Six Nations Rugby | Ntamack takes the lead in the big European weekend


The French fly-half will lead his team in the absence of Antoine Dupont and Julien Marchand, both unavailable for the trip, which is a rematch of the 2004 final in which Emile Ntamack, Romain’s father, played.

Toulouse will also be able to call on French lock Thibaut Flament, back at the club where he first broke through at senior level, while the squad also includes French starters Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Anthony Jelonch and Francois Cros.

France name their squad for the Guinness Six Nations next week, so this will be the last chance for a number of players to claim a place, including uncapped La Rochelle flanker Paul Boudehent, who was one of many players name- verified by Fabien Galthié in a recent interview.

Clermont winger Damian Penaud, France’s top try scorer in 2021, will also get the chance to show off his versatility as he starts in the crosses against Sale, while Virimi Vakatawa has recovered from the blow that left him forced out in the first half of last year. win of the week against Clermont as he starts against the Ospreys.

Familiar faces reunited

Elsewhere, Cameron Woki starts in the back row for Bordeaux-Bègles as they host the Scarlets at the Stade Chaban Delmas, with the Welsh side bringing in a familiar duo in midfield.

Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams, a terrific center pair for so long for club and country, will start together in France as they seek to earn a place in Wayne Pivac’s plans for Wales with the young fly-half Sam Costelow who starts at ten years old.

Ellis Jenkins starts in the back row for Cardiff on Friday night and could underline his status as a top contender with Alun Wyn Jones not yet fit following the shoulder injury that halted his autumn campaign .

They will face a Harlequins side managed by Alex Dombrandt, who signed a new contract at the club this week and will be desperate to retain his place in Eddie Jones’ England squad for the Championship, while Marcus Smith could extend his racing in the No. 10. jersey with Owen Farrell not yet back. He started as fly-half in Cardiff.

Meanwhile at Sandy Park, a number of Exeter Chiefs players will be looking to impress as England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie leads the side against Glasgow Warriors, who won the second leg in December.

His battle with George Turner could be a dress rehearsal for the Calcutta Cup at the Guinness Six Nations opening weekend, with Fraser Brown waiting in the wings for Glasgow.

Pressure mounts for Irish players

Irish provinces have been flying in Europe this season, with the only defeat on the pitch coming when Connacht lost to Leicester – Leinster also had to give up their last game at Montpellier.

Connacht will have a chance for revenge at the Tigers, with Jack Carty captaining his province as he looks to maintain his recent fine form which has seen him tipped for a place in the Ireland squad.

Peter O’Mahony leads Munster as they look to make it three wins from three in Europe at Castres while James Ryan will captain Leinster at home to Montpellier in a squad that includes 12 Irish internationals.

Finally, Ulster are aiming for a third straight win when they travel to Northampton Saints, for whom Courtney Lawes is making his 250th appearance.

Chief Lamaro

Michele Lamaro will captain Benetton against the Dragons, having been named this week as Italy captain for the Guinness Six Nations.

Michele Lamaro

The back rower took over the captaincy in the fall and will once again lead the Azzurri under Kieran Crowley.

And he will be hoping to enter the competition in good shape as Benetton play their second Challenge Cup game.


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