Sarries gear up to defend title
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Saracens will start the defence of their European Rugby Champions Cup next weekend in excellent form, after a 38-19 home win over Wasps on Sunday lifted them to the top of the Premiership.
The Cup holders, who begin their bid for a hat-trick of Champions Cup successes with a trip to English rivals Northampton Saints in Pool 2 next Sunday, edged a point clear of Exeter Chiefs with their fifth victory in six games.
British and Irish Lions hooker Jamie George spearheaded the comfortable win with a hat-trick of tries in a game that marked captain Brad Barritt's 200th appearance for Saracens.
"We're in a good place moving forward into Europe," said the London club's American wing, Chris Wyles, who also scored a try.
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In an even better place are Glasgow Warriors, who will open their Pool 3 programme at Exeter as the only team in both European competitions with a 100 percent domestic record.
Dave Rennie's side made it six wins from six games with a dramatic 29-26 triumph over Toyota Cheetahs in South Africa on Friday night thanks to a 76th minute try from Rob Harley made by a pinpoint kick from Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell.
Russell, who also kicked nine points in the Conference A game, said: "It means we've now won all of our games, which gives us momentum going into Europe next weekend,"
Conference B is led by Scarlets, who have two more bonus points than Ulster Rugby and Leinster Rugby after all three notched their fifth win in six matches, Scarlets 19-18 at Ospreys, Leinster 23-17 against Munster Rugby and Ulster 16-18 versus Connacht Rugby.
In France, European Rugby Challenge Cup holders Stade Français Paris continued their recent resurgence with a 31-20 home win over Montpellier, with Jules Plisson the star as he kicked 16 points and created the first of Waisea Nayacalevu's two tries.
Lyon leapfrogged Montpellier into first place in TOP 14 with a 25-6 win at Agen, their sixth success in seven games moving them three points clear and sounding a Challenge Cup warning before their Pool 2 game at Cardiff Blues on Friday night.