Champions Cup: Leicester Tigers leave out George Ford for Connacht trip

·11-min read

The European Champions Cup returns this weekend, so check out the teams and our predictions for all 12 clashes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday

Cardiff v Harlequins

Prediction: Harlequins by 3

The teams:

Cardiff: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Owen Lane, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Uilisi Halaholo, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 James Ratti, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5 Seb Davies, 4 Josh Turnbull (c), 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Rhys Carré
Replacements: 16 Torin Myhill, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Will Boyde, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Ben Thomas

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Luke Northmore, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care, 8 Alex Dombrandt (c), 7 Tom Lawday, 6 James Chisholm, 5 Dino Lamb, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Sam Riley, 17 Santiago Garcia Botta, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Hugh Tizard, 20 Viliami Taulani, 21 Jack Stafford, 22 Will Edwards, 23 Huw Jones

Date: Friday, January 14
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Tual Trainini (France)
Assistant referees: Benoit Rousselet (France), Cedric Marchat (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Castres v Munster

Prediction: Munster by 5

The teams:

Castres: 15 Thomas Larregain, 14 Antoine Zeghdar, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Pierre Aguillon, 11 Filipo Nakosi, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Santiago Arata Perrone, 8 Baptiste Delaporte, 7 Simon Meka, 6 Mateaki Kafatolu, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Loic Jacquet (c), 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Brice Humbert, 1 Antoine Tichit
Replacements: 16 Pierre Colonna, 17 Julius Nostadt, 18 Matthew Tierney, 19 Ryno Pieterse, 20 Hugo Hermet, 21 Rory Kockott, 22 Louis Le Brun, 23 Bastien Guillemin

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jack Crowley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Gavin Coombes, 7 Jack O’Donoghue, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Fineen Wycherley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Dave Kilcoyne
Replacements: 16 Diarmuid Barron, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 John Ryan, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 John Hodnett, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Jake Flannery, 23 Shane Daly

Date: Friday, January 14
Venue: Stade Pierre Fabre
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Hamish Smales (England), Paul Dix (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

Saturday

Wasps v Toulouse

Prediction: Toulouse by 10

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Jacob Umaga, 14 Ali Crossdale, 13 Paolo Odogwu, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Sam Wolstenholme, 8 Tom Willis, 7 Brad Shields (c), 6 Alfie Barbeary, 5 James Gaskell, 4 Tim Cardall, 3 Biyi Alo, 2 Tom Cruse, 1 Rodrigo Martinez
Replacements: 16 Dan Frost, 17 Zac Nearchou, 18 Pieter Scholtz, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Will Porter, 22 Rob Miller, 23 Ryan Mills

Toulouse: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Juan Cruz Mallía, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Pita Ahki, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Romain Ntamack (c), 9 Martin Page Relo, 8 Anthony Jelonch, 7 Alban Placines, 6 Francois Cros, 5 Richie Arnold, 4 Thibaud Flament, 3 Dorian Aldegheri, 2 Peato Mauvaka, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Guillaume Cramont, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 Paulo Tafili, 19 Emmanuel Meafou, 20 Yannick Youyoutte, 21 Alexi Bales, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Maxime Médard

Venue: Coventry Building Society Arena
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Keith Allen (Scotland), Dave Sutherland (Scotland)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

Connacht v Leicester Tigers

Prediction: Connacht by 4

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Tiernan O’Halloran, 14 John Porch, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty (c), 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Cian Prendergast, 5 Niall Murray, 4 Oisín Dowling, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Shane Delahunt, 1 Matthew Burke
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Tietie Tuimauga 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Paul Boyle, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Conor Fitzgerald, 23 Tom Farrell

Leicester: 15 Bryce Hegarty, 14 Freddie Steward, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Kini Murimurivalu, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Ollie Chessum, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Nic Dolly, 1 Ellis Genge (c)
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 James Whitcombe, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Tom Manz, 20 Francois van Wyk, 21 Jack van Poortvliet, 22 Dan Kelly, 23 Hosea Saumaki

Venue: The Sportsground
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Thomas Charabas (France), Maxime Chalon (France)
TMO: Philippe Bonhoure (France)

Ospreys v Racing 92

Prediction: Racing by 15

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Mat Protheroe, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Luke Morgan, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Rhys Webb (c), 8 Ethan Roots, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Will Griffiths, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Rhys Davies, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Dewi Lake, 1 Gareth Thomas
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Will Hickey, 20 Sam Cross, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 Josh Thomas, 23 Michael Collins

Racing 92: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Olivier Klemenczak, 12 Gael Fickou (c), 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Anthime Hemery, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 6 Ibrahim Diallo, 5 Boris Palu, 4 Luke Jones, 3 Ali Oz, 2 Teddy Baubigny, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Jonathan Maïau, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Victor Moreaux, 20 Camille Chat, 21 Antoine Gibert, 22 Virimi Vakatawa, 23 Donovan Taofifenua

Venue: Swansea.com Stadium
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Christophe Ridley (England)
Assistant referees: Dean Richards (England), Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: David Rose (England)

Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors

Prediction: Exeter by 5

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sean Lonsdale, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie (c), 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Jack Innard, 17 James Kenny, 18 Patrick Schickerling, 19 Dafydd Jenkins, 20 Don Armand, 21 Sam Maunder, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Tom Gilbert-Hendrickson

Glasgow: 15 Josh McKay, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Sione Tuipulotu, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Cole Forbes, 10 Ross Thompson, 9 Ali Price (c), 8 Jack Dempsey, 7 Rory Darge, 6 Matt Fagerson, 5 Kiran McDonald, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 George Turner, 1 Jamie Bhatti
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Lewis Bean, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 George Horne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Sebastian Cancelliere

Venue: Sandy Park
Kick-off: 17:30 GMT
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Vincent Blasco Baqué (France), Stephane Boyer (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)

La Rochelle v Bath

Prediction: La Rochelle by 40

The teams:

La Rochelle: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jérémy Sinzelle, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Pierre Popelin, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Grégory Alldritt (c), 7 Remi Bourdeau, 6 Paul Boudehent, 5 Rémi Picquette, 4 Romain Sazy, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Léo Aouf, 18 Guram Papidze, 19 Thomas Lavault, 20 Mathieu Tanguy, 21 Jules Lebail, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Pierre Boudehent

Bath: 15 Ruaridh McConnochie, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Will Muir, 10 Cameron Redpath, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Josh Bayliss, 7 Ewan Richards, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Charlie Ewels (c), 4 Josh McNally, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Tom Doughty, 1 Juan Schoeman
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Valery Morozov, 18 Johannes Jonker, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Mike Williams, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Will Butt, 23 Gabe Hamer-Webb

Venue: Stade Marcel-Deflandre
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Craig Evans (Wales)
Assistant referees: Elgan Williams (Wales), Rhys Jones (Wales)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

Bristol v Stade Francais

Prediction: Bristol by 7

The teams:

Bristol: 15 Luke Morahan, 14 Ioan Lloyd, 13 Semi Radradra, 12 Piers O’Conor, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Fitz Harding, 7 Daniel Thomas, 6 Chris Vui, 5 Joe Joyce (c), 4 John Hawkins, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Will Capon, 1 Max Lahiff
Replacements: 16 Jake Kerr, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 John Afoa, 19 Ed Holmes, 20 Steven Luatua, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Antoine Frisch, 23 Jack Bates

Stade Francais: 15 Kylan Hamdaoui, 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Ngani Laumape, 12 Léo Barre, 11 Paul Champ, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Arthur Coville, 8 Tala Gray (c), 7 Romain Briatte, 6 Charlie Francoz, 5 JJ van der Mescht, 4 Pierre-Henri Azagoh, 3 Nemo Roelofse, 2 Lucas Da Silva, 1 Quentin Bethune
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Moses Alo Emile, 18 Vasil Kakovin, 19 Antoine Burban, 20 Mathieu De Giovanni, 21 William Percillier, 22 Alex Arrate, 23 Marcos Kremer

Venue: Ashton Gate
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eoghan Cross (Ireland), Oisin Quinn (Ireland)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)

Sunday

Leinster v Montpellier

Prediction: Leinster by 20

The teams:

Leinster: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Ciarán Frawley, 11 Jimmy O’Brien, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan (c), 4 Ross Molony, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rónan Kelleher, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Dan Sheehan, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Michael Ala’alatoa, 19 Rhys Ruddock, 20 Max Deegan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 James Lowe

Montpellier: 15 Axel Bevia, 14 Pierre Lucas, 13 Thomas Darmon, 12 Karl Martin, 11 Josua Vici, 10 Louis Foursans, 9 Gela Aprasidze, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Florian Verhaeghe, 6 Masivesi Dakuwaqa, 5 Mickael Capelli, 4 Tyler Duguid, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Vincent Giudicelli, 17 Robert Rodgers, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Alexandre Becognee, 20 Aubin Eymeri, 21 Paul Vallée, 22 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 23 Zach Mercer

Venue: RDS Arena
Kick-off: 13:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Anthony Woodthorpe (England), Jamie Leahy (England)
TMO: Stuart Terheege (England)

Bordeaux-Begles v Scarlets

Prediction: Scarlets by 3

The teams:

Bordeaux: 15 Louis Bielle-Biarrey, 14 Geoffrey Cros, 13 Ulupano Seuteni, 12 Yoram Falatea-Moefana, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Maxime Lucu (c), 8 Alban Roussel, 7 Bastien Vergnes, 6 Cameron Woki, 5 Jandré Marais, 4 Thomas Jolmes, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Thierry Paiva
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Pierre Bochaton, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Federico Mori

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Jonathan Davies (c), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Tomas Lezana, 6 Blade Thomson, 5 Aaron Shingler, 4 Sam Lousi, 3 WillGriff John, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Wyn Jones
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Phil Price, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Carwyn Tuipulotu, 21 Dane Blacker, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Ioan Nicholas

Venue: Stade Chaban-Delmas
Kick-off: 16:15 local (15:15 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Mike Hudson (England), John Meredith (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)

Northampton Saints v Ulster

Prediction: Northampton by 7

The teams:

Northampton: 15 George Furbank, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Tom Litchfield, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Tom Collins, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Teimana Harrison, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Brandon Nansen, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Paul Hill, 2 Sam Matavesi, 1 Alex Waller
Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Emmanuel Iyogun, 18 Ehren Painter, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Alex Coles, 21 Juarno Augustus, 22 Tom James, 23 Tommy Freeman

Ulster: 15 Michael Lowry, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stewart Moore, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Nathan Doak, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Marcus Rea, 5 Kieran Treadwell, 4 Alan O’Connor (c), 3 Marty Moore, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andy Warwick
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Eric O’Sullivan, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Sam Carter, 20 Greg Jones, 21 David Shanahan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Ben Moxham

Venue: Franklin’s Gardens
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant referees: Luc Ramos (France), Flavien Hourquet (France)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Clermont Auvergne v Sale Sharks

Prediction: Clermont by 5

The teams:

Clermont: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Marvin O’Connor, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 George Moala, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Sébastien Bézy, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Judicaël Cancoriet (c), 6 Jacobus Van Tonder, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Thibaud Lanen, 3 Cristian Ojovan, 2 Etienne Fourcade, 1 Daniel Bibi Biziwu
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Lucas Dessaigne, 21 Morgan Parra, 22 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 23 Tani Vili

Sale: 15 Luke James, 14 Thomas Roebuck, 13 Robert du Preez, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Simon Hammersley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Jono Ross (c), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jean-Luc du Preez, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Ewan Ashman, 1 Bevan Rodd
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Ben Curry, 21 Fergus Warr, 22 Sam James, 23 Aaron Reed

Venue: Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 GMT)
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Peter Martin (Ireland), Dan Carson (Ireland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

The article Champions Cup: Leicester Tigers leave out George Ford for Connacht trip appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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