The teams have been announced for Sunday’s return European Rugby Champions Cup match between Clermont and Ulster at Stade Marcel-Michelin, kick off 3:05 pm UK/IRE. Live on Sky Sports. 

Unsurprisingly Ulster have stuck, as much as they can, to the team that featured last week, the only change being the return of Franco van der Merwe for the injured Robbie Diack. 

Clermont, on the other hand have made ten changes overall and five to the starting line up due to a mixture of injuries and what appears to be a desire to bulk up to the side that caused Ulster problems in the final quarter. 

Isaiah Toeava and Noa Nakaitaci replace Scott Spedding and David Strettle respectively are the only changes in the back line and up front prop Raphael Chaume makes way for Etienne Falgoux and Arthur Iturria and Viktor Kolelishvili replaces Flip van der Merwe and Peceli Yato who both drop to the bench.  

In Clermont’s bench there is a whole new set of front row replacements in hooker John Ulugia and props Thomas Domingo and Mickael Simutoga, the final changes being the inclusion of Pato Fernandez and the return of the legend Aurélien Rougerie. 

Having failed to outscore Ulster last week it looks as though Clermont are going for a slightly less subtle approach this week and I expect them to take the game on up front from early doors. If this is the case then Rodney Ah You and Andrew Warwick will need to switch in a lot quicker than they did last week when they come on, though for the rest of the team it’s pretty much same again thank you. 

The FRU Predicts. We’ll we predicted an Ulster defeat last week and we’ll do the same again this week in the hope that we are wrong for the third week in a row. 🙂 All joking aside it’s going to be a hard day at the office up front and Ulster will need to be equally as clinical as they were last week if they are going to stay in the hunt in this one. 

CLERMONT   ULSTER
Isaiah Toeava  15 Charles Piutau
Noa Nakaitaci 14  Tommy Bowe
Remi Lamerat 13  Luke Marshall
Wesley Fofana 12  Stuart McCloskey
Nick Abendanon 11  Louis Ludik
Camille Lopez 10  Paddy Jackson
Morgan Parra Ruan Pienaar
Etienne Falgoux Kyle McCall
Benjamin Kayser Rory Best
Davit Zirakashvili Wiehahn Herbst
Arthur Iturria Pete Browne
Sébastien Vahaamahina Franco vd Merwe
Viktor Kolelishvili Iain Henderson
Alexandre Lapandry Chris Henry
Damien Chouly Sean Reidy
     
John Ulugia 16  Rob Herring
Thomas Domingo 17  Andrew Warwick
Mickael Simutoga 18  Rodney Ah You
Flip Van Der Merwe 19  Kieran Treadwell
Peceli Yato 20  Clive Ross
Ludovic Radosavljevic 21  Paul Marshall
Pato Fernandez 22  Darren Cave
Aurélien Rougerie 23  Jacob Stockdale

#SUFTUM