Match Preview: Stormers begin hunt for EPCR glory with French test

Match Preview: Stormers begin hunt for EPCR glory with French test

Stormers make their Heineken Champions Cup debut at ASM Clermont Auvergne on Saturday, looking to add EPCR’s prestige title to their maiden United Rugby Championship trophy from last season.

John Dobson’s men travel to the Stade Marcel-Michelin in fine fettle, having won their last three games. In contrast, Clermont have struggled so far this season, winning only one match in their last five to sit 10th in the TOP 14 table.


DHL Stormers will be spearheaded by in-form fly half Manie Libbok, who celebrated his first South Africa caps by scoring a stunning solo effort against Dragons last weekend.

Meanwhile, Clermont will be looking to get off to a good start in the competition, having failed to progress beyond the quarter-finals since their loss to Saracens in the 2017 final.

The Pool B match will be shown on BT Sport, beIN SPORTS, SuperSport and FloRugby, with kick-off at 15:15 (UK and Irish time).


Key quotes:

Seabelo Senatla (DHL Stormers wing): “My first impressions [of the Heineken Champions Cup] would definitely be [that it is] something equivalent to the heights of something like the Champions League – the best of the best coming out to play each other – so it’s nice for us, because as an athlete you always want to be measuring yourself against the best. If you’re playing against the best of the best, then you get to measure yourself up there. It’s quite exciting for us to get our first go at it.”


       
       

ASM Clermont Auvergne

  • Clermont wing Alivereti Raka made 13 clean breaks last season – more than any other player.
  • Openside Lucas Dessaigne made more tackles in a single match in the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup than any other player – 25 against Ulster Rugby in Round 4.
  • Clermont finished last season with the most effective line out in the tournament, winning 96% of their own throws.

DHL Stormers

  • In-form DHL Stormers fly-half Manie Libbok is currently the joint-top points scorer in the URC (75). He has also kicked two 50/22s; no player has kicked more.
  • In the URC, the DHL Stormers have the highest success rate off the tee, slotting 88% of their kicks at goal.
  • The DHL Stormers have made just 82.5 carries per 80 minutes so far this season in the URC – the lowest average of any team in this league.
         
         

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