Match Preview | La Rochelle
The qualification picture couldn’t be any clearer for Glasgow Warriors this weekend, as Danny Wilson’s squad welcomes La Rochelle for a pivotal Pool A clash in the Heineken Champions Cup.
With a place in the last-16 within their reach, the Warriors know that a win is paramount to their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of Europe’s premier club competition for only the third time in their history.
However, with last season’s runners-up providing the opposition on Saturday night, as well as the potential need for other results to fall in their favour, Wilson’s men know that they will need to be on top form under the Scotstoun floodlights this weekend.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of the club’s biggest European match of the season to date:
Get your match tickets to Glasgow Warriors v La Rochelle this Saturday night 👉 https://t.co/Tqq8hrmmmE pic.twitter.com/st8fFTSwS8
— Glasgow Warriors (@GlasgowWarriors) January 20, 2022
It was La Rochelle who took the spoils from a hard-fought encounter at the Stade Marcel Deflandre back in December, coming away with a 20-13 win over their visitors.
Tries from Reda Wardi and Enriko Buliruarua secured the victory for Ronan O’Gara’s men, with Ihaia West contributing a further 10 points from the tee.
Kyle Steyn’s try and the boot of Ross Thompson ensured that the Warriors wouldn’t leave empty-handed, though, with the losing bonus-point potentially proving vital in the qualification picture.
Ones to watch
A summer arrival from Stade Francais, Jonathan Danty has already settled in to life in the La Rochelle midfield. The 29-year-old centre brings a potent mix of pace and power to proceedings, crossing for a try in last weekend’s comfortable win over Bath that secure a place in the last-16 for the French outfit.
Fleet-footed winger Arthur Retiere might not boast the same level of star power as some of his La Rochelle team-mates, but the 24-year-old should be underestimated at one’s peril. Owner of a wicked sidestep and rapid acceleration, the former France 7s star will be one that requires close watching by the Glasgow defence.
One of the most experienced members of the club’s setup, Romain Sazy shows no sign of slowing down in the engine room. The second-rower is approaching 300 appearances for the French side, bringing a wealth of leadership and physicality to the La Rochelle pack.
With only three meetings to choose from in European competition, the Warrior Nation’s memory will undoubtedly return to the first-ever clash between the two sides in December 2019.
On that occasion, a dramatic try from Steyn saw the Warriors claim victory, as the winger ran in almost untouched from halfway after collecting a cross-field kick from Adam Hastings.
Having just signed a new multi-year extension at Scotstoun, could we see more of the same from the winger this weekend?
Karl Dickson will be the man in the middle for Saturday night’s encounter, the former Harlequins scrum-half becoming a familiar figure in the Heineken Champions Cup.
Michael Hudson and John Meredith will be his assistants on the touchlines, with Stuart Terheege on hand if and when required as the Television Match Official.
Follow the match
Tickets are still available for this crucial clash, which kicks off at 8pm this Saturday night.
If you can’t make it to Scotstoun, the match is live on BT Sport 2, or you can follow all the updates as they happen in our Live Match Centre at glasgowwarriors.org.