Preview: Pau v Castres

Date published: January 8 2016

Fourth meets third in Pool 4 of the Challenge Cup as a Pau side missing their new star signings host Castres at Stade du Hameau on Saturday.

Conrad Smith and Colin Slade miss out as Julien Fumat and Brandon Fajardo start at outside centre and fly-half respectively this weekend.

Sireli Bobo is also missing from the matchday squad while fellow wing Watisoni Votu drops to bench duty, as does Irish flanker Sean Dougall.

Pau will hope to have gained confidence from their impressive performance against Toulon in the Top 14 last weekend but with Castres looking to close ground on Sale and the Dragons at the pool summit, they face a tough task.

The visitors have named Sitiveni Sivivatu and David Smith on their wings while Johnnie Beattie, Yannick Caballero and Piula Faasalele form a strong back-row trio. Rory Kockott, who scored twice last week, is not in the squad.

The teams:

Pau: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Marika Vunibaka, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Mathieu Acebes, 10 Brandon Fajardo, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Brice Monzeglio, 7 Josefa Ulago Domolailai, 6 Loic Bernad, 5 Claude Dry, 4 Cameron Pierce, 3 Chris King, 2 Thomas Bianchin, 1 Julien Jacquot.
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq Brettes, 17 Jérémy Hurou, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Giovanni Habel Kuffner, 20 Sean Dougall, 21 Samuel Marques, 22 Charly Malie, 23 Watisoni Votu.

Castres: 15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Florian Vialelle, 12 Romain Cabannes, 11 David Smith, 10 Julien Dumora, 9 Julien Seron, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Piula Faasalele, 5 Benjamin Desroche, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Lucas Martinez, 2 Marc-Antoine Rallier, 1 Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements:16 Julien Beziat, 17 Eric Sione, 18 Saimone Taumoepeau, 19 Mathieu Babillot, 20 Theo Hannoyer, 21 Francois Fontaine, 22 Remi Lamerat, 23 Antoine Dupont.

Date: Saturday, January 9
Venue: Stade du Hameau
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies (Wales), Martyn Lewis (Wales)