Salter to lead Bristol in European opener

Seven players are set to make their European bow for Bristol as Richard Hill names his side to take on Montpellier in the opening European Challenge Cup fixture of 2008-9.


The seven are Vunga Lilo, Greg Barden, Adrian Jarvis, Haydn Thomas, Peter Bracken, Robert Sidoli and Iain Grieve with another two prospective European debutants named on the bench in James Phillips and Chris Ashwin.

It’s a team which, like at Northampton Saints last weekend, is a mixture of experience and youthful promise according to Head Coach Hill when he revealed his selection.

“We’ve picked a side that is very enthusiastic and hungry. Some of them haven’t had much of an opportunity in the opening five Guinness Premiership games to show what they can do.”

“So, there’s a lot of people in there with a lot to prove and a lot of experience in there as well.”

Hill also stressed that his side are looking to make an impression in the European Challenge Cup:

“The away games are normally fairly tricky in Europe but we’ll be looking to get something out of Friday’s game. We think we’re in the toughest group in this year’s European Challenge Cup with two excellent French sides and obviously Northampton as well.”

“But you never quite know with the French sides as we found last year with Stade Francais. It’s very possible to catch them on an off day.”

“So, we see an opportunity to progress in this competition. It’s a tough ask but if we get something out of this weekend then suddenly the competition will come alive for us.”

Bristol Rugby:

Vunga Lilo; Lee Robinson, Greg Barden, Kevin Maggs, Tom Arscott; Adrian Jarvis, Haydn Thomas; Mark Irish, David Blaney, Peter Bracken; Mariano Sambucetti, Robert Sidoli; Matt Salter, Redford Pennycook, Iain Grieve


Mark Regan, Alex Clarke, Dave Attwood, James Phillips, Graeme Beveridge, Chris Ashwin, Neil Brew.

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