Rugby

"Give them the trophy" | Greenwood backs Leinster for European success after Sarries fall

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

11:57 11 Dec 2019

Leinster are all but guaranteed Heineken Champions Cup success due to a lack of competition from the English clubs this year, according to Will Greenwood. 

Leinster have won all three of their opening pool games in the tournament this season, racking up 89 points and Greenwood believes they won't have much trouble lifting silverware at the end of the season.

The former England, Tigers and Harlequins player was speaking at Off The Ball's Heineken Rugby Club Roadshow in the Galmont Hotel in Galway and argued that Saracens' points deduction in the Premiership has transformed the tournament's landscape.

"I still think Leinster could win the Six Nations if they entered the Six Nations next year," Greenwood told the largely Connacht crowd.

"I do. I think the way they are playing, Leinster will walk their group. I think Northampton will scrape out of it because they will get eight or nine points out of Lyon and Benetton.

"I feel Toulouse will be the only team to come out of the Montpellier, Gloucester, Connacht group.

"Bath have a new coach so he's trying to find his position. And there is a genuine danger that because Saracens are on -35 points [in the Premiership] that Wasps, Bath or Leicester could go down."

With Saracens not going down without a fight in the Premiership, Greenwood believes the season's scenario has "severely weakened" the challenge that Leinster could face in the Heineken Champions Cup.

"There ain't no London Irish, there ain't no Newcastle down the bottom where they can say 'we'll have a go at Europe because we'll be alright.'

"There are genuinely big clubs now thinking Saracens are coming with a charge and we don't need to be faffing around and getting smashed up in a quarter-final which is the reality of what would happen."

Greenwood added his belief that the only English team capable of challenging in Europe and the Premiership is Exeter and even they are not guaranteed to truly trouble Stuart Lancaster's men.

"Exeter are the one English team because they will make the top two blindfolded in the Premiership.

"So, the one team that could go on two fronts on an English front is Exeter but the way Leinster played last week, give them the trophy."

You can watch the full Heineken Rugby Club Roadshow featuring Brian O'Driscoll, Will Greenwood, Andy Friend, Tiernan O'Halloran and Cyril Farrell on the Off The Ball Youtube from Thursday.


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