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Harlequins v Montpellier preview: Quins make six changes for European opener

  • Harlequins begin their European Challenge Cup campaign against Montpellier at The Stoop tonight: 19:45 kick-off
  • Quins make six changes to the squad that beat Sale Sharks in the Premiership last week.
  • Montpellier head coach Jake White is the favourite for the England job
Harlequins and Montpellier go head to head tonight at the Stoop in what look set to be a tight encounter between two sides with similar ambitions this year.

Quins go into tonight’s European Challenge Cup clash on the back of a promising start to the Premiership season which has seen them win three of their opening four games and leaves them third in the table on the back of Friday’s hard-fought 16-14 home win over Sale.

In opposition for Quins, winners of the 2011 competition, are Montpellier who six sixth in the Top 14 after eight rounds.

The French outfit, led by potential England boss Jake White, had been enjoying a fine year up until last weekend when they were rocked by a stunning performance from Toulon, who tore White’s men to shreds in a 52-8 win to leave them outside a coveted top five spot.

In terms of team news, Harlequins make three changes to the starting XV which beat Sale on Friday for their first Cup pool match.

Harry Sloan is named at centre, while prop Adam Jones and flanker Luke Wallace come into the pack, as academy graduate Kieran Treadwell looks set to make his European debut after being named among the replacements.

In the visiting camp, Montpellier have named an under-strength squad, but captain Fulgence Ouedraogo is a notable figure to retain his place.


RUCK PREDICTS
As two sides with domestic ambitions in mind, their commitment to this competition may waver with a loss here, but both sets of fans will want silverware. In a clash between two high quality sides, expect plenty of points with the home side coming out on top. Harlequins by 3.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Harlequins: Kieran Treadwell

Although on the bench, tonight could be a big night for the youngster. A back rower with huge potential, the 6ft6in  19-year-old will be looking to make his mark as the latest in a long line of proud Quins products.


 Montpellier: Jesse Mogg
In a team which is light on experience, Mogg will be looking to make his presence felt from full back. A three-time Australian international, the 26-year-old arrived in southern France over the summer from the Brumbies and will be keen to make a good impression on his European debut.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Jack Clifford, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Chris Robshaw, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague

Montpellier: 15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Benjamin Fall, 13 Timoci Nagusa, 12 Anthony Tuitavke, 11 Marvin O’Connor, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Wiaan Liebenberg, 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo (c), 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Robins Tchale Watchou, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Mickael Ivaldi, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 CJ Van Der Linde, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Kelian Galletier, 21 Ben Lucas, 22 Robert Ebersohn, 23 Julien Malzieu


Date: Thursday, November 12
Venue: The Stoop
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Simon Rees (Wales), Stuart Kibble (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)