May 09, 2017
Champions Cup Final In Numbers
It’s been quite a journey to the Champions Cup Final in 2016/17, starting with a stunning victory over Toulon at Stade Mayol in October right up until the famous win over Munster in Dublin. As part of the build-up to Saturday’s clash we take a look at the facts and figures behind the match between Saracens and Clermont.
Both teams are contesting their third final overall, Clermont (2013 & 2015) have been defeated on each of their trips to the final by Toulon while Sarries were also beaten by the then Jonny Wilkinson inspired side in 2014 before their victory over Racing 92 last season.
That victory sets up the Men in Black to attempt to become the fourth club to win the competition back-to-back after Leicester Tigers (2001 & 2002), Leinster (2011 and 2012) and Toulon (2013, 2014 and 2015)
A win for Saracens on Saturday would seal the record for games unbeaten in the Champions Cup. Their current run of 16 games (W16, D1) means they share an identical record as Leinster did during their run between 2010 and 2012.
Pivotal in the 2016 campaign was Owen Farrell and the 26-year-old has been similarly crucial to the Sarries assault on the cup this time around. Last season he amassed a total of 127 points and leads the way in the competition with 113 this season.
Sarries lead the way with at the lineout in this season’s tournament; they have won 110 lineouts overall with Maro Itoje and George Kruis having won 31 and 27 apiece and standing third and fourth overall.
Kruis’ reputation as a lineout ‘nerd’ is confirmed by his tally having come from just four matches. He stands fourth overall below Itoje in third having played half as many games as his teammate and the joint least in the top ten alongside Bryn Evans of Sale.
Chris Ashton equalled Vincent Clerc’s record of 36 tries in the competition during the quarter-final win against Glasgow Warriors and in his final European game for the North London club, he could be set to claim the record with a try in the final.
The final will also play host to the best tacklers in this year’s competition. No player has made more tackles that Sebastien Vaamahina (90), Saracens Player of the Season Mike Rhodes (82) or Benjamin Kayser (80).