Planet Rugby

Preview: Montpellier v Connacht

15th October 2009 12:50

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montpellier celebrate v worcester

Montpellier celebrate beating Worcester in Round One

Connacht have made five changes to their side for Friday's Amlin Challenge Cup match in Montpellier.

The Irish side will head to France looking for a second win after beating Olympus Madrid 46-6 on the opening weekend.

Montpellier started their campaign on an even better note with a vital away victory in Worcester. The French side have been in great form at home in the Top 14, having beaten French champions Perpignan and Biarritz at Stade Yves du Manoir,

Wing Troy Nathan, centre Keith Matthews, scrum-half Frank Murphy, hooker Sean Cronin and number eight John Muldoon come back into the Connacht side.

Muldoon will retake will captain the side while Nathan slots in on the wing in place of Tiarnan O'Halloran.

Montpellier blew the pool wide open as a largely academy team stormed Worcester last week and most of the same personnel gets a crack at home to Connacht.

There is a change in the back three, where injured wing Manoel Dall'inga loses out. Jacques Schutte moves to the wing, with Benjamin Thiery slotting in at full-back.

Up front, hulking Georgian lock Mamuka Gorgadze replaces Mickael Demarco and flanker Sakiusa Matadigo replace Vassili Bost, moving to number eight and with Marc Giraud moving to six.

Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Thiery, 14 Jaques Schutte, 13 Ollie Smith, 12 Florian Nicot, 11 Adrien Pratmarty, 10 Fédérico Todeschini, 9 Adrien Tomas, 8 Sakiusa Matadigo, 7 Marc Giraud, 6 Jérome Vallée, 5 Mamuka Gorgodze, 4 Michel Macurdy, 3 Bruce Douglas, 2 Mickael Ladhuie, 1 Eugène Van Staden.
Replacements: 16 Joan Caudullo, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 Drickus Hancke, 19 Vassili Bost, 20 Benoit Paillaugue, 21 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 22 Sebastien Max, 23 Kevin Kervarec.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Troy Nathan, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Keith Matthews, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 John Muldoon (c), 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Michael McCarthy, 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Conor Higgins, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Conor O'Loughlin, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Tiarnan O'Halloran.

Date: Friday, October 16
Venue: Stade Yves du Manoir, Montpellier
Kick-off: 20.00 (19.00 BST)
Referee: Andrew Small

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