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Heineken Cup Preview - Perpignan v London Irish

14 December 2007

Heineken Cup Round 4


Pool 1


Perpignan v London Irish Saturday 15th December 3.30pm


Current Form


  • London Irish have made an excellent start to their Heineken Cup campaign though and top Pool 1 with 14 points. They have had try bonus winning victories against Benetton Treviso at home and the Dragons in Newport and last Sunday beat Perpignan 24-16.
  • Along with Gloucester, they are the only teams in all 6 pools to have won their opening 3 matches.
  • London Irish have not had a great start to the Guinness Premiership this season winning only 2 of their first 7 matches. They have not yet won any of their 4 away games but have won 2 from 3 at the Madejski Stadium and are the only team this season to beat table topping Gloucester.
  • Along with Saracens, they are the only teams in all 6 pools to have scored over 100 points in their opening 3 matches..
  • Similar to London Irish, Perpignan have not made the best of starts to the French Top 14. After 4 rounds they lie in 9th position having won their first game of the season,away at Castres, last Saturday. They lost their other 2 away matches at Montpellier and Albi and drew at home to Bourgoin.
  • They have made a pretty good start to this season's Heineken Cup though and beaten the Dragons at home and Benetton Treviso away to leave them 2nd in Pool 1, 5 points behind London Irish. They really need a bonus point win on Saturday to boost their chances of progressing in the tournament.


Current Information


  • Peter Hewat has scored 41 points for London Irish in the opening 3 matches.
  • His 6 conversions against the Dragons was a London Irish Heineken Cup record beating the 4 by Barry Everitt, also against Newport Gwent Dragons in 2002/03.
  • Delon Armitage and Tomas de Vedia have both scored 3 tries in this year's tournament and Armitage has now extended his London Irish Heineken Cup tryscoring record to 8.
  • Peter Richards is the only player to appear for 6 different clubs in the Heineken Cup. He has played for Harlequins,Treviso,Bristol,Wasps, Gloucester and this season London Irish.
  • Cedric Rosalen has scored 20 of Perpignan's 68 points in their opening 3 matches.
  • Adrien Plante is the only Perpignan player to score 2 tries after 3 rounds.
  • Nicolas Mas has now played in a record 40 Heineken Cup matches for Perpignan.




European History


  • This is only the 3rd season that London Irish have qualified for the Heineken Cup. They have played 8 times in the European Challenge Cup.
  • London Irish have never won the European Challenge Cup but they came mightily close in 2006 when they were beaten 36-34 by Gloucester after extra time.
  • The London Irish coach in their first year in the European Challenge Cup in 1996/97 was Sir Clive Woodward.
  • In their previous 2 Heineken Cup tournaments London Irish failed to progress out of their pool.
  • They have played 8 Heineken cup matches at home winning 6 and losing to Llanelli and Toulouse.
  • Their win at Newport in their last Heineken Cup match was their first ever in the competition away from home.
  • Barry Everitt has made the most appearances for London Irish in the Heineken Cup playing in all 12 matches prior to this season. He is also the top points scorer with 111.
  • Delon Armitage is the only London Irish player to score a hat trick of tries in a match, against Newport Gwent Dragons in 2002/03.
  • London Irish backrower Phil Murphy played 14 times in the Heineken Cup for Saturday's opponents Perpignan, including the 2003 Heineken Cup final.
  • No London Irish player has ever been sent off in the Heineken Cup.
  • This is Perpignan's 7th consecutive season in the Heineken Cup
  • They have never won it but they were beaten finalists in 2003 when they went down 22-17 to Toulouse at a wet and windy Lansdowne Road.
  • Thierry Lacroix kicked a joint Heineken Cup record 9 penalties for Perpignan against Leicester in 2001/02.
  • Perpignan have a marvellous home record in the Heineken Cup winning 21 of 23 played but away from Stade Aime Giral they have only won 11 of 27.
  • The only 2 teams to beat them at home are Leicester in 2001/02 and London Wasps in 2003/04 and both teams went on to lift the Heineken Cup.
  • Perpignan clearly do not like playing in England and they have lost all 7 Heineken Cup matches here, to London Wasps twice, Leicester, Gloucester, Newcastle, Leeds and now London Irish.
  • Manny Edmonds has scored most points for Perpignan in the Heineken Cup with 202 and the most tries,9.
  • Perry Freshwater, the only England 2007 World Cup squad member not playing his club rugby in England, captained Perpignan at London Irish last Sunday.
  • No player has ever been sent off for Perpignan in the Heinekenn Cup.