Challenge Cup: Dan Biggar to make Toulon debut against Zebre Parma while Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar start for Cheetahs

Dan Biggar Wales training 2021 - Alamy.jpg Credit: Alamy
Dan Biggar Wales training 2021 - Alamy.jpg Credit: Alamy

The Challenge Cup’s opening round gets underway this weekend with Bath’s game against Glasgow Warriors and Newcastle Falcons’ visit to Connacht amongst the standout fixtures.

Check out all the team news and predictions, here.

Friday

Stade Francais v Benetton

Prediction: Stade Francais by 12

The teams:

Stade Francais: 15 Sione Tui, 14 Nadir Megdoud, 13 Paolo Odogwu, 12 Alex Arrate, 11 Lester Etien, 10 Léo Barre, 9 Arthur Coville, 8 Juan Martin Scelzo, 7 Mathieu Hirigoyen, 6 Giorgi Tsutkiridze, 5 Juan Johan van der Mescht, 4 Mathieu De Giovanni (c), 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Lucas Peyresblanques, 1 Sergo Abramishvili
Replacements: 16 Laurent Panis, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Moses Alo Emile, 19 Baptiste Pesenti, 20 Nathan Huguen, 21 James Hall, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Giovanni Habel Kuffner

Benetton: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Tommaso Menoncello, 12 Joaquin Riera, 11 Onisi Ratave, 10 Jacob Umaga, 9 Alessandro Garbisi, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7 Michele Lamaro (c), 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Marco Lazzaroni, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 1 Nahuel Tetaz
Replacements: 16 Siua Maile, 17 Cherif Traore, 18 Tiziano Pasquali, 19 Henry Time-Stowers, 20 Giovanni Pettinelli, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Tomas Albornoz, 23 Marco Zanon

Venue: Stade Jean Bouin
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 GMT)
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Jonny Erskine (Ireland), Dermot Blake (Ireland)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)

Perpignan v Bristol Bears

Prediction: Bristol by 3

The teams:

Perpignan: 15 Boris Goutard, 14 Ali Crossdale, 13 Edward Sawaileau, 12 Alivereti Duguivalu, 11 Lucas Dubois, 10 Pato Fernandez, 9 Matteo Rodor, 8 Joaquin Oviedo, 7 Brad Shields, 6 Lucas Bachelier, 5 Eru Shahn, 4 Tristan Labouteley, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Lucas Velarte, 1 Sacha Lotrian (c)
Replacements: 16 Victor Montgaillard, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Akato Fakatika, 19 Posolo Tuilagi, 20 Valentin Moro, 21 Lenny Viola, 22 Dorian Laborde, 23 Theo Forner

Bristol Bears: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Joe Jenkins, 11 Gabriel Ibitoye, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Porter, 8 Fitz Harding, 7 Jake Heenan, Steven Luatua (c), 5 Chris Vui, 4 Joe Batley, 3 Max Lahiff, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Tom Whiteley, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Ioan Lloyd

Venue: Stade Aimé Giral
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 GMT)
Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Dan Carson (Ireland), Robbie Jenkinson (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

Saturday

Lions v Dragons

Prediction: Lions by 12

The teams:

Lions15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Rabz Maxwane, 13 Sango Xamlashe, 12 Zander du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 André Warner, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Darrian Landsberg, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel (c), 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 PJ Botha, 1 Sti Sithole
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 JP Smith, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Ruan Venter, 20 Sangweni Sibusiso, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Jordan Hendrikse, 23 Rynhardt Jonker

Dragons: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Sio Tomkinson, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Harrison Keddie (c), 6 Matthew Screech, 5 Ben Carter, 4 Joe Davies, 3 Chris Coleman, 2 Bradley Roberts, 1 Rhodri Jones
Replacements: 16 Brodie Coghlan, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Aaron Wainwright, 20 Ben Fry, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Will Reed, 23 Steff Hughes

Venue: Emirates Airline Park
Kick-off: 12:45 local (10:45 GMT)
Referee: Anthony Woodthorpe
Assistant referees: Dan Jones, George Selwood
TMO: Dean Richards

Pau v Cheetahs

Prediction: Pau by 10

The teams: 

Pau: 15 Clément Mondinat, 14 Eoghan Barrett, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Jale Vatubua, 11 Vincent Pinto, 10 Thibault Debaes, 9 Clovis Lebail, 8 Sacha Zegueur, 7 Thibaut Hamonou, 6 Martin Puech, 5 Jimi Maximin, 4 Hugo Auradou, 3 Nicolas Corato, 2 Lucas Rey (c), 1 Rémi Seneca
Replacements: 16 Youri Delhommel, 17 Siegfried Fisiihoi, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Mickael Capelli, 20 Reece Hewat, 21 Thibault Daubagna, 22 Elliot Roudil, 23 Mathias Colombet

Cheetahs: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 Dan Kapepula, 13 David Brits, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Tapiwa Mafura, 10 Siya Masuku, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Friedle Olivier, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Jeandre Rudolph, 5 Victor Sekekete (c), 4 Mzwanele Zito, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Louis van der Westhuizen, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Replacements: 16 Marko Janse van Rensburg, 17 MJ Majola, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Siba Qoma, 21 Daniel Maartens, 22 Rewan Kruger, 23 Robert Ebersohn

Venue: Stade du Hameau
Kick-off: 12:45 local (10:45 GMT)
Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Hollie Davidson (Scotland), Ru Campbell (Scotland)
TMO: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)

Bath v Glasgow Warriors

Prediction: Bath by 5

The teams:

Bath: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Matt Gallagher, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Ben Spencer (c), 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Wesley White, 6 Ted Hill, 5 Fergus Lee-Warner, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Tom Dunn, 1 Valery Morozov
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Arthur Cordwell, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Tom Ellis, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Richard de Carpentier

Glasgow: 15 Oliver Smith, 14 Kyle Steyn (c), 13 Huw Jones, 12 Stafford McDowell, 11 Rufus McLean, 10 Domingo Miotti, 9 Jamie Dobie, 8 Jack Mann, 7 Cameron Neild, 6 Ryan Wilson, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Lewis Bean, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 George Turner, 1 Jamie Bhatti
Replacements: 16 Angus Fraser, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Lucio Sordoni, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Euan Ferrie, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Walter Fifita

Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Adrien Marbot (France)
Assistant Referees: Evan Urruzmendi (France), Stéphane Crapoix (France)
TMO: Patrick Dellac (France)

Cardiff v Brive

Prediction: Cardiff by 10

The teams:

Cardiff: 15 Ben Thomas, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Max Llewellyn, 11 Theo Cabango, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Josh Turnbull (c), 5 Seb Davies, 4 Lopeti Timani, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Carre
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Brad Thyer, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Teddy Williams, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Mason Grady

Brive: 15 Mathis Ferté, 14 Valentin Tirefort, 13 Wesley Douglas, 12 Thomas Laranjeira (c), 11 Joris Jurand, 10 Enzo Herve, 9 Enzo Sanga, 8 Abraham Papali’i, 7 Joeli Matalaweru, 6 Matthieu Voisin, 5 Andrés Zafra Tarazona, 4 Renger van Eerten, 3 Tietie Tuimauga, 2 Lucas Da Silva, 1 Wesley Tapueluelu
Replacements: 16 Florian Dufour, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Francisco Coria Marchetti, 19 Tevita Ratuva, 20 Noé Bedou, 21 Paul Abadie, 22 Tanguy Lacoste, 23 Tom Danovaro

Venue: Cardiff Arms Park
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Alex Frasson (Italy), Franco Rosella (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Roscini (Italy)

Connacht v Newcastle Falcons

Prediction: Connacht by 5

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 Adam Byrne, 13 Tom Daly, 12 Cathal Forde, 11 Diarmuid Kilgallen, 10 David Hawkshaw, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Paul Boyle, 7 Shamus Hurley-Langton, 6 Jarrad Butler (c), 5 Niall Murray, 4 Josh Murphy, 3 Jack Aungier, 2 Dylan Tierney Martin, 1 Peter Dooley
Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 Sam Illo, 19 Leva Fifita, 20 Oisín McCormack, 21 Colm Reilly, 22 Conor Fitzgerald, 23 Tom Farrell

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Adam Radwan, 13 Matias Moroni, 12 Tom Penny (c), 11 Nathan Earle, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Sam Stuart, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Tom Marshall, 6 Matty Dalton, 5 Sebastian De Chaves, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Mark Tampin, 2 Jamie Blamire, 1 Conrad Cade
Replacements: 16 Charlie Maddison, 17 Adam Brocklebank, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Marcus Tiffen, 21 Josh Barton, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Ewan Greenlaw

Venue: The Sportsground
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Referee: Luc Ramos (France)
Assistant Referees: Adrien Descottes (France), Thomas Chereque (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)

Zebre Parma v Toulon

Prediction: Toulon by 8

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Lorenzo Pani, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Erich Cronjé, 12 Enrico Lucchin, 11 Latu Latunipulu, 10 Tiff Eden, 9 Gonzalo Garcia, 8 Matt Kvesic, 7 MJ Pelser, 6 Taina Fox-Matamua, 5 Andrea Zambonin, 4 David Sisi (c), 3 Matteo Nocera, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Luca Rizzoli
Replacements: 16 Marco Manfredi, 17 Juan Pitinari, 18 Riccardo Genovese, 19 Jan Uys, 20 Guido Volpi, 21 Ratko Jelic, 22 Geronimo Prisciantelli, 23 Franco Smith

Toulon: 15 Aymeric Luc, 14 Gervais Cordin, 13 Jérémy Sinzelle, 12 Mathieu Smaili, 11 Gael Drean, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Jules Danglot, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Jules Coulon, 5 Adrien Warion, 4 Matthias Halagahu, 3 Emerick Setiano, 2 Teddy Baubigny, 1 Bruce Devaux
Replacements: 16 Pierre Damond, 17 Fanguna Apea Tau Junior Fifita, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Mattéo Le Corvec, 21 Benoit Paillaugue, 22 Maëlan Rabut, 23 Mathieu Tanguy

Venue: Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 GMT)
Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Elgan Williams (Wales), Mark Butcher (Wales)
TMO: Ian Davies (Wales)

Sunday

Scarlets v Bayonne

Prediction: Scarlets by 6

The teams:

Scarlets: 15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Tom Rogers, 13 Ioan Nicholas, 12 Jonathan Davies (c), 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Dane Blacker, 8 Blade Thomson, 7 Joshua Macleod, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Sam Lousi, 4 Sione Kalamafoni, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Kemsley Mathias
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Harri O’Connor, 19 Tom Price, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Steff Evans

Bayonne: 15 Martin Bogado, 14 Bastien Pourailly, 13 Peyo Muscarditz (c), 12 Guillaume Martocq, 11 Teiva Jacquelain, 10 Thomas Dolhagaray, 9 Michael Ruru, 8 Afa Amosa, 7 Geoffrey Cridge, 6 Mateaki Kafatolu, 5 Konstantine Mikautadze, 4 Manuel Leindekar, 3 Chris Talakai, 2 Thomas Acquier, 1 Pieter Scholtz
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Swan Cormenier, 18 Pascal Cotet, 19 Baptiste Heguy, 20 OJ Noah, 21 Guillaume Rouet, 22 Jason Robertson, 23 Tom Spring

Venue: Parc y Scarlets
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Jack Makepeace (England)
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson (England), Charlie Gayther (England)
TMO: Steve Leyshon (England)

READ MORE: Champions Cup: Leinster without Johnny Sexton for Racing 92 opener as fully loaded teams set for opening weekend

The article Challenge Cup: Dan Biggar to make Toulon debut against Zebre Parma while Frans Steyn and Ruan Pienaar start for Cheetahs appeared first on Planetrugby.com.