Match Preview: La Rochelle

Match Preview: La Rochelle

A new opponent awaits Glasgow Warriors this weekend, as Dave Rennie’s side travel to the Stade Marcel Deflandre to take on La Rochelle in the Heineken Champions Cup.

In what will
be the first match of the December double-header in the Heineken Champions Cup,
a trip to the south-west of France takes the Warriors back into action in
Europe’s premier club competition.

Rennie’s men
currently sit third in Pool Two, after an opening victory against Sale Sharks
at Scotstoun was followed by defeat on the road to Exeter Chiefs in round two.

A Ronan O’Gara-led
La Rochelle outfit will test the mettle of the Warriors, however, as both sides
look to boost their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages.

Here’s how
the French side are shaping up ahead of this weekend:

Rochelle Form Guide

La Rochelle
currently sit bottom of Pool Two after two defeats from their opening two
Heineken Champions Cup matches, whilst finding themselves seventh in the Top14
after 10 rounds of league action.

The French
side opened their European campaign with defeat at home to Exeter Chiefs, as
the men from Devon ran in four tries to secure a bonus-point win at the Stade Marcel

A trip to
Salford a week later also bore no fruit for O’Gara’s men, as a red card for
hooker Pierre Bourgarit capped a disappointing 25-15 loss to Sale Sharks.

They do,
however, go into Saturday’s match in winning form, as the boots of Brock James
and Jules Plisson steered them to a 22-13 victory over Castres in the Top14.


It was a
settled La Rochelle squad that finished the 2018/19 season, with only a handful
of players saying their goodbyes to the Stade Marcel Deflandre.

international Ryan Lamb returned to the British isles by joining Scarlets, with
French international prop Mohamed Boughanmi joining Top14 rivals Pau.

Olympian Steeve Barry also departed the club, joining Biarritz in their attempt
to return to the top flight of French domestic rugby.


fly-half James headlined the summer arrivals for O’Gara’s side, as the former
Clermont number ten joined from Bordeaux-Begles ahead of the new season.

international hooker Facundo Bosch was also recruited from within the Top14, as
the front-rower arrived from Agen in the off-season.

There was
also a swoop for former New Zealand 7s player Teddy Stanaway on a short-term
deal, with the outside back covering the La Rochelle back division after
arriving from Oyonnax.

Ones to

The star
name in the La Rochelle squad, former New Zealand number eight Victor Vito is a
talisman for the French side. The 2015 World Cup winner claimed the Top14
Player of the Year award in his first season with the club back in 2016/17, and
was nominated for the EPCR European Player of the Season twelve months later.

As equally
destructive in the centres as he is in the back-row, Levani Botia has more than
earned his nickname of ‘Demolition Man’. The 30-year-old has wreaked havoc on
defences in both the Top14 and on the international stage, most recently at the
World Cup wearing the white shirt of Fiji.

winger Marc Andreu is at the opposite end of the physical spectrum, standing at
just 5’5”. However, his formidable try-scoring record in the colours of Castres
and Racing serve a reminder as to his threat out wide and keeps defenders well
and truly on their toes.


This will be
the first meeting between Glasgow Warriors and La Rochelle.


Luke Pearce
will take charge of Saturday’s encounter on the French coast, having most
recently taken charge of the Warriors in their 29-12 victory away to Cardiff
Blues last season.

Adam Leal
and Phil Watters will be his assistants, with Graham Hughes the TMO should his
services be required.


Warriors supporters can watch the match live on BT Sport 3 on Saturday
afternoon, as well as following our live match centre at
Kick-off is at 3.15pm.

The club
will also be officially launching the Famous Grouse Fan Zone at The Old
Schoolhouse on Woodlands Road in Glasgow this Saturday – the non-ticketed event
gets underway at 1pm.

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