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Preview: Challenge Cup Pool Four

18th January 2008 10:56

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Charlie Hodgson Sale

Hodgson: Looking to end Montpellier's quest

There is plenty to play for in Pool Four still, even though Sale have top sport wrapped up. Sale head to France to take on Montpellier, who can still qualify, while Petrarca Padova host Bayonne in the pool's dead-rubber. We preview all the action!

Montpellier v Sale Sharks, Saturday 19th January 2008, Stade Yves Du-Manoir, 19:45 GMT

Montpellier welcome Sale to Stade Yves Du-Manoir knowing that a win will see them sneak in to the quarter-finals as one of the three best runners-up. Sale head their safe in the knowledge that they have qualification wrapped up.

That hasn't stopped Philippe Saint Andre selecting the strongest side available to him. Luke McAlister will start at inside centre, partnering England U21 cap Chris Bell; Charlie Hodgson will direct affairs from fly-half.

The back three is full of experience, Mark Cueto takes the full-back slot with Rory Lamont and Oriol Ripol on the right and left wings respectively.

In the forwards it is an all international back row, comprising of France folkhero Sébastien Chabal, England flank Magnus Lund and Argentina star Juan Fernandez Lobbe. Dean Schofield will captain the side from second row where he partners another international in the form of Chris Jones.

Montpellier will be going all out for victory and this is reflected in the side they will field, that includes a host of international names.

Italian full-back David Bortolussi continues at fifteen, and will take on the kicking duties, whilst his fellow Italian team-mate Alessandro Stoica will line-up at inside centre. Fédérico Todeschini will direct affairs from fly-half with the reliable Sébastien Buada joining him at halfback.

Up front Springbok Warren Britz packs down on the blindside, with local boy Jérome Vallée occupying the seven jersey.

Montpellier: 15 David Bortolussi, 14 Olivier Sarraméa, 13 Régis Lespinas, 12 Alessandro Stoica, 11 Sébastien Kuzbik, 10 Fédérico Todeschini, 9 Sébastien Buada, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Jérome Vallée, 6 Warren Britz, 5 Drickus Hancke, 4 Michel Macurdy, 3 Philémon Toleafoa, 2 Joan Caudullo, 1 Eugène Van Staden.

Replacements: 16 Fabien Rofes, 17 Sébastien Petit, 18 Mickaël Bert, 19 Sébastien Galtier, 20 Julien Tomas, 21 Murphy Taele, 22 Mark McHugh.

Sale Sharks: 15 Mark Cueto, 14 Rory Lamont, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Oriol Ripol, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Sililo Martens, 8 Sébastien Chabal, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Dean Schofield (c), 4 Chris Jones, 3 Eifion Roberts, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Lionel Faure.

Replacements: 16 Sébastien Bruno, 17 Ben Evans, 18 Sean Cox, 19 Jason White, 20 Richard Wigglesworth, 21 Rudi Keil, 22 Chris Mayor.

Referee: Andrew McPherson (Scotland)

Touch judges: Rob Dickson (Scotland), Alan Forest (Scotland)

Television match official: Andy Ireland (Scotland)

Petrarca Padova v Bayonne, Saturday 19th January 2008, Stadio Plebiscito, 14:00 GMT

There is nothing but pride on the line In Italy this weekend, although the hosts will be going all out for their first win in the pool.

They will face a strong challenge from their French visitors, who have been in the papers this week linked with a big money move for Springbok try-scoring machine Bryan Habana.

There is a settled look to the Bayonne side, with Manny Edmonds controlling things from fly-half.

Up front they will rely on hard work rather than too many big names, although they have an impressive back row unit comprising of Dwayne Haare, Jacques Deen and Guillaume Bernad.

Petrarca Padova: 15 Alvaro Lopez Gonzalez, 14 Fabio Faggiotto, 13 Enrico Patrizio, 12 Silao Leaega (capt), 11 Mike Palefau, 10 Ludovic Mercier, 9 Stefano Canale, 8 Sisa Koyamaibole, 7 Nicola Bezzati, 6 Alberto Saccardo, 5 Stuart Grimes, 4 Agustin Cavalieri, 3 Tino Paoletti, 2 Nicola Gatto, 1 Andres Rondinelli.

Replacements: 16 Michele Rizzo, 17 Mariano Gastaldi, 18 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 19 Lorenzo Innocenti, 20 Luca Martin, 21 Mariano Lorenzetti, 22 Nicola Leonardi.

Bayonne: 15 Mathieu Acebes, 14 Sam Gerber, 13 Henri-pierre Vermis, 12 Craig Gower, 11 Benjamin Lhande, 10 Manny Edmonds, 9 Anthony Salle - Canne, 8 Dwayne Haare, 7 Jacques Deen, 6 Guillaume Bernad, 5 Nicolas Laffite, 4 Robin Linde, 3 Augustin Loprestti, 2 David Roumieu, 1 Pierre Philippe Lafond.

Replacements: 16 Julian Fiorini, 17 Avtandil Kopaliani, 18 Mikaera Tewhata, 19 Jean-Jo Marmouyet, 20 Louis Massabeau, 21 Benoît Marfaing, 22 Vincent Inigo.

Referee: Graham Knox (Scotland)

Touch judges: David Changleng (Scotland), Ronnie Dumma (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle vs Sale15:15
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Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
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Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
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Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
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Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
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FixtureDetails
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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
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Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
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Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
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Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
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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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Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
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Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
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Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
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International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
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PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821