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Clermont ready to 'sink their teeth' into Sharks

SPOTLIGHT: The “big names” in the Sharks squad will be giving French club Clermont Auvergne extra motivation to push themselves to a higher level this week.

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The two teams will meet in a Challenge Cup semifinal at Twickenham Stoop in London on Saturday.

Clermont forwards coach Julien Laïrle said his team will not be shying away from the pressure when it comes to facing a team loaded with Springboks.

“We are one match away from the Final, two from the title,” said Laïrle,

“We have the opportunity to mark the history of this club and to reward ourselves for this difficult season.

“When you have the chance to enter the final stages, you have to sink your teeth into them.”

Clermont prop Rabah Slimani knows how small the margins will be against John Plumtree’s side.

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“When we get to this stage, only the best teams remain. Obviously, everyone wants to win the title and the margin is reduced,” said the prop.

“It’s going to be a very big match, very tough against a team like the Sharks where we know that the slightest mistake can result in points.”

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With the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Vincent Koch, Ox Nche and Bongi Mbonambi bolstering the Sharks pack, Slimani knows the physical battle will be intense.

“It’s partly the Springbok team and we know how they play by offering frontal engagement,” said Slimani.

“We also have assets in this area and it’s up to us to use them well.

“It’s going to be a great experience to face these kinds of teams.

“After the Cheetahs and Ulster, it’s going to go up a notch.”

Fellow prop Giorgi Beria echoed his teammate’s comments.

“It’s a big team, big names. Half the team played for the Boks,” said Beria.

“They are well-known and recognised guys, but we will still try to compete with them.

“We know that the final phases can be decided on a detail, an error, or a fault. Discipline will also be important.”

Source: @ASMOfficiel

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