18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
These two have a bit of history. There is much anticipation in England, and in other countries, about this clash between bitter Zurich Premiership rivals at Wycombe. However, it's doubtful that a Premiership meeting could be as intense as what we will see on Sunday.
This will like a Premiership Grand Final, recalling memories of that sweltering day at Twickenham last year when Gloucester couldn't, or were not allowed to, perform in the manner which had seen them finish top of the regular season table. Wasps were sensational that day, and Gloucester have a score to settle...
Nigel Melville's players will be burning to sort this one out, it must come into their psychological preparation, although Wasps also have a burning ambition, having felt they let themselves down in two previous Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
Warren Gatland and his senior players have confirmed that they set out their stall to prove themselves on the big European stage. This tournament has been their first objective.
|Gatland: Euro vision|
Gatland and Gloucester scrum-half Andy Gomarsall couldn't disguise it at the pre-quarter final media conference. They came out with words about this match having nothing to do with history but I looked at them and could tell that they felt this was the next stage of a story.
It reminds me of Chelsea v Arsenal...Wasps are playing the role of Arsenal and Gloucester equate to Chelsea (although I'm not sure Tom Walkinshaw would agree that he's a Roman Abramovich figure and Nigel Melville definitely appears more secure in his job than Claudio Ranieri) and we've even got Gunners legend Tony Adams in charge of the football team at Wycombe!!
PREDICTION: I have to say Wasps but I can certainly see Gloucester winning this, they have been working towards this for a long time and I could see that in their performance against Saracens last weekend.
However, Gloucester are not motoring at the moment and Wasps are clicking, as they proved by putting Northampton away last Sunday.
Join Stuart Barnes and myself on Sunday afternoon at Adams Park.
PARKER PEN CHALLENGE CUP SEMI-FINAL, 1ST LEG:
HARLEQUINS v CONNACHT
This is a tough one to call. I feel Harlequins have to win this home leg because Connacht in Galway will be a tough nut to crack for Quins. If Quins don't get a lead I think Connacht will win the tie.
The West of Ireland provincial team has the biggest incentive of its history. It would be unbelievably great for them to be in the Heineken Cup, and that will happen if they win the Parker Pen. I'm led to believe that their place in the big tournament would come at the expense of former European champions Ulster, so there may be some divided loyalties in the North of Ireland on Sunday.
|Mark Evans: Quins chief must conquer Connacht|
For Quins this is a huge match. They won this tournament in 2001, and a two-legged victory over the Irishmen would earn a place in the final at the same venue as then - Reading's Madejski Stadium. Winning the Parker Pen is also their best chance of making the Heineken Cup.
PREDICTION: I think Quins will win but I'm not sure if it will be enough after the second leg. It will be very tight.
My colleague Will Chignell is your commentator at The Stoop on Sunday lunchtime.