Preview: Bordeaux-Bègles v Clermont

Date published: November 13 2015

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Bordeaux-Bègles face a tough first game in the Champions Cup when they take on Clermont this Sunday.

Raphaël Ibañez has gone with a strong starting XV as UBB welcome the Top 14 leaders to the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

France international Sofiane Guitoune starts at outside centre with Lionel Beauxis at fly-half.

Jan Andre Marais will captain the side in the second row, while highly-rated youngster Loann Goujon gets the nod at number eight after joining the club this season from La Rochelle.

Meanwhile, Clermont will be hungry to get their European campaign off to the perfect start after finishing as runners-up in last year's final.

Franck Azema has named an impressive side captained by France international Damien Chouly.

Former Saracens and England winger David Strettle makes his first European start for les Jaunards, joining the reigning European Player of the Year, Nick Abendanon, in Clermont's back three.

Camille Lopez gets the nod ahead of Brock James at fly-half with Jamie Cudmore and Sébastien Vahaamahina forming a bruising second row combination.

Form: Bordeaux-Bègles have lost both previous games against French opposition in the Champions Cup, however those defeats both came in 1998 (v Stade Français). Bordeaux-Bègles have two wins and a draw to their name from four matches on home soil in the competition. Clermont lost their last game against Toulon in the 2014/15 Final, but won six in a row in the competition before that. Clermont have won 18 of their last 20 pool games however one of their two defeats in that run came at the hands of French opposition (Racing 92). Clermont have won nine of their last 11 matches away from home in the Champions Cup but have only beaten French teams on the road once from six attempts.

The teams:

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Metuisela Talebula, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Blair Connor, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Heini Adams, 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Louis Madaule, 5 Jan Andre Marais (c), 4 Julien Le Devedec, 3 Patrick Toetu, 2 Ole Avei, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux
Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Sébastien Taofifenua, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Adam Jaulhac, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Charles Brousse

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Damien Chouly (c), 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Marthinius Van Der Westhuizen, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Flip Van Der Merwe, 20 Vito Kolelishvili, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic, 22 Brock James, 23 Albert Vulivuli

Date: Sunday, November 15
Venue: Stade Chaban-Delmas
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Johnathan Peak (Ireland)
TMO: Jude Quinn (Ireland)

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