Falcons eye famous double
December 15, 2011
Exeter's Ignacio Mieres exploits a gap in the Dragons' defence © Getty Images
Newcastle Falcons travel to the current home of former favourite and newly-retired England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson in round four of the Amlin Challenge Cup and Alan Tait's side are hoping to score another win over Toulon after last weekend's narrow 6-3 victory at a blustery Kingston Park.
The Falcons are three points clear at the top of Pool 2, where Lyon and Petrarca Padova are lagging well behind prior to their meeting this weekend.
The action gets underway on Thursday night, when Wasps take on Bayonne in Pool 3. The French side visit Adams Park as group leaders following a 19-11 victory on their own patch. All Blacks Joe Rokocoko, Neemia Tialata and Sione Lauaki all start for the visitors but Wasps have bags of pace out wide in Richard Haughton and Christian Wade, while Nicky Robinson retains the No.10 jersey.
Bordeaux take on Rovigo in the Pool's other game, and Thursday also sees Pool 1 leaders Stade Francais take on minnows Crociati. David Lyons, Stan Wright and Paul Sackey provide the European experience for the home side, who can temporarily open up a nine-point gap on chasing Worcester with a bonus point win. The Warriors face Bucuresti at Sixways on Saturday.
Exeter saw off the challenge of the Dragons with minimal fuss last weekend, but the Premiership side will find it hard going in the reverse match at Rodney Parade. One point separates the teams at the top of Pool 4, where Perpignan are also in the mix. The off-colour French giants travel to take on Cavalieri Prato this weekend and are currently level with the Dragons on nine points.
In Pool 5, Brive lead the way on 13 points, with a meeting against La Vila on Thursday. Sunday throws second-place Sale Sharks up against Agen at Edgeley Park, with the English side sitting on a bonus point win from last weekend's away leg.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter