Challenge Cup teams: Saturday, Sunday

Date published: December 16 2016

Five fixtures take place in the Challenge Cup on Saturday and Sunday, with the clash between La Rochelle and Gloucester the pick of the matches.

The other action sees Ospreys host Grenoble, Harlequins taking on Timisoara Saracens, Treviso host Bayonne and Newcastle Falcons hosting Lyon.

Treviso v Bayonne

Form: Treviso haven’t had a good run of late after losing to Gloucester 37-8 before a loss to La Rochelle 41-10. They did however manage to beat Bayonne convincingly to the tune of 28-15 last weekend so they will have heaps of confidence playing at home. Bayonne have not fared well either after three straight losses to La Rochelle, Gloucester and most recently Treviso.

The teams:

Treviso: 15 David Odiete, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Robert Barbieri 7 Marco Lazzaroni, 6 Braam Steyn, 5 Dean Budd, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Luca Bigi , 1 Nicola Quaglio
Replacements: 16 Roberto Santamaria, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Matteo Zanusso, 19 Jean-François Montauriol, 20 Andrea Pratichetti, 21 Giorgio Bronzini, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 Alberto Sgarbi

Bayonne: 15 Benjamin Thiery, 14 Ryan Tongia, 13 Bastien Fuster, 12 Thibault Lacroix, 11 Julien Tisseron, 10 Raphael Lagarde, 9 Bastien Duhalde, 8 Jean-Blaise Lespinasse 7 Dion Evrard Oulai, 6 Arnaud Duputs, 5 Pelu Ian Taele, 4 Guillaume Ducat, 3 Ben Broster, 2 David Menage, 1 Davit Khinchagishvili,
Replacements: 16 Jose Ramon Ayarza, 17 Jérôme Schuster, 18 Jon Zabala Arrieta, 19 Pablo Huete, 20 Lucas Meret, 21 Maka Polutele, 22 Tanerau Latimer, 23 Maile Mamao

Date: Saturday, December 17
Venue: Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
Assistant Referees: Greg Macdonald (England), Phil Watters (England)


Ospreys v Grenoble

Form: With three successive bonus point wins to their credit, Ospreys are currently top of Pool 2 with 15 points – five points ahead of Lyon. They scored nine tries in Grenoble last week and will be looking for another big haul against the same side at the Liberty Stadium. The French side lost two games before that to Newcastle Falcons and Lyon.

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Daf Howells, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Daniel Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 James King, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Rhodri Jones, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Thomas Habberfield, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Hanno Dirksen

Grenoble: 15 Clement Gelin, 14 Pierre Mignot, 13 Edward Dratai Sawailau, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Bastien Guillemin, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 David Mele, 8 Fabien Alexandre, 7 Kevin Kornath, 6 Ben Hand, 5 Thomas Jolmes, 4 Mathias Marie, 3 Walter Desmaison, 2 Etienne Fourcade, 1 Alexandre Dardet
Replacements: 16 Paulin Mas, 17 Denis Coulson, 18 Dayna Edwards, 19 Mickael Capelli, 20 Loic Baradel, 21 Lilian Saseras, 22 Xavier Mignot, 23 Chris Farrell

Date: Saturday, December 17
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea
Kick-off: 17:00 local
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Dean Richards (England), Roger Baileff (England)


Harlequins v Timisoara Saracens

Form: Quins are unbeaten at Twickenham Stoop this season and will look to top Pool 5 going into 2017. John Kingston’s men trail leaders Edinburgh in second place, but have a golden opportunity to get more points on the board when they take on winless Challenge Cup basement boys Timisoara. Harlequins thrashed the Romanian side 42-3 last weekend and Walker, who scored two tries in the bonus-point win, wants more of the same on Saturday.

The teams: 

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Danny Care, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 George Merrick, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Stan South, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Alofa Alofa

Timisoara Saracens: 15 Stephen Shennan, 14 Madalin Lemnaru, 13 Brian Sefanaia, 12 Paula Kinikinilau, 11 Fonovai Tangimana, 10 Jack Umaga, 9 Gabriel Conache, 8 Sandu Stelian Burcea, 7 Daniel Gabriel Ianus, 6 Randall Morrison, 5 Marian Drenceanu, 4 Valentin Popirlan, 3 Horatiu Pungea, 2 Andrei Radoi, 1 Edmund Aholelei
Replacements: 16 Eugen Capatana, 17 Gigi Militaru, 18 Samuel Maris, 19 Ionut Muresan, 20 Victor Dumitru, 21 Marius Simionescu, 22 Florin Popa, 23 Dorin Lazar

Date: Saturday, December 17
Venue: The Stoop, London
Kick-off: 17:00 local
Referee: Thomas Charabas (France)
Assistant Referees: Luc Ramos (France), Thomas Déjean (France)


La Rochelle v Gloucester

Form: The Cherry and Whites claimed a bonus-point 35-14 triumph over the Top 14 side last weekend to earn a maximum of 15 points from three rounds of Challenge Cup action. Another five point victory at Stade Marcel Deflandre would cement their place at the summit of Pool 1 and all but guarantee their place in the last eight. Gloucester face a La Rochelle side reeling from last week’s Kingsholm defeat. Before the French side’s loss to Gloucester they had two big wins against Treviso and Bayonne.

The teams:

La Rochelle: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Gabriel Lacroix, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Brock James, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Victor Vito, 7 Jason Eaton, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 4 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Mike Corbel
Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Mohamed Boughanmi, 19 Leo Cedaro, 20 Charlie Francoz, 21 Arthur Retiere, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Botia Veivuke

Gloucester: 15 James Hook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Lewis Ludlow, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Josh Hohneck
Replacements: 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Joe Latta, 20 Mariano Galarza, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Henry Purdy, 23 Matt Kvesic

Date: Saturday, December 17
Venue: Stade Marcel Deflandre, La Rochelle
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Dan Jones (Wales), Simon Rees (Wales)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)


Newcastle Falcons v Lyon

Form: The Falcons are third in Pool 2, five points behind second-placed Lyon after losing 42-12 to Lyon. The Falcons have made a mix-bag of recent results their big loss to the French side after clobbering Grenoble 50-7 and then suffering another big loss to Ospreys 45-0 before that. Lyon have also had a mixed lot of scoring after a 39-13 over Grenoble and then a 31-13 loss to Ospreys.

The teams:

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Tom Catterick, 14 Dan Marshall, 13 Fred Burdon, 12 Juan Socino, 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Tane Takulua, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Mark Wilson, 6 Dan Temm, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Ben Sowrey, 1 Alex Rogers
Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 Rob Vickers, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Glen Young, 20 Harrison Orr, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Craig Willis, 23 Belisario Agulla

Lyon: 15 Jerome Porical, 14 Thibaut Regard, 13 Paul Bonnefond, 12 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 11 Franck Romanet, 10 Romain Loursac, 9 Augustin Figuerola, 8 Tai Tuifua, 7 Didier Tison, 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Maselino Paulino, 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 David Attoub, 2 Cameron Mapusua, 1 Sami Mavinga
Replacements: 16 Ti’i Paulo, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Hamza Kaabèche, 19 Andres Zafra Tarazona, 20 Deon Fourie, 21 Jacques Louis Potgieter, 22 Nicolas Durand, 23 Baptiste Couilloud

Date: Sunday, December 18
Venue: Kingston Park, Newcastle
Kick-off: 17:00 local
Referee: Gary Conway (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Eddie Hogan (Ireland), Barrie O’Connell (Ireland)
TMO: Martin Fox (England)

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