Champions Cup round two preview: Munster to pay tribute to Anthony Foley, while Dan Carter returns for Leicester trip

The second weekend of Champions Cup rugby sees Wasps travel to take on Toulouse, while Leicester play host to 2015 finalists Racing 92 in the pick of the ties

Champions Cup round two preview: Munster to pay tribute to Anthony Foley, while Dan Carter returns for Leicester trip
Munster will honour Anthony Foley this weekend after his recent passing (image source: Seb Daly/Contributor-Getty Images)

After the rugby world was thrown into shock last Sunday due to the passing of Munster head coach Anthony Foley, the Irish province return to Thomond Park and will pay their respects on Saturday before the game with Glasgow

A legend of Irish rugby, and Munster in particular, Foley's loss has been felt throughout Europe and all game's in the Champions and Challenge Cup this weekend will begin with a minute's silence in his honour. 

On the pitch last weekend there was a huge 82-14 win for Wasps over Zebre, while Saracens did what no other club has ever done in the Champions Cup, and beat Toulon 31-23 at the Stade Felix Mayol

There was also a crushing 35-8 win for Clermont Auvergne at Sandy Park against the Exeter Chiefs, with a number of sides already in must-win mode if they are to keep their hopes of qualification alive.

Pool One

There will be a special atmosphere at Thomond Park for Glasgow's visit to Munster on Saturday afternoon. The Red Army will be out in force to commemorate the life of 2006 Heineken Cup winning captain Anthony Foley. 

In what is bound to be an emotional game, Munster's Keith Earls will return to the starting XV, while the Warriors will look to back up their excellent 42-13 thumping of Leicester to secure their second win. 

Mark Bennett races away during Glasgow's big win over Leicester (image source: Ian MacNicol/Stringer - Getty Images) 

Following that defeat, the Tigers are in serious need of victory and they welcome 2015 finalists Racing 92 to Welford Road. Leicester will hope Matt To'omua fairs better in his second outing for the Midlanders, while Racing welcome back Dan Carter from injury to join the star-studded lineup which includes Juan Imhoff and Leone Nakarawa

Pool Two

Wasps laid down a marker in the opening week, putting 82 points on Zebre despite making a number of changes to their starting lineup. Dai Young's side now head to France to take on a stuttering Toulouse side who threw away a big lead to lose in Connacht last Saturday.

Connacht's hero Bundee Aki is only fit enough for a spot on the bench in Italy, with the 2015 Pro 12 champions knowing a win against Zebre will give them a strong chance of progression from the group. 

Pool Three

Sale and Toulon kickstart the weekend's games on Friday night, with both sides in desperate need of a win after both suffered defeat's in round one. 

The visitors welcome back James O'Connor to the fold after he missed the defeat against Saracens, and he joins a back-line alongside the likes of Bryan Habana, Ma'a Nonu and Leigh Halfpenny under pressure to deliver against what can be a stingy Sharks defence.

Maro Itoje on the charge against Toulon (image source: David Rogers - Getty Images)

The other fixture sees last week's winners Saracens and the Scarlets face off at Allianz Park. Saracens will have to do without George Kruis, who is out for a 'number of weeks' against a confident Welsh outfit who have suffered a blow themselves, with James Davies ruled out due to a tight hamstring. 

Pool Four

Pool Four kicks off on Saturday with Castres hosting Northampton. The home side were roundly beaten by Leinster last Saturday and will be looking for a response against a Saints side who needed an injury-time penalty from Stephen Myler to defeat Montpellier

Nemani Nadolo starts once more for a Montpellier side who will be looking to put last weekend's disappointment behind them when they take on Leinster. Jesse Mogg also comes onto the bench for the French side who must deal with Leinster's dynamic centre combination of Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose who impressed last weekend.

Pool Five

Exeter's disappointing start to the season reached new heights last Sunday, with the 35-8 defeat at home to Clermont. The Chiefs were ripped apart by a Clermont backline spearheaded by Wesley Fofana and Noa Nakaitaci and now face an equally tough test at the Kingspan against an Ulster side who welcome back Charles Piutau and Ruan Pienaar.

Wesley Fofana scythes through Exeter (image source: Dan Mullan - Getty Images)

Clermont return to the Stade Marcel Michelin to face fellow French outfit Bordeaux-Begles. Having been the bridesmades for so long in this competition, hope will have risen in the Auvergne following the five try victory in Exeter, yet Bordeaux will be confident having won 38-27 at the same venue in last year's competition.