Itoje ready for noisy Murrayfield

Tue, 09 May 2017 10:09
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IN THE SPOTIGHT: Reigning European Player of the Year Maro Itoje,is preparing for a noisy day at the office on Saturday when he spearheads Saracens defence of their Champions Cup title against Clermont at Murrayfield.

The England and 2017 British & Irish Lions lock has first-hand experience of how tough Clermont can be - they are the only team he has lost to in three seasons of playing in the Champions Cup - and still has the memory of playing in front of their fans ringing round in his head.

"Their fans are probably the loudest, most passionate group I've come across," Itoje told BBC 5 Live.

Itoje played in the 6-18 pool defeat at Stade Marcel-Michelin in 2015 and then in the 9-13 semifinal loss in Saint Etienne two months later.

Itoje added: "It's going to be special because Clermont are a top side. We are going to prepare unbelievably well nd will leave no stone unturned to make sure we are the best we can be.

"Big games are always different, there is always an extra edge and everyone is a bit sharper and more switched on during the week. There is more of a build-up, a bit more anxiety in the lead-up to the game."

Saracens are seeking to become only the fourth team in European club rugby history to successfully defend their title, following in the footsteps of Leicester Tiger (2001, 2002), Leinster (2011, 2012) and RC Toulon (2013, 2014, 2015). 

It will be Clermont's third final and they are still awaiting their first win.

Source: epcrugby.com & BBC 5 Live

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EUROPEAN CUP
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Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Munster 6 5 0 1 24
Glasgow Warriors 6 4 0 2 19
Leicester Tigers 6 2 0 4 8
Racing Metro 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 1 1 22
Toulouse 6 3 2 1 18
Connacht 6 4 0 2 18
Zebre 6 0 0 6 0
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Team P W D L Pts
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Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
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Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
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Team P W D L Pts
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Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
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Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10
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Gloucester 0 0 0 0 0
Stade Francais 0 0 0 0 0