It was a great weekend for Irish provinces as Connacht, Ulster, Munster, and Leinster all won their opening fixtures of the Heineken Champions Cup.
• Exeter Chiefs and Munster Rugby both registered priceless away bonus-point wins in Round 1 at La Rochelle and Ospreys respectively, while there were also five-point victories for Leinster Rugby, Racing 92 and ASM Clermont Auvergne.
• There was an impressive Round 1 clean sweep for the four Irish provinces with Ulster Rugby and Munster winning on the road, and Connacht Rugby and Leinster registering home wins.
• The overall weekend attendance was 127,482, an increase of 8% on last season’s Round 1 total.
• Clermont’s Morgan Parra, who kicked 14 points in the win over Harlequins, is now on 491 tournament points and is line to become the 12th player in history to score 500 or more.
• Bath Rugby’s Academy prospect, Gabriel Hamer-Webb, who turned 19 earlier this month, scored on his European debut in the narrow defeat by Ulster at the Rec.
• Garry Ringrose became the eighth Leinster player to score a Heineken Champions Cup hat-trick with his treble in the win over Benetton Rugby at the RDS. The list includes Brian O’Driscoll and current Leinster Backs Coach, Felipe Contepomi.
• Jackson Wray made his 50th tournament appearance for Saracens in the holders’ Pool 4 defeat at Racing 92.
• La Rochelle’s 31-12 defeat by Exeter Chiefs was their first in the tournament at Stade Marcel Deflandre, having won the previous three home games.
• As part of the tournament’s 25th anniversary season, EPCR made presentations of commemorative silver salvers last weekend to Bath and Northampton Saints as previous tournament winners. Presentations will be made to the other nine previous winners during the pool stages.
• If selected for Toulouse’s Round 2 game against Connacht on Saturday, Joe Tekori will make his 50th tournament appearance.
• Ulster’s match against Clermont at the Kingspan on Friday night will be the club’s 150th in the tournament, and Saracens will bring up their century against the Ospreys at Allianz Park on Saturday.
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