Wednesday 13 November 2019

Future French Euro rivals face off

European Watch

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Declan Rooney

Week one of the new Top 14 season was of massive interest to Munster Rugby supporters with two of their Champions Cup Pool 4 opponents facing off to launch their season.

There was no competitive debut for former Munster lock Donnacha Ryan as Racing 92 took on Castres at Stade Colombes, but the Paris outfit needed a powerful second half to escape with a home win to start their season on a sweet note.

With Benjamin Urdapilleta and Armand Battle sharing the kicking duties, Castres held a comfortable 18-10 interval advantage, but Dan Carter's third kick at goal early in the second half was followed by tries from Argentinian Juan Imhoff and Louis Dupichot.

Castres will be Munster's first opponent in the Champions Cup on October 15, while Racing and Ronan O'Gara will visit Thomond Park the following week.

Meanwhile, Munster's perennial European opponents, Leicester Tigers, start their Premiership campaign this weekend at Welford Road when Bath are the visitors.

Tigers have impressed in pre-season with a trio of wins against Ospreys in Wales, Treviso and most recently Ospreys at Welford Road. With two of their six tries claimed by new man Jonny May, Tigers look set for a bright start to their season.

Munster and Tigers will play twice in the space of a week in December, with the first game in Limerick on December 9.

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