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- European Rugby Challenge Cup
- Pool 2
- 6th Dec 2012
- KO 19:45
- Ground: Sixways Stadium
- Att: 7,801
Worcester v Perpignan - Amlin Challenge Cup preview
Worcester coach Richard Hill has made just one change to his side for Thursday night's Amlin Challenge Cup match with Perpignan.
Scotland international prop Euan Murray makes his first appearance for the Warriors at Sixways, the Lions man replacing John Andress in the front row and that is the only change from the team which played Harlequins.
Worcester and Perpignan are locked at 10 points apiece at the top of the pool, with Rovigo and Bizkaia Gernika also-rans, and Hill admitted the game was crucial to Worcester's hopes of progressing in Europe this season and he expects an exciting game.
"It is a really exciting game and on the back of two very good league performances we are in a positive frame of mind," he said.
"We are desperate to get into the quarter-finals and we are top of the group at the moment. But we know we have a really tough task against a powerful French team.
"They have a quick turnaround as they travel over on Wednesday and play Thursday night so we have got to hit them with everything we can in this first game.
"If we can get a win in this one, it puts us in a strong position for the second game the following week."
Perpignan arrive off the back of a comfortable Top 14 win over Agen, and after last season's travails they are looking a much better team.
There are plenty of familiar names in their starting line-up, with James Hook pulling the strings at fly-half whilst in the back row there are three former Aviva Premiership stalwarts in Alasdair Strokosch, Luke Narraway and Henry Tuilagi.
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Paul Hodgson, 1 Ceri Jones, 2 Ed Shervington, 3 Euan Murray, 4 James Percival, 5 Chris Jones, 6 Neil Best, 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Semisi Taulava
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 John Andress, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Errie Claassens, 23 Andy Short
Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Farid Sid, 13 David Marty, 12 Sione Piukala, 11 Adrien Plante, 10 James Hook, 9 Florian Cazenave, 1 Sona Taumalolo, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 3 Nicolas Mas, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 7 Luke Narraway, 8 Henry Tuilagi
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Jerome Schuster, 18 Kisi Pulu, 19 Bertrand Guiry, 20 David Mele, 21 Lifeimi Mafi, 22 Richard Haughton, 23 Robins Tchale-Watchou
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|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|Sunday 25th January|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|London Welsh 12 - 17 Lyon Olympique|
|Saturday 24th January|
|Exeter 45 - 3 Bayonne|
|La Rochelle 20 - 30 Connacht|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 30 - 19 Stade Francais|
|Bucuresti 10 - 52 Newcastle|
|Grenoble 3 - 28 Cardiff Blues|
|Rovigo 6 - 34 London Irish|
|Friday 23rd January|
|Edinburgh 38 - 20 Bordeaux-Begles|
|Thursday 22nd January|
|Brive 20 - 31 Gloucester|
|Oyonnax 20 - 3 Zebre|
|Sunday 18th January|
|Connacht 24 - 33 Exeter|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Lyon Olympique 21 - 19 Edinburgh|
|Bayonne 14 - 0 La Rochelle|
|Newcastle 29 - 40 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|London Irish 43 - 41 Grenoble|
|Zebre 23 - 13 Brive|
|Gloucester 33 - 3 Oyonnax|
|Stade Francais 47 - 12 Bucuresti|
|Friday 16th January|
|Bordeaux-Begles 26 - 3 London Welsh|
|Cardiff Blues 104 - 12 Rovigo|
|Sunday 14th December|
|London Welsh 6 - 24 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 13th December|
|Bayonne 27 - 29 Connacht|
|Oyonnax 22 - 17 Brive|
|London Irish 34 - 23 Cardiff Blues|
|Zebre 16 - 32 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com