Challenge Cup teams: Friday

Date published: October 13 2016

Four fixtures take place in the Challenge Cup on Friday, with Ospreys versus Newcastle the pick of the matches at the Liberty Stadium.

The other Pool 2 game sees Grenoble host Lyon while the Dragons tackle Brive and Bristol face Cardiff Blues in Pools 3 and 4 respectively.

Ospreys v Newcastle

Form: This will be the first meeting between the clubs in European competition. The Ospreys are competing in the Challenge Cup for the first time having played 13 consecutive seasons in the top flight. The Ospreys have won just one of their last 11 against Premiership clubs in Europe (D1, L9) although their one win in came last season against Exeter Chiefs in the Champions Cup. Newcastle have won all three of their away games against Welsh opposition in the Challenge Cup. Dan Biggar needs just six points to reach 500 in European competition.

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Keelan Giles, 13 Ben John, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Rory Thornton, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Lloyd Ashley, 20 James King, 21 Thomas Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Josh Matavesi

Newcastle: 15 Brett Connon, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Fred Burdon, 12 Craig Willis, 11 Belisario Agulla, 10 Joel Hodgson, 9 Micky Young, 8 Harrison Orr, 7 Dan Temm, 6 Glen Young, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Will Witty, 3 David Wilson, 2 Ben Sowrey, 1 Alex Rogers
Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 Sam Lockwood, 18 Andy Foster, 19 Mouritz Botha, 20 Callum Chick, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Juan Socino, 23 Alex Tait

Date: Friday, October 14
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Kick-off: 19:05 BST (18:05 GMT)
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)

Grenoble v Lyon

Form: This will be the first meeting between the clubs in Europe. Lyon are playing in Europe for just the third time after competing in the Challenge Cup in 2011/12 and 2014/15. Lyon won four of their six pool games in their last Challenge Cup campaign – all six matches were settled by margins of 10 points or fewer. Grenoble have won six of their last seven Challenge Cup matches, including all four of their home games in last season's competition. Grenoble have won five of their seven home games against TOP 14 opposition in the Challenge Cup, including the last four in a row. Grenoble successfully slotted 91% (40/44) of their kicks at goal last season, the best rate of any club.

The teams:

Grenoble: 15 Bastien Guillemin, 14 Sisa Ledua Waqa, 13 Xavier Mignot, 12 Tino Nemani, 11 Edward Dratai Sawailau, 10 Gilles Bosch, 9 Lilian Saseras, 8 Fabien Alexandre, 7 Kevin Kornath, 6 Jonathan Best, 5 Mickael Capelli, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Walter Desmaison, 2 Loick Jammes, 1 Alexandre Dardet
Replacements: 16 Etienne Fourcade, 17 Dylan Jacquot, 18 Ali Oz, 19 Steven Giroud, 20 Loic Baradel, 21 Jeremy Valencot, 22 David Mele, 23 Pierre Mignot

Lyon: 15 Romain Loursac, 14 Franck Romanet, 13 Paul Bonnefond, 12 Thibaut Regard, 11 Henry Clunies-Ross, 10 Jacques Louis Potgieter, 9 Baptiste Couilloud, 8 Curtis Browning, 7 Dylan Cretin, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Simon Christian Njewel, 4 Felix Lambey, 3 David Attoub, 2 Cameron Mapusua, 1 Sami Mavinga
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Tornike Mataradze, 18 Hamza Kaabèche, 19 Maselino Paulino, 20 Didier Tison, 21 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 22 Jerome Porical, 23 Augustin Figuerola

Date: Friday, October 14
Venue: Stade des Alpes
Kick-off: 19:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Dudley Philips (Ireland)

Dragons v Brive

Form: This will be the second meeting between the clubs in European competition. The Dragons beat Brive 39-17 at the quarter-final stage of the Challenge Cup in 2006/07. The Dragons have progressed from the pool stage in each of the last two tournaments, losing to eventual winners Montpellier in the semi-finals last season. The Dragons have won their last six home games in the Challenge Cup, their best run of home form in the tournament. In contrast, Brive have lost their last seven away games, their worst run away from home in the Challenge Cup. The Dragons had the best scrum success of any team in last season's competition (97%), winning 63 of 65 scrums on their own put-in.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Ashton Hewitt, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Adam Warren, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Nick MacLeod, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 James Thomas, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Rhys Buckley, 1 Tom Davies
Replacements: 16 Darran Harris, 17 Phil Price, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Harrison Keddie, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Angus O'Brien, 23 Sam Beard

Brive: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Elia Radikedike, 13 Arnaud Mignardi, 12 Christopher Tuatara, 11 Guillaume Namy, 10 Thomas Laranjeira, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Petrus Hauman, 7 Fabien Sanconnie, 6 William Whetton, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 3 Damien Jourdain, 2 Guillaume Ribes, 1 Vivien Devisme
Replacements: 16 Francois Da Ros, 17 Damien Lavergne, 18 Soso Bekoshvili, 19 Jan Uys, 20 Péniami Narisia, 21 Jean-Baptiste Pejoine, 22 Taku Ngwenya, 23 Sevanaia Galala

Date: Friday, October 14
Kick-off: 19:30 BST (18:30 GMT)
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)

Bristol v Cardiff Blues

Form: This will be the first Challenge Cup meeting between the clubs, however they have met twice before in the Champions Cup, with Cardiff winning both pool stage encounters in 2007/08. Both of Cardiff's wins against Bristol came by margins of over 15 points. Bristol are competing in European competition for the first time since 2008/09 when they won three of their six Challenge Cup pool stage matches. Bristol's Tom Varndell needs one try to become the outright top try scorer in the Challenge Cup. No player has scored as many tries for one club in the competition as Varndell whose 20 tries all came while playing for Wasps. Cardiff Blues averaged the most points (38), tries (5.2) and metres gained (527) per game in last season's competition.

The teams:

Bristol: 15 Jack Wallace, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Jack Tovey, 12 Thretton Palamo, 11 David Lemi, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Mitch Eadie, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Nick Koster, 5 Ben Glynn, 4 Ian Evans, 3 Gaston Cortes, 2 Max Crumpton, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Jack O'Connell, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Joe Joyce, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Luke Arscott

Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Ellis Jenkins (c), 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Macauley Cook, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 James Down, 20 Cam Dolan, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Dan Fish

Date: Friday, October 14
Venue: Ashton Gate
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzère (France)