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Banahan set for milestone outing

Matt Banahan has been happy to highlight the enduring constants at the close of another week of upheaval for Bath.

The 26-year-old will make his 150th club appearance in Saturday's Amlin Challenge Cup Pool Two home clash with Mogliano.

The Jersey-born wing is relishing his return to action after being rested for Bath's 55-8 victory in Italy last weekend.

And after rugby director Gary Gold's Recreation Ground exit in midweek, Banahan knows Bath need another win to keep moving forward.

"Looking back I think I've achieved quite a lot in those eight years," Banahan told Bath's official club website.

"I could have been up there with Bendy (Nick Abendanon) on 190 if I hadn't been with the England squad, but it's great to have the support of the club to keep me here for such a long time and to have that many games under my belt for one club.

"The next goal after this will be 200 so hopefully I can get there before the end of my career as well."

Former Munster and Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer takes a seat on the bench for Bath, primed for his 100th appearance in European competition.

London Irish will seek a quickfire double over Stade Francais in Paris, after their 24-13 Pool Five victory in Reading last weekend.

Matt Parr and Michael Mayhew slot into the Irish front row ahead of an unchanged backline.

Morne Steyn comes into the Stade squad, but Jules Plisson starts again at fly-half.

Rob Vickers and Scott Lawson start in a much-changed Newcastle front row for their trip to Italy to face Calvisano.

Newcastle sit second in Pool Three behind leaders Brive, so will hope for a repeat of last weekend's 37-15 victory over their Italian opposition.

A bonus-point victory at Viadana could see Bayonne overhaul Wasps at the top of Pool Four, for 24 hours at least.

Wasps host Grenoble on Sunday and will be seeking to reassert their outright leadership of the group.


From Belfast Telegraph