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Preview: Connacht v Bayonne - Amlin Challenge Cup

By Sea_point
October 14 2010

Amlin Challenge Cup
Date: Friday, October 15
Venue: The Sports Ground, Galway
Kick-off: 19:00 BST (18.00 GMT)
Referee: Carlo Damasco

Bayonne's Sam Gerber

Midfield danger: South African Sam Gerber start at inside centre for Bayonne

Having missed out on an expected win over i Cavalieri Estra, Connacht are under pressure to deliver a big performance at home to Bayonne. Head coach Eric Elwood talked to Rob Murphy for Irish about Friday's showdown with the French side, which could have a huge bearing on our Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 1 challenge. Link to Interview

Connacht coach Eric Elwood announced the team to face Bayonne in round 2 of their Amlin Challenge Cup campaign on Friday. The fixture is a must-win for the Irish team who were upset 23-21 by Cavalieri in their opening game. Bayonne however got off to a winning start by beating Harlequins 16-12.

Connacht winger Darragh Fanning retains his spot after impressing during his starting debut last weekend in Italy whilst Irish Internationals Gavin Duffy and Sean Cronin return to the squad.

John Muldoon captains the side again after making his return last Saturday to competitive rugby following a broken arm sustained against the All Blacks. Brett Wilkinson and Jamie Hagan renew their partnership up front. Hagan sat last week out and the 6'3 120kg Ireland U20 tighthead will return to the team refreshed and rested.

Meanwhile, Bayonne have chosen to rotate their squad but have still named a very strong side with eleven of thier starting XV having particpated recently in their home Derby with Biarritz Olympique, former Toulon pivot Sebastien Fauque takes over at fly-half.  Former French international and skipper Rémy Martin features also, as does in form Full Back Pepito Elhorga and in the back row while former All Black Troy Flavell starts in the second row.

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Keith Mathews, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 Jonny O'Connor, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.

Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Barry Fa'amausili, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Bernie Upton, 20 Andrew Browne, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Troy Nathan.

Aviron Bayonnais: 15 Pepito Elhorga, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Thibault Lacroix, 12 Sam Gerber, 11 J-B Peyras Loustalet, 10 Sebastien Fauque, 9 Julien Audy, 8 Marc Baget, 7 Rémy Martin, 6 Julien Puricelli, 5 Troy Flavell, 4 Cameron Treloar, 3 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Pierre Philippe Lafond,

Replacements:16 David Roumieu, 17 Francois Da Ros, 18 Denis Avril, 19 Robin Linde, 20 Abdellatif Boutaty, 21 Cedric Garcia, 22 Garth Ziegler, 23 Joe Pietersen,

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Preview: Connacht v Bayonne - Amlin Challenge Cup
Discussion started by Connacht Rugby Supporters (IP Logged), 15/10/2010 00:25
Connacht Rugby Supporters
Connacht Rugby Supporters
15/10/2010 00:25
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