11 October 2020 12:31
The Heineken Champions Cup is not a tournament which a team can grow into over the course of a season. With six home and away pool games against quality opposition staggered over three two-weekend periods, and then three knockout matches, this is a competition which demands intensity and focus from round one. You have to target success rather than hope to build momentum. I know this from experience. In 1996, Wasps recorded a 77-17 win over Toulouse, the defending champions.
A fantastic result, you may think. Shame, then, that we had already lost our first two matches (to Cardiff and Munster). The next year, we topped our group with six wins from six. A home quarter-final against Brive beckoned and you know how poorly the