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Preview: European Cup, Round Four

Thu, 10 Jan 2013 13:40
Chris-robshaw-harlequins-ce

Undefeated Harlequins and Clermont can book European Cup quarterfinals this weekend with Toulon also close to securing their spot in the last eight.

English champions Harlequins, bidding to make the knock-out stages for just the fifth time, already have 19 points from four Pool Three wins and on Saturday tackle Connacht where just a losing bonus point will be enough to see them through.

But they will also be fired up by the desire to grab a home tie in the quarterfinals ahead of their final pool clash next week, a tricky trip to Biarritz.

In Pool Five, Clermont only need a home win over Exeter to book their place in the last eight for the third time in the last four seasons.

Their double triumph over two-time defending champions Leinster means that the Irish side will probably need try bonus-point victories over the Scarlets and Exeter in their last two games to stay in the race to qualify as one of two best runners-up.

Joe Schmidt's Leinster welcome rock-bottom Scarlets and will be boosted by the return of British and Irish Lions trio Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney and Luke Fitzgerald.

Kearney and Fitzgerald have yet to play in the European Cup this season but both featured for an hour in the 31-16 triumph over Edinburgh in the Celtic League last week while O'Driscoll played the full 80 minutes.

Toulon, the only other undefeated team after four rounds, host Cardiff on Saturday with a five-point lead in Pool Six over Montpellier who go to struggling English side Sale.

But the Top 14 leaders suffered a jolt to their confidence last weekend when they slumped to a 19-15 defeat to Racing Metro.

That loss had Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal fretting over the strength of his squad despite huge investment in a wealth of overseas talent.

"When we are missing one or two important players, we are not the same team," said Boudjellal.

Two-time winners Leicester and four-time champions Toulouse are locked in a battle of European war horses in Pool Two.

Leicester have a one-point advantage over their French rivals, who are bidding to make the knockout stages for the 15th time.

They meet at Leicester's Welford Road in the final round of group games next week.

On Sunday, however, the Tigers go to Swansea to face the Ospreys while Toulouse welcome bottom-club Treviso who have just one point from four games.

In Pool One, Saracens are two points clear of Racing Metro ahead of their match against the French side which is taking place in Nantes.

A win for Saracens would end Racing's hopes of automatic qualification while Munster, the 2006 and 2008 champions, will stay in contention if they beat pointless Edinburgh.

Ulster, the 2012 runners-up, lead Pool Four, are three points ahead of Castres, and meet Glasgow at Ravenhill on Friday.

Ulster suffered their first defeat of the season when Northampton won 10-9 in Belfast before Christmas.

Round Four fixtures and teams:

Friday, January 11

Northampton Saints v Castres Olympique
(Franklin's Gardens - Kick-off: 20.00, 20.00 GMT)

Teams:

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Dom Waldouck, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Phil Dowson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 GJ Van Velze, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

Castres: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Max Evans, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Yannick Caballero, 6 Jannie Bornman, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Mathieu Bonello, 1 Yannick Forestier.
Replacements: 16 Brice Mach, 17 Saimone Taumoepeau, 18 Michaël Coetzee, 19 Matthias Rolland, 20 Paul Bonnefond, 21 Pedrie Wannenburg, 22 Pierre Bernard, 23 Thomas Sanchou.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)

Ulster v Glasgow Warriors
(Ravenhill - Kick-off: 20.00, 20.00 GMT)

Teams:

Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Paddy Wallace, 11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Chris Henry (captain), 6 Robbie Diack, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Louis Stevenson, 3 John Afoa, 2 Rory Best, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Calum Black, 18 Declan Fitzpatrick, 19 Neil McComb, 20 Roger Wilson, 21 Paul Marshall, 22 Michael Allen, 23 Chris Cochrane.

Glasgow: 15 Peter Murchie, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Alex Dunbar, 12 Peter Horne, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Robert Harley, 6 James Eddie, 5 Al Kellock (captain), 4 Tom Ryder, 3 Moray Low, 2 Doug Hall, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Pat MacArthur, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 tbc, 19 Nick Campbell, 20 Tim Swinson, 21 Nikola Matawalu, 22 Scott Wight, 23 Stuart Hogg.

Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Laurent Cardona (France), Stéphane Pomarède (France)
TMO: Hervé Dubes (France)

Sale Sharks v Montpellier
(Salford City Stadium - Kick-off: 20.00, 20.00 GMT)

Teams:

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Doyle, 5 Tom Holmes, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Aston Croall.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Tommy Taylor, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Jordan Davies.

Montpellier: 15 Pierre Bérard, 14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Santiago Fernandez, 11 Yohann Artru, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Aliki Fakate, 4 Mickael Demarco, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Rassie van Vuuren, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Barry Fa'amausili, 19 Rémy Martin, 20 Alexandre Bias, 21 Eric Escande, 22 Paul Bosch, 23 Lucas Amorosino.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Rhys Thomas (Wales), Wayne Davies (Wales)

Saturday, January 12

Harlequins v Connacht
(Twickenham Stoop - Kick-off: 13.35, 13.35)

Teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 George Lowe.

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Matthew Jarvis, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White (captain), 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 James Loxton.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Jean-Luc Rebollal (France), Mourad Zitouni (France)
TMO: John Sheehan (Ireland)

Zebre v Biarritz
(Stadio XXV Aprile - Kick-off: 14.35, 13.35 GMT)

Teams:

Zebre: 15 Paolo Buso, 14 Matteo Pratichetti, 13 Gonzalo Garcia, 12 Daniel Halangahu, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Alberto Chillon, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Mauro Bergamasco, 6 Filippo Ferrarini, 5 Mike Van Vuuren, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 David Ryan, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Carlo Festuccia, 17 Luca Redolfini, 18 Salvatore Perugini, 19 Emiliano Caffini, 20 Nicola Belardo, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Alberto Benettin, 23 Ruggero Trevisan.

Biarritz: 15 Marcelo Bosch, 14 Iain Balshaw, 13 Benoît Baby, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Magnus Lund, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Jérôme Thion, 3 Eugène Van Staden, 2 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Arnaud Heguy, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Ben Broster, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Imanol Harinordoquy, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Julien Peyrelongue, 23 Seremaïa Burotu.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), David Keane (Ireland)
TMO: Dermot Moloney (Ireland)

Toulon v Cardiff Blues
(Stade Felix Mayol - Kick-off: 14.35, 13.35 GMT)

Teams:

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Rudi Wulf, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Frederic Michalak, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Nick Kennedy, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Xavier Chiocci.
Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Florian Fresia, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Davit Kubriashvili, 20 Joe van Niekerk, 21 Matt Giteau, 22 David Smith, 23 Nicolas Durand.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Lou Reed, 4 James Down, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Owen Williams.

Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Tim Wigglesworth (England), Andrew Pearce (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

Racing Metro v Saracens
(La Beaujoire - Kick-off: 16.40, 15.40)

Teams:

Racing Metro: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Sireli Bobo, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Sebastien Descons, 8 Masi Matadigo, 7 Alvaro Galindo, 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 4 Francois Van Der Merwe, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Benkjamin Noirot, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Benjamin Sa, 19 Fabrice Metz, 20 Camille Gerondeau, 21 Jacques Cronje, 22 Mathieu Belie, 23 Olly Barkley.

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (captain), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 John Smit, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 George Kruis, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Duncan Taylor.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Brian Macneice (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Leinster v Scarlets
(RDS - Kick-off: 18.00, 18.00 GMT)

Teams:

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Isa Nacewa, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Luke Fitzgerald, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Heinke Van der Merwe, 18 Michael Bent, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Brian O'Driscoll.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Andy Fenby, 13 Gareth Maule, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Rob McCusker (captain) 5 Richard Kelly, 4 George Earle, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Johan Synman, 20 Sione Timani, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Jonathan Davies, 23 Adam Warren.

Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Sébastien Cloute (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Jean-Claude Levrier (France)

Clermont Auvergne v Exeter Chiefs
(Stade Marcel Michelin - Kick-off: 19.00, 18.00 GMT)

Teams:

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Jean-Marcel Buttin, 14 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 13 Regan King, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 Brock James, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Julien Bardy, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic , 22 David Skrela, 23. Benson Stanley.

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 Phil Dollman, 12 Jason Shoemark, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Kevin Barrett, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (captain), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Neil Clark, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Ally Muldowney, 20 Dean Mumm, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ian Whitten.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Neil Hennessy (Wales), Jon Mason (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)

Sunday, January 13

Edinburgh v Munster
(Murrayfield - Kick-off: 12.45, 12.45)

Teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Richie Rees, 8 David Denton, 7 Dimitri Basilaia, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Steven Lawrie, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Netani Talei, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Piers Francis, 22 Ben Atiga, 23 Sep Visser.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (captain), 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damian Varley, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Wian Du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Casey Laulala.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Cyril Lafon (France), Stéphane Boyer (France)
TMO: Daniel Gillet (France)

Ospreys v Leicester Tigers
(Liberty Stadium - Kick-off: 15.00, 15.00 GMT)

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Ross Jones, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i (captain), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 James King, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Campbell Johnstone, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 Sam Lewis/Jonathan Thomas, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Jonathan Spratt.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon (captain), 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

Toulouse v Treviso
(Stade Ernest Wallon - Kick-off: 16.00, 15.00 GMT)

Teams:

Toulouse: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yannick Jauzion, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Louis Picamoles , 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Grégory Lamboley, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Vasil Kakovin.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Yohan Montes, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Sylvain Nicolas, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Lionel Beauxis, 23 Gaël Fickou.

Treviso: 15 Giiulio Toniolatti, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Andrea Pratichetti, 11 Tommaso Iannone, 10 Luca Morisi, 9 Tobias Botes, 8 Robert Barbieri, 7 Dean Budd, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 5 Valerio Bernabo, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Alberto de Marchi, 2 Enrico Ceccato, 1 Matteo Muccignat.
Replacements: 16 Franco Sbaraglini, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Lorenzo Cittadini, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Francesco Minto, 21 Fabio Semenzato, 22 Kristopher Burton, 23 Brendan Williams.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Greg Garner (England), Robin Goodliffe (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

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