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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
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
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LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
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Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
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ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
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European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615