Clermont eye bonus point in Italy
January 22, 2010
Morgan Parra starts at scrum-half for Clermont © Getty Images
Clermont Auvergne travel to the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella on Saturday with a bonus-point win on their mind against Viadana.
The French side were powerful in their dismantling of the Ospreys at the Stade Marcel Michelin last weekend and now sit a point behind Leicester at the summit of Pool 3. A bonus-point win would see Clermont through, with one of either Leicester or the Ospreys to secure a last-eight berth with victory in Swansea.
Clermont coach Vern Cotter has taken no chances with his selection, naming a XV brimming with pace and power. Aurelien Rougerie leads the side and starts in the centre following his recall to the French setup, with Gonzalo Canale getting the nod at inside-centre.
Brock James and Morgan Parra continue their burgeoning relationship at halfback while Napolioni Nalaga and Julien Malzieu provide plenty of power on the wings. In the pack, Jamie Cudmore is named on the blindside as Julien Pierre and Thibaut Privat man the second-row.
Viadana are without a point in the tournament so far but name Italian international Kaine Robertson on the wing and Tongan pivot Pierre Hola in the No.10 jersey.
Viadana: Garry Law, Kaine Robertson, Sam Cox, Lloyd Johansson, Matteo Pratichetti, Pierre Hola, Pablo Canavosio, Plinio Sciamanna, Luigi Ferraro (capt), Julio Garcia, Carlo del Fava, Sean Hohneck, Aaron Persico, Andrea Benatti, Jaco Erasmus,
Replacements: Roberto Santamaria, Luigi Milani, Mattia Cagna, Quintin Geldenhuys, Gareth Krause, Andrea Brancoli, Josh Sole, Samuele Pace
Clermont Auvergne: Anthony Floch, Napolioni Nalaga, Aurélien Rougerie (capt), Gonzalo Canale, Julien Malzieu, Brock James, Morgan Parra, Thomas Domingo, Mario Ledesma, Davit Zirakashvili, Julien Pierre, Thibaut Privat, Jamie Cudmore, Alexandre Lapandry, Julien Bonnaire,
Replacements: Willie Wepener, Lionel Faure, Martin Scelzo, Elvis Vermeulen, Alexandre Audebert, Kevin Senio, Tasesa Lavea, Brent Russell
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra