Agen v Edinburgh Rugby
Date: Fri 15 November 2019
Venue: Stade Armandie
Not the first XV this, but it’s a tasty looking back row and a chance for the likes of Charlie Shiel and Sam Thomson to get some experience. It does suggest that Cockerill is not viewing the Challenge Cup as the highest priority this season, which is a shame as a full-strength Edinburgh could have had a tilt at the title.
The backline is a chance for James Johnstone – so impressive last season – to get back in the mix, which he hasn’t been able to do yet with Scott and Bennett in fine form.
Agen: 15. Loris Tolot, 14. Timilai Rokoduru, 13. Jordan Puletua, 12. Alban Conduche, 11. Benito Masilevu, 10. Thomas Vincent, 9. Xavier Chauveau; 1. Morgan Phelipponneau, 2. Loris Zarantonello, 3. Corentin Chabeaudie, 4. Adrian Motoc, 5. Pierce Phillips, 6. Gauthier Maravat, 7. Jessy Jegerlhener, 8. Romain Briatte (c).
Replacements: 16. Fernandez Correa, 17. Malino Vanai, 18. Dave Ryan, 19. Andrés Zafra Tarazona, 20. Laurence Pearce, 21. Hugo Verdu, 22. Raphaël Lagarde, 23. Julien Jane,
Edinburgh Rugby: 15. Damien Hoyland, 14. Eroni Sau, 13. James Johnstone, 12. George Taylor, 11. Jamie Farndale, 10. Simon Hickey, 9. Charlie Shiel; 1. Jamie Bhatti, 2. Cameron Fenton, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Sam Thomson, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. John Barclay, 7. Jamie Ritchie, 8. Nick Haining.
Replacements: 16. Mike Willemse, 17. Rory Sutherland, 18. Murray McCallum, 19. Lewis Carmichael, 20. Ally Miller, 21. Dan Nutton, 22. Jason Baggott, 23. Dougie Fife.
Referee: Joy Neville (Ireland)
It being the diddy cup, the Edinburgh game is not on TV but will be available as a live stream via the EPCR Website. Go here to register and watch.
Glasgow Warriors v Sale Sharks
Date: Sat 16 November 2019
Venue: Scotstoun Stadium
This is the start of Dave Rennie’s last European campaign with the Warriors and with Jonny Gray still being rested, they feel a little underpowered up front but unlike Cockers he’s putting out pretty much the best he has fit and able to play.
It’s a huge chance for Scott Cummings to assert his authority at the highest level (comments about his wrists notwithstanding). Will this pack stand up to what looks like a big pile of South African beef coming up from Sale? It seems like the (not Natal) Sharks are missing a trick by not signing Cornell du Preez.
Huw Jones is shut out from the 23 entirely as Rennie turns to those who have done their best work for him (Johnson, Grigg and Steyn).
Glasgow Warriors: 15. Tommy Seymour, 14. Ratu Tagive, 13. Nick Grigg, 12. Samuel Johnson, 11. DTH van der Merwe, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. George Horne; 1. Oli Kebble, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Zander Fagerson, 4. Robert Harley, 5. Scott Cummings, 6. Ryan Wilson, 7. Callum Gibbins (c), 8. Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: 16. George Turner, 17. Alex Allan, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Tim Swinson, 20. Chris Fusaro, 21. Ali Price, 22. Peter Horne, 23. Kyle Steyn.
Sale Sharks: 15. Simon Hammersley, 14. Marland Yarde, 13. Cameron Redpath, 12. Luke James, 11. Byron McGuigan, 10. AJ MacGinty, 9. Embrose Papier, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Rob Webber, 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 4. Bryn Evans (c), 5. James Phillips, 6. Jean-Luc du Preez, 7. Ben Curry, 8. Dan du Preez.
Replacements: 16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Valery Morozov, 18. Coenie Oosthuizen, 19. Matthew Postlewhaite, 20. Jono Ross, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Robert du Preez, 23. Chris Ashton
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Broadcasters: BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Exiles in action
Elsewhere in the Challenge Cup, Alex Dunbar starts for Brive vs Stade Francais, while Blade Thomson and Scott Steele face off for Scarlets and London Irish. Jake Kerr is on the bench for Leicester Tigers while new signing Luke Hamilton starts at Number 8 for Bristol.
In the Heineken Champions Cup, Greig Laidlaw is on the bench for Clermont v Quins. Richie Gray is on the bench for Toulouse at Gloucester, who field new signing Chris Harris at 13 and former U20 Alex Craig on the bench. There are also 3 exiles on show for Racing 92 vs Saracens in Finn Russell, Sean Maitland and Duncan Taylor (bench). Rory Hutchinson displays his continuing versatility for Northampton, starting at 13 this week).
An all Scottish officiating team led by referee Ben Blain will take charge of Bordeaux-Begles vs Wasps (CC), and one led by Mike Adamson will also take charge of La Rochelle v Exeter Chiefs (HC), where Stuart Hogg starts at fullback.