Planet Rugby

Preview: Bayonne v Perpignan

05th February 2010 09:28

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Thibault Lacroix bayonne perpignan

Thibault Lacroix: Starting at centre for Bayonne

Bayonne will be desperate for points whey they host defending Top 14 champions Perpignan in a rescheduled match at Stade Jean Dauger on Friday.

The Round fourteen clash was was originally sheduled for November was called off at the last minutes due to an outbreak of 'swine 'flu' in the Perpignan sqaud.

A win for Bayonne will lift them above Bourgoin and out of the relegation zone while success for Perpignan will move them up to second in the standings.

Perpignan will be without their internationals due to the Six Nations weekend, which is fair since they would have been in the same situation for the original fixture date due to the clash with the November Tests.

Prop Nicolas Mas and centre David Marty are away with les Bleus while Romanians Marius Tincu and Ovidiu Tonita will do duty in their country's World Cup qualifiers against Spain and Germany.

The visitors have been boosted by the return of full-back Jérôme Porical but Julien Candelon (wrist), Viliami Vaki (ankle), Maxime Mermoz (shoulder), Rimas Alvarez-Kairélis (thigh), Joffrey Michel (thigh) are all still either sidelined or not yet match fit.

New Bayonne coach Christian Gajan has retained the half-back pairing of Manny Edmonds and Cédric Garcia that helped their side to victory over Biarritz in the Basque derby last week.

L'Aviron must also do without their internationals, Benjamin Fall (France) and Craig Gower (Italy). As a result Thibault Lacroix will start at centre and Bolavucu on the wing.

Lionel Mazars returns to the bench after recovering from groin surgery where he will be joined by kiwi forwards Ross Filipo and Dwayne Haare and former Wallaby prop Rodney 'Rodzilla' Blake.

The teams:

Bayonne: 15 Pépito Elhorga, 14 Jean-Baptiset Peyras, 13 Thibault Lacroix, 12 Sam Gerber, 11 Filimone Bolavucu, 10 Manny Edmonds, 9 Cedric Garcia, 8 Jean-Jo Marmouyet, 7 Jacques Deen, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Rob Linde, 4 Nicolas Lafitte, 3 Aretz Iguiniz, 2 Roumieu, 1 Denis Avril.
Replacements: 16 Renaud Boyoud, 17 Arnaud Héguy, 18 Ross Filipo, 19 Dwayne Haare, 20 Pierre Bernad, 21 Sebastien Fauqué, 22 Lionel Mazars, 23 Rodney Blake.

Perpignan:15 Jerome Porical, 14 Farid Sid, 13 Jean-Phillipe Grandclaude, 12 Gavin Hume, 11 Andrien Planté, 10 Nicolas Laharrague, 9 Nicolas Durand, 8 Henry Tuilagi, 7 Jean-Pierre Perez, 6 Gerrie Britz, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Olivier Olibeau, 3 Kisi Pulu, 2 Gilhem Guirado, 1 Perry Freshwater.
Replacements:16 Charles Geli, 17 Jermone Schuster, 18 Yohan Vivalda, 19 Damien Chouly, 20 David Mélé, 21 Christophe Manas, 22 Philip Burger, 23 Benoit Bourrust.

Date:Friday, February 5
Venue: Stade Jean Dauger
Kick-off:20.25 (19.25 GMT)
Referee:Jean-Luc Rebollal

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