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Heineken Cup 2010: News, Odds and Preview

With the Heineken Cup kicking off this Friday, rugby fans across the world will be turning to the tournament that outlines the best clubs from all across Europe

The Heineken Cup, now in its sixteenth year, is by far the premier competition in European domestic rugby.

Boasting winners form a variety of clubs from Ireland, England and France, it might surprise many that a Welsh side has yet to take the honours.

To be honest it is difficult to look beyond another majestic year for French rugby in this competition.

Last year’s all-French final revealed the dominance of the Top 14 teams over salary capped sides in comparison to those from the UK, Ireland and Italy.

Toulouse are booked as favourites to take the title this year at 4.50, with English powerhouse Leicester next up at 7.50

While the margin between first and second ranking is quite significant, a rejuvenated Northampton, London Irish and Leicester, coupled with some luck of the Irish in the form of Leinster and Munster, will ensure that this season’s competition will be as fierce as ever.

Munster are thought to be real contenders this season with odds at 9.0. Fellow Irish compatriots Leinster are slightly behind at 10.0 even

English clubs will attempt to build on a disappointing campaign in 2009- their worst return for English clubs in 13 years of representation.

Northampton could be dark horses at 15.0- long odds for a team thriving in this year's Aviva Premiership.

French club Clermont, currently sitting mid table in the domestic French Top 14, are well placed at 10.0, with fellow mid table Biarritz at 13.0

It seems Wales long anticipated wait for a decent club trophy will have to wait, with the Cardiff Blues coming in at 15.0, and Llanelli Scarlets at 101!

Scotland once again picks up the wooden spoon in this selection, with both Edinburgh and Glasgow coming in at 151.0

This year's competition promises to be an action packed affair, highlighted by some of the most adventurous running play yet.

While the French clubs might be once again favoured, it seems English club rivalry has once again added some fire to proceedings, with this year's tournament bound to entertain.

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