The Cup has been dominated by the French and Irish clubs. Toulouse, Racing92 and Clermont-Auvergne, Leinster and Ulster all seem already sure to proceed to the knock-out stage, and Munster may also do so.
How much relevance this has for the Six Nations which follows hard on the conclusion of the Pool stage of the Cup may be doubtful. The Ospreys, the only Welsh club in the Champions Cup, have lost all their four matches, admittedly in a strong pool – Racing92, Munster and Saracens. But it would be foolish to suppose that Warren Gatland’s successor as Welsh coach, Wayne Pivac, right, will not be able to field a team that will have Wales challenging for the title. Certainly it is unlikely that we can go to Cardiff with well-founded expectation of victory. As for the French domination of the Cup, Racing92 and Clermont-Auvergne – Toulouse to a lesser extent – have so many non-French stars that there is no necessary correlation between the performance of these clubs and that of the national team. One would have to admit, sorrowfully or apprehensively, that the same is true in, as it were, reverse of England and the English clubs.