It is rare for any newly promoted team to survive in their first season at the top flight, but Bayonne managed to achieve this feat. The experience brought by former French International centre, Richard Dourthe, and captain, Louis Massabeau, will help the team considerably in this difficult tie for the French.
In round three Gloucester face another 'Top 14' outfit, in the form of Toulon on 10 December 2005. The French side is one of its country's grandest old clubs, and played in the second flight until their superb 2004/2005 season, when they were crowned champions and promoted back to the top division.
Gloucester's final away game of the competition is against the Romanian team, Bucuresti on 14 January 2006. This game is a great opportunity to sample some of the great eastern European culture of Romania, while following the Kingsholm club on another great continental adventure.
Your package will include:
• Return economy class flights
(departure times to be confirmed)
• Air passenger duty tax
• Two nights hotel accommodation, based on twin/double room share and continental breakfast
• Return airport/hotel transfers
• Officially allocated match ticket
• Experienced Mike Burton Sports Travel couriers in attendance throughout the weekend
Bayonne v Gloucester
Depart: 21/10/05 Game on: 22/10/05 and Return on: 23/10/05
Star Hotel Location Stanstead SRS 3* Mercure Biarritz Centre Plaza Biarritz £465 £75
The Mercure Biarritz Centre Plaza is perfectly located in the centre of Biarritz and only 100m away from the beach, making it an ideal location for shopping, dining in one of the towns many superb restaurants, and sampling the French "bière" whilst watching the world go by in a café or bar. The rooms in this hotel have been completely renovated to bring this Art Deco building into the modern era.
Toulon v Gloucester
Depart: 09/12/05 Game on: 10/12/05 and Return on: 11/12/05
Star Hotel Location Stanstead SRS 3* Mercure Toulon Centre Congres Toulon £295 £30
Located in the heart of Toulon, the Mercure Toulon Centre Congrès is close to the harbour and the town's market. Each room has the benefit of air conditioning and the hotel itself boasts its own restaurant and bar, but for those who enjoy eating out in a more authentic atmosphere, this central location is a must.
Bucuresti v Gloucester
Depart: 13/01/06 Game on: 14/01/06 and Return on: 15/01/06
Star Hotel Location London Heathrow SRS 4* The Golden Tulip Bucharest £399 £45 3* Ibis Hotel Bucharest £380 £30
The Golden Tulip Bucharest is conveniently situated in the city centre and is within walking distance of the major cultural and entertainment areas of the city. The Golden Tulip also overlooks Bucharest's most famous street, the Calea Victoriei, which offers breathtaking evening views. The Ibis Hotel is one of the newest hotels in Bucharest and offers spacious, comfortable bedrooms in which to relax and enjoy your weekend.
Mike Burton Sports Travel only has a limited number of places available for Gloucester's European ties, and bookings will be taken on a strictly first come first serve basis, so make sure you book early to guarantee your place to see Dean Ryan's team in action at these great locations.
For further booking information, please call a Mike Burton Sports Travel Consultant on 01452 892057.