Team Announcement: Bristol Bears Vs Clermont Auvergne

Team Announcement: Bristol Bears Vs Clermont Auvergne

Ellis Genge and Kyle Sinckler return to the Bears’ starting lineup for Friday night’s EPCR Challenge Cup round of 16 clash with ASM Clermont Auvergne (8pm KO).

The England duo start either side of Harry Thacker in a dynamic front row, while Magnus Bradbury continues in the second row alongside Chris Vui in the absence of the injured Joe Joyce.

Sam Jeffries is back from injury to take his place on the openside flank, while the backline remains unchanged as the Bears target a quarter-final spot.

Among the system players, Academy lock Charlie Rice is set for his European debut, while Will Capon is another to return from injury.

Bristol Bears team to face ASM Clermont Auvergne at Ashton Gate on Friday night (8pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau (76 apps), 14. Siva Naulago (23 apps), 13. Semi Radradra (51 apps), 12. James Williams (12 apps), 11. Gabriel Ibitoye (14 apps), 10. AJ MacGinty (21 apps), 9. Harry Randall (98 apps) (cc); 1. Ellis Genge (33 apps), 2. Harry Thacker (97 apps), 3. Kyle Sinckler (41 apps), 4. Magnus Bradbury (19 apps), 5. Chris Vui (114 apps), 6. Steven Luatua (110 apps) (cc), 7. Sam Jeffries (58 apps), 8. Fitz Harding (48 apps).

System players: 16. Will Capon (67 apps), 17. Yann Thomas (107 apps), 18. George Kloska (25 apps), 19. Charlie Rice (4 apps), 20. Jake Heenan (91 apps), 21. Andy Uren (155 apps), 22. Sam Bedlow (60 apps), 23. Ioan Lloyd (76 apps).

Unavailable: Bryan Byrne, Max Lahiff, Jay Tyack, Joe Batley, Joe Joyce, John Hawkins, Ed Holmes, Sam Lewis, Will Porter, Piers O’Conor, Deago Bailey.

Clermont, who dropped out of the Heineken Champions Cup after finishing ninth in Pool B, have lifted the Challenge Cup on three occasions – in 1999, 2007 and 2019 – making them the joint-most successful team in the competition’s history.


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