SARugbymag.co.za looks at the South Africans who were involved in the European Cup final, European Challenge Cup final and European Champions Cup play-off.
Toulon were crowned European champions for the second successive year after a 23-6 victory over Saracens. Bok locks Bakkies Botha and Danie Rossouw, flank Juan Smith, wing Bryan Habana and hooker Craig Burden all started for the champions in Cardiff, while scrumhalf Michael Claassens came off the bench in the 71st minute. Former Sharks Brad Barritt (centre) and Alistair Hargreaves (lock) along with prop Matt Stevens and hooker Schalk Brits were in Sarries' run-on XV. Ex-Bok scrumhalf Neil de Kock came on as a substitute in the 51st minute and lock Mouritz Botha in the 64th. Smith scored one of Toulon's two tries and with the sterling performance he delivered, had a strong claim to be named Man of the Match, which went to Steffon Armitage.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP
Bok flank Francois Louw started for Bath in their European Challenge Cup final defeat against the Northampton Saints. His team led by seven points at the break, but Saints fought back to clinch the match 30-16.
London Wasps beat Stade Français 20-6 in the second leg of their European play-off, after taking a one-point lead from the first leg. Ex-Bok and Cheetahs flank Ashley Johnson started for Wasps, while prop Heinke van der Merwe was on duty for Stade. Former Sharks centre Meyer Bosman came off the bench for the French team from the 29th minute, lock Anton van Zyl from the 68th and prop Michael van Vuuren from the 72nd, while Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn joined the fray only in the 74th minute. Wasps have now claimed the final spot in the new European Rugby Champions Cup for next season.
– French newspaper Midi Olympique last week reported that Stormers prop Pat Cilliers has signed a contract to join Montpellier at the end of the Super Rugby season.
– Midi Olympique also reported that Oyonnax have completed the signing of lock Martin Muller from the Lions.
– Cheetahs fullback Hennie Daniller has joined Italian club Zebre and has been released early from his contract by the Free State Rugby Union to accommodate his move.
– According to SuperSport, Bok scrumhalf Jano Vermaak is looking to return to South Africa in a bid to make the Boks' World Cup squad next year, with the Stormers named as the franchise that is showing interest in the player.
Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images