Mowen set to make Montpellier debut

Date published: August 28 2014

Former Wallabies captain Ben Mowen looks set to make his Top 14 debut in Friday's away clash with unbeaten Clermont.

Former Wallabies captain Ben Mowen looks set to be given his Top 14 debut by Montpellier coach Fabien Galthie in Friday's away clash with unbeaten Clermont.

Mowen, who announced in January that after just three months in the post he would be giving up the Wallabies captaincy and his chances of leading them at next year's World Cup by joining Montpellier, will have a lot to live up to as he has been brought in to replace the iconic Georgian flanker Mamuka Gorgodze, who left for Toulon.

Mowen did not get any playing time in Montpellier's first two matches, a loss to Racing-Metro and a narrow win over Grenoble.

However, with Galthie's side having failed to convince in either match, maintaining the tradition of slow starts under the former France captain since he took over in 2010, the high-profile Clermont game looks the ideal platform to deploy the former Brumbies back-row's talents.

The 29-year-old, who performed outstandingly for the Wallabies last year and as captain enjoyed a successful November tour of the northern hemisphere, will be keen to make a good impression instantly in front of a coach who was the reason for him choosing Montpellier ahead of other sides such as Top 14 and European champions Toulon.

“I opted for Montpellier because this is a side making huge strides,” he told L'Equipe newspaper earlier this year.

“I did not talk to Fabien Galthie, but I spoke a lot to Jake White (the 2007 World Cup winning coach of the Springboks and Mowen's coach at the Super Rugby side Brumbies).

“He told me that Fabien was one of the best coaches in the world and he deserved one day to be in charge of France.”