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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 , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs WaspsLeicester Tigers vs Wasps Preview
Exeter vs SaracensExeter vs Saracens Preview
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
London Welsh vs NorthamptonLondon Welsh vs Northampton Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale SharksNewcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South AfricaWales vs South Africa Preview
England vs AustraliaEngland vs Australia Preview
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Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Leinster vs OspreysLeinster vs Ospreys Preview
Connacht vs ScarletsConnacht vs Scarlets Preview
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs DragonsGlasgow Warriors vs Dragons Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday , December 4
La Rochelle vs Exeter19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont AuvergneToulon vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath 25 - 6 HarlequinsBath vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 TrevisoCardiff Blues vs Treviso Report
Munster 21 - 20 UlsterMunster vs Ulster Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
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International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
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Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
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International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
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International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath933
2Northampton830
3Exeter828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821