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Preview: Challenge Cup Pool Two

11th January 2008 13:56

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Rico Gear New Zealand

Gear: Adding pace to the Worcester back line

Pool Two sees Worcester travel to Montauban as the English club look to wrap up the pool with a victory. The other game is between Bucuresti and Rugby Parma, and we preview all the action!

Montauban v Worcester, Friday 11th January 2008, Stade de Sapiac, 18:30 GMT

Worcester head to France knowing a win will see them top the group with a game to spare, and they will field a strong side to attempt just that.

Their back line features two All Blacks, Rico Gear on the right wing and Sam Tuitupou at inside centre. Fellow Kiwi Loki Crichton will direct affairs from fly-half and is joined at half back by Matt Powell, forcing name sake Ryan onto the bench.

Pat Sanderson will captain the side from open side flanker while former British and Irish Lion Darren Morris packs down at loosehead prop.

Montauban need to win with a bonus point if they are to entertain any serious thoughts of a quarter-final spot.

Canadian international Mike Pyke will wear the fifteen jersey in a side which is captained by fly-half Sébastien Fauque.

Montauban: 15 Mike Pyke, 14 Johan Dalla Riva, 13 Ryan Smith, 12 Miguel Avramovic, 11 Sylvain Jonnet, 10 Sébastien Fauque (c), 9 Cédric Garcia, 8 Damien Delpy, 7 Matthew Clarkin, 6 Guillaume Bortolaso, 5 Rowan Frost, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Pablo Lemoine, 2 Grégory Arganese, 1 Laurent DelBoulbes.

Replacements: 16 Tony Testa, 17 Patrick Blanco, 18 Scott Murray, 19 Marc Raynaud, 20 Jean Emmanuel Cassin, 21 Mickaël Etcheverria, 22 Anthony Tesquet,

Worcester: 15 Thinus Delport, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Loki Crichton, 9 Matt Powell, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Will Bowley, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Darren Morris.

Replacements: 16 Shaun Ruwers, 17 Matt Mullan, 18 Greg Rawlinson, 19 Drew Hickey, 20 Ryan Powell, 21 James Brown, 22 Chris Pennell.

Referee: Andy McPherson (Scotland)

Touch judges: Rob Dickson (Scotland), John Ferns (Scotland)

Bucuresti v GRAN Parma, Saturday 12th January 2008, Sergio Lanfranchi, 12:00 GMT

Neither side can make it out of the pool but both will want to record a win, especially having drawn their previous meeting earlier in the season.

Bucuresti will look to Romanian fly-half Ionut Dimofte to inspire them as they look to record their second win of the campaign.

For the Italian visitors former Italian international Rima Wakarua lines up at full-back, while current Italy cap Robert Mandelli captains the side from the back row.

Bucuresti: 15 Florin Vlaicu, 14 Gheorghita Bigiu, 13 Catalin Dascalu, 12 Csaba Gal Minya, 11 Stefan Ciuntu, 10 Ionut Dimofte, 9 Ciprian Caplescu, 8 Costica Mersoiu (c), 7 Mihai Macovei, 6 Stelian Burcea, 5 Valentin Popirlan, 4 Alin Coste, 3 Mihai Lazar, 2 Bogdan Zebega, 1 Nicolae Nere.

Replacements: 16 Florin Maxim, 17 Flavius Dobre, 18 Valentin Ursache, 19 Daniel Carpo, 20 Dan Dumbrava, 21 Dan Vlad, 22 Catalin Fercu.

GRAN Parma: 15 Rima Wakarua, 14 Anthony Tahana, 13 Jan Cloete, 12 Andrea Saccà, 11 Filippo Vezzosi, 10 Alessandro Onori, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Paul Derbyshire, 7 Roberto Mandelli (c), 6 Andrea Barbieri, 5 Pieter Myburgh, 4 Gianmarco Pulli, 3 Marcelo Munoz, 2 Damin Buzaj, 1 Claudio Russo.

Replacements: 16 Vittorio Golfetti, 17 Tim Dow, 18 Martin Engelbrecht, 19 Matteo Mortali, 20 Matteo Mazzantini, 21 Alessandro Castagnoli, 22 Matteo Arbelti,

Referee: Cédric Marchat (France)

Touch judges: Hervé Dubes (France), tba

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