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46 players newly registered by 16 clubs for the Challenge Cup restart next week

By Sam Smith

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Forty-six players have been newly registered by 16 clubs ahead of the Challenge Cup round of 16 matches over the Easter weekend, every club deciding to make some additions after the remaining European pool stage fixtures were scrapped in January. 

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The revamped round of 16 knockout stage kicks off in Parma on April 2 when Zebre host Bath and concludes on April 4 when Harlequins welcome Ulster. In between, there are numerous other matches to whet the appetite such as London Irish versus Cardiff, Leicester against Connacht and Montpellier up against Glasgow. 

Among the newly registered players to watch out for are Jamie Bhatti, the recently capped Scotland prop who is at Bath for the next few months before linking up with Glasgow for the 2021/22 season, and Darryl Marfo, another Scottish prop who joined Leicester earlier this month. Ex-Munster out-half Ian Keatley has also been registered by Glasgow following his mid-season exit from Benetton. 

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Exeter’s Jack Nowell guests on RugbyPass Offload with Simon Zebo and Jamie Roberts
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Exeter’s Jack Nowell guests on RugbyPass Offload with Simon Zebo and Jamie Roberts

AN EPCR statement outlining the additions to the various squads read: In advance of the resumption of the 2020/21 Challenge Cup, the 16 clubs which have qualified for the knockout stage of the tournament have registered their updated squads.

“To ensure that clubs will be able to select the strongest possible matchday squads in the current circumstances, there was no limit to the number of players each club was permitted to register.

“Subject to relevant union approval, the following players have been nominated to supplement each club’s tournament squad:

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AGEN
Gael Doms (hooker), Zakaria El Fakir (prop), Théo Louvet (scrum half), Alexandre Odinga (wing)

BATH RUGBY
Jamie Bhatti (prop), Jaco Coetzee (back row), Jacques du Toit (hooker)

BENETTON RUGBY
Corniel Els (hooker), Nicola Piantella (second row)

CARDIFF BLUES
Efan Daniel (hooker)

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CONNACHT RUGBY
Cathal Forde (out-half), Oisin McCormack (back row)

DRAGONS
Dan Baker (back row), Gonzalo Bertranou (scrum-half), Ioan Davies (full back/wing), Lennon Greggains (back row), David Richards (full back/wing), Ed Scragg (second row)

GLASGOW WARRIORS
Dylan Evans (prop), Cole Forbes (full back/wing), Ian Keatley (out-half), Jordan Lenac (scrum-half)

HARLEQUINS
Michele Campagnaro (centre/wing), Lewis Gjaltema (scrum-half)

LEICESTER TIGERS
Nick Dolly (hooker), William Hurd (prop), Darryl Marfo (prop), Matias Moroni (centre/wing)

LONDON IRISH
Facundo Gigena (prop), Matt Williams (centre/wing)

MONTPELLIER
Louis Mauro (prop)

NEWCASTLE FALCONS
Mateo Carreras (wing), Cameron Nordli-Kelemeti (scrum-half), Matias Orlando (centre), Jon Welsh (prop)

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
Lewis Bean (second row), Oisin Heffernan (prop)

OSPREYS 
Jordan Lay (prop), Ethan Roots (back row)

ULSTER RUGBY
James Humphreys (out half), Conor McMenamin (second row), Ben Moxham (centre), Jude Postlethwaite (centre), Harry Sheridan (back row)

ZEBRE RUGBY CLUB
Charles Alaimalo (flanker), Potu Junior Leavasa (back row/second row)

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46 players newly registered by 16 clubs for the Challenge Cup restart next week

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