HEINEKEN CUP ROUND 5 PREVIEW
NEATH v BEZIERS 11/01/03 1430
Neath: A Durston; G Morris, J Storey, D Tieuti, S Williams L Jarvis, A Moore; D Jones, B Williams, A Jones, G Llewellyn (capt), A Newman, A Mocelutu, S Tandy, R Phillips.
Replacements: A Bateman, S Connor, P James, A Matthews, Lyndon Bateman.
Beziers: S Bonetti; P Escalle, J-M Aue, J-P Grandclaude, T Dejardin; G Quesada, P Mignoni (capt);
S Chobet, D Swarzewski, S Bonnorino, K Ghezal, V Nadiradze, F Martinez, A Gardiner, F Gommard.
Replacements: J Selva, T Ratianidze, M Keita, R Castel, A Bousquet, Y Lafforgue, J Laharrague.
Beziers still have a slim chance of making the quarter-finals, but need to soundly beat Neath and hope Leicester Tigers slip up. The French club have scored only five tries from their four games and will come up against a Neath side buoyed by their Celtic League semi-final victory over Cardiff at The Gnoll last weekend. In that game their mean defence gave up only one try from a speculative kick ahead.
**Beziers committed for battle
Neath's main aim will be to restore some pride after away defeats at Calvisano and Beziers. They can move up the Pool table and will be seeking to boost their confidence ahead of their Celtic League final showdown with fellow Heineken Cup side Munster next month.
27/12/02 v Swansea (13-24 defeat)
29/12/02 v Pontypridd (20-29 defeat)
04//01/03 v Cardiff (32-10 win)
11/01/03 v BEZIERS
22/12/02 Béziers 15 Pau 15
AMATORI & CALVISANO v LEICESTER 11/01/03 1430
Leicester Tigers: G Murphy; T Stimpson, O Smith, G Gelderbloom, S Booth; R Kafer, H Ellis; D Jelley, G Chuter, D Garforth, L Deacon, B Kay, J Kronfeld, N Back (capt), M Corry
Replacements: F Tournaire, D West, M Johnson, A Balding, J Hamilton, F Tuilagi, G Raynor
Leicester Tigers travel to Italy knowing a win will see them through to the final eight of the competition for the fifth time in six seasons in the competition. These sides last met in round 3, when the Tigers ran in nine tries at Welford Road.
Despite their recent defeats in the Zurich Premiership, Leicester remain a special side in the Heineken Cup. The Tigers will be focusing all their attention on retaining their European crown for a third season.
Amatori, who pulled off the comeback of the season in their 38-29 Round 3victory over Neath, will feel optimistic that they can put in a good performance in front of their home fans. And the Italians have been playing well in their domestic league since round 4 - winning three matches in a row.
Amatori & Calvisano
21/12/02 v Rugby Roma (51-19 win)
29/12/02 v Viadana (31-29 win)
04/01/03 v Overmach Parma (24-20 win)
PERPGINAN v MUNSTER 11/01/03 1500
Perpignan: J-M Souverbie; P Bomati, P Giordani, C Manas, F Cermeno; M Edmonds, L Loustau; P Meya, M Konieckiewicz, N Mas, J Thion, R Alvarez-Kairalis, G le Corvec, B Goutta (capt), P Murphy
Replacements: M dal Maso, S de Besombes, C Porcu, S Deroeux, J Basset, B Bellot, D Marty
Munster: J Staunton; J Kelly, M MUllins, J Holland, M Lawlor; R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, F Sheahan, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, M O'Driscoll, J Williams (capt), A WQuinlan, A Foley
Replacements: J Blaney, M Cahill, M Galwey, D Leamy/E Halvey, M Prendergast, K Keane, C McMahon
Fresh from their Celtic League semi-final victory over Ulster, Munster travel to France for a must-win match in what will be their 50th Heineken Cup match. The Frenchmen upset Gloucester on home soil in the last round and know that another win at Stade Aime Giral will keep them in the running for a quarter-final slot. As if to underline their current home form they thrashed Narbonne 39-0 in their last outing.
For Munster to stop Perpignan they will have to find a way to halt flying Australian outside-half Manny Edmonds. He has three tries in this year's competition and scored 21 of their 31 points against Gloucester.
**O'Drisscoll replaces by O'Connell
Munster have the ever dependable Ronan O'Gara to fall back on. He has scored 60 points to date in Pool 2. The Irishmen will be without lock Paul O'Connell, who broke his thumb against Ulster, and wing Anthony Horgan, who pulled a hamstring.
03/01/03 Munster 42 - Ulster 10
22/12/02 Perpignan 39 Narbonne 0
GLOUCESTER v VIADANA 11/01/03 1500
Viadana: C Steyn; M Rivaro, G Frasca, H Crane, A Accorsi; R Pickering, P Roux; M Savi, E de Bellis, L Lidgard, F Gumiero, C Bezzi, M Phillips, A Persico, G Vigna
Replacements: P Spina, V Jiminez, A Buhrmann, S Aio, M Dolcetto, S Ceppolino, P Bettati
Despite losing their 100% record to Perpignan in Round 4, and top spot on try count in Pool 2 to Munster, Gloucester are still on course to qualify for the last eight.
In their first season in the top European competition, Italian side Viadana have struggled to live with the big boys - losing all four of their matches and conceding 245 points. Recent results in the Italian League have not been encouraging, and Gloucester are likely to get on a roll as they did in the previous Pool match in Round 2. The Cherry and Whites won 80-28.
21/12/02 v Exeter Chiefs (35-6 win)
28/12/02 v Northampton Saints (16-13 win)
04/01/03 v London Wasps (24-17 win)
22/12/02 v Benetton Treviso (28-21 defeat)
29/12/02 v Amatori & Calvisano (29-31 defeat)
04/01/03 v Rugby Roma (39-5 win)
SALE SHARKS v GLASGOW 10/01/03 1945
Sale Sharks: J Robinson; M Cueto, M Deane, G Bond, S Hanley; C Hodgson, B Redpath (capt);
J Thorp, A Titterrell, B Stewart, D Schofield, I Fullarton, P Anglesea, R Wilks, A Sanderson.
Replacements: C Marais, S Turner, C Jones, A Perelini, J Baxendell, V Going, N Walshe.
Glasgow Rugby: G Metcalfe; J Steel, A Bulloch, A Henderson, S Moffat; T Hayes, G Beveridge; D Hilton, G Bulloch (capt), L Harrison, A Hall, J White, A Wilson, D Macfadyean, J Petrie.
Replacements: F Thomson, C Blades, N Ross, G Simpson, A Nicol, C Howarth, R Reid.
PARKER PEN SHIELD holders Sale Sharks have only pride to play for after losing their first four matches in their debut season in the Heineken Cup. They prop up the Pool 3 table, yet are flying high in their domestic league.
Glasgow must win their final two games if they are to come into the reckoning for a quarter-final place for the first time. They meet Llanelli at home in the last round and must hope that other results go their way to allow them to challenge for the top spot.
Since beating Bourgoin in the last round, Glasgow went down to Borders in the final of the Scottish Inter-District competition.
**White returns for Glasgow
Glasgow defeated Sale 26-14 in Round 2 thanks to 16 points from the boot of Tommy Hayes.
22/12/02 Saracens (20-26 defeat)
29/12/02 Bristol Shoguns (6-18 defeat)
03/01/03 Newcastle Falcons (38-3 win)
26/12/02 v Edinburgh (10-10 draw)
31/12/02 v Borders (6-21 defeat)
LLANELLI v BOURGOIN 11/01/03 1930
Llanelli: B Davies; M Jones, M Watkins, L Davies (capt), G Evans; S Jones, D Peel; I Thomas, R McBryde, J Davies, V Cooper, C Wyatt, D Hodges, S Quinnell, S Easterby.
Replacements: M Madden, M Thomas, L Gross, D Jones, G Easterby, G Bowen, M Cardey.
Bourgoin: B Boyet; E Tuni, G Davis, D Venditti, N Berryman; A Peclier, M Forest;O Milloud, J Djoudi, F Pucciariello, L Nallet, G Orsini, A Costes, A Bias, P Raschi.
Replacements: (from) T Mazet, W Bonet, N Curnier, P Caillet, J Bonnaire, J-F Coux, S Bonnet, C Savignat.
It's crunch time for the Scarlets as they know they must win their two remaining games to be guaranteed a quarter-final slot for the fifth time in seven seasons.
Having lost in France they must beat Bourgoin at Stradey Park and then go to Glasgow the following weekend and look for another victory.
Bourgoin won a remarkable match in Round 2, coming from behind to triumph 54-38 with two breakaway tries. They were unlucky to lose at Glasgow in the last round, but still top the Pool.
Llanelli warmed-up with a big win over Swansea last weekend and were double winners over Bourgoin, including a 29-10 home win, two seasons ago.
21/12/02 v Ebbw Vale (8-20 defeat)
26/12/02 v Newport (23-13 win)
04/01/03 v Swansea (45-23 win)
22/12/02 Bourgoin 19 Montauban 6
LEINSTER LIONS V SWANSEA10/01/03 1935
Leinster: G Dempsey; D Hickie, B O'Driscoll, S Horgan, G D'Arcy; C Warner, B O'Meara; R Corrigan (capt), S Byrne, E Byrne, L Cullen, M O'Kelly, E Miller, K Gleeson, V Costello.
Replacements: P Coyle, G Hickie, A McCullen, D Dillon, B O'Riordan, N Spooner, D Quinlan
Swansea: G Swales; S Payne, M Taylor, S Gibbs, R Rees; G Henson, S Cordingley; D Morris (capt),
C Balshen, D Dorsey/Tim Evans/B Evans, J Slade, J Thomas, D Thomas, C Charvis, J Bater.
Replacements: C Wells, D Dorsey/Tim Evans, R Jenkins, R Francis, A Thomas, S Winn.
Leinster need just one more point to qualify for the quarter-finals and will be confident of making it a double over Swansea at Donnybrook.
Their match-up in Round 2 saw the Irish province blow Swansea away at a windy St.Helens, with Gordon D'Arcy scoring a memorable hat-trick.
**Leinsters fitness boost
Swansea seemed to be getting their season back on track with an impressive home win over Neath over the Christmas period, but they conceded six tries at Llanelli last Friday in a 45-23 defeat.
04/01/03 v Connacht (25-3 win)
21/12/02 v Caerphilly (20-19 win)
27/12/02 v Neath (24-13 win)
30/12/02 v Bridgend (9-16 defeat)
03/12/02 v Llanelli (23-45 defeat
MONTFERRAND VULCANS V BRISTOL SHOGUNS 12/01/03 1500
Montferrand: S Viars; A Rougerie, R Chanal, J Marlu, D Bory; X Sadourny, D van Hoesslin; A Tolofua, A Castola, D Ashvetia, T Jaques, L Vaitanaki, J Machacek, O Magne, E Vermeulen
Replacements:B Siepielski, J-J Taofifenua, E Lecomte, A Audebert, J Moreau, G Merceron, S Boboul
Bristol Shoguns: L Best; D Rees, A Higgins, D Gibson, B Daniel; F Contepomi, A Pichot; A Sheridan, P Johnstone, J White, G Archer (capt), A Brown, M Salter, R Oakley, R Beattie
Replacements: S Nelson, E Bergamaschi, D Crompton, M Lipman, P Richards, M Carrington, J Williams
All is not lost for Bristol in their first season in the Heineken Cup. If they can do the double over Montferrand they will set themselves up for a make-or-break Round 6 clash with Leinster Lions at the Memorial Ground.
Last year's quarter-finalists, Montferrand have lost their last three European games. They were outgunned at Bristol in Round 2 before falling twice to Leinster.
**Bristol name unchanged side
The Shoguns will be hoping former All Blacks centre Daryl Gibson hasn't lost his scoring touch. He grabbed a hat-trick of tries in the big home win over Swansea in Round 4.
22/12/01 Montferrand 22 Castres 0
22/12/02 v Rotherham (19-24 defeat)
29/12/02 v Sale Sharks (18-6 win)
04/01/03 v NEC Harlequins (26-17 win)
TOULOUSE V NEWPORT11/01/03 1500
Toulouse: Poitrenaud; Ntamack, Jauzion, Garbajosa, Clerc; Delaigue, Ellisalde; Soulette, Bru, Poux, Lamboley, Pelous (captain), Bouilhou, Brennan, Labit.
Replacements: Servat, Lecouls, Campourcy or Millo-chlusky, F Maka, Michalak, Desbrosses, Jeanjean.
Newport: S Howarth; M Mostyn, J Pritchard, A Marinos, D Burn; J Strange, O Tonu'u; R Snow, J Richards, C Anthony, S Raiwalui (capt), I Gough, G Gravell, J Forster, A Powell
Replacements: C Jones, P Young, M Voyle, M Veater, R Jones, S Williams, L Lane
Emile Ntamack will have the honour of leading Toulouse into their 50th Heineken Cup match eight years on from figuring in their first game on the Black Sea against Farul Constanta.
With four wins out of four the inaugural Heineken Cup champions are looking set to return to the last eight for the sixth time in eight seasons. They beat Newport at Rodney Parade and were winners on the road at Edinburgh in Round 4.
**Burn in unfamiliar role
Newport gave themselves a considerable boost with a 31-3 home win over Cardiff on New Years Day, but have yet to win away from home this season and are propping up the Pool with only one victory over London Irish to date.
Toulouse 36 Mont de Marsan 11
20/12/02 v Bridgend (12-13 defeat)
26/12/02 v Llanelli (13-23 defeat)
29/12/02 v Cardiff (31-3 win)
EDINBURGH v LONDON IRISH 10/01/03 1930
Edinburgh Rugby: D Lee; C Sharman, C Joiner, A Dickson, C Paterson; B Laney, G Burns; A Jacobsen, C di Ciacca, J Brannigan, N Hines, S Murray, T Blackadder (capt), M Leslie, S Taylor
Replacements: D Hall, C Smith, A Kellock, A Dall, A Hogg, M Blair, T Phillip
London Irish: M Horak; P Sackey, N Burrows, G Appleford, J Bishop; M Mapletoft, D Edwards;
M Worsley, N Drotske, S Halford, G Delaney, R Casey, P Gustard (capt), D Danaher, C Sheasby.
Replacements: H Martens, B Everitt, K Dawson, R Kirke, J Cockle, N Hatley, R Hardwick.
Edinburgh's hopes of becoming the first Scottish team to reach the last eight of the Heineken Cup were dashed after their opening round victory over Newport with successive defeats to London Irish and Toulouse (twice).
They also slipped out of the Celtic League at the quarter-final stage at home against Cardiff, so they will be playing for pride at Meadowbank against an Irish side that is flying high at present.
Even though they have lost skipper Ryan Strudwick through injury, the Irish ran out impressive winners at Northampton in the Zurich Premiership last weekend and will be looking to keep in the hunt for a quarter-final place.
20/12/02 v Borders (Postponed - frost)
26/12/02 v Glasgow (10-10 draw)
03/01/03 v Borders (46-13 win)
22/12/02 v Newcastle Falcons (16-17 defeat)
29/12/02 v Newcastle Falcons (20-0 win)
04/01/03 v Northampton Saints (22-10 win)
CARDIFF V ULSTER11/01/03 1445
Cardiff: R Williams; N Walne, J Robinson, M Allen, A Sullivan; N Robinson, R Powell; P Rogers, G Woods, T Payne, H Senekal, J Tait, D Baugh, M Williams (capt), E Lewis.
Replacements: J Yapp, D Young, A Jones, D McShane, R Smith, I Harris, D Dewdney.
Ulster: B. Cunningham; J.Topping, R. Constable, S. Stewart, S. Coulter; D. Humphreys, N. Doak; R. Kempson, M. Sexton, S. Best, G. Longwell, J. Davidson, A. Ward (captain), T. McWhirter, N. McMillan.
Replacements: P. Shields, C. Boyd, M. Blair, R. Nelson, K. Campbell, J. Cunningham, S. Young.
This could have been a warm-up for a possible Celtic League final appearance between these two teams but they both fell at the semi-final hurdle last weekend. Ulster had prop Justin Fitzpatrick sent off in their 42-10 defeat at Munster, while Cardiff lost prop Ken Fourie with a leg injury in their 32-10 reverse at Neath.
Cardiff have yet to win a Heineken Cup match this season and will want to improve on their 31-0 home defeat by Northampton in the last round. Ulster still harbour hopes of scrambling a place in the last eight but will have to make it third time lucky at the Arms Park having lost there in the Heineken Cup in 1995 (46-6) and 2000 (42-16).
21/12/02 v Pontypridd (10-12 defeat)
26/12/02 v Ebbw Vale (34-6 win)
29/12/02 v Newport (3-31 defeat)
04/01/02 v Neath (10-32 defeat)
04/01/03 v Munster (10-42 defeat)
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS V BIARRITZ11/01/03 1445
Northampton Saints: N Beal; O Ripol, C Hyndman, J Leslie (capt), B Cohen; P Grayson, M Dawson;T Smith, S Thompson, M Stewart, S Williams, R Hunter, G Seely, M Soden, M Connors.
Replacements: D Richmond, C Budgen, R Morris, J Phillips, I Vass, J Brooks, P Jorgensen.
Biarritz Olympique: N Brusque; P Bernat-Salles, G Bousses, J-E Cassin, P Bidabe; J Peyrelongue, D Yachvili; D Avril, J-M Gonzalez, E Menieu, D Couzinet, O Roumat, S Betsen, C Milheres, T Lievremont
Replacements: D Minassian, J Campo, M Fitzgerald, J-P Versailles, O Tonita, L Mazas, M Stcherbina
A late penalty by scrum half Dimitri Yachvili gave the French champions Biarritz a second round victory over the Saints at home and they know they will have to win if they are to hold on to top spot and give themselves a chance of progressing to the quarter-finals.
**Northampton trio back from injury
Northampton lead Biarritz on try count at the top of the Pool, but will go into the game having lost their last two home Zurich Premiership matches to Gloucester and London Irish and without the services of Ben Cohen, Budge Pountney, Matt Dawson, Andrew Blowers and Mark Connors.
Biarritz opened their campaign with a great win at Cardiff and were unlucky to be pipped in Ulster - their only defeat to date.
21/12/02 v Orrell (55-44 win)
28/12/02 v Gloucester 13-16 defeat)
04/01/03 v London Irish (10-22 defeat)
22/12/02 v Bordeaux-Bà¨gles (22 -15 win)