With winners’ medals at World Cup, European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup, Premiership and French Top14 levels and a European Challenge Cup title as recently as 2016, the Montpellier squad preparing to face Leicester Tigers on Friday is packed with quality and experience.
Fly-half Handré Pollard and scrum-half Cobus Reinach were both World Cup winners with South Africa in 2019.
Pollard was the tournament’s top points scorer in Japan before moving to Europe while Reinach is well known to Tigers fans after an impressive spell in the Gallagher Premiership with local rivals Northampton Saints.
England international back Alex Lozowksi and USA prop Titi Lamositele lead the squad’s European tournament pedigree as two-time Champions Cup winners with Saracens, while also collecting multiple Premiership titles, while France caps Paul Willemse, Benoit Paillaugue and Fulgence Ouedraogo were all part of Montpellier’s Challenge Cup-winning line-up in 2016, with the latter lifting the trophy as captain.
Scrum-half Paillaugue also has experience of a European meeting with Tigers, having played when the teams last met in December 2013.
South Africa international hooker Bismarck Du Plessis shared in that success, while fellow Springboks cap Johan Goosen was a Top14 champion with Racing 92 in the 2016 and played in the Champions Cup Final that season after scoring a vital penalty in the semi-final win over Tigers at the City Ground, Nottingham.
The wing/centre Jan Serfontein is another Springboks cap while hooker Guilhem Guirado won the Champions Cup with the star-studded ranks of Toulon in 2015 and in has vast experience as an international captain and also in the three Rugby World Cup campaigns.
The wing Vincent Rattez and flanker Yacouba Camara are among the other France caps in the squad, with both of them playing in the 2019 World Cup, and big back-rower Louis Picamoles is another headliner both at international level and in a spell with Northampton.
There are also some familiar faces to Premierships fans on the bench, too, with Philippe Saint-Andre as director of rugby and former Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam among the staff.
The European Challenge Cup Final between Tigers and Montpellier is an 8.00pm kick-off at Twickenham Stadium on Friday. A 10,000 maximum crowd is permitted for this game with tickets available through www.RFU.com. There is also live coverage with BT Sport and updates with the Tigers’ Matchday Live service on website and app.