Planet Rugby

Challenge Cup preview: Saturday

13th January 2012 15:27

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Perpignan s scrum half David Mele kicks

At nine for Perpignan: David Mele

Perpignan host the Dragons in the marquee match in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Saturday while Wasps travel to Rovigo.

Fixtures, Saturday January 14:
Perpignan v Dragons
Rovigo v London Wasps
Rugby Club la Villa v Sale Sharks
Worcester Warriors v Banca Monte Crociati
I Cavalieri Prato v Exeter Chiefs
Bucuresti v Stade Francais


Perpignan v Dragons
Stade Aimé Giral

The Dragons head to the south of France and will be keen to repeat their performance from earlier in the season, when they beat Perpignan with a comfortable ten-point margin at Rodney Parade.

The teams:

Perpignan: 15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Farid Sid, 13 David Marty, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 Gavin Hume, 9 David Mele, 8 Ovidiu Tonita, 7 Jean-Pierre Perez, 6 Grégory Le Corvec, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Gerrie Britz, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Charles Geli, 1 Kisi Pulu.
Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Nicolas Mas, 18 Jérôme Schuster, 19 Damien Chouly, 20 Robins Tchale Watchou, 21 Florian Cazenave, 22 Nicolas Laharrague, 23 Armand Batlle.

Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Will Harries, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Lewis 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2. Steve Jones, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Dan Way, 19 Hugh Gustafson, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Andy Tuilagi, 23 Tom Riley.

Kick-off: 20:55 (19.55 GMT)
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)


Rovigo v Wasps
Stadio Mario Battaglini

Dai Young has made three changes to the starting team that lost to Leicester at Welford Road last weekend.

Two changes in the pack see James Harris replace Tinus DuPlessis, who is not eligible to play in Europe, and Joe Burton come into the side in the place of the injured Richard Birkett.

In the backs, Jack Wallace is set to make his European debut, earning astarting place in the back three alongside Richard Haughton and Hugo Southwell.

Now in second place in Pool Three with 14 points, Wasps travel to Rovigo searching for a win that would put them back in the controlling seat going into the final round of pool stage games.

Rovigo: 15 Stefan Basson, 14 Samuele Pace, 13 Joe Van Niekerk, 12 Roberto Pedrazzi, 11 Riccardo Pavan, 10 Davide Duca, 9 Mattia Merlo, 8 Matteo Ferro, 7 Edoardo Lubian, 6 Aaron Persico, 5 Jean-François Montauriol, 4 Daniele Tumiati, 3 Otis Lombardi, 2 Luke Mahoney, 1 Alessio Ceglie.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Giuseppe Datola, 18 Massimiliano Ravalle, 19 Andrea De Marchi, 20 Mickey Wilson, 21 German Bustos, 22 Lorenzo Lubian, 23 Tomasso Reato.

Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Richard Haughton, 13 Elliott Daly, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Jack Wallace, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Nic Berry, 8 Sam Jones, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 James Harris, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Joe Burton, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Bob Baker, 18 Jérémy Castex, 19 Simon McIntyre, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Charlie Davies, 23. Chris Mayor.

Kick-off: 15.00
Referee: Laurent Cardona


Bucharest Wolves v Stade Francais Paris
Arcul de Triumf, Bucharest

Stade Francais will be looking to keep their 100 percent record in this season's tournament and their bid for a quarter-finals place on track when they travel to Bucharest.

The Parisian, who lost in last year's final to Harlequins, will be determined to keep their momentum ahead of their final game against the Worcester in Paris next weekend.

The teams:

Bucharest : 15 Ionut Niacsu, 14 Florin Surugiu, 13 Costi Gheara, 12 Cristian Dinis, 11 Marian Apostol, 10 Florin Vlaicu, 9 Grigoras Diaconescu, 8 Mihai Macovei, 7 Adrian Ion, 6 Alexandru Mitu, 5 Marius Danila, 4 Cosmin Ratiu, 3 Nicolae Nere, 2 Andrei Radoi, 1 Andrei Ursache.
Replacements: 16 Eugen Capatana, 17 Flavius Dobre, 18 Petre Zapan, 19 Daniel Ianus, 20 Viorel Lucaci, 21 Vali Ivan, 22 Florin Fantanaru, 23 Ionut Florea,

Stade Francais : 15 Paul Williams, 14 Francis Fainifo, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jerome Fillol, 8 Pierre Rabadan, 7 Arthur Chollon, 6 Scott Lavalla, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Stan Wright, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Rabah Slimani.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempere, 17 David Attoub, 18 Olivier Milloud, 19 Gerhard Mostert, 20 Lei Tomiki, 21 Byron Kelleher, 22 Paul Warwick, 23 Alex Rokokaro,

Kick-off: 14.00 local
Referee: Marius Mitrea


I Cavalieri Prato v Exeter Chiefs
Stadio Lungobisenzio, Prato

Exeter will aim to accomplish a successful Italian job and set up a showdown with French heavyweights Perpignan.

The Chiefs should encounter few problems against Cavalieri Prato, opponents they crushed 68-0 at Sandy Park two months ago.

"Perpignan will be a big game, but if we get too far ahead of ourselves then that is when we are going to fall over," Exeter assistant coach Ali Hepher said.

"This weekend will be tough. Any Italian side at home is a different kettle of fish to when they travel away, so we have to be fully prepared and perform to our maximum."

Exeter show 12 changes from the side that won away against Aviva Premiership relegation favourites Newcastle last weekend, with only forward trio Hoani Tui, Aly Muldowney and James Phillips remaining in a team captained by fly-half Gareth Steenson.

The teams:

I Cavalieri Prato: 15 Rima Wakarua, 14 Billy Ngwaini, 13 Clemens Von Grumbkov, 12 Alberto Chiesa, 11 Niccolò Tempestini, 10 Riccardo Bocchino, 9 Callori Callori di Vignale, 8 Alberto Saccardo, 7 Alfonso Damiani, 6 Luca Petillo, 5 Uili Kolo'ofai, 4 Rome Nifo Tautua, 3 Tim Ryan, 2 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 1 Nicolas De Gregori.
Replacements: 16 Gerlando Marino, 17 Andrea Lupetti, 18 Filippo Cazzola, 19 Nicola Belardo, 20 Marco Frati, 21 Dion Berryman, 22 Alessandro Lunardi, 23 Alessandro Borsi,

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Bryan Rennie, 13 Joseph Tatupu, 12 Myles Dorrian, 11 Mark Foster, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 James Phillips, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Alastair Muldowney, 4 Chris Bentley, 3 John Andress, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Hoani Tui.
Replacements: 16 Chris Whitehead, 17 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Richard Baxter, 20 Tom Johnson, 21 Patrick Phibbs, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Jack Nowell,

Kick-off: 14.30 local
Referee: Cedric Marchat


Worcester Warriors v Banca Monte Crociati
Sixways Stadium, Worcester

Former England scrum-half Shaun Perry will captain Worcester as they look to remain on the tail of Pool One favourites Stade Francais.

Wing Miles Benjamin is switched to outside centre, while fly-half Andy Goode gains the number 10 shirt following his match-winning exploits as a substitute against Gloucester last Saturday.

"Our objective is to secure maximum points and keep qualification for the knockout stages alive before we make the journey to Paris and face Stade Francais next weekend," Worcester boss Richard Hill said.

"The feelgood factor at the club over the last seven days has been fantastic, and in 2012 we want to make sure that Sixways becomes a place where supporters expect us to win, no matter what the game or competition."

The teams:

Worcester Warriors: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Miles Benjamin, 12 Alex Grove, 11 Josh Drauniniu, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Richard Muagututia, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Nile Dacres, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Ben Gulliver, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Edward Shervington, 1 Bruce Douglas,
Replacements: 16 Ollie Hayes, 17 George Porter, 18 James Currie, 19 Sam Betty, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Ollie Frost, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Andy Short,

Banca Monte Crociati: 15 Filippo Casalini, 14 Luca Carritiello, 13 Ben Vengoa, 12 Sebastian Damiani, 11 Giovanni Alberghini, 10 Luca Morisi, 9 Jacopo Zucconi,8 Emiliano Caffini, 7 Diego Delnevo, 6 Edoardo Ruffolo, 5 Douglas Fletcher, 4 Lollo Contini, 3 Marco Coletti, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Francesco Pepoli.
Replacements: 16 Daniele Goegan, 17 Luigi Milani, 18 Flavio Tripodi, 19 Roberto Mandelli, 20 Carlo Festuccia, 21 James Ireland, 22 Francesco Ruffolo, 23 Marco Gennari,

Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Andrew Macpherson


Rugby Club La Vila v Sale Sharks
Benidorm Stadium

Sale Sharks head to Spain, where an anticipated bonus-point win would see them meet Brive in a winner-takes-all encounter at Edgeley Park next Thursday.

The teams:

Rugby Club La Vila: 15 Edu Sorribes Ramirez, 14 Javi Carrion Llorens, 13 James Knight, 12 Nathan Reid, 11 Marcos Poggi, 10 Nick McCashin, 9 Hernan Quirelli, 8 Matthew Cook, 7 Fredi Gonzales, 6 Jarrid Els, 5 Mike Walker-Fitton, 4 Thom Cleary, 3 Joe Hutchinson, 2 Jon Phipps, 1 Rodrigo Martinez Sánchez.
Replacements: 16 Enrique Fuster, 17 Diego Vazquez Orrego, 18 Pablo Previtera, 19 Henry Davies , 20 Paco Martinez Manzano, 21 Alexis Hebrard, 22 Fernando Lopez Sanchez, 23 Juanma Quirante Carmona,

Sale Sharks: 15 Joaquin Tuculet, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Jordan Davies, 11 Will Addison, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Scott Mathie, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 Tommy Taylor, 6 Mark Easter, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Andreï Ostrikov, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Joe Ward, 1 Lee Imiolek.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Wame Lewaravu, 20 David Seymour, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Andy Higgins, 23 Nathan Fowles,

Kick-off: 16:00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew McMenemy

  • Euro Challenge Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
Friday , December 5
Brive vs Oyonnax18:30
Grenoble vs Rovigo18:30
Newcastle vs Stade Francais20:00
Saturday , December 6
Bucuresti vs Dragons11:00
Cardiff Blues vs London Irish15:15
Connacht vs Bayonne17:00
Bordeaux-Begles vs LOU Rugby19:45
Sunday , December 7
Edinburgh vs London Welsh14:00
Gloucester vs Zebre15:15
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Euro Challenge Cup Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Friday , October 24
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-Begles
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
  • Euro Challenge Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1London Irish210
2Cardiff Blues210
3Rovigo20
4Grenoble20
Pool 2
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter26
2Connacht25
3La Rochelle24
4Bayonne24
Pool 3
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Newcastle Falcons29
2Dragons26
3Stade Francais24
4Bucuresti21
Pool 4
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Edinburgh28
2Bordeaux-Begles26
3LOU Rugby25
4London Welsh20
Pool 5
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Gloucester29
2Oyonnax24
3Zebre24
4Brive21