Fri 18 Dec 2020 | 11:48

European Cup, Round Two - teams and predictions

European Cup, Round Two - teams and predictions
Fri 18 Dec 2020 | 11:48
European Cup, Round Two - teams and predictions
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COVID-19 CHAOS: The Champions Cup has been thrown into chaos.

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The match between La Rochelle and Bath on Thursday became the third weekend tie to be cancelled due to COVID-19.

The decision was taken after a Scarlets player, who faced the English side last week, returned a positive test.

“Bath has informed European Professional Club [EPCR] that the Scarlets player in question has been identified as a close contact of 12 of the Premiership club’s matchday squad from the Round One fixture,” said a statement.

“With a significant number of their senior players consequently self-isolating, in addition to reported injuries to several other squad members, Bath are unable to safely field a matchday 23 of the required standard in order to fulfil the Round 2 fixture.

“The Pool A match between La Rochelle and Bath which was scheduled for Saturday [December 19] at Stade Marcel-Deflandre is therefore cancelled.”

On Wednesday, the games between Toulouse and champions Exeter and the tie featuring Glasgow against Lyon were also cancelled for similar reasons.

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But there will be some Round Two games.

Leinster, who hosted Northampton Saints last Saturday, have won nine consecutive Champions Cup matches at the RDS Arena, with their last defeat coming against Wasps in Round 1 of the 2015/16 season.

Scarlets and RC Toulon, who clash at Parc y Scarlets in Pool A on Friday, met three times in the Challenge Cup last season with Toulon winning both pool matches as well as a quarterfinal at Stade Mayol.

The Round Two meetings of Wasps and Montpellier, Sale Sharks and Edinburgh, Dragons and Bordeaux-Bègles and Connacht and Bristol Bears will be the first between the respective clubs in Europe’s top flight.

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Northampton Saints have only defeated Leinster once in nine Champions Cup meetings between the clubs.

Pat Lam returns to familiar ground when Bristol Bears take on his old club, Connacht, in Galway on Sunday.

If selected in their respective matchday squads, Harlequins’ Mike Brown, Juan Imhoff of Racing 92 and Northampton Saints’ Alex Waller could all make their 50th tournament appearances in Round Two.

Racing 92 and Harlequins have met twice before in the Champion Cup with Harlequins winning both pool matches in the 2013/14 season.

ASM Clermont Auvergne’s Camille Lopez and Louis Carbonel of RC Toulon are joint top scorers after Round One on 16 points, while Kataro Matsushima also of Clermont and Lyon’s Xavier Mignot top the try scoring list with three apiece.

We bring you all the Round Two predictions and teams!

Friday, December 18

Scarlets v RC Toulon
(Parc y Scarlets – Kick-off: 17.30; 17.30 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Toulon by eight points

Scarlets-v-Toulon-RPI

Teams

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Steff Hughes (captain), 11 Tom Rogers, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Uzair Cassiem, 7 Joshua Macleod, 6 Ed Kennedy, 5 Morgan Jones, 4 Tevita Ratuva, 3 Javan Sebastian, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Kemsley Mathias, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Iestyn Rees, 20 Dan Davis, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Tyler Morgan.

RC Toulon: 15 Duncan Paia’aua, 14 Ramiro Moyano Joya, 13 Isaiah Toeava, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Gabin Villière, 10 Louis Carbonel, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Facundo Isa, 7 Charles Ollivon (captain), 6 Swan Rebbadj, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Brian Alainu’uese, 3 Emerick Setiano, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Jean Baptiste Gros.
Replacements: 16 Bastien Soury, 17 Luka Tchelidze, 18 Jérémy Boyadjis, 19 Thomas Jolmes, 20 Julien Ory, 21 Theo Dachary, 22 Anthony Meric, 23 Masivesi Dakuwaqa.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Adam Jones (Wales), Mike English (Wales)
TMO: Ian Davies (Wales)

Wasps v Montpellier
(Ricoh Arena – Kick-off: 20.00; 21.00 French time; 20.00 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Wasps by five points

Wasps-v-Montpellier-RPI

Teams

Wasps: 15 Lima Sopoaga, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Paulo Odogwu, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Will Porter, 8 Alfie Barbeary, 7 Thomas Young (captain), 6 Ben Morris, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Tim Cardall, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Ben Harris.
Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Tom West, 18 Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19 Levi Douglas, 20 Tom Willis, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Michael Le Bourgeois, 23 Matteo Minozzi.

Montpellier: 15 Henry Immelman, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Alex Lozowski, 12 Arthur Vincent (captain), 11 Paul Vallée, 10 Louis Foursans, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Alexandre Becognee, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Bastien Chalureau, 4 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 3 Titi Lamositele, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Enzo Forletta.
Replacements: 16 Youri Delhommel, 17 Mikheil Nariashvili, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Yacouba Camara, 20 Caleb Timu, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Yvan Reilhac, 23 Gabriel N’gandebe.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sara Cox (England), Jamie Leahy (England)
TMO: Ian Tempest (England)

Saturday, December 19

Leinster v Northampton Saints
(RDS Arena – 13.00; 13.00 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Leinster by 28 points

Leinster-v-Saints-RPI

Teams

Leinster: 15 Jimmy O’Brien, 14 Hugo Keenan, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Harry Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock (captain), 5 James Ryan, 4 Ryan Baird, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Ross Molony, 20 Josh Murphy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Dan Leavy.

Northampton Saints: 15 Tom Collins, 14 Ryan Olowofela, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 George Furbank, 9 Tom James, 8 Shaun Adendorff, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Nick Isiekwe, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 Alex Moon, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller (captain).
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Owen Franks, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Matt Proctor.

Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

Gloucester v Ulster
(Kingsholm Stadium – Kick-off: 15.15; 15.15 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Ulster by 12 points

Gloucester-v-Ulster-RPI

Teams

Gloucester: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Louis Rees-Zammit, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Charlie Chapman, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Ciaran Knight, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Val Rapava Ruskin.
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Seb Nagle-Taylor, 21 Toby Venner, 22 George Barton, 23 Henry Trinder.

Ulster: 15 Michael Lowry, 14 Matt Faddes, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Billy Burns (captain), 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Sean Reidy, 5 David O’Connor, 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Eric O’Sullivan.
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Kyle McCall, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Matt Rea, 20 Greg Jones, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Ethan McIlroy.

Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant referees: Tom Foley (England), Phil Watters (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Munster
(Stade Marcel-Michelin – Kick-off: 18.30; 17.30 UK time; 17.30 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Clermont by seven points

Clermont-v-Munster-RPI

Teams

ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 12 George Moala, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez (captain), 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Clement Lanen, 6 Judicaël Cancoriet, 5 Peceli Yato, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Etienne Fourcade, 1 Peni Ravai.
Replacements: 16 Adrien Pélissié, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Thibaud Lanen, 20 Edward Annandale, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Tavite Veredamu.

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Shane Daly, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 6 Gavin Coombes, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Rhys Marshall, 1 Josh Wycherley.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Liam O’Connor, 18 John Ryan, 19 Fineen Wycherley, 20 Billy Holland, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Jack O’Donoghue.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Ludovic Cayre (France), Luc Ramos (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Sale Sharks v Edinburgh
(AJ Bell Stadium – Kick-off: 20.00; 20.00 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Sale by nine points

Sale-v-Edinburgh-RPI

Teams

Sale Sharks: 15 Sam James, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Francois de Klerk (captain), 8 Jean-Luc du Preez, 7 Sam Dugdale, 6 Jacobus Wiese, 5 Jean-Pierre du Preez, 4 Matthew Postlethwaite, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Armand van der Merwe, 1 Bevan Rodd.
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 James Phillips, 20 Cameron Neild, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Connor Doherty, 23 Luke James.

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Jack Blain, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Charlie Shiel, 8 Viliame Mata, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jamie Hodgson, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally (captain), 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 WP Nel, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Luke Crosbie, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Nathan Chamberlain, 23 James Johnstone.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Ian Tempest (England), John Meredith (England)
TMO: Claire Hodnett (England)

Bordeaux-Bègles v Dragons
(Stade Chaban-Delmas – Kick-off: 21.00; 20.00 UK time; 20.00 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Bordeaux by 15 points

Bordeaux-v-Dragons-RPI

Teams

Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Yoram Falatea-Moefana, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Maxime Lucu, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Mahamadou Diaby (captain), 6 Cameron Woki, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Maxime Lamothe, 1 Thierry Paiva.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Zakaria El Fakir, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Alexandre Flanquart, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Pablo Uberti.

Dragons: 15 Josh Lewis, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Sam Davies (captain), 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Lewis Evans, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Huw Taylor, 5 Joe Maksymiw, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Conor Maguire, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Ben Carter, 20 James Benjamin, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Aneurin Owen, 23 Owen Jenkins.

Referee: Christophe Ridley (England)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Cedric Marchat (France)
TMO: Eric Briquet-Campin (France)

Sunday (20 December)

Harlequins v Racing 92
(Twickenham Stoop – Kick-off: 15.15; 16.15 French time; 15.15 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Racing by 14 points

Quins-v-Racing-RPI

Teams

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Ben Tapuai, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt (captain), 7 Will Evans, 6 Tom Lawday, 5 Glen Young, 4 Hugh Tizard, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Jordan Els, 18 Fin Baxter, 19 Dino Lamb, 20 James Chisholm, 21 Scott Steele, 22 James Lang, 23 Chris Ashton.

Racing 92: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Kurtley Beale, 12 Henry Chavancy (captain), 11 Donovan Taofifenua, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Fabien Sanconnie, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Dominic Bird, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Ali Oz, 2 Kevin Le Guen, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Teddy Baubigny, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Georges Henri Colombe, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Ibrahim Diallo, 21 Nolann Le Garrec, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Juan Imhoff.

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe (England), Simon Harding (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

Connacht v Bristol Bears
(The Sportsground – Kick-off: 17.30; 17.30 GMT)

Predictions

@rugby365com: Bristol by five points

Connacht-v-Bristol-RPI

Teams

Connacht: 15 John Porch, 14 Alex Wootton, 13 Sam Arnold, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Paul Boyle (captain), 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Sean Masterson, 5 Ultan Dillane, 4 Eoghan Masterson, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 David Heffernan, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Jordan Duggan, 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Cian Prendergast, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Tom Daly, 23 Tiernan O’Halloran.

Bristol Bears: 15 Max Malins, 14 Ratu Naulago, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Siale Piutau, 11 Alapati Leiua, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Ben Earl, 6 Steven Luatua (captain), 5 Ed Holmes, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Bryan Byrne, 1 Jake Woolmore.
Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 John Afoa, 19 Joe Joyce, 20 Daniel Thomas, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Niyi Adeolokun.

Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Rob O’Sullivan (Ireland)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

Sources: AFP & @ChampionsCup

PV: 24
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European Cup, Round Two - teams and predictions | Rugby365