Planet Rugby

Preview: Stade Franšais v Exeter

04th April 2012 12:29


Stade Francais s winger Julien Arias white pink

Julien Arias: Winging it for Stade Franšais

Exeter Chiefs travel to Paris for the first Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Stade Franšais on Thursday.

Having seen off the likes of Perpignan and the Dragons in the Pools, Rob Baxter's side will come up against arguably their toughest European assignment to date when they lock horns with the last season's losing finalists at Stade Charlety.

The Chiefs - in just their second season in both Europe and the Aviva Premiership - have caused quite a stir over the past few months with some outstanding displays stunning several opponents.

With hooker Chris Whitehead having declared himself fully fit despite picking up an ankle injury in Saturday's home win over London Irish, Baxter has been able to stick with an unchanged squad.

"We've already had some real challenges this season, not least playing the likes of Leicester," said the coach.

"We came through two games against them and we also came through what was a very tough final quarter up at Gloucester so, like I said, we've overcome some challenges already.

"This latest one will be different because of the distance we are travelling and it's a team we've not played before. At the same time we're not sure how they are going to attacking the competition either, but I know it will be an interesting game for us.

"Obviously when you go to France your set-piece needs to stand up, simply because every French side takes pride in that. Looking at Stade you can see they have a good driving game off their line-outs, they run solid and they have some top performance. At the same time, we're doing OK in those departments as well, so I expect it to be a big physical contest."

Meanwhile, Stade Franšais will be without Australian full-back Paul Warwick due to a back injury. Former Wallaby George Smith will however start having recently arrived from Japan.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Stade Franšais: 15 Djibril Camara, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 Paul Williams, 11 Julien Arias, 10 Felipe Contepomi, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 Antoine Burban, 6 George Smith, 5 Pascal Pape, 4 Anton van Zyl, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Rodrigo Roncero.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempere, 17 Olivier Milloud, 18 Stan Wright, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 David Lyons, 21 Pierre Rabadan, 22 Jerome Fillol, 23 Hugo Bonneval.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Bryan Rennie, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (c), 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Hoani Tui.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Ben White, 21 Kevin Barrett, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Sireli Naqelevuki.

Date: Thursday, April 5
Venue: Stade Charlety, Paris
Kick-off: 20:45 (19:45 BST)
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon

  • Euro Challenge Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
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 Newport Gwent D'gonsTBC
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
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Recent Results
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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
1London Irish210
2Cardiff Blues210
Pool 2
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
3La Rochelle24
Pool 3
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
1Newcastle Falcons29
3Stade Francais24
Pool 4
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table
3LOU Rugby25
4London Welsh20
Pool 5
European Rugby Challenge Cup Table