European Professional Club Rugby | All about the Paloise Section

We continue our overview of the teams involved in the 2022/2023 campaign of the EPCR Challenge Cup, with today a focus on the French formation of the Paloise Section which turned out in Pool B.

Achievements in the EPCR Challenge Cup

Pau won the EPCR Challenge Cup once, in 2000 after beating Castres Olympique (34-21) at Les Sept Deniers in Toulouse. The Bearnese reached the final again five years later, but were beaten by Sale Sharks at Kassam Stadium in Oxford (27-3).

Journey past season

Pau failed to progress beyond the group stage of the EPCR Challenge Cup, with a home defeat against London Irish (33-17) and away losses against CA Brive (33-25) and Edinburgh Rugby (54-5), condemning them to premature elimination.

Head Coach

Sébastien Piqueronies has taken over the reins of Pau in 2021. Prior to this role, he looked after France’s youth teams with why he won the U20 World Championship twice – in 2018 and 2019 – as well as the 2018 U20 Six Nations tournament.

Key players

Pau have two English players in their ranks: fly-half Zack Henry arrived from Leicester Tigers last season and Dan Robson who joined his compatriot at the Stade du Hameau this year. Fijian center Jale Vatubua has been in the Section’s ranks since 2014 and has been capped several times with his national team. Winger Aminiasi Tuimaba is another Fijian and won the seven-man gold medal at the 2020 Olympics. The club also have a few Georgian players: flanker Beka Gorgadze and 25-year-old prop Guram Papidze. Winger Vincent Pinto is another major player in the Pau squad, having recently helped Portugal qualify for the World Cup.

Pool opponents

Pau will face the Toyota Cheetahs, at home, in their opening game Pool B on December 10, the away match against the South African team, in Parma, takes place on January 22. Pau will also face the Dragons RFC on December 17 and January 13, away and then at home.

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