Thomond Park. But the Irish will have to overcome a major pitfall with their recent blockage in South Africa because of positive Covid-19 cases.

Northampton (ENG)

In form in the Premiership, the Saints are currently on a good dynamic and will try to ride this momentum for the European Cup season which opens against Racing. Northampton has not really shone in the competition since its final in 2011 (lost against Leinster) and will try to erase this decade with a bang.

Ulster (IRL)

The Northern Irish team remains more than ever a difficult formation to maneuver, even more at home. Not always radiant since the start of the season, Ulster still has a positive record in the United Rugby Championship and will start the European Cup with ambition. Even if the province has not reached the peaks in the competition since a final lost in 2012 (against Leinster).

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