Plenty of Guinness Six Nations stars were in action for their domestic sides this weekend, as European competition resumed in style.
The best that the continent has to offer got the chance to pit their wits against each other once again, with high-octane drama everywhere you looked.
In the Heineken Champions Cup, the eye-catching matchup between Munster and Toulouse didn’t disappoint, with the French side emerging from Thomond Park with a 40-33 victory thanks to 20 points from the boot of Romain Ntamack.
The France fly-half was deadly from the kicking tee in Limerick, while compatriot Antoine Dupont was as crafty as ever in the nervy encounter, with the scrum-half making the difference with two second-half tries.
The hosts had a number of familiar Championship stars in their ranks including Tadhg Beirne, CJ Stander and Conor Murray, but were unable to help their side avoid defeat to the French behemoths.
The late kick-offs on Saturday saw Scotland captain Stuart Hogg excel at full-back for Exeter Chiefs, as the reigning champions secured their passageway through to the next round with a 47-25 win over Lyon at Sandy Park.
Compatriot Jonny Gray was also on the winning side in Devon, as well as England stars Henry Slade and Jonny Hill, with the latter helping himself to a couple of tries in the resounding win for Rob Baxter’s side.
Elsewhere, it was an Italian masterclass in Treviso, as a number of Franco Smith’s Championship side impressed in a 29-16 victory for Benetton over Agen in the Challenge Cup.
Paolo Garbisi kicked nine points for the hosts, while Monty Ioane and Juan Ignacio Brex both went over in the second-half to seal their progression to the next round.
But there was disappointment for a number of Wales’ Guinness Six Nations winning squad this weekend – including captain Alun Wyn Jones – as Ospreys went down 28-24 to Newcastle Falcons.
Jones lined up alongside Justin Tipuric and George North in a star-studded lineup for the hosts, but they were unable to secure the victory on home soil, which sees them exit the competition.
The weekend kicked off in Parma on Friday night, as Zebre and Bath went toe to toe in the Challenge Cup, with Anthony Watson continuing his try scoring antics for the visitors to help them to a 35-27 success.
2021 champion Taulupe Faletau was also in action for the English side in Italy, lining up in the back-row alongside Sam Underhill, who missed this year’s competition through injury.
France backs Vincent Rattez and Arthur Vincent helped Montpellier to overcome Glasgow Warriors 26-21 in the Challenge Cup.
Gloucester took on La Rochelle at Kingspan under the Friday night lights, but England star Jonny May was unable to stop his side from being kicked out of the tournament, as the Cherry and Whites went down 27-16 to the French side.