Preview: Clermont v Bordeaux-Bègles

Date published: October 21 2016

Clermont boss Franck Azéma has made three changes to his starting XV for Saturday's Champions Cup clash with Bordeaux-Bègles at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

Azéma has kept faith with the back-line which did duty in last weekend's Round One victory over Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park with all his changes made amongst the forwards.

In the second row, Paul Jedrasiak comes in for Flip van der Merwe while Sitaleki Timani takes Paul Jedrasiak's place on the bench.

The other changes are in the back row where Camille Gerondeau replaces Fritz Lee at number eight and Julien Bardy shifts from openside to blindside flank, where he takes over from Damien Chouly.

This means that Alexandre Lapandry will wear the number seven jerse for les Jaunards.

The front row remains the same with Benjamin Kayser packing down alongside props Davit Zirakashvili and Thomas Domingo.

Meanwhile, UBB have rung the changes to their run-on side after last weekend's home win over Ulster.

In the back-line, Metuisela Talebulamaijaina and Kobus van Wyk replace Adam Ashley-Cooper and Blair O'Connor on the wings while Jayden Spence and Joe Wakacegu form a new midfield combination, replacing Jean-Baptiste Dubié and Romain Lonca.

Up front, Sébastien Taofifenua and Marc Clerc take over from Jefferson Poirot and Vadim Cobilas as the starting props while Tom Palmer replaces Jandré Marais at lock.

The final changes are in the back row where Luke Braid and Marco Tauleigne come in for Luke Jones and Loann Goujon on the blindside flank and at number eight respectively.

Form: This will be the ninth meeting between the clubs in the European Cup. Northampton have won five and Castres have won three. The last six games have all been won by the home side on the day, with Castres and Saints each winning three games apiece in that run. Castres have lost their last five games against Premiership opposition in the tournament, although their last win against an English club was against Northampton in 2013. Northampton have won just three of 18 games in France in the European Cup (L15), losing on their last six trips across the Channel Saints are aiming to win back to back games against Top 14 opposition for the first time since 2010/2011 when they run won four on the bounce.

The teams:

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 David Strettle, 13 Remi Lamerat, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Camille Gerondeau, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bardy, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo
Replacements: 16 Nathan Charles, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Judicaël Cancoriet, 21 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 22 Pato Fernandez, 23 Aurélien Rougerie

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, 13 Jayden Spence, 12 Joe Wakacegu, 11 Kobus Van Wyk, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Yann Lesgourgues, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Luke Braid, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Marc Clerc, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua
Replacements: 16 Benat Auzqui, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 19 Ole Avei, 20 Tristan Labouteley, 21 Julien Audy, 22 Lionel Beauxis, 23 Jean-Baptiste Dubié

Date: Saturday, October 22
Venue: Stade Marcel-Michelin
Kick-off: 16:15 local (14:15 GMT) 
Referee: Greg Garner (England)
Assistant Referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)