Fri 14 Jan 2022 | 05:53

Champions Cup - Teams and Predictions

Champions Cup - Teams and Predictions
Fri 14 Jan 2022 | 05:53
Champions Cup - Teams and Predictions
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ROUND THREE PREVIEW: With the postponed Round two fixtures declared draws, this weekend’s Champions Cup Round Three fixtures are vital.

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There will be six matches played on Saturday and four will occur on Sunday.

Wasps will be hoping they can avoid setting a club record for consecutive home losses in the Champions Cup when they entertain holders Stade Toulousain on Saturday.

Lee Blackett’s side have been beaten in their last two Champions Cup games at the Coventry Building Society Arena, including a 14-35 defeat to Munster Rugby in Round 1, and have never lost three home games in a row in the competition.

Connacht Rugby have a proud home record to defend in the Champions Cup when they take on Premiership leaders Leicester Tigers.

Connacht have lost only two of their last nine home games in the competition, winning seven. However, their last home defeat came against Premiership opposition, losing 27-18 to Bristol Bears in Round 2 last season.

Ospreys will bid to create a piece of club history on Saturday when they host Racing 92 in Pool A of the Heineken Champions Cup.

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The teams have met four times in the competition so far and the Welsh region have yet to record a victory, with the TOP 14 side winning one and the other meeting being drawn.

To underline the tough nature of Ospreys’ task, Racing have scored exactly 40 points in each of their last two games against them.

The other fixtures on Saturday see English giants Exeter Chiefs host Glasgow Warriors, Stade Rochelais take on Bath and Stade Francais Paris travel to the United Kingdom to take on Bristol Bears.

On Sunday, Irish champs Leinster host Montpellier, Ulster travel to Franklin’s Gardin to take on Northampton Saints, Bordeaux-Bègles host Scarlets and Sale Sharks will hope to end their losing run in France when they face Clermont Auvergne.

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Sale Sharks have lost on their last nine trips across the Channel in the competition, by an average margin of 21 points.

They have, however, won two of their last three away games in the Heineken Champions Cup – having lost the previous 14 before that.

Sale director of rugby Alex Sanderson: “The lads were frustrated after last Friday, but right now, having worked off and sweated off the last game, they’re really focused on Clermont, buoyed up and energised for the weekend ahead.”

Clermont head coach Jono Gibbes: “After the 80 minutes against Sale, we will know where we are going. Our best option is to put ourselves in a good position to perform well against this Sharks team. We will then see what we need to do before going to Belfast for the final round of qualifiers.”

*Article continues below…

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Saturday, January 15

Wasps v Stade Toulousain
(Coventry Building Society Arena – Kick-off: 13.00; 13.00 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com:  Stade Toulousain by five points

Wasps: 15 Jacob Umaga, 14 Ali Crossdale, 13 Paolo Odogwu, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Sam Wolstenholme, 8 Tom Willis, 7 Brad Shields (captain), 6 Alfie Barbeary, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Tim Cardall, 3 Bi Alo, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Rodrigo Martinez,
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Zach Nearchou, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Will Porter, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Ryan Mills,

Stade Toulousain: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Juan Cruz Mallía, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Romain Ntamack (captain), 9 Martin Page Relo, 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Alban Placines, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille,
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Cramont, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Paulo Tafili, 19 Emmanuel Meafou, 20 Yannick Youyoutte, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Maxime Médard,

Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Keith Allan (Ireland) & Dave Sutherland (Scotland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

Ospreys v Racing 92
(Swansea Stadium – Kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com:  Racings 92 by seven points

Ospreys: 15 Mat Protheroe, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Kieran Williams, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Rhys Webb (captain), 8 Ethan Roots, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Will Griffiths, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Rhys Davies, 3 Tom Francis,2 Dewi Lake, 1 Gareth Thomas,
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Ma’afu Fia , 19 Will Hickey, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Mike Collins,

Racing 92: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Olivier Klemenczak, 12 Gael Fickou (captain), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Anthime Hemery, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Ibrahim Diallo, 5 Boris Palu, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Ali Oz, 2 Teddy Baubigny, 1 Eddy Ben Arous,
Replacements: 16 Jonathan Maïau, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Victor Moreaux, 20 Camille Chat, 21 Antoine Gibert, 22 Virimi Vakatawa, 23 Donovan Taofifenua,

Referee: Christophe Ridley (England)
Assistant Referees: Dean Richards (England) & Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: David Rose (England)

Connacht Rugby v Leicester Tigers
(The Sportsground – Kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT)

Prediction

@rugby365com:  Connacht by three points

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 John Porch, 13 Sam Arnold, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty (captain), 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Cian Prendergast, 5 Niall Murray, 4 Oisin Dowling, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 Matthew Burke,
Replacements: 16 David Heffernan, 17 Tietie Tuimauga, 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Paul Boyle, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Conor Fitzgerald, 23 Tom Farrell.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Freddie Steward, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Ollie Chessum, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Nic Dolly, 1 Ellis Genge (captain),
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Tom Manz, 20 Francois van Wyk, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Dan Kelly, 23 Hosea Saumaki,

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assitant Referees: Thomas Charabas (France) & Maxime Chalon (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors
(Sandy Park – Kick-off: 17.30; 17.30 GMT)

Prediction:

@rugby365com: Exeter Chiefs by sevens points

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sean Lonsdale, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (captain), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 James Kenny, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Don Armand, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Tom Gilbert-Hendrickson

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Cole Forbes, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 Ali Price (captain), 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Kiran McDonald, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Jamie Bhatti
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Vincent Blasco Baqué (France), Stephane Boyer (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)

La Rochelle v Bath
(Stade Marcel-Deflandre – Kickf-off: 18.30; 17.30 GMT)

Prediction:

@rugby365com: La Rochelle by 25 points

La Rochelle: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jérémy Sinzelle, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Pierre Popelin, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Grégory Alldritt (captain), 7 Remi Bourdeau, 6 Paul Boudehent, 5 Rémi Picquette, 4 Romain Sazy, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Léo Aouf, 18 Guram Papidze, 19 Thomas Lavault, 20 Mathieu Tanguy, 21 Jules Lebail, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Pierre Boudehent

Bath: 15 Ruaridh McConnochie, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Will Muir, 10 Cameron Redpath, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Ewan Richards, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Charlie Ewels (captain), 4 Josh McNally, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Tom Doughty, 1 Juan Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Will Butt, 23 Gabe Hamer-Webb

Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant referees: Elgan Williams (Wales), Rhys Jones (Wales)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

Bristol v Stade Francais
(Ashton Gate – Kick-off: 20.00; 20.00 GMT)

Prediction:

@rugby365com: Bristol Bears by 12 points

Bristol Bears: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Ioan Lloyd, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Fitz Harding, 7 Daniel Thomas, 6 Chris Vui, 5 Joe Joyce (captain), 4 John Hawkins, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Will Capon, 1 Max Lahiff
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 John Afoa, 19 Ed Holmes, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Antoine Frisch, 23 Jack Bates

Stade Francais: 15 Kylan Hamdaoui, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Ngani Laumape, 12 Léo Barre, 11 Paul Champ, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Arthur Coville, 8 Tala Gray (captain), 7 Romain Briatte, 6 Charlie Francoz, 5 JJ van der Mescht, 4 Pierre-Henri Azagoh, 3 Nemo Roelofse, 2 Lucas Da Silva, 1 Quentin Bethune
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Moses Alo Emile, 18 Vasil Kakovin, 19 Antoine Burban, 20 Mathieu De Giovanni, 21 William Percillier, 22 Alex Arrate, 23 Marcos Kremer

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eoghan Cross (Ireland), Oisin Quinn (Ireland)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

*Article continues below…

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Sunday, January 16

Leinster v Montpellier
(RDS Arena – Kick-off: 13.00, 13.00 GMT)

Prediction:

@rugby365com: Leinster by sevens points

Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ciarán Frawley, 11 Jimmy O’Brien, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan (captain), 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 James Lowe

Montpellier: 15 Axel Bevia, 14 Pierre Lucas, 13 Thomas Darmon, 12 Karl Martin, 11 Josua Vici, 10 Louis Foursans, 9 Gela Aprasidze, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Florian Verhaeghe, 6 Masivesi Dakuwaqa, 5 Mickael Capelli, 4 Tyler Duguid, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Vincent Giudicelli, 17 Robert Rodgers, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Alexandre Becognee, 20 Aubin Eymeri, 21 Paul Vallée, 22 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 23 Zach Mercer

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe (England), Jamie Leahy (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

Bordeaux-Begles v Scarlets
(Stade Chaban-Delmas, Kick-off: 16.15; 15.15 GMT)

Prediction:

@rugby365com: Scarlets by five points

Bordeaux: 15 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 14 Geoffrey Cros, 13 Ulupano Seuteni, 12 Yoram Falatea-Moefana, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Maxime Lucu (captain), 8 Alban Roussel, 7 Bastien Vergnes, 6 Cameron Woki, 5 Jandré Marais, 4 Thomas Jolmes, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Thierry Paiva
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Pierre Bochaton, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Federico Mori

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies (captain), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Aaron Shingler, 4 Sam Lousi, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Carwyn Tuipulotu, 21 Dane Blacker, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Ioan Nicholas

Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson (England), John Meredith (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)

Northampton Saints v Ulster
(Franklin’s Gardens – kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT)

Prediction:

@rugby365com: Northampton Saints by Sevens poins

Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Tom Litchfield, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Lewis Ludlam (captain), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Brandon Nansen, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Alex Coles, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Tom James, 23 Tommy Freeman

Ulster: 15 Michael Lowry, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stewart Moore, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Nathan Doak, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Marcus Rea, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O’Connor (captain), 3 Marty Moore, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andy Warwick
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Eric O’Sullivan, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Greg Jones, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Ben Moxham

Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant referees: Luc Ramos (France), Flavien Hourquet (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Clermont Auvergne v Sale Sharks
(Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin, 18.30; 17.30 GMT)

Prediction:

@rugby365com: Clermont by five points

Clermont: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Marvin O’Connor, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 George Moala, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Judicaël Cancoriet (captain), 6 Jacobus Van Tonder, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Thibaud Lanen, 3 Cristian Ojovan, 2 Etienne Fourcade, 1 Daniel Bibi Biziwu
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Lucas Dessaigne, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 23 Tani Vili

Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Thomas Roebuck, 13 Robert du Preez, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Simon Hammersley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Jono Ross (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jean-Luc du Preez, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Bevan Rodd
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Ben Curry, 21 Fergus Warr, 22 Sam James, 23 Aaron Reed

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Martin (Ireland), Dan Carson (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

@ChampionsCup

 

PV: 12
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