Leinster v Toulon, RDS, Friday 5:30pm
Toulon are not the force that they were.
They got the better of Leinster when they were at their peak when they were bankrolled by Mourad Boujellal but they're no long in that space, even though they do have an incredibly strong pack.
Looking at their back five, you’re talking about South African World Cup winner Eben Etzebeth; Romain Taofifenua and Swan Rebbadj, both played for France in the Six Nations, Charles Ollivon is the French captain and Sergio Parisse, the great Italian is still going strong at 37.
They’re incredibly strong up front but they have injuries in their backline. Louis Carbonel, they’re regular out-half is out injured as is former All-Black Maa Nonu, so they’re not quiet as strong behind the scrum.
Leinster meanwhile seem to be able to rise to every challenge these days.
Leo Cullen and Stuart Lancaster have done a brilliant job. They’re always tweaking the team, they win a Pro14 final last week and they’re able to bring in Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong and Ryan Baird.
They’re always spicing things up and there’s always an edge – you want to hold on to that blue jersey.
It’s going to be a difficult battle up front, but I think overall Leinster are just playing some outstanding rugby.
The fact that they have all their players back from the Ireland camp, I expect them to come up a level from where they were last week and I expect them to win the game.
Munster v Toulouse, Saturday 3pm, Thomond Park
I think everybody felt in the Pro14 final was a case of now or never for Munster, they've been knocking on the door for so long.
Given that Leinster had so many players that had been involved with the Six Nations for Ireland, you just felt that Munster had to take their chance but they never turned up. They didn’t play well and they weren’t allowed to play well.
This is a difficult game for them, heads are down a little bit and I think it’s one of those days that would have been tailor made for Thomond Park with 26,000 people – Toulouse coming to town and backs against the wall.
Munster thrived on that sort of thing in years gone by but I think those days are gone. It’s going to be a difficult game for them.
Toulouse have issues, they have a number of players out injured and Ulster gave them a great run in Ravenhill in the Pool stages so it isn’t as if they’re unbeatable.
But they have fellas like Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack at half-back, while Cheslin Kolbe is one of the most exciting wingers in the world.
Toulouse are going to be difficult to beat.