Saturday 16 December 2017

Grenoble busy on all fronts

Paul O'Connell. Photo: Sportsfile
Paul O'Connell. Photo: Sportsfile

John Fallon

It's been an eventful week on and off the field for Grenoble as the countdown continues to the eagerly awaited Challenge Cup quarter-final next week.

Paul O'Connell has been helping out at training with the French club this week. He is a good friend of Grenoble backs coach Mike Prendergast and, of course, is a former Irish international colleague of head coach Bernard Jackman.

Jackman said he would love if O'Connell was joining them on an ongoing basis but it's a case of merely combining some rugby this week with a family skiing holiday for the former Munster, Irish and Lions captain.

O'Connell arrived in the Alpine city on Saturday in time to see Grenoble run in five tries to defeat La Rochelle 39-23 with an impressive display.

Experienced out-half Jonathan Wisniewski was the key man for Grenoble, scoring a try in each half and also landing four conversions and a brace of penalties.

Former French U-20 centre Xavier Mignot was also sharp, also getting a try in each half, with the rout completed by replacement Walter Desmaisons.

Grenoble led 20-10 at the break and are up to ninth in the Top 14.

They can move into the top half this weekend if they win away to an Oyonnax side who have only won four of their 19 games. Grenoble have won nine of their 19 matches in the competition.

Irish Independent

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