Itoje ready for noisy Murrayfield

Tue, 09 May 2017 10:09
Large maro itoje saracens 800

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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
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
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 5 1 0 24
Toulon 6 3 0 3 16
Scarlets 6 2 1 3 11
Sale Sharks 6 1 0 5 4
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 6 4 1 1 23
Montpellier 6 3 0 3 16
Castres 6 2 1 3 12
Northampton Saints 6 2 0 4 9
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Clermont Auvergne 6 5 0 1 26
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 14
Exeter Chiefs 6 2 0 4 12
Ulster 6 2 0 4 10
Pool Challenge Cup
Team P W D L Pts
Gloucester 0 0 0 0 0
Stade Francais 0 0 0 0 0