After years sulking in the shadows, the English beast now rules the roost in European club rugby. A number of readers learned via teletext that Saracens won the Champions Cup at the weekend, beating Racing 92 in a try-less game in Lyon, and were kind enough to relay that information to us. Heartiest congratulations to the Saracens.
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Australian coach Michael Cheika, who conquered Europe in a different (happier?) era, is deeply alarmed by the financial power of the Anglo-French clubs. All the more so after the announcement that Kurtley Beale is leaving the Waratahs for Wasps.
In thinking about Wasps and their grabby hands and financial muscle, Michael Cheika can't help but think of the Abu Dhabi set in Manchester.
You look at Wasps. They signed Kurtley, they brought back Danny Cipriani, they're talking about Leigh Halfpenny, now they're talking about Sonny Bill Williams, there's Willie le Roux.
They're going to be like Manchester City. They'll have blokes who have played 50 caps for their country on the bench. If they can, good on them. That's the international marketplace. We are not going to cry.
What we have to do is be creative ... without recruitment strategies and retention strategies. The cold hard facts are, for the foreseeable future, we are never going to be able to match these teams for money. Never. It is just the nature of the beast.
He called for Union and its big brother Rugby League to unite in 'the battle against Europe'.
I would say ourselves and league are probably together in the battle against Europe, in terms of keeping players, to be honest. Their players are getting targeted now, too.
Of course, this doesn't look good for Irish rugby, a bleak prognosis at the end of the worst year in Europe for eighteen years for Irish clubs.
The Irish provinces could be the new Welsh regions.