Bristol Bears full-back Max Malins

TEAMS: Malins, Sheedy and Earl all back for Champions Cup opener

Featuring in Europe’s premier club rugby competition for the first time since 2008, Bristol boss Pat Lam welcomes back a host of returning internationals to his Champions Cup squad.

Max Malins and Ben Earl are listed to start for the Ashton Gate clash, while Callum Sheedy also comes into the backline.

Bristol include Ioan Lloyd and Kyle Sinckler among the replacements, while Siva Naulago could make his competitive debut from the bench.

As for the visitors, Clermont are boosted by the return of Peceli Yato to the XV, with the back-rower starting after being on the bench for the past two Top 14 rounds.

He slots in alongside Judicaël Cancoriet and Fritz Lee, while Sébastien Vahaamahina and Sitaleki Timani complete the back five.

Rabah Slimani is also handed a start, looking to shore up a scrum which struggled against Montpellier, with Adrien Pélissié and Etienne Falgoux completing the pack.

Behind the scrum, there is a familiar look to the backline as Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez once again combine at half-back, while George Moala, Apisai Naqalevu, Damian Penaud and Kotaro Matsushima are all retained.

There is just one alteration with Alivereti Raka, who was on France duty last weekend, preferred to Peter Betham on the left wing.


Bristol Bears v Clermont Auvergne (Saturday, 1pm kick-off)

Bristol Bears: 15 Max Malins, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Siale Piutau (capt), 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall; 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Bryan Byrne, 3 John Afoa, 4 Ed Holmes, 5 Joe Joyce, 6, Ben Earl, 7 Dan Thomas, 8 Nathan Hughes

Replacements: 16 Will Capon, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Jake Heenan, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Siva Naulago

Clermont Auvergne: 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Apisai Naqalevu, 12 George Moala, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez (capt), 9 Morgan Parra; 1 Etienne Falgoux, 2 Adrien Pelissie, 3 Rabah Slimani, 4 Sitaleki Timani, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 7 Peceli Yato, 8 Fritz Lee

Replacements: 16 Etienne Fourcade, 17 Peni Ravai, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Tavite Veredamu, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22 Tim Nanai-Williams, 23 Tani Vili

Northampton Saints v Bordeaux-Begles (Friday, 5.30pm kick-off)

Northampton Saints: 15 George Furbank, 14 Ahsee Tuala, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Rory Hutchinson, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Alex Mitchell; 1 Nick Auterac, 2 Sam Matavesi, 3 Owen Franks, 4 David Ribbans, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Tom Wood (capt), 8 Shaun Adendorff

Replacements: 16 James Fish, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 JJ Tonks, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Fraser Dingwall, 23 Ryan Olowofela

Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Santiago Cordero, 13 Yoram Moefana, 12 Rémi Lamerat, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Maxime Lucu; 1 Thierry Paiva, 2 Maxime Lamothe, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 4 Guido Petti, 5 Cyril Cazeaux, 6 Cameron Woki, 7 Mahamadou Diaby (capt), 8 Scott Higginbotham

Replacements: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Lekso Kaulashvili, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Jandré Marais, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Jules Gimbert, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Pablo Uberti

Ulster v Toulouse (Friday, 8pm kick-off)

Ulster: 15 Michael Lowry, 14 Matt Faddes, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 John Cooney; 1 Eric O’Sullivan, 2 Rob Herring, 3 Marty Moore, 4 Alan O’Connor, 5 Sam Carter (capt), 6 Sean Reidy, 7 Jordi Murphy, 8 Marcell Coetzee

Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Andrew Warwick, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 David O’Connor, 20 Matty Rea, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Stewart Moore, 23 Craig Gilroy

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Médard, 14 Matthis Lebel, 13 Sofiane Guitoune, 12 Romain Ntamack, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Thomas Ramos, 9 Antoine Dupont; 1 Cyril Baille, 2 Julien Marchand (capt), 3 Charlie Faumuina, 4 Rory Arnold, 5 Joe Tekori, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 7 Alban Placines, 8 Selevasio Tolofua

Replacements: 16 Guillaume Marchand, 17 Rodrigue Neti, 18 David Ainu’u, 19 Emmanuel Meafou, 20 Louis Madaule, 21 Yannick Youyoutte, 22 Pita Ahki, 23 Alexi Bales

Bath v Scarlets (Saturday, 3.15pm kick-off)

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Ben Spencer; 1 Beno Obano, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Will Stuart, 4 Josh McNally, 5 Charlie Ewels (capt), 6 Mike Williams, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: 16 Jack Walker, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 Christian Judge, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Zach Mercer, 22 Will Chudley, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni

Scarlets: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Ryan Conbeer, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Steff Hughes (capt), 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ryan Elias, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Jac Morgan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni

Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Morgan Jones, 20 Josh Macleod, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Jonathan Davies

Toulon v Sale Sharks (Saturday, 3.15pm kick-off)

Toulon: 15 Duncan Paia’aua, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Isaia Toeava, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Gabin Villière, 10 Louis Carbonel, 9 Baptiste Serin; 1 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 2 Anthony Etrillard, 3 Emerick Setiano, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 5 Brian Alainu’uese, 6 Swan Rebbadj, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 8 Sergio Parisse (capt)

Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Bruce Devaux, 18 Luka Tchelidze, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Facundo Isa, 21 Simon Moretti, 22 Anthony Meric, 23 Masivesi Dakuwaqa

Sale Sharks: 15 Luke James, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Rob du Preez, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Simon Hammersley, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Will Cliff; 1 Bevan Rodd, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 3 WillGriff John, 4 Matt Postlethwaite, 5 James Phillips, 6 Cobus Wiese, 7 Jono Ross (capt), 8 Jean-Luc du Preez

Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Sam Dugdale, 20 Ewan Ashman, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Sam James, 23 Denny Solomona

Dragons v Wasps (Saturday, 4.15pm kick-off)

Dragons: 15 Josh Lewis, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Rhodri Williams (capt); 1 Brok Harris, 2 Richard Hibbard, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 4 Ben Carter, 5 Joe Maksymiw, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Harrison Keddie, 8 Ollie Griffiths

Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Joshua Reynolds, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Jack Dixon, 23 Jonah Holmes

Wasps: 15 Lima Sopoaga, 14 Zach Kibirige, 13 Paulo Odogwu, 12 Jimmy Gopperth, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Charlie Atkinson, 9 Dan Robson; 1 Tom West, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Joe Launchbury (capt), 5 Will Rowlands, 6 Jack Willis, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Alfie Barbeary

Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre, 17 Zurabi Zhvania, 18 Jeff Toomaga-Allen, 19 Tim Cardall, 20 Ben Morris, 21 Will Porter, 22 Michael Le Bourgeois, 23 Matteo Minozzi

Montpellier v Leinster (Saturday, 5.30pm kick-off)

Montpellier: 15 Vincent Rattez, 14 Gabriel N’gandebe, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Arthur Vincent (capt), 11 Vincent Martin, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Benoit Paillaugue; 1 Gregory Fichten, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 3 Mohamad Haouas, 4 Bastien Chalureau, 5 Paul Willemse, 6 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 7 Yacouba Camara, 8 Jacques du Plessis

Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Enzo Forletta, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Caleb Timu, 21 Louis Foursans, 22 Paul Vallée, 23 Axel Bevia

Leinster: 15 Jimmy O’Brien, 14 Hugo Keenan, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Ciaran Frawley, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Luke McGrath; 1 Peter Dooley, 2 James Tracy, 3 Michael Bent, 4 Devin Toner, 5 Scott Fardy, 6 Rhys Ruddock (capt), 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Caelan Doris

Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 James Ryan, 20 Ryan Baird, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Dan Leavy

Edinburgh v La Rochelle (Saturday, 8pm kick-off)

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Henry Pyrgos; 1 Pierre Schoeman, 2 Stuart McInally (capt), 3 WP Nel, 4 Ben Toolis, 5 Andrew Davidson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Viliame Mata

Replacements: 16 Mike Willemse, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Andries Ferreira, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Nathan Chamberlain, 23 James Johnstone

La Rochelle: 15 Jérémy Sinzelle, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow; 1 Reda Wardi, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 3 Uini Atonio, 4 Thomas Lavault, 5 Will Skelton, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 8 Gregory Alldritt (capt)

Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Léo Aouf, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Mathieu Tanguy, 20 Remi Bourdeau, 21 Thomas Berjon, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Martin Alonso Munoz

Lyon v Gloucester (Sunday, 1pm kick-off)

Lyon: 15 Toby Arnold, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Baptiste Couilloud (capt); 1 Xavier Chiocci, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 3 Clement Ric, 4 Felix Lambey, 5 Izack Rodda, 6 Loann Goujon, 7 Dylan Cretin, 8 Mathieu Bastareaud

Replacements: 16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Vivien Devisme, 19 Killian Geraci, 20 Colby Fainga’a, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Leo Berdeu, 23 Thibaut Regard

Gloucester: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Jacob Morris, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Tom Seabrook, 11 Alex Morgan, 10 George Barton, 9 Steve Varney; 1 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2 James Hanson, 3 Ciaran Knight, 4 Ollie Atkins, 5 Jamie Gibson, 6 Jack Clement, 7 Lewis Ludlow (capt), 8 Seb Nagle-Taylor

Replacements: 16 Todd Gleave, 17 Alex Seville, 18 Jay Tyack, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Josh Gray, 21 Freddie Thomas, 22 Charlie Chapman, 23 Charlie Sharples

Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors (Sunday, 3.15pm kick-off)

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds, 9 Jack Maunder; 1 Alec Hepburn, 2 Jack Yeandle (capt), 3 Harry Williams, 4 Jonny Gray, 5 Sam Skinner, 6 Dave Ewers, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 8 Sam Simmonds

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Marcus Street, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Harvey Skinner, 23 Ian Whitten​

Glasgow Warriors: 15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Pete Horne, 9 Ali Price; 1 Oli Kebble, 2 George Turner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 4 Rob Harley, 5 Scott Cummings, 6 Ryan Wilson (capt), 7 Tom Gordon, 8 Matt Fagerson

Replacements: 16 Grant Stewart, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Enrique Pieretto, 19 Kiran McDonald, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Huw Jones

Racing 92 v Connacht (Sunday, 3.15pm kick-off)

Racing 92: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Henry Chavancy (capt), 11 Donovan Taofifenua, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Teddy Iribaren; 1 Eddy Ben Arous, 2 Camille Chat, 3 George Henri Colombes, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 5 Dominic Bird, 6 Wencesles, Lauret, 7 Baptiste Chouzenoux, 8 Fabien Sarconnie

Replacements: 16 Kevin Le Guen, 17 Guram Gogichashvili, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Ibrahim Diallo, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Antoine Gibert, 23 Simon Zebo

Connacht: 15 John Porch, 14 Alex Wootton, 13 Sam Arnold, 12 Tom Daly, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion; 1 Denis Buckley, 2 David Heffernan, 3 Finlay Bealham, 4 Eoghan Masterson, 5 Ultan Dillane, 6 Sean Masterson, 7 Jarrad Butler, 8 Paul Boyle

Replacements: 16 Shane Delahunt, 17 Jordan Duggan, 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Cian Prendergast, 20 Conor Oliver, 21 Caolin Blade, 22 Bundee Aki, 23 Tiernan O’Halloran

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