You are here

The Heineken Cup, which pits the best European clubs against one another, begins Friday.

The best teams from France, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales compete for the most coveted club title in the Northern Hemisphere, and four Americans have been selected to their clubs' 22-man roster for the opening round.

Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith are both slated to start for Saracens against Italy's Benetton Treviso. Wyles will be at fullback for the Sarries and Smith at lock, as usual. Wyles often played outside center during Saracens' 2010-2011 Premiership championship run.

Takudzwa Ngwenya will start at wing for Biarritz Saturday against the Ospreys. Two seasons ago, Ngwenya burned the Ospreys' Shane Williams in the Heineken Cup quarterfinals for this famous try. Biarritz went on to beat the Ospreys 29-28 and fall to Toulose in the H-Cup final.

The only game featuring an American that will actually air on American television is Northampton vs. Munster. This is considered one of the massive matchups of the first round, and Samu Manoa, formerly of San Francisco Golden Gate, will be on the bench for the Saints. The game debuts on Fox Soccer Plus at 3pm EST Saturday and will re-air multiple times throughout the week.