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European games round 1

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LeinsterFan4life
Rugby Fan
Duty281
Heaf
doctor_grey
BigTrevsbigmac
king_carlos
GeordieFalcon
Welshmushroom
neilthom7
WELL-PAST-IT
mikey_dragon
geoff999rugby
yappysnap
Cumbrian
thebandwagonsociety
formerly known as Sam
TJ
The Oracle
RiscaGame
No 7&1/2
Oakdene
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Post by lostinwales Tue 7 Dec - 11:31

Champions cup
Friday 10th 20:00
Northampton Saints v Racing 92

Saturday 11th
Leinster v Bath 15:15
ASM Clermont Auvergne v Ulster 17:30
Exeter Chiefs v Montpellier 20:00
Cardiff Rugby v Toulouse 13:00
Bordeaux Bègles v Leicester Tigers 15:15
Bristol v Scarlets cancelled - Bristol get 28-0 win

Sunday 12th
Ospreys v Sale 13:00
La Rochelle v Glasgow Warriors 15:15
Connacht v Stade Francais 13:00
Wasps v Munster 15:15
Castres v Harlequins 17:30

Challenge cup
Friday 10th 20:00
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors
Lyon v Gloucester

Saturday 11th
Zebre v Biarritz Olympique 13:00
Perpignan v Dragons 17:30
Saracens v Edinburgh 15:15
Pau v London Irish 20:00

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Post by Oakdene Tue 7 Dec - 11:31

Sensible decision by us to forfeit the game.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 7 Dec - 11:32

Oakdene wrote:Sensible decision by us to forfeit the game.

EPCR wrote:EPCR have been informed by Scarlets that due to player welfare concerns and the club’s inability to safely field a match day squad, they are not in a position to fulfil their Heineken Champions Cup, Round 1 fixture against Bristol Bears scheduled for Saturday, 11 December at Ashton Gate.

The fixture in Pool B is therefore cancelled with Bristol Bears awarded the match on a 28-0, five match points basis, in accordance with the Tournament Rules.

Scarlets, Bristol Bears and EPCR used their best endeavours to stage the match, however, this has not been possible and it is regrettable that the fixture is now cancelled.

EPCR acknowledges the unfortunate circumstances which have impacted on Scarlets’ players and staff through no fault of their own, and would like to emphasise that awarding the match to Bristol Bears is a tournament management measure with the objective of ensuring that all fixtures in the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup are accounted for.

EPCR has been in regular dialogue with Scarlets in recent days to offer guidance and support, and best wishes are extended to everyone at the club.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 7 Dec - 11:36

Not really much way round it.

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Post by Oakdene Tue 7 Dec - 11:46

No 7&1/2 wrote:Not really much way round it.

No there wasn't. It would have irresponsible of us to attempt to play really.

I just hope this doesn't have a big impact on our season.

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Post by RiscaGame Tue 7 Dec - 12:15

Good to see the Scarlets putting player welfare first. It’s a shame something couldn’t be done, in what are still very trying circumstances for teams.

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Post by The Oracle Tue 7 Dec - 12:22

Oakdene wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Not really much way round it.

No there wasn't. It would have irresponsible of us to attempt to play really.

I just hope this doesn't have a big impact on our season.

The way Scarlets have been playing it probably would have been 28-0 anyway!   Run So they get the same result while giving players an extra rest and no risk of injuries!

Sorry, couldn’t resit!  

In all seriousness I agree that they’ve done the right thing.  Any news on Cardiff following suit or are they still trying to fulfil their fixture with a mix of international and academy players?
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Post by TJ Tue 7 Dec - 12:50

I think it utterly ridiculous that matches have to be forfeited. there must have been another possible solution

And WFT are Edinburgh doing playing Sarries? why do we always get the toughest opponents! I have followed every euro campaign and every year Edinburgh get the toughest group and the hardest matches. Its a conspiracy to prevent the mighty Edinburgh taking their rightful place
*sulks*

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 7 Dec - 12:58

TJ wrote:I think it utterly ridiculous that matches have to be forfeited.   there must have been another possible solution

And WFT are Edinburgh doing playing Sarries?  why do we always get the toughest opponents!  I have followed every euro campaign and every year Edinburgh get the toughest group and the hardest matches.  Its a conspiracy to prevent the mighty Edinburgh taking their rightful place
*sulks*

Sarries are not the team they were. The defence is still awesome and they'll apply tons of pressure but the backline and attack in general isn't what it was. As long as you don't fold it'll be a close game and close games can go either way.

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Post by TJ Tue 7 Dec - 13:02

Come off it - this is Edinburgh. fold? Its our middle name

*still sulking*

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Post by TJ Tue 7 Dec - 13:03

I am only joking but the draw in the euro competitions never seems to favour us

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Post by lostinwales Tue 7 Dec - 14:08

TJ wrote:I am only joking but the draw in the euro competitions never seems to favour us

Amazing how Sarries got themselves relegated on purpose just to mess up your day.

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Post by TJ Tue 7 Dec - 15:40

Yup - its a huge conspiracy I tell you!

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 8 Dec - 11:17

The Oracle wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Not really much way round it.

No there wasn't. It would have irresponsible of us to attempt to play really.

I just hope this doesn't have a big impact on our season.

The way Scarlets have been playing it probably would have been 28-0 anyway!   Run  So they get the same result while giving players an extra rest and no risk of injuries!

Sorry, couldn’t resit!  

In all seriousness I agree that they’ve done the right thing.  Any news on Cardiff following suit or are they still trying to fulfil their fixture with a mix of international and academy players?

Cardiff are definitely on. They are helped by players like Ellis Jenkins (I think) and other internationals not making the trip to SA. It’ll still be a tough ask, but it seems like they’ll be able to utilise more full time pros. Looks like they’re getting a great gate too.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 8 Dec - 11:26

Ah, I’ve seen you discuss this in the other thread ha

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Post by The Oracle Wed 8 Dec - 11:56

Yeah, sorry I seem to have confused the threads slightly and have cross-discussed on both Smile
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Post by thebandwagonsociety Wed 8 Dec - 12:05

A good win for Bristol, 5 points puts them in a strong position for progression. There should be a lot of close contests, if the weather deteriorates then TBPs might be in short supply.
Will be curious regarding Munster, backs against the wall, scrambling for a team, do Wasps just blow them away or will they expect a walkover and come up against a gritty side with their backs against the wall and a point to prove.

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Post by Cumbrian Wed 8 Dec - 12:23

I don't think Wasps will be blowing anyone away to be honest, they have 17 players out injured at the moment including their potential England players such as Tom West, Tom Cruse, Joe Launchbury, Jack Willis, Paolo Odogwu and Dan Robson.
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Post by lostinwales Wed 8 Dec - 12:23

thebandwagonsociety wrote:A good win for Bristol, 5 points puts them in a strong position for progression. There should be a lot of close contests, if the weather deteriorates then TBPs might be in short supply.
Will be curious regarding Munster, backs against the wall, scrambling for a team, do Wasps just blow them away or will they expect a walkover and come up against a gritty side with their backs against the wall and a point to prove.

Bristol have been poor this season. A combination of a couple of injuries, losing Malins and Earl back to Sarries and I don't know what seems to have them really off the boil.

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Post by yappysnap Wed 8 Dec - 23:32

Away to Castres will be tough but Quins desperately need a win as we've hit a bit of a bump recently!

I know we've played them before but I seem to remember they're usually one of the French sides that focuses on their league so fingers crossed we'll catch them napping.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 9 Dec - 11:57

For the Championship Cup all home wins for me except
Cardiff an away win and three tight ones
at Bordeaux, Castres and Ospreys

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 9 Dec - 15:06

thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Will be curious regarding Munster, backs against the wall, scrambling for a team, do Wasps just blow them away or will they expect a walkover and come up against a gritty side with their backs against the wall and a point to prove.

Can Munster get a team similar to the one that went down to Scarlets?

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Thu 9 Dec - 15:25

Saints side for Heineken Champions Cup opener against Racing 92:
15 George Furbank
14 Tommy Freeman
13 Matt Proctor
12 Fraser Dingwall
11 Courtnall Skosan
10 Dan Biggar
9 Alex Mitchell

1 Nick Auterac
2 Sam Matavesi
3 Ehren Painter
4 David Ribbans
5 Api Ratuniyarawa
6 Karl Wilkins
7 Lewis Ludlam (c)
8 Juarno Augustus

Replacements:
16 James Fish
17 Alex Waller
18 Conor Carey
19 Alex Coles
20 Tom Wood
21 Frank Lomani
22 Rory Hutchinson
23 Ollie Sleightholme

Proctor back in for Hutchinson, bit surprised there, Hutchinson was pretty good on Saturday.

No Lawes, is he injured, his not playing last week was to give him the statutory weeks rest after the AIs and allow him to play tomorrow.

This will be a test of how far Saints pack have come, if they cannot get fast ball and slow down the Racing ball, it could be a long night. I love that back row though, even without Lawes 54 stone-ish of unbridled aggression.
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Post by neilthom7 Thu 9 Dec - 16:50

mikey_dragon wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:
Will be curious regarding Munster, backs against the wall, scrambling for a team, do Wasps just blow them away or will they expect a walkover and come up against a gritty side with their backs against the wall and a point to prove.

Can Munster get a team similar to the one that went down to Scarlets?

Munster should be able to muster an all international backline (if farrell is fit) except for fullback, maybe only 3 of them up front although Salanoa should be fit which will be a boost.

The rest will be some academy guys who were not with the squad or AIL players, it will be a very bare bench for them interms of any experience. They may try and get some guys involved if they can after their isolation but unlikely to be many. Team will be announced tomorrow, will know better then.

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 9 Dec - 22:07

Someone in the Claremont camp has Covid.
As far as my French goes an article I read stated any player non vaccinated will not be allowed to play.

I am not fluent but I think I am right

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 10 Dec - 9:18

Looking at the fixtures this weekend the only dead rubbers are probably:-

Leinster vs Bath
Ospreys vs Sale
Lyon vs Gloucester
Connacht vs Stade

All the other matches sides have an outside chance. Sale given the fixture draw are basically out already. Can't see them beating the Ospreys in Swansea. Clermont will probably finish them off in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

Leinster will hockey Bath. Could end up being 50+ points. Bath basically are out of contention already as La Rochelle will end their interest as well.

Lyon have gone strong and Gloucester have dipped into their academy squad. Another big win margin as I can see the academy guys give Lyon much of a game.

Connacht probably have to much for Stade. I dont expect Stade to name a first team for this match as they will probably focus Top14 this year given their league standing.

Aside from that I'd say most the other matches have at least a possible chance for either side. Granted I don't like the odds for any of the away sides such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dragons & Ulster.


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Post by The Oracle Fri 10 Dec - 9:51

I wish I had your optimism for the Ospreys, Welshmushroom. Although they've been solid if unspectacular this season I don't feel Sale are a walkover.

And our team the Dragons - an outside change in Perpignan?! We don't travel well at the best of times. But to France?! Oosh. The odds must be 1/100 for a win!
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Post by lostinwales Fri 10 Dec - 9:58

Sale are a decent team that have genuine issues over injuries and form. Lets see what kind of team they put out before leaping to conclusions.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Fri 10 Dec - 10:08

Newcastle Falcons team v Worcester Warriors (Friday, 8pm, Kingston Park Stadium)
15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Penny, 13 Max Wright, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Adam Radwan, 10 Will Haydon-Wood, 9 Louis Schreuder; 1 Kyle Cooper, 2 George McGuigan, 3 Mark Tampin, 4 Marco Fuser, 5 Sean Robinson, 6 Callum Chick, 7 Will Welch (captain), 8 Carl Fearns.

Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Logovi’i Mulipola, 19 Greg Peterson, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Jamie Shillcock, 14 Alex Hearle, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Francois Venter (co-captain), 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Will Chudley, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Jay Tyack, 4 Joe Batley, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 6 Kyle Hatherell, 7 Ted Hill (co-captain), 8 Sione Vailanu.

Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Kai Owen, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Matt Kvesic, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Ollie Wynn, 22 Fin Smith, 23 Harri Doel.

Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)

For the falcons...Mark Wilson and Matias Orlando are 2/3 weeks away....be like two new signings...

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 10 Dec - 10:19

The Oracle wrote:I wish I had your optimism for the Ospreys, Welshmushroom.  Although they've been solid if unspectacular this season I don't feel Sale are a walkover.  

And our team the Dragons - an outside change in Perpignan?!  We don't travel well at the best of times.  But to France?!  Oosh.  The odds must be 1/100 for a win!

Sale have been rubbish this year. Ospreys at home have played well against some quality sides. Even the bookies will have the Ospreys for a odds on win here. Form clearly is with the Ospreys on this one. I just can't see a Sale win given what I have seen from them this year.

Realistically does anyone see Sale winning in Swansea? If it was a home match for them then it would be a different matter but it isn't. Plus with them knowing they have a double header after that which will essentially end their chances of progress, I'm not convinced even the Sale management think they can qualify.


I was going to include the Dragons Perpignan fixture to that list as well. The only thing that stopped me was that Perpignan lie in 13th in the Top14 which means they should field a bunch of academy players. I know the Dragons haven't been great but it looks as if Ryan is playing some starters. I would imagine the game to turn competitive if that is the case. In all honesty though Ryan should field academy players and give up on the challenge cup and focus on the URC. Depending on how the lineups play out will determine if Perpignan paste the Dragons or not.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 10 Dec - 10:23

I was half tempted to add Cardiff against Toulouse as I really can't see Cardiff winning this game either given the amount of guys they have away.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 10 Dec - 11:35

Yeah, I don’t think Dragons will win, but the likelihood is that Perpignan will worry about the Top 14 more. There’s a reasonable chance we might avoid a total pasting.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Fri 10 Dec - 11:56

3 Leinster players and 1 Leinster support staff tested positive for Covid so late rejigs needed by Leo.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 10 Dec - 12:05

STARTING XV
15 Bryce Hegarty [3] *
14 Harry Potter [22] *
13 Guy Porter [26] *
12 Matt Scott [31]
11 Hosea Saumaki [3] *
10 George Ford [114]
9 Jack van Poortvliet [29] *
1 Ellis Genge (c) [96]
2 Nic Dolly [9] *
3 Joe Heyes [81]
4 Ollie Chessum [17] *
5 Calum Green [69]
6 George Martin [24] *
7 Tommy Reffell [56]
8 Jasper Wiese [24] *

REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare [35]
17 James Whitcombe [9] *
18 Dan Cole [273]
19 Harry Wells [134]
20 Marco van Staden [5] *
21 Richard Wigglesworth [21]
22 Juan Pablo Socino [4]
23 Kini Murimurivalu [28]

* Heineken Champions Cup debut
Tigers opting to rotate a few here. Still a strong side but not first choice.

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Post by neilthom7 Fri 10 Dec - 12:07

Ulster team for Clermont (15-9) Mike Lowry, Robert Baloucoune, James Hume, Stuart McCloskey, Ethan McIlroy, Billy Burns, John Cooney;

(1-8) Andrew Warwick, Rob Herring, Tom O’Toole, Alan O’Connor (Capt.), Kieran Treadwell, Marcus Rea, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen;

Replacements: John Andrew, Jack McGrath, Ross Kane, Sam Carter, Greg Jones, Sean Reidy, Nathan Doak, Stewart Moore.

Vermuelen makes his debut

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 10 Dec - 12:15

Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Federico Mori, 13 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 12 Yoram Falatea-Moefana, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Maxime Lucu; 1 Jefferson Poirot (c), 2 Clement Maynadier, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 4 Kane Douglas, 5 Thomas Jolmes, 6 Cameron Woki, 7 Bastien Vergnes, 8 Louis Picamoles
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Thierry Paiva, 18 Lekso Kaulashvili, 19 Alban Roussel, 20 Alexandre Roumat, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Ulupano Seuteni, 23 Santiago Cordero

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 10 Dec - 12:25

Update forecast in light of selections.

Bordeaux to win


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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 10 Dec - 13:58

Welshmushroom wrote:I was half tempted to add Cardiff against Toulouse as I really can't see Cardiff winning this game either given the amount of guys they have away.

Ok defo add Cardiff to the list.....they haven't got a prayer with the lineup Toulouse have compared to their 23. To be honest if they keep it under 30 they will have done well.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 10 Dec - 14:04

Welshmushroom wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:I was half tempted to add Cardiff against Toulouse as I really can't see Cardiff winning this game either given the amount of guys they have away.

Ok defo add Cardiff to the list.....they haven't got a prayer with the lineup Toulouse have compared to their 23.  To be honest if they keep it under 30 they will have done well.

I'll be honest I think you can say they will have done well to keep it under 40! What a line up from Toulouse!

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 10 Dec - 14:30

Looks like Ryan has gone pretty loaded for Dragons.....Perpignan have gone weaker......

Now they have to win....anything less would be shameful.......playing some of our top end players is not a wise move. Ryan can't realistically think he can win the challenge cup so why even do this? Would have held most of them back for the URC. Dragons by 15.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 10 Dec - 15:35

Ospreys: Mat Protheroe; Alex Cuthbert, Michael Collins, Owen Watkin, Luke Morgan; Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Webb (capt); Gareth Thomas, Sam Parry, Tomas Francis, Rhys Davies, Adam Beard, Will Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris.

Replacements: Elvis Taione,,Nicky Smith, Tom Botha, Jack Regan, Ethan Roots, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Josh Thomas, Tiaan Thomas Wheeler

Sale Sharks: Simon Hammersley; Tom Roebuck, Robert du Preez, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Marlon Yarde; AJ MacGinty, Raffi Quirke; Bevan Rodd, Ewan Ashman, Nick Schonert, Jean-Luc du Preez, Lood de Jager, Tom Curry (capt), Ben Curry, Daniel du Preez.

Replacements: Tommy Taylor, Ross Harrison, Coenie Oosthuizen, Jean-Pierre du Preez, Sam Dugdale, Guss Warr, Sam James, Luke James.

I get the feeling Toby Booth is keen to not field Dan Evans and Luke Morgan, can't say I blame him. Both average players hugely overrated by their fans and the media. Aside from that it is a good team. Sale will be a different test up front so I'm interested to see how that goes.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 10 Dec - 15:43

formerly known as Sam wrote:STARTING XV
15 Bryce Hegarty [3] *
14 Harry Potter [22] *
13 Guy Porter [26] *
12 Matt Scott [31]
11 Hosea Saumaki [3] *
10 George Ford [114]
9 Jack van Poortvliet [29] *
1 Ellis Genge (c) [96]
2 Nic Dolly [9] *
3 Joe Heyes [81]
4 Ollie Chessum [17] *
5 Calum Green [69]
6 George Martin [24] *
7 Tommy Reffell [56]
8 Jasper Wiese [24] *
REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare [35]
17 James Whitcombe [9] *
18 Dan Cole [273]
19 Harry Wells [134]
20 Marco van Staden [5] *
21 Richard Wigglesworth [21]
22 Juan Pablo Socino [4]
23 Kini Murimurivalu [28]

* Heineken Champions Cup debut

Tigers opting to rotate a few here. Still a strong side but not first choice.
I'm not delighted with that to be honest. I can understand Borthwick prioritising the Premiership to an extent but with the format, draw and Tigers form we have a chance to actually do something in Europe this season.

Missing Montoya, Liebenberg (maybe injured again), Youngs, Kelly, Moroni, Nadolo and Steward from the starting XV. Leatigaga as well is a fantastic bench option to leave out though I can bear that more as Whitcombe looks very talented.

It's not a bad side but just missing a lot of first choice players. It feels a bit like the sort of travelling side that French teams would often send away in Europe.

Bordeaux are a good side and leading the Top 14.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 10 Dec - 16:01

WASPS: 15. Marcus Watson, 14. Zach Kibirige, 13. Michael Le Bourgeois, 12. Jimmy Gopperth, 11. Josh Bassett, 10. Jacob Umaga, 9. Sam Wolstenholme, 1. Tom West, 2. Dan Frost, 3. Bi Alo, 4. Sebastian De Chaves, 5. Elliott Stooke, 6. Alfie Barbeary, 7. Brad Shields (c), 8. Tom Willis

Replacements: 16. Gabriel Oghre, 17. Bomber Hislop, 18. Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, 19. Tim Cardall, 20. Nizaam Carr, 21. Thomas Young, 22. Will Porter, 23. Francois Hougaard

MUNSTER: 15. Patrick Campbell, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Chris Farrell, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Joey Carbery, 9. Conor Murray, 1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Scott Buckley, 3. James French, 4. Eoin O'Connor, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O'Mahony (c), 7. John Hodnett, 8. Daniel Okeke

Replacements: 16. Declan Moore, 17. Mark Donnelly, 18. Roman Salanoa, 19. John Forde, 20. Conor Moloney, 21. Ethan Coughlan, 22. Tony Butler, 23. Jonathan Wren


A real mix and match side for Munster with experience heads coming in joined by 8 new members of the academy.
Wasps, of course are used to this since the start of the season. The injury list is up to 18 with Fifita joining it from last week.
Tough call but I notice the 5/2 odds for a Munster win is the most popular rugby bet this weekend.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri 10 Dec - 16:21

I have a feeling that Saints are going to miss Lawes tonight, just been voted into one of the top 20 players in the world (15/2 won't like that). His line out work and defensive aggression will be missed.
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Post by king_carlos Fri 10 Dec - 17:11

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I have a feeling that Saints are going to miss Lawes tonight, just been voted into one of the top 20 players in the world (15/2 won't like that). His line out work and defensive aggression will be missed.
Tom Croft without the pace mate.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 10 Dec - 17:27

king_carlos wrote:
WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I have a feeling that Saints are going to miss Lawes tonight, just been voted into one of the top 20 players in the world (15/2 won't like that). His line out work and defensive aggression will be missed.
Tom Croft without the pace mate.
All I want is to start each half with power, speed, and fundamentally sound, and end each half with power, speed, and fundamentally sound. In between I want to pound the crap out of them.

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Post by lostinwales Fri 10 Dec - 17:32

I was just checking if the Tom Roebuck playing on the wing for Saints was the U20 England winger. I just so happened to notice he was born in Inverness...

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 10 Dec - 17:40

Welshmushroom wrote:Looks like Ryan has gone pretty loaded for Dragons.....Perpignan have gone weaker......

Now they have to win....anything less would be shameful.......playing some of our top end players is not a wise move.  Ryan can't realistically think he can win the challenge cup so why even do this?  Would have held most of them back for the URC.  Dragons by 15.

Agree with all of this, bar the result ha. It makes little sense to rush Basham and Rowlands back particularly.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 10 Dec - 18:27

king_carlos wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:STARTING XV
15 Bryce Hegarty [3] *
14 Harry Potter [22] *
13 Guy Porter [26] *
12 Matt Scott [31]
11 Hosea Saumaki [3] *
10 George Ford [114]
9 Jack van Poortvliet [29] *
1 Ellis Genge (c) [96]
2 Nic Dolly [9] *
3 Joe Heyes [81]
4 Ollie Chessum [17] *
5 Calum Green [69]
6 George Martin [24] *
7 Tommy Reffell [56]
8 Jasper Wiese [24] *
REPLACEMENTS
16 Charlie Clare [35]
17 James Whitcombe [9] *
18 Dan Cole [273]
19 Harry Wells [134]
20 Marco van Staden [5] *
21 Richard Wigglesworth [21]
22 Juan Pablo Socino [4]
23 Kini Murimurivalu [28]

* Heineken Champions Cup debut

Tigers opting to rotate a few here. Still a strong side but not first choice.
I'm not delighted with that to be honest. I can understand Borthwick prioritising the Premiership to an extent but with the format, draw and Tigers form we have a chance to actually do something in Europe this season.

Missing Montoya, Liebenberg (maybe injured again), Youngs, Kelly, Moroni, Nadolo and Steward from the starting XV. Leatigaga as well is a fantastic bench option to leave out though I can bear that more as Whitcombe looks very talented.

It's not a bad side but just missing a lot of first choice players. It feels a bit like the sort of travelling side that French teams would often send away in Europe.

Bordeaux are a good side and leading the Top 14.

Of those not selected;

Liebenburg - injured
Youngs and Steward - rest week after England duty?
Kelly - regularly rotates with Scott anyway.
Nadolo - tends to get subbed early in games so he might have a niggle they are managing, we aren't short on powerful wingers.
Moroni - rest after all the Pumas games plus I suspect they want to get Porter playing more at centre.

I do also wonder whether Borthwick is also protecting against a possible Covid outbreak and isolation as experienced by some of the Welsh and Irish clubs. If that were to happen we could still field;

Van Wyk, Montoya, Leatigaga
Snyman, Manz?
Liebenburg, Brink, Ilione?
Youngs, Burns
Kelly, Moroni
Nadolo, Steward, van Wyk

TCD, Richardson, Hurd, ?, ?, Law, Lancaster, Cusick

A couple of forwards might have to be shifted around to fit but we could make it happen and not lose out on the home game and ticket income.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 10 Dec - 18:51

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Liebenburg - injured
Youngs and Steward - rest week after England duty?
Kelly - regularly rotates with Scott anyway.
Nadolo - tends to get subbed early in games so he might have a niggle they are managing, we aren't short on powerful wingers.
Moroni - rest after all the Pumas games plus I suspect they want to get Porter playing more at centre.

I do also wonder whether Borthwick is also protecting against a possible Covid outbreak and isolation as experienced by some of the Welsh and Irish clubs. If that were to happen we could still field;

Van Wyk, Montoya, Leatigaga
Snyman, Manz?
Liebenburg, Brink, Ilione?
Youngs, Burns
Kelly, Moroni
Nadolo, Steward, van Wyk

TCD, Richardson, Hurd, ?, ?, Law, Lancaster, Cusick

A couple of forwards might have to be shifted around to fit but we could make it happen and not lose out on the home game and ticket income.
It's Montoya and Steward that are the main ones that frustrate me. Steward for solidity against Trinh-Duc and Lucu (he's a top 9). Montoya for the scrum largely (Poirot and Big Ben is power). I'd prefer them rested in the run of Connacht (H), Bristol (A), Falcons (H) and Wasps (A). Bordeaux are a very good team to rest strong internationals for.

As good as Nadolo has been he can be targeted in defence by quick wingers these days and Bordeaux have serious pace out wide. Saumaki is rapid and has looked very promising so no qualms there.

Similarly no issue resting Moroni. Kelly and Moroni at once frustrates a touch but not massively. Kelly had a couple of weeks off with his ban then another couple over the PRC and bye week so his workload is under control. That said I do rate Porter and like him getting chances at centre.

I really like JvP getting a start with Ford, Heyes starting at TH and Chessum in the row. Reffell starting doesn't upset me at all as I rate Tommy extremely highly, plus MvS is a terrific impact sub. So it's not a selection I hate. We've left out internationals in two vital positions with Borthwick's game plan though.

There may well be something in the covid worries to be fair with the travel.

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