Stade Rochelais to host fellow countrymen Montpellier in Champions Cup Quarter-Final


Last year’s beaten finalists La Rochelle will host French compatriots and last season’s European Challenge Cup winners Montpellier

Despite being minnows financially, as well as in terms of European pedigree and experience in their ranks, Ronan O’Gara’s side have punched well above their weight in this European campaign.

Considered the new kids on the block, this will be ‘Les Maritimes’ third appearance at the Quarter-final stage, with this surprisingly only being Montpellier’s second showing at this stage of the competition.

Heading into this one, La Rochelle leads the standings in time spent in opposition territory (57%), whilst Montpellier have spent the least amount of time in opposition territory out of all the sides remaining in the competition (47%), providing a stark contrast in approaches and fortunes so far in the competition.

La Rochelle captain and Number 8 Gregory Alldritt has completed the most offloads in the competition with 12, whilst also making 73 carries, which is also more than anyone else has managed in the tournament.

The hosts will make five changes to the side that lost out to last years winners Stade Toulousain by 23-16. Dany Priso, Thomas Lavault, Victor Vito, Ta Wera Kerr-Barlow, and Jonathan Danty come in to the starting XV.


Montpellier’s outside half Louis Foursans-Bourdette registered two try assists in the round of 16 second leg against Harlequins, both a kick assist and a pass assist, a performance which means he keeps his place with Springbok Handre Pollard at inside centre. In total, Montpellier have made nine changes from their 43-20 loss to Lyon Olympique Universitaire.

With one French team guaranteed to be leaving the competition after this encounter, it is worth noting that La Rochelle have won their last three home games against Top14 opposition in European competition, while Montpellier have lost each of their six away matches against French clubs in the Heineken Champions Cup, conceding an average of 32 points per game in the process.

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