Challenge Cup preview: Sunday

17th Dec 2011, 10:04

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At 12 for Sale: Johnny Leota

At 12 for Sale: Johnny Leota

Pool Four leaders Exeter visit the Dragons on Sunday while Sale host Agen in a must-win clash in Pool Five of the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Pool Four leaders Exeter visit the Dragons on Sunday while Sale host Agen in a must-win clash in Pool Five of the Amlin Challenge Cup.


Fixtures, Sunday December 18:
Sale Sharks v Agen
Dragons v Exeter



Sale Sharks v Agen
Edgeley Park

Sale will be looking for a repeat performance following their stand-out display in France last week.

Steve Diamond's side cruised to a 29-14 bonus-point victory in the first of the back-to-back meetings between the two sides.

The victory closed the gap for Sale on Pool leaders Brive and if they can take victory again this weekend, the clash between Sale and Brive in January looks set to be the Pool decider.

The teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Andy Higgins, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Luther Burrell, 10 Nick MacLeod, 9 Cillian Willis, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Andreï Ostrikov, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Lee Imiolek, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Scott Mathie, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Joaquin Tuculet

Agen: 15 Silvere Tian, 14 Belisario Agulla, 13 Miguel Avramovic, 12 Manu Ahotaeiloa, 11 Sylvain Dupuy, 10 Valentin Courrent, 9 Alexi Bales, 8 Antoine Erbani, 7 Jerome Mondoulet, 6 Pierre Julien, 5 Damien Lagrange, 4 Pat O'Connor, 3 Martin Scelzo, 2 Julien Janaudy, 1 Semisi Telefoni.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Cabarry, 17 Gert Muller, 18 Beka Sheklashvili, 19 Dewald Senekal, 20 Opéti Fonua, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Mathieu Lamoulie, 23 Jamie Robinson,

Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)




Dragons v Exeter
Rodney Parade

The Dragons know they need a home victory o to keep them in race for a qualification spot for the knockout stages of the tournament.

The Chiefs, who are the Pool leaders after they recorded a 18-6 victory over the Welsh side last weekend, know an away win will put them in the driving seat with two rounds of games to come after Christmas.

Dragons have made fivechanges to the starting line up.

Half back pairing Wayne Evans and Jason Tovey return to start in place of Joe Bedford and Steffan Jones respectively. Lewis Robling provides the fly half cover on the bench as Jones drops out of the 23 man squad.

Anitelea Tuilagi starts in the centres again, this time partnered by Adam Hughes who moves in from the wing. Aled Brew is fully fit to start and takes Hughes' place on the left wing and on the other wing Tonderai Chavhanga comes back into the line-up having missed the game in Exeter with a groin injury.

There is only one change in the pack with Nathan Williams starting ahead of Phil Price at prop.

The teams:

Newport Gwent Dragons : 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Gavin Thomas, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Keiron Jenkins, 19 Lewis Evans, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Will Harries.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Nick Sestaret, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Patrick Phibbs, 1 Brett Sturgess, 2 Simon Alcott, 3 Craig Mitchell, 4 Tom Hayes, 5 Chris Bentley, 6 Ben White, 7 James Scaysbrook, 8 James Phillips.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Hoani Tui, 18 John Andress, 19 Alastair Muldowney, 20 Dave Ewers, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Joseph Tatupu,

Kick-off: 17:45 GMT
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)