Heineken Cup Team of the Week: Semi-Finals

Napoloni Nalaga


9. Morgan Parra (Clermont) – The diminutive Frenchman was once again assured with the boot and helped to steady the French side’s nerves as they withstood a Munster comeback to reach the final.

10. Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) – There is little more to be said other than Wilkson remains first class. French league or the 33 year old is surely in Lions contention after producing another complete performance.

11. Napolioni Nalaga (Clermont) – Scored a crucial try for his side and caused Munster a lot of problems in attack. Very versatile and provides a real dynamic threat for his team.

12. Mat Giteau (Toulon) – Provided the perfect foil for Wilkinson and was resilient when tested by Tomkins and Barritt. Experience certainly won out in the backs this weekend.

13. Wesley Fofana (Clermont) – A lively presence although not quite at his best. He was still effective however and stifled the impact of Earls and Laulala.

14. Alexis Pallison (Toulon) – A solid performance on a weekend where wingers didn’t really shine. Another assured display however in an impressive team.

15. Alex Goode (Saracens) – Reliable as ever although not as sharp as his usual high standards. Certainly in the mix for a Lions spot following a consistent run of form.


1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens) – Quite simply a beast in attack and in the loose. Some rampaging runs caused some real difficulty. His performances are starting to really belie his years.

2. Sebastian Bruno (Toulon) – Not always brilliant certainly resolute. The hooker provided decent ball on the whole from the line out and scrum.
3. Carl Hayman (Toulon) – The veteran was incredibly solid and really tested the Saracens pack in the scrum, another old head that has steered Toulon to the final.

4. Bakkies Botha (Toulon) – Dominant in the line out, great in the loose, winning crucial ball for Toulon. The South African is a force to be reckoned with.

5. Paul O’Connell (Munster) – After an embarrassingly bad start his Heineken Cup pedigree shone through and his leadership was vital in keeping it tight for the Irish side, sadly not enough though.

6. Julian Bonnaire (Clermont) – A ball winner, workhorse and spoiler of good ball for Munster the flanker certainly put a shift in. He remained tireless especially as Munster found their feet.

7. Juan Fernandez Lobbe (Toulon) – One of the best back row forwards in the world, he has been immense all season for Toulon and was again vs Saracens. He provided some telling work at the breakdown to allow his fly-half to do the rest.

8. Chris Masoe (Toulon) – A beast up front and in the loose, tireless work rate and was one of the players that made the difference for Toulon. He was outstanding all game and really led by example.

By James Deacon