Out-half dilemma vexing Clermont coach Cotter

Clermont Auvergne may be the envy of most clubs in Europe with the wealth of talent at their disposal but while that depth is apparent at out-half, filling the 10 shirt on Saturday is their biggest concern at the moment.

Out-half dilemma vexing Clermont coach Cotter

Australian Brock James, often the only non-international to take the field with ‘les jaunes et bleus’ is set to return to the squad from injury while one-cap All Black Mike Delany, who played out-half in the weekend win over Toulouse, is ineligible despite a late attempt by Clermont to have him included.

The hugely experienced French international David Skrela is only expected to return to training this week from injury, while the emerging Ludovic Radosavijevic is a typical protégé who can play both half-back positions. “It is not ideal, our preparations are bit disjointed but we will see how it goes,” said coach Vern Cotter.

His captain, one of the few Clermont natives in the squad, Aurelien Rougerie remains doubtful with a thigh injury picked up in the 39-17 dismantling of a Toulouse side at the weekend bidding to become the first side to win three in succession since they strung four together in 1997.

Rougerie’s replacement at the weekend was All Black Benson Stanley, as if to emphasise the sort of talent available to them. Fijian wing Napolioni Nalaga also sat out training this week but Cotter said that, having nailed down a semi-final spot in the Top 14, they will turn their attentions to the Heineken Cup. “We are excited to be able to go to Montpellier and play Munster, in what I think will be a great game.”

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