Press Pass: Bayonne up next

Press Pass: Bayonne up next

Get the latest from Head Coach Sean Everitt ahead of Saturday’s EPCR Challenge Cup Round of 16 clash against Bayonne at Hive Stadium with this week’s Press Pass.

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On Luke Crosbie

“Luke will be available for selection this week.”


On Bayonne being the perfect game for Crosbie’s return

“It’s a great game for him to come back in. It might be a starting position or it might be on the bench, we’re not quite sure at the moment.

“But he’ll certainly add some physicality to our side. I thought we did quite well in that area in South Africa.

“If you look at our collisions at the weekend against the Sharks, I thought our boys stood up really well against a pack who pride themselves on physicality.

“In saying all that, Luke was the first choice six in the Six Nations and we’ll always be happy to have him back.”


On other players’ availability

“We sent Emiliano Boffelli for tests on Tuesday and we’re awaiting the outcome. We’ll know soon whether he will be available for Saturday, but my gut-feel is that it’s unlikely.

“Darcy Graham won’t play until the play-offs, unless there is a miracle. And we’re hoping that he will be available for the play-offs, to be quite honest.

“Harry Paterson, with his stress fracture, ran for the first time on Monday. We’re hoping that he can return to training next week, but it should be the following week that he will be ready to play.

“Mark Bennett picked up a concussion nn the lead-up to Jake’s try against the Stormers when he made a tackle. But he’s also available for selection this week.”


On facing Bayonne

“Bayonne are a team who have done well in the Top 14. They’re sitting mid-table – their log congestion is very similar to ours.

“They’ve won most of the games at home, apart from the one on Sunday night against Toulon where they were well beaten.

“They will probably be disappointed with that performance because they gave away a lot of soft points.

“They have a big, physical pack of forwards and we will need to stop their momentum off the rucks. They carry a lot through their forwards then they have a very dangerous player in their 10, Camille Lopez.

“We call him the conductor. He organises their attack really well and has an array of attacking kicks, as well as the ability to move the ball quickly to the edges. He’s a guy we will have to keep our eyes on.”


On taking lessons from Glasgow’s win at Bayonne

“Very much so. We’ve seen that Bayonne can be beaten. Not only the Glasgow game, but if you look at the game against Toulon on Sunday night too.

“We also know they don’t travel well. I don’t think they’ve won a game on the road as yet so we’ve got to see this as a great opportunity to get into the last eight of the competition.”


On what needs to improve after losses in South Africa

“We haven’t had much continuity in our back three due to injury, so we’ve probably been lacking a bit of flow in our attack.

“We’ve had Wes out, Darcy out, Blair leaving, Harry Paterson out, and now we have Boffelli out as well. If you look at those names, they add a lot to a team on any given day.

“We’ve also got to look at the positives in that, and the other guys who are getting opportunities in different positions. We’re adding depth. It’s not ideal for Chris Dean to play on the wing, he’d never played there before but now he has. We do have options now if we’re in a bit of trouble in those positions.

“Fortunately Ben Vellacott and Ben Healy have been available so we have had consistency there, but it’s just about us putting together a 15-man performance, and we have struggled with that.”

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