Dax look for Lievremont lift
November 13, 2007
Dax will have been disappointed with their return to European club rugby after a five-year absence - and they will be keen for former French international back row forward and Biarritz Olympique captain Thomas Lievremont to prove his fitness to take his club bow.
Dax went down 54-19 at Rugby Calvisano in Round 1 and now face Leeds Carnegie at Stade Maurice Boyau in their Round 2 Pool 5 match on Friday night.
"I am looking forward to making my debut for Dax against Leeds this weekend," he said. "I have been out injured since the semi-finals of the Top 14 last year so it has been a frustrating time for me.
"It is always hard to be on the sidelines, but, when you have joined a new club and you are unable to play, it is very difficult. I'm definitely impatient to get back on the pitch and playing my first game at home will be a big moment for me.
"One of my motivations for coming to Dax was of course to be with my two brothers again, Marc and Mathieu, though that is now not going to happen with Marc being appointed the head French coach.
"On a personal level I'm disappointed but going to coach the French team was obviously an offer he couldn't refuse. Naturally I am really happy for him and we just have to get by without him.
Because the FFR allowed him to stay until last week it has not really sunk in yet that he's gone but from a rugby point of view he will be a big loss to us.
"I wasn't able to see the game against Calvisano but will be given a tape of the match to try and see where we went wrong. The Dax players were all very impressed and a little bit surprised by the performance of the Italians but I have to say that having played them a good few times, you can't afford to under-estimate them.
"Calvisano is one of the biggest Italian clubs with a lot of experienced internationals in the side and they put in a big performance. Apparently we didn't really do anything wrong - our preparation was solid - but we just got overwhelmed by the better side on the day.
"As far as Leeds are concerned, I have to admit it's a side I don't know at all. I know they are in the same position as us in terms of returning to the top flight after a period in the Second Division but, beyond that, they are a bit of a mystery.
"Being English though, I will expect them to be very solid and physical with strong set pieces and a really tough defence - those are the characteristics I generally associate with English teams.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP - (All kick-offs LOCAL time)
THURSDAY 15 NOVEMBER, 2007
SATURDAY 17 NOVEMBER, 2007
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Red cards, uncontested scrums, end-of-season wobbles and schoolboy errors - the Monday Maul looks back over the weekend's talking points