Declan Kidney has confirmed the side that will welcome Castres Olympique to the Brentford Community Stadium in the European Rugby Challenge Cup Round of 16 contest on Friday afternoon (5:30pm kick-off).

Will Goodrick-Clarke, Agustin Creevy and Marcel van der Merwe are named in the front row, with Adam Coleman and Rob Simmons in the second row.

Tom Pearson, Juan Martin Gonzalez, and Sean O’Brien are the back row trio.

Nick Phipps captains the side from the nine shirt and is joined in the halfbacks by Paddy Jackson.

Benhard van Rensburg and Curtis Rona are the centre partnership, and Ollie Hassell-Collins, Kyle Rowe and Tom Parton make up the back three.

“Knockout rugby is an exciting prospect for players, coaches and supporters alike,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“This is an important tournament for us, and we are excited to test ourselves against a Champions Cup opposition in Castres, who have a long and proud history of competitiveness in European competitions.

“Playing in Europe provides us with challenges to play against different styles and structures from different leagues. This can only help develop our experience and ability to adapt going forwards.”

London Irish:
15 Tom Parton, 14 Kyle Rowe, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Benhard van Rensburg, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps (c), 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 4 Adam Coleman, 5 Rob Simmons, 6 Tom Pearson, 7 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 8 Sean O’Brien.

16 Matt Cornish, 17 Facundo Gigena, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 George Nott, 20 Matt Rogerson, 21 Ben White, 22 Will Joseph, 23 Henry Arundell.

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