The weekend of European Rugby kicks off tonight with the first of the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals.
La Rochelle were impressive in the group stages of this competition, but it’s a different proposition now that three teams have joined from the Heineken Cup. Clermont should have too much for the home side tonight, but I’m backing Quins to knock out Wasps.
Wasps have had a dreadful run of form recently and are desperate to qualify for next season’s Heineken Cup – winning this tournament is obviously one way to do so, but the home side are playing well and the Easter / Care dream team will prevail.
Stade ought to beat Montpellier, and then I’ve gone for an away victory for Munster against Brive. It won’t be easy for the Munstermen, but on the back of their win over Leinster and the irrepressible desire to succeed in Europe, I’m backing them to make it through.
Here are my Amlin Challenge Cup predictions for this weekend:
La Rochelle v ASM Clermont Auvergne: ASM Clermont Auvergne by 22
Harlequins v London Wasps: Harlequins by 8
Stade Francais Paris v Montpellier: Stade Francais Paris by 13
Brive v Munster: Munster by 8