Montpellier targeting Challenge Cup glory

Date published: April 12 2016

Montpellier second row Paul Willemse underlined his side's hunger to win the Challenge Cup after their quarter-final win over Sale.

The former Bulls lock has been a towering presence in the Montpellier scrum this season under head coach Jake White, playing his part in last Friday's win at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Now Willemse and Montpellier's sights are set on going all the way to the final and lifting the trophy, with the next step on that path being a semi-final with Newport Gwent Dragons on April 22.

"We're really looking forward to the semi-final, especially as it's at home. We want to start getting to finals to get into the habit of playing knockout rugby We are in this competition to go all the way. We're in it to win it," Willemse told the EPC Rugby website.

"I'm really enjoying life in France with Montpellier, it's a really amazing place to live. The rugby has been really good as well and it's great to be a part of something that has only just started at the club.

"Gelling with the squad does have it's difficulties. It was really difficult at the start, as I didn't know what to shout to the other players during a game!

"It was challenging to think and speak in French. But it's easier when you are winning in the Challenge Cup, that's why we put our best team out tonight. We want to play finals rugby, and the more we play together, the more we gel together."

Willemse had plenty of praise however for Sale after they pushed the Top 14 outfit all the way at the AJ Bell Stadium – noting especially the potency of their attack.

He said: "Sale were a very good team. It is the first time we've played against such an attack-minded side.

"It was very challenging to adapt in defence and Danny Cipriani is very difficult to read."