Munster stars boss Champions Cup Team of the Weekend 3 weeks ago

Munster stars boss Champions Cup Team of the Weekend

Four games, four wins. Irish rugby is bouncing back after another World Cup squib.

One of the benefits of being eliminated at the quarter final stages (again!) of the World Cup is that the four Irish provinces are able to welcome back many of their big internationals.

There were wins for Connacht and Ulster at the weekend while Leinster and Munster got try-scoring bonus points to go with their victories.

In our Champions Cup Team of the Weekend - selecting from the four provinces and Irish lads playing abroad - there are 11 Ireland players included and seven that were in World Cup action over in Japan.

Munster, who secured their bonus point try in the last play of an impressive win against Ospreys, have five representatives with Jeremy Loughman, Peter O'Mahony (three turnovers won) and CJ Stander (18 tackles, 23 carries) in the pack. Mike Haley and the on fire Andrew Conway are in the back three with Kyle Godwin, of Connacht, who edges out another Munster try-scorer, Keith Earls.

Ulster have four representatives. Marty Moore had a fine game in the front row against Bath while Iain Henderson led from the front in a tight 17-16 victory. Stuart McCloskey is our inside centre while the excellent John Cooney - scorer of a great second half try - is scrumhalf.

Connacht's two other inclusions, along with Godwin, are hooker Tom McCartney (one try, 12 tackles, two turnovers) and indefatigable openside Colby Fainga'a.

(Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile)

Rounding out our XV are three men that will be crucial to Leinster if they want to finish this season with a fifth star sewn onto their club merchandise. Johnny Sexton scored a try and set up another, Garry Ringrose scored a hat-trick with close-in tries that defined the second half of Brian O'Driscoll's career, and James Ryan put in another big performance (19 tackles, 12 carries, two turnovers won).

Team of the Weekend

15. Mike Haley (Munster)
14. Andrew Conway (Munster)
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster)
11. Kyle Godwin (Connacht)
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster)
9. John Cooney (Ulster)

1. Jeremy Loughman (Munster)
2. Tom McCartney (Connacht)
3. Marty Moore (Ulster)
4. James Ryan (Leinster)
5. Iain Henderson (Ulster)
6. Peter O'Mahony (Munster)
7. Colby Fainga'a (Connacht)
8. CJ Stander (Munster)


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Barry Murphy, Andrew Trimble and Jerry Flannery are in the House of Rugby studio to look back on the weekend's rugby action, the Saracens sanctions imbroglio and they make a couple of fantasy transfers.