Match Preview | La Rochelle

Match Preview | La Rochelle

A visit to last season’s runners-up kicks-off the 2021/22 Heineken Champions Cup for Glasgow Warriors tomorrow afternoon, as Danny Wilson’s side travels to France to take on La Rochelle at the Stade Marcel Deflandre.

After the COVID-19-enforced suspension of the tournament called an early halt to proceedings in 2020/21, a trip to the Atlantic coast marks the beginning of Glasgow’s fifteenth consecutive season in Europe’s premier club competition.

Sunday’s hosts will be eager to go one step better than their efforts last campaign, however, having been edged out in the final by champions Toulouse back in May.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the clash:

Previous Encounter

It’s one apiece in the historical record between Glasgow Warriors and La Rochelle, with both teams having won their away fixture in the 2019/20 pool stage.

The French outfit currently hold the bragging rights, having edged a 12-7 win at Scotstoun back in December 2019.

All the points were scored in the first half on a brutally cold evening in Glasgow’s west end, with Fraser Brown’s score cancelled out by tries from Jules Favre and Levani Botia.

Ones to Watch

A nominee for European Player of the Year after a standout 2020/21 campaign, Raymond Rhule’s form on the wing for La Rochelle was a key factor in the French club’s run to last season’s final. The South African international mixes rapid top-end pace with an uncanny ability to beat the first defender, making him one of the most dangerous attackers in the Top14.

Twice a world champion with New Zealand, Victor Vito is still turning in high-calibre performances in the La Rochelle back-row at the age of 34. A powerful ball-carrier, his game intelligence also frequently sees him provide opportunities for his team-mates, making him a vital cog in the machine for the French outfit.

Will Skelton’s form in a La Rochelle jersey saw him earn a recall to the Australia squad ahead of the 2021 Autumn Nations Series, and with good reason. Standing at 6’7” and weighing in at 125kg, his power in the engine room and in the loose has made him into the competition’s premier second-rowers.

Memorable Moment

The Warrior Nation will need no reminding of their most recent trip to the Stade Marcel Deflandre, as a Dave Rennie-led squad earned a famous 27-24 victory two years ago.

Trailing 21-13, a Niko Matawalu interception sparked the comeback for the visitors, the Fijian racing 60 metres to touch down in the corner.

A Try of the Season-contender from Kyle Steyn duly sealed the win for the Warriors, collecting a cross-field kick from Adam Hastings and beating the defence on the outside to scorch over for the crucial score.

Match Officials

An all-English officiating team for Sunday’s fixture will be led by Matt Carley, the experienced RFU referee having been on the touchline for Scotland’s win over Australia last month.

Tom Foley and Gareth Holsgrove will be his assistants, with Ian Tempest on hand as the Television Match Official if and when required.

Broadcast Information

The match will be live on BT Sport 3 this Sunday, kicking-off at 3.15pm (UK time).

You can also follow all the action as it happens in our Live Match Centre at – head over from an hour before kick-off for all the updates from the west coast of France.

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign up to our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Glasgow Warriors.