Stars set to grace semifinal stage

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:20
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A number of star performers who are set to grace this weekend's Cup semifinals are included in the longlist for the ERC European Player of the Year.

A number of star performers who are set to grace this weekend's Cup semifinals are included in the longlist for the ERC European Player of the Year.
 
Alex Goode of Saracens and the Clermont duo of Sitiveni Sivivatu and Fritz Lee are expected to figure in Saturday's European Cup last-four contest at Twickenham Stadium.
 
Toulon's Jonny Wilkinson, Steffon Armitage and Matt Giteau will come up against Munster legend Paul O'Connell at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille on Sunday.
 
In addition, another nominee from the pool stages, George North of Northampton Saints, will start on the left wing in Fridays Challenge Cup semifinal against Harlequins.
 
The search to select a successor to 2013 winner, Wilkinson, who guided the French club to an historic first European Cup success last season, was based on player performances during the pool stages of the two competitions.
 
The judging panel also have the option to consider additional players who make major contributions during the quarter-finals and semifinals of both tournaments before announcing a five-man shortlist.
 
Following this weekend's matches the winner will be named directly after next month's Cardiff 2014 finals.
 
European Player of the Year 2014 longlist:Steffon Armitage (Toulon), Miles Benjamin (Leicester Tigers), Sean Cronin (Leinster Rugby), Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Matt Giteau (Toulon), Alex Goode (Saracens), Cian Healy (Leinster Rugby), Fritz Lee (Clermont Auvergne), George North (Northampton Saints), Paul O'Connell (Munster Rugby), Peter O'Mahony (Munster Rugby), Louis Picamoles (Toulouse), Ruan Pienaar (Ulster Rugby), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont Auvergne), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon).
  
Previous winners: Ronan O'Gara (Munster Rugby); Sean O'Brien (Leinster Rugby) 2011; Rob Kearney (Leinster Rugby) 2012; Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) 2013.
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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 09 December 2016
Northampton Saints v Leinster 19h45 Franklin's Gardens
Sat, 10 December 2016
Ulster v Clermont Auvergne 13h00 Kingspan Stadium
Munster v Leicester Tigers 15h15 Thomond Park
Racing Metro v Glasgow Warriors 16h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Saracens v Sale Sharks 17h30 Allianz Park
Zebre v Toulouse 20h45 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Sun, 11 December 2016
Wasps v Connacht 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Montpellier v Castres 14h00 Altrad Stadium
Toulon v Scarlets 16h15 Stade Felix Mayol
Exeter Chiefs v Bordeaux 17h30 Sandy Park
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 1 1 0 0 5
Glasgow Warriors 2 1 0 1 5
Leicester Tigers 2 1 0 1 4
Racing Metro 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Connacht 2 2 0 0 9
Wasps 2 1 1 0 7
Toulouse 2 0 1 1 3
Zebre 1 0 0 1 0
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 2 2 0 0 9
Toulon 2 1 0 1 4
Scarlets 2 1 0 1 4
Sale Sharks 2 0 0 2 0
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 2 1 0 1 6
Castres 2 1 0 1 5
Montpellier 2 1 0 1 5
Northampton Saints 2 1 0 1 4
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 2 2 0 0 10
Bordeaux 2 1 0 1 5
Ulster 2 1 0 1 4
Exeter Chiefs 2 0 0 2 1