Castres mean business - Meeuws
January 15, 2008

All Blacks prop Kees Meeuws will be at the sharp end of Castres Olympique's bid for Pool 5 honours when they clash with group leaders Leeds Carnegie at Stade Pierre Antoine on Thursday night - and he is promising the English club a tougher challenge this time.

Leeds won 35-18 at Headingley in Round 1 but Meeuws promises the return will be different with Castres calling up their established players.

"I know we were hugely disappointed with our performance against Leeds in Round 1," said Meeuws. "It was very early in our season and there had been a lot of changes at the club over the close season.

"I think we probably sent over too many young guys in the side and not enough experience to guide them.

"But we will not make that mistake again. We put out a strong side against Calvisano last weekend and we'll be putting our full team out on Thursday for the return match against Leeds.

"Leeds have some great players but I think we need to focus on our game plan and just be ready to adapt to what we come up against on the night.

"We are wary of their strengths in the backs but we have the players to counter them. We are a strong side with some quality players so we should be able to meet the challenge.

"A lot of the problems we have had as a side come down to details and it's that fine tuning we have been working on in preparation for this game.

"We had a great first half against Toulouse two weeks ago and a strong performance against Calvisano last weekend so the confidence in the squad is building every week.

"We have a new coach this season in Alain Gaillard and the arrival of Mark McCall has enabled us to correct the errors we were making earlier in the season.

"It's more about tweaking things and correcting mistakes than changing everything and now we are now beginning to reap the rewards of what Alain has put in place since his arrival.

"I've not been as involved in Castres' European campaign as I would have liked this season, trying to come back to early from my rib injury meant that I ended up being laid up until last week.

"But I played against Calvisano last weekend and I'm really looking forward to the chance to play against Leeds on Thursday."


Pool 5 Castres Olympique v Leeds Carnegie 20.45 Carlo Damasco (It) FR4 / Sky Sports

Pool 3 Connacht Rugby v Brive 18.30 Peter Allan (S)
Pool 5 Dax v Rugby Calvisano 19.00 JP Doyle (E)

Pool 1 Albi v Overmach Rugby Parma 19.30 Gwyn Morris (W)
Pool 1 Bath Rugby v Auch 14.15 James Jones (W)
Pool 2 Worcester Warriors v Bucuresti 15.00 Alan Falzone (It)
Pool 2 GRAN Parma v Montauban 15.00 Peter Fitzgibbon (I)
Pool 4 Petrarca Rugby v Bayonne 15.00 Graham Know (S)
Pool 4 Montpellier v Sale Sharks 20.45 Andrew McPherson (S) Eurosport France/Sky Sports

Pool 3 Newcastle Falcons v Cetransa El Salvador 15.00 Cedric Marchat (F)


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