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Get ready for the Heineken Champions Cup opener next weekend!

Get ready for the Heineken Champions Cup opener next weekend!
It’s nearly here! The fixture computer has thrown up an incredible opener for Kingsholm next weekend, with Gloucester Rugby playing host to Top 14 Champions Castres Olympique next Sunday to kick off a new season of European action (KO 1pm)

But who are our opponents who shocked the French rugby scene in lifting the Top 14 title in dramatic fashion last season?

Despite finishing the regular season in fourth, Castres found form at the right time, beating Montpellier in the Grand Final at the Stade de France in June to lift the Bouclier de Brennus.

Head Coach Christophe Urios

The imposing and unrecognisable figure of Christophe Urios has seen a true upturn in the fortunes of Castres since his arrival at the Stade Pierre Fabre from Oyonnax.

The Cherry and Whites faced up to Urios’ Oyonnax side during the successful title-winning Challenge Cup campaign in 2015, and his move to Castres instantly saw an upturn in their form.

He may be departing the club at the end of the current season, but with one piece of major silverware during his tenure, he will no doubt be keen to make an equally strong impression on the European scene.

Key Man Scott Spedding

A man who needs no introduction to the European rugby scene, after many years of impressive form in back field for Clermont. The South African born flyer has a cannon of a boot, and also pace to burn, and linked with the likes of Martin Laveau, a two-try scorer for Bayonne at Kingsholm two seasons ago, and the evergreen David Smith, the back three of Castres is a hugely talented and dangerous one.

Key Man Rory Kockott

Kockott has been a stand out in recent seasons at the Stade Pierre Fabre, forming a very strong half back partnership with the metronomic Benjamin Urdapilleta. Another South African who has represented France, scrum half Kockott has bags of experience at the top level, and will be marshalling his heavy artillery in the pack around the field.

Key Man Alex Tulou

The focal point of the Castres attacking game, the former-Montpellier man has already crossed for 16 tries in his first two seasons at the club. A bludgeoning number eight will need to be kept quiet by the Cherry and Whites in what could be a fascinating back row battle.

Form So Far This Season

Heading into the opening game of the Heineken Champions Cup, the reigning Top 14 Champions have started their defence strongly.

Round 1 saw them win a repeat of the Top 14 final, beating Montpellier 25 points to 20 at the Altrad Stadium, before they edged Lyon 19-16 at the Stade Pierre Fabre.

It was nearly three from three for Christophe Urios’ men, but for a narrow loss at the Stade Felix Mayol to Toulon (28-27), before an easier 29-13 home win over newly-promoted Grenoble in Round Four.

Racing 92 triumphed over Castres in Round Five by 27 points to 11, and last weekend, Castres dramatically won their derby clash on the road at Toulouse by 26 points to 22.

Tickets still on sale! 

The Kingsholm-factor is going to be huge for this game as we open up our Heineken Champions Cup campaign on home soil.

Every voice will count up against the French Champions who will be used to hostile and noisy atmospheres!

Bring it on! Get your tickets now Click Here
Next Home Match
Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Fri 2 Sep
KO 19:45
Cardiff Blues
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