The value of Munster’s bonus point courtesy of that repeat 26-19 defeat at Stade Marcel-Michelin now  looks even more pronounced. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

It’s been ten years since no Irish team has led a European Cup pool at Christmas

Clermont’s Wesley Fofana tackled by Paul O’Connell during the hosts’ 26-19 win at the Stade Marcel-Michelin. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

Anthony Foley’s side scored 10 late points to keep their Champions Cup hopes alive

Clermont’s Wesley Fofana puts in a tackle on Munster’s Peter O’Mahony. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Clermont in control of Pool One after completing double at Stade Michelin

Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth  hands the ball off to Luke Fitzgerald despite the tackle of Luke Wallace of Harlequins during last weekend’s European Rugby Champions Cup. Photo: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Pressure on the former champions for a quick riposte against Harlequins

Danny Qualter, here in action with Connacht Eagles, will make his debut for the senior side against Bayonne. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Pat Lam fields completely different side as domestic competition takes priority

Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock: will be renewing acquaintances with Harlequins’ Dave Ward in the big clash at the Aviva. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Victory essential for Matt O’Connor’s men if they are to regain control of the group

Luke Fitzgerald made his first appearance since October at the Stoop. Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Luke Fitzgerald expected to partner Ian Madigan at centre for the match with Harlequins

JJ Hanrahan: Munster are keen to ensure he remains with his native province. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Province looking to fend off big offer from Northampton for talented Castleisland man

Mike Ross has won 44 international caps since cementing his place as Ireland’s first-choice tighthead five years ago.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Ireland and Leinster tighthead compromises to extend deal for another season

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