With the end of pre-season training in sight for all of our Heineken Champions Cup clubs, we take a look at some of the key players that will be competing in Europe’s elite club competition this season.
Jordan Larmour – Leinster Rugby
21-year-old wing Jordan Larmour has already achieved plenty in his early career at four-time European Cup winners Leinster Rugby.
Larmour grew into last season’s competition, featuring on six occasions and was handed a starting role by head coach Leo Cullen for the Irish province’s 15-12 final victory over Racing 92 in Bilbao.
Blessed with blistering pace and agility, it would be no surprise if Larmour – who has made six appearances for Ireland – grabs a first Heineken Champions Cup try this season.
Adam Radwan – Newcastle Falcons
Newcastle Falcons wing Adam Radwan lit up the Challenge Cup last season, scoring 10 tries in eight matches as the North East side reached the semi-final of the competition, before being defeated by Gloucester Rugby.
He scored hat-tricks in both Pool stage matches against Enisei-STM, with the 20-year-old racking up 644 metres as well as beating 45 defenders – both of which were highest of any player in last season’s Challenge Cup.
Newcastle fans will be hoping for Radwan to put up similar numbers in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup as they bid to reach a maiden European final in their own city.
Heineken Champions Cup rugby returns to Kingston Park Stadium for the first time in 14 years during 2018/19 with Newcastle Falcons in Europe's elite club competition. Catch all our home group games v Toulon, Edinburgh and Montpellier with a European bundle https://t.co/HFn6RqC0Ud pic.twitter.com/eiHdKpHTKP
— Newcastle Falcons (@FalconsRugby) August 5, 2018
Joey Carbery – Munster Rugby
Fly-half Joey Carbery has made the move from Dublin to Limerick after three seasons with Leinster Rugby.
The 22-year-old joins Munster Rugby after making 10 appearances in the Champions Cup for Leinster, including a substitute appearance in last season’s 38-16 semi-final victory over Scarlets at the Aviva Stadium.
Carbery also has plenty of international experience, having made 12 appearances for Ireland since 2016.
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne – Scarlets
24-year-old scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has made the move from Edinburgh Rugby to Scarlets during the off-season and could be in for another stellar campaign in Europe, after an excellent season in the Challenge Cup last year.
The Scotland international racked up 49 points from six Challenge Cup matches, including two tries against Krasny Yar and London Irish.
Hidalgo-Clyne also has European final experience, having been on the losing side for Edinburgh in their 19-13 Challenge Cup final defeat to Gloucester Rugby in 2015.
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) August 2, 2018
Zander Fagerson – Glasgow Warriors
Glasgow Warriors prop Zander Fagerson has played exclusively in the European Cup since making his debut for the Scottish club back in 2015.
The 22-year-old impressed enough to make his Scotland debut in 2016, and has gone on to play 17 times for his country since then.
He was also a crucial part of Glasgow’s maiden run to the Champions Cup quarter-finals in 2017, playing in every match before they were defeated 38-13 by Saracens in the last eight.
Louis Carbonel – RC Toulon
19-year-old fly-half Louis Carbonel could be one to watch this season for RC Toulon as they bid to lift the European Cup for a record-equalling fourth time.
Carbonel was part of France’s victorious team at the U20 Six Nations Championship and they tasted further success at the World Rugby U20 Championship in June, beating England 33-25 in the final.
He is yet to make an appearance in European rugby but has played five times for Toulon in the Top 14.
Jordan Joseph – Racing 92
18-year-old Jordan Joseph looks set for a breakthrough year with Racing 92 as they look to finally secure the European crown that eluded them in 2016 and 2018.
Named Breakthrough Player of the Tournament at the World Rugby U20 Championship this summer, he was instrumental as France stormed to victory.
The back-row has already featured for last season’s finalists in their pre-season match against an Argentina XV and is expected to make his presence felt in European action this season.