Champions Cup: Jonathan Danty back for La Rochelle while Montpellier name a strong 23

Jonathan Danty returns to the La Rochelle team for their all-French Champions Cup quarter-final clash against Top 14 leaders Montpellier.

Danty impressed in the round-of-16 tie against Bordeaux-Begles but has missed their previous two league encounters.

He forms a powerful centre partnership with the always outstanding Levani Botia, with Jeremy Sinzelle shifting to full-back.

Sinzelle is joined by Dillyn Leyds and Raymond Rhule in the back three, with Tawera Kerr Barlow the other change in the backline.

He replaces Arthur Retiere in the XV, with the talented utility back dropping to the bench.

Up front, La Rochelle have made three alterations as Victor Vito, Thomas Lavault and Dany Priso come in for Matthias Haddad, Romain Sazy and Reda Wardi respectively.

Haddad, Sazy and Wardi are all among the replacements, however, with Facundo Bosch, Joel Sclavi, Retiere, Jules Favre and Pierre Popelin making up the rest of the bench.

Zach Mercer starts for Montpellier

Meanwhile, Zach Mercer starts at number eight for Montpellier in the Champions Cup clash alongside Fulgence Ouedraogo and captain Yacouba Camara in the loose trio.

In the second-row, Bastien Chalureau and Florian Verhaeghe combine with Grand Slam winner Paul Willemse out with injury.

Enzo Forletta comes into the front-row, joining Guilhem Guirado and Henry Thomas to complete the engine room.

In the backline, full-back Julien Tisseron is joined by Gabriel N’gandebe, who swaps wings to accommodate Vincent Rattez in the back three.

While Springbok Handre Pollard and Yvan Reilhac continue their partnership in the centres, Louis Foursans starts at fly-half with Benoit Paillaugue at scrum-half.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa starts from the bench alongside Thomas Darmon, Mickael Capelli and Masivesi Dakuwaqa as the replacements looking to add value later on in the game.


Prediction: La Rochelle by 6

The teams:

La Rochelle: 15 Jérémy Sinzelle, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jonathan Danty, 12 Levani Botia, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Ihaia West, 9 Tawera Kerr Barlow, 8 Grégory Alldritt (c), 7 Victor Vito, 6 Wiaan Liebenberg, 5 Rémi Picquette, 4 Thomas Lavault, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Pierre Bourgarit, 1 Dany Priso
Replacements: 16 Facundo Bosch, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Romain Sazy, 20 Matthias Haddad, 21 Arthur Retiere, 22 Jules Favre, 23 Pierre Popelin

Montpellier: 15 Julien Tisseron, 14 Vincent Rattez, 13 Yvan Reilhac, 12 Handre Pollard, 11 Gabriel N’gandebe, 10 Louis Foursans, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Yacouba Camara (c), 6 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 5 Bastien Chalureau, 4 Florian Verhaeghe, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Enzo Forletta
Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 Robert Rodgers, 18 Yannick Arroyo, 19 Kelian Galletier, 20 Gela Aprasidze, 21 Thomas Darmon, 22 Mickael Capelli, 23 Masivesi Dakuwaqa

Date: Saturday, May 7
Venue: Stade Marcel Deflandre
Kick-off: 18:30 local (17:30 BST, 16:30 GMT)
Referee: Karl Dickson (England)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Andrew Jackson (England)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)

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