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6NB: starting up this weekend

Thu, 03 Feb 2011 00:00

Of the six teams in the European Nations Cup, a.k.a Six Nations B, only Ukraine will not have been to the World Cup by the end of the year. Romania, Georgia, Portugal and Spain have been and Russia are going this year for the first time. This FIRA-AER competition will be a tight one.

When the last two-year competition ended, Georgia were top, followed by Russia, Romania, Portugal, Spain and Ukraine. Russia beat Romania into second place.

Fixtures for Round One:

Spain vs Russia
Portugal vs Romania
Georgia vs Ukraine

Spain vs Russia

Russia are serious about tackling the World Cup and have been making extensive and intensive preparations, including matches in New Zealand, Japan and Argentina - not successful matches but part of a preparation, and Spain have had nothing like Russia's preparation.

Last year in the European Nations Cup Russia beat Spain 38-20 in Moscow. This match is in Madrid - also at altitude and also bitterly cold in winter. Russia could be expected to win.

Despite the IRB's regulations Spain will still, because of club commitments, be without César Sempéré, Roger Ripoll, Mathieu Cidre, Pablo Feijooand Marco Pinto. But the Spanish squad still has 16 players based in France. In fact the net has been cast far more widely than in the past, as a result of which a minority of players are Spanish. Strangely there is nobody from El Salvador, always a top club in Spain.

Spain: 15 Remi Delgado, 13 Martín Heredia, 14 Sergi Aubanell12 Javier Canosa, 11 Matías Tudela, 10 Andoni Jorajuría, 9 Adrien Ayestarán, 7 Gauthier Gibouin, 7 Matt Cook, 6 Martín Aceña (captain), 5 Federico Negrillo, 4 Sergi Aubanell, 4 Jesús Recuerda, 2 Beñat Auzqui, 3 Mattin Auzqui, 1 Anthony Pradalie
Replacements: 16 Stephan Vitalla, 17 Jesús Moreno, 18 Sylvain Antequera, 19 Maxime Samson, 20 Sebastien Rouet, 21 Ignacio Gutierrez-Muller, 22 Mathieu Amoros

Russian squad: Vasile Artemiev, Mikhail Babaev (VVA), Alexander Voitov (VVA) Igor Galinovskiy (Krasny Yar), Andrei Garbuzov (Krasny Yar), Victor Gresev (VVA) Igor Kluchnikov (VVA) Vladislav Korshunov (VVA), Andrey Kuzin (VVA) Kirill Kushnarev (VVA) Yuri Kushnarev (VVA), Carlo Maglakelidze (Imperia), Alexey Makovetsky (Krasny Yar), Evgeny Matveev (VVA) Ostrikov (FRA), Vladimir Ostrosuhko (Yug), Evgeny Pronenko (Enisey-STM), Konstantin Rachkov (Marsei8lle, France), Alexey Travkin (VVA), Artem Fatakhov (VVA) Alexander Khrokin (VVA), Valery Tsnobiladse (Novokuznetsk), Alexander Shakirov (VVA), Alexander Yanushkin (VVA).

Date: Saturday, February 5
Kick-off: 16.00
Venue: Estadio Universidad Complutense
Referee: Stefano Mancini (Italy)

Georgia vs Ukraine

Georgia are top, Ukraine are bottom; Georgia are at home, Ukraine away. Georgia should win handsomely.

Of the team the following play in France - Davit Khinchagashvili (Brive), Anton Peikrishvili (Castres), Vasil Kakovini (Brive), Davit Zirakishvili (Clermont), Levan Datunashvili (Figeac), Vakhtang Maisuradze (Saint-Nazar), Shalva Sutiashvili (Massy), Grigol Labadze (Marseille Vitrol), Giorgi Chkhaidze (Montpellier), Besarion Udesiani (Mâcon), Irakli Abuseridze (Oser), Lasha Malaghuridze (Béziers), Merab Kvirikashvili (Figeac), Davit Kacharava (Nice), Irakli Giorgadze (Shamber), Tedo Zibzibadze (Périgueux), Irakli Machkhaneli (Macon), Beka Urjukashvili (Figeac).

Georgia: 15 Besik Khamashuridze, 14 Irakli Machkhaneli, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Irakli Giorgadze, 11 Lekso Gugava, 10 Merab Kvirikashvili, 9 Bidzina Samkharadze, 8 Besarion Udesiani, 7 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 6 Grigol Labadze, 5 Shalva Sutiashvili, 4 Levan Datunashvili, 3 David Ziraqashvili, 2 Yury Natriashvili, 1 David Khinchaguishvili.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Vassil Kakovini, 18 Vakhtang Maisuardze, 19 Zviad Maisuradze, 20 Irakli Abuseridze, 21 Lasha Malaguradze, 22 Beka Urjukasvili.

Ukraine: N/a

Date: Saturday, February 5
Kick-off: 15.00
Venue: Tbilissi
Referee: Cyril Lafon (France)

Portugal vs Romania

This could be the closest of the three matches in the first round, and don't write off the Lobos. They have beaten the Oaks before.

Romania squad: Cezar Popescu (Macon), Bogdan Balan (Lyon), Mihai Lazar (Aix-en-Provence), Samuel Maris (Timisoara), Marius Tincu (Perpignan), Catalin Beca (CSM Bucuresti), Cristian Petre (Saint Etienne), Marian Drenceanu (Timisoara), Mihai Bageag (Grauhlet), Valentin Popirlan (CSM Bucuresti), Marius Sirbe (Tarbes), Stelian Burcea (Timisoara), Daniel Carpo (RCJ Farul), Mihai Macovei (CSM Baia Mare), OvidiuTonita (Perpignan), Daniel Ianus (Steaua Bucuresti), ViorelLucaci (Steaua), Lucian Sirbu (Millau), Valentin Calafeteanu (Timisoara), Dan Dumbrava (Steaua), Gabriel Conache (Timisoara), Csaba Gal (Baia Mare), Robert Dascalu (Steaua), Constantin Gheara (RCJ Farul), Ionel Cazan (Steaua), Catalin Fercu (Timisoara), LemnaruMadalin (Timisoara), Catalin Nicolae (RCJ Farul), Ionut Botezatu (Baia Mare), Florin Vlaicu (Steaua), Iulian Dumitras (Lourdes).

Portugal: 15 Pedro Leal (Direito), 14 Gonçalo Foro (CDUL), 13 Frederico Oliveira (CDUL), 12 Pedro Silva (Belenenses), 11 António Aguilar (Direito), 10 Joe Gardener (Aubenas), 9 José Pinto (Direito), 8 Juan Severino (Agronomia), 7 Julien Brady (Clermont), 6 Vasco Uva (Direito), 5 Gonçalo Uva (Montpellier), 4 Eduardo Acosta (Direito), 3 Anthony Alves (Montauban), 2 João Correia (Direito), (captain), 1 Juan Murre (El Salvador)
Replacements: 16 Lionel Campergue (Pau), 17 João Junior (CDUL), 18 Tiago Girão (CDUL), 19 Laurent Balangue (Colomiers), 20 Pedro Cabral (CDUL), 21 Francisco Mira (Agronomia), 22 José Lima (Agronomia)

Date: Saturday, February 5
Kick-off: 15.00
Venue: Estádio Universitário de Lisboa
Referee: David Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Tim Hayes (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)

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