It will be no surprise if Saracens win the Heineken European Champions Cup this season, even if many will have Leinster as favourites. Nevertheless, the pool stages have been disappointing for most English rugby supporters. Saracens may indeed be the only English club in the quarter-finals. Exeter may qualify, but to do so they must beat Munster at Thomond Park in Limerick, probably with a four-try bonus point while denying Munster a losing one. Very few visiting teams leave Thomond Park smiling happily.

Meanwhile the other English clubs in this year’s Heineken have had a miserable time. Bath. Gloucester, Leicester, Newcastle and Wasps have mustered only six wins in the first five rounds of the Cup (and Bath’s sole victory was against Wasps).