The ongoing uncertainty over Manu Tuilagi's future will not distract England from Saturday's Six Nations clash against Wales, but it has not saved him from jokes being made at his expense.
Former All Black Dan Carter will return to Racing 92 for the rest of the season as an injury replacement after being released by Japan's Kobelco Steelers.
No All Black has stood up to this challenge more than Dan Carter, who is about to take that approach with him to Japan and the final stage of his playing career with Kobe Steelers. Here, he speaks to ESPN ahead of his move.
Leinster and Saracens fans were smiling this weekend as domestic honours were secured, while Castres set up a mouthwatering Top 14 final in Paris next weekend.
Dan Carter and Pat Lambie have been ruled out of Racing 92's French Top 14 semifinal clash with Castres at this weekend.
Following eight months of intense competition four teams are left battling for silverware in the Aviva Premiership and PRO14, while Castres, Lyon, Toulon and Toulouse target a place in the Top 14 semifinals.
Leinster head coach Leo Cullen admitted the final 20 minutes of his side's Champions Cup final victory were "torturous" as he praised his players' resilience.
Rugby union displayed its best side in Bilbao over the weekend, as a 61-point thriller of a Challenge Cup final was followed by a tense, nerve-shredding Champions Cup showpiece.
Pat Lambie is almost certain to miss the Springboks' Tests against England after sustaining what is believed to be an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the European Rugby Champions Cup final.
Racing 92 fly-half Dan Carter has been ruled out of the Champions Cup final with a hamstring injury.
Those who headed to northern Spain in search of sun this weekend look set for disappointment but those who have found a way to Bilbao should witness a fine Champions Cup final.
All eyes are on Bilbao this weekend as Leinster, Racing 92, the Cardiff Blues and Gloucester contest this season's European finals.
Dan Leavy believes Leinster must find an extra gear if they are to beat Racing 92 and secure a fourth European Cup triumph.
Following a sun-drenched Saturday of action we now know the make-up of the playoff picture in France and the PRO14 and Aviva Premiership semifinal lineups.
The PRO14 playoffs are now confirmed and with the Aviva Premiership and French Top 14 facing a dramatic finish next weekend, there is still much to play for with playoff places up for grabs and team eager to book a place in next season's Champions Cup.
Racing 92 and France scrum-half Maxime Machenaud will miss the Top 14 side's Champions Cup final against Leinster and the French summer tour of New Zealand due to injury.
Leinster and Racing 92 dominate the shortlist for the EPCR European Player of the Year after both sides booked their places in the Champions Cup final.
Then there were four. Following a thrilling weekend of rugby, we now know who will contest the Champions and Challenge Cup finals.
Donnacha Ryan faces his former Munster teammates with Racing on Sunday but he won't let sentimentality get in the way of his side's quest for a first Champions Cup title.
Following six months of intense continental competition the protagonists have been whittled down to just four teams in both the Champions and Challenge Cups.
It is all about the playoffs as the Aviva Premiership, PRO14 and Top 14 edged even closer to the finish flag. The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup may take centre stage this week but there is still plenty at stake after the latest round of games.
It is now or never for many teams across European rugby's domestic competitions as teams battle it out for relegation and playoff positions in the Aviva Premiership, PRO14 and the French Top 14.
Following a thrilling weekend of knockout European rugby we have a much clearer idea who will lift the Champions and Challenge Cups.
ESPN's experts predict which teams are set for a big weekend, which players will shine and where your attention should be trained across all of the quarterfinals.
After a weekend of rugby that required all your fingers, toes and a calculator, the quarterfinal line-ups in both the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup have been finalised.
- RAMET2ndTRIES SCORED 1st Leinster : 27 Tries ScoredLEINS1st2627
- RAMET3rdPOINTS DIFFERENCE 1st Leinster : 116 Points DifferenceLEINS1st75116