Planet Rugby

Challenge Cup preview: Saturday

16th December 2011 13:51


Newcastle v Toulon Jonny Wilkinson

Rematch: Jonny Wilkinson starts for Toulon v Falcons

Newcastle travel to Toulon in the headline fixture in the Amlin Challenge Cup on Saturday while Worcester host Bucharest.

Fixtures, Saturday December 17:
Toulon v Newcastle
I Cavalieri Prato v Perpignan
Petrarca Padova v Lyon
Worcester Warriors v Bucharest Wolves

RC Toulon v Newcastle Falcons
Stade Félix Mayol

Toulon will be looking for revenge in the return game of the 'double-header' after suffering a 6-3 defeat to the Falcons last week.

The hosts need a victory to keep their hopes of a quarter-finals place in this season's tournament alive.

Falcons boss Alan Tait has made two changes for Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup trip to Toulon

Corne Uys returns at outside centre with James Fitzpatrick moving to the wing in place of Ryan Shortland as the northeasterners aim to maintain their 100 per cent record in the competition.

Jeremy Manning gets the nod at fly-half while the forward pack is unchanged following a successful stint against Toulon's heavyweights last week.

"Toulon will want to throw the ball around and they have absolutely nothing to lose," said Tait who will have his sights set on progressing to the knockout stages.

"They know that if they want to win the group they need the bonus point against us, and they will chuck it about because four tries will be required," he added.

Winning by the slenderest of margins in gale force conditions last week, Tait predicts a more open affair in the sunnier climbs of the south of France.

Tait said: "I think an open game is good for us. If it is another arm-wrestle then we run the risk of guys being battered ahead of the league matches that follow.

"Less contact areas will play into our hands as well, and we are a team that wants to play a bit of footy when the time is right with good ball in decent areas.

"French crowds are pretty hostile, but they can turn on their team just as they can get behind them."

The teams:

RC Toulon: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Christian Loamanu, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffroy Messina, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Laurent Magnaval, 8 Steffon Armitage, 7 Pierrick Gunther, 6 Leonardo Senatore, 5 Kris Chesney, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Laurent Emmanuelli, 18 Davit Kubriashvili, 19 Jone Tawake, 20 Julien Dumora, 21 David Smith, 22 Fabien Cibray, 23 Dean Schofield,

Newcastle Falcons: 15 Greg Goosen, 14 Luke Eves, 13 Corne Uys, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 James Fitzpatrick, 10 Jeremy Manning, 9 Jordi Pasqualin, 8 Michael Mayhew, 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Andrew Van der Heijden, 4 James Hudson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Joe Graham, 1 Grant Shiells
Replacements: 16 Rob Vickers, 17 Ashley Wells, 18 Dan Frazier, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Allister Hogg, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 Tom Catterick, 23 Luke Fielden,

Kick-off: 20:45 (19.45 GMT)
Referee: Peter Allan (Scotland)

I Cavalieri Prato v Perpignan
Stadio Lungobisenzio

Perpignan will be determined to do the double over Prato to keep themselves in the hunt for a quarter-finals place.

The Catalan giants, who reached the semi-finals of last season's European Cup, are one point behind Pool leaders, Exeter Chiefs, and need another bonus point victory in Italy.

The Italian side, who are in only their second season of European competition, are still looking for their first victory in this season's Pool but face a daunting task against the Top 14 side.

I Cavalieri Prato: 15 Dion Berryman, 14 Billy Ngwaini, 13 Clemens Von Grumbkov, 12 Alberto Chiesa, 11 Filippo Vezzosi, 10 Rima Wakarua, 9 Marco Frati, 8 Rome Nifo Tautua, 7 Nicola Belardo, 6 Luca Petillo, 5 Filippo Cazzola, 4 Giacomo Bernini, 3 Tim Ryan, 2 Lorenzo Giovanchelli, 1 Gerlando Marino.
Replacements: 16 Renzo Balboni, 17 Davide Stefani, 18 Alberto Saccardo, 19 Emanuele Leonardi, 20 Callori Callori di Vignale, 21 Niccolò Tempestini, 22 Martin Murgier,

USA Perpignan: 15 Jérôme Porical, 14 Farid Sid, 13 David Marty, 12 Rudolphe Coetzee, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 Kevin Boulogne, 8 Henry Tuilagi, 7 Damien Chouly, 6 Bertrand Guiry, 5 Robins Tchale Watchou, 4 Yoann Vivalda, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Marius Tincu, 1 Jérôme Schuster.
Replacements: 16 Charles Geli, 17 Perry Freshwater, 18 Danie Thiart, 19 Gerrie Britz, 20 Romain Taofifenua, 21 James Hook, 22 Florian Cazenave, 23 Armand Batlle,

Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: James Jones (Wales)

Petrarca Padova v Lyon Olympique
Stadio Plebiscito

Lyon, who are in their first season of European rugby, recorded a 54-20 victory at home against the Italian side last weekend.

Lyon are currently third in Pool 2 and are behind leaders Newcastle and Toulon. Petrarca are still looking for their first win in this season's Amlin Challenge Cup.

Petrarca Padova: 15 Juan Pablo Sanchez, 14 Steven Bortolussi, 13 Marco Neethling, 12 Roberto Bertetti, 11 Alex Morsellino, 10 Eoghan Hickey, 9 Pietro Travagli, 8 Dion Kingi, 7 Lance Persico, 6 Marco Barbini, 5 Enrico Targa, 4 Agustin Cavalieri, 3 Luca D'Agostino, 2 Nicola Gatto, 1 Miguel Alonso.
Replacements: 16 Flavio Damiano, 17 Alessandro Furia, 18 Chris Caporello, 19 Zane Ansell, 21 Fabio Faggiotto, 22 Alessandro Chillon, 23 Mantvydas Tveraga,

Lyon Olympique: 15 Mark van Gisbergen, 14 Alipate Fatafehi, 13 Thibaut Regard, 12 Waisele Sukanaveita, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Xavier Sadourny, 9 Matteus du Bruyn, 8 Nicolas Bontinck, 7 Jean Sousa, 6 Gerald Gambetta, 5 Coenraad Basson, 4 Christian Short, 3 Philémon Toleafoa, 2 Antonio Testa, 1 Guram Kavtidze.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Bonrepaux, 17 Sebastien Petit, 18 Anthony Roux, 19 Arnaud Marchois, 20 Eugene Nzi, 21 Ricky Januarie, 22 Romain Loursac, 23 Lee Thomas,

Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)

Worcester Warriors v Bucharest Wolves
Sixways Stadium

Back row duo Nile Dacres and Richard Muagututia will make their full European debuts for Worcester Warriors.

Head Coach Richard Hill makes a total of nine changes to the team that secured a hard-fought 24-13 victory in the Romanian capital last Sunday.

Dacres and Muagututia are part of four changes in the pack as Ed Shervington and Tevita Taumoepeau are named in the front row.

Only captain Chris Pennell and Andy Short remain in the back line as Hill looks to utilize his squad after a bruising encounter in Eastern Europe and build towards the Premiership clash with Leicester Tigers on December 27.

Shaun Perry and Joe Carlisle will combine at half back while Miles Benjamin and Marcel Garvey return on the wings.

A powerful bench includes a place for Craig Gillies and Josh Drauniniu after his try scoring exploits in Bucharest.

"The bonus point in Romania was crucial because it leaves us in touching distance of Stade Francais with three games to go. The competition is alive and we now need to gain another five points on home soil," said Hill.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Andy Short, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Richard Muagututia, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Nile Dacres, 5 Ben Gulliver, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Edward Shervington, 1 Bruce Douglas.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 George Porter, 18 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 19 Craig Gillies, 20 Chris Jones, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Andy Goode, 23 Josh Drauniniu,

Bucharest Wolves: 15 Florin Vlaicu, 14 Ionut Niacsu, 13 Costi Gheara, 12 Cristian Dinis, 11 Marian Apostol, 10 Florin Fantanaru, 9 Grigoras Diaconescu, 8 Bogdan Petreanu, 7 Adrian Ion, 6 Alexandru Mitu, 5 Cristian Munteanu, 4 Cosmin Ratiu, 3 Romulus Boar, 2 Eugen Capatana, 1 Andrei Ursache.
Replacements: 16 Florin Tasca, 17 Flavius Dobre, 18 Petre Zapan, 19 Valentin Popirlan, 20 Vasile Rus, 21 Vali Ivan, 22 Ionut Florea, 23 Florin Surugiu,

Kick-off: 15:00 (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Stefano Pennè (Italy)

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