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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
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs Toulon13:00
Scarlets vs Leicester19:45
Bath vs Toulouse15:15
Montpellier vs Glasgow17:15
Northampton vs Ospreys17:15
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale13:00
Castres vs Leinster15:15
Wasps vs Harlequins17:15
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 9217:15
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles19:45
Friday , October 24
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle19:30
Brive vs Zebre19:30
Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby19:45
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade FrancaisTBC
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs Connacht15:00
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Lions 50 - 20 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Western Province 31 - 23 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 49 - 30 AucklandTaranaki vs Auckland Report
Manawatu 23 - 18 Southland
Tasman 26 - 6 CanterburyTasman vs Canterbury Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins 25 - 9 CastresHarlequins vs Castres Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Bordeaux-Begles 13 - 15 EdinburghBordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh Report
Newcastle 43 - 19 Bucuresti
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615