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Challenge Cup preview: Pool Four

07th December 2007 09:10

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Luke McAlister Sale v Leicester 2007

McAlister: Missing in action for Sale

The big game in Pool Four this weekend pits French side Bayonne against Sale Sharks in a clash that could decide the group winners, while Petrarca Padova entertain Montpellier. We preview all the action!

Bayonne v Sale Sharks, Stade Jean Dauger, Saturday 8 December, 19:45 GMT

Sale head to France for their crucial European Challenge Cup game against Bayonne without the services of Luke McAlister and Lee Thomas. McAlister is suffering from a groin problem whilst Thomas has a knock to his knee.

On top of that Ben Foden is away on England Sevens duty, although Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe is fit again and will play some part from the bench.

"This will be a tough game for us as Bayonne are a very good team on their own ground," said Sale director of rugby Philippe Saint Andre.

"We want to win the group and this is a game we must win. Luke McAlister has been struggling with a groin injury this week and we have decided to rest him and get him fit for the return game next week.

"I am pleased that Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe is fit again and he will play a part in some of the game on Saturday."

Bayonne include two French caps in their back line, Richard Dourthe at full-back and Xavier Garbajosa at outside centre. Australian A fly-half Manny Edmonds will direct proceedings in the number ten jersey.

The Teams:

Bayonne: 15 Richard Dourthe, 14 Sam Gerber, 13 Xavier Garbajosa, 12 Henri-pierre Vermis, 11 Benjamin Lhande, 10 Manny Edmonds, 9 Anthony Salle - Canne, 8 Jacques Deen, 7 Jean-Jo Marmouyet, 6 Guillaume Bernad, 5 Mikaera Tewhata, 4 Nicolas Laffite, 3 Avtandil Kopaliani, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Aretz Iguiniz.

Replacements: 16 David Roumieu, 17 Pierre Philippe Lafond, 18 Andrew Springgay, 19 Louis Massabeau, 20 Julien Tilloles, 21 Vincent Inigo, 22 Simon Ternisien.

Sale Sharks: 15 Mark Cueto, 14 Oriol Ripol, 13 Chris Mayor, 12 Rudi Keil, 11 Rory Lamont, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Jason White, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 3 Eifion Roberts, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Andrew Sheridan.

Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Lionel Faure, 18 Stuart Turner, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sililo Martens, 21 Julien Laharrague, 22 Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)

Touch judges: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Tom Horkan (Ireland)

Television match official: Bertie Smith (Ireland)

Match commissioner: Brian Fowler (Wales)

Petrarca Padova v Montpellier, Stadio Plebiscito, Saturday 8 December, 14:00 GMT

Montpellier face the first of back-to-back games with Petrarca Padova knowing two bonus point wins will keep the pressure on at the top of the table.

They have selected a strong side, featuring Italian international duo David Bortolussi and Alessandro Stoica, as well as Argentinean fly-half Fédérico Todeschini.

Petrarca are able to include Fijian World Cup player Sisa Koyamaibole in their pack, along with former Scotland international Stuart Grimes.

In the backs former French fly-half Ludovic Mercier will direct play and is joined at half-back by Stefano Canale.

The Teams:

Petrarca Padova: 15 Martin Acuna, 14 Lorenzo Innocenti, 13 Enrico Patrizio, 12 Manuel Dallan, 11 Alvaro Lopez Gonzalez, 10 Ludovic Mercier, 9 Stefano Canale, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Gonzalo Padrò, 6 Mariano Lorenzetti, 5 Chresten Davis, 4 Stuart Grimes, 3 Mariano Gastaldi, 2 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 1 Andres Rondinelli.

Replacements: 16 Michele Rizzo 17 Emmanuel Billot 18 Michele Matteralia 19 Agustin Cavalieri 20 Giacomo Preo 21 Nicola Gatto 22 Fabio Faggiotto

Montpellier: 15 David Bortolussi, 14 Frikkie Welsch, 13 Grant Rees, 12 Alessandro Stoica, 11 Olivier Sarraméa, 10 Fédérico Todeschini, 9 Sébastien Buada, 8 Sébastien Galtier, 7 Jérome Vallée, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Drickus Hancke, 4 Mickaël Bert, 3 Philémon Toleafoa, 2 Joan Caudullo (c), 1 Sébastien Petit.

Replacements: 16 Fabien Rofes, 17 Eugène Van Staden, 18 Romain Frou, 19 Mamuka Gorgodze, 20 Didier Chouchan, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Francois Trinh Duc.

Referee: Andrew McPherson (Scotland)

Touch judges: David Jack (Scotland), John Ferns (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London WelshSale vs London Welsh Preview
London Irish vs SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Preview
Harlequins vs WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Preview
Bath vs LeicesterBath vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets vs Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Preview
Manawatu vs Southland19:35
Sunday , September 21
Otago vs WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Preview
Wellington vs TasmanWellington vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 29 - 15 Pumas
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter310
2Saracens29
3Bath29
4Leicester Tigers29
5Northampton26