Planet Rugby

Preview: Montauban v Newcastle

17th December 2009 12:02

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Newcastle Montauban Young

Newcastle beat Montauban 17-6

Newcastle Falcons have made three changes to their side, as they prepare for Friday's Amlin Challenge Cup trip to French side Montauban.

The Falcons are looking to build on last week's 17-6 home victory over the same opponents, and build on their position at the top of Pool 5 after three wins from their three games so far.

All three changes are in the pack with Micky Ward in at tighthead prop, Mark Sorenson coming into the second row and Ed Williamson returning on the openside flank.

Ongoing niggles continue to rule out a host of players, including skipper Carl Hayman, Adam Balding, Tim Swinson, Jon Golding and Rob Vickerman.

But nonetheless director of rugby Steve Bates is confident his side can dig in for a repeat performance of last week's victory over Montauban, saying: "We've shown we can do it.

"We're on top of the group after three wins from three, and the prospect of a home quarter-final is a massive incentive for us to really give it a good go over in France.

"We know Montauban will be a different proposition over there with a vocal home crowd behind them and a big pack looking to generate plenty of momentum, but we are going over there with a very single-minded attitude looking to get the job done.

"We have a few injuries to contend with, as is the case for most sides at this stage of the season, but we have confidence in our squad and the players coming in to fill those gaps."

The teams:

Montauban:15 Johan Dalla Riva, 14 Jean Emmanuel Cassin, 13 Andrew Henderson, 12 Shannon Paku, 11 Adrien Figueiredo, 10 Cédric Coll, 9 Julien Audy, 8 Matthew Clarkin, 7 Cyril Montet, 6 Romain Sazy, 5 Scott Murray, 4 Rowan Frost, 3 Nick Adams, 2 Grégory Arganese, 1 Benjamin Sa.
Replacements: 16 Mirko Lozupone, 17 Beka Sheklasvili, 18 Silviu Florea, 19 Abdellatif Boutaty, 20 Jean Philippe Viard, 21 Félix Le Bourhis, 22 Julien Larroque, 23 Mathieu Belie,

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Tane Tu'ipulotu, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Filipo Levi, 7 Ed Williamson, 6 Josh Afu, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 James Hudson, 3 Micky Ward, 2 Matt Thompson, 1 Laurence Ovens.
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Kieran Brookes, 18 Grant Shiells, 19 Peter Browne, 20 Will Welch, 21 Hall Charlton, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Danny Williams,

Date: Friday, December 18
Venue: Sapiac, Montauban
Kick-off: 20.30 (19.30 GMT)
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Iain Heard (Scotland), Alan Forrest (Scotland)

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