Free Picks: Rugby Amlin Challenge Cup Week One Tips

Richard O'Hagan

Monday, October 7, 2013 7:51 PM GMT

Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 7:51 PM GMT

Europe’s second club competition kicks off on Thursday, with some esoteric new arrivals to spice up the contest. Here’s a list of our favorite sports picks for Week 1.

Sale v Biarritz

Sale Sharks’ indifferent start to the season wouldn’t normally account for much at this stage of the Amlin competition, but they’ve the misfortune to draw group favorites Biarritz first up. Place your money on an away win of at least 7 points, as the betting odds look to be in our favor.

Bucharest v Newcastle

Romania is only now beginning to find their rugby feet again after a number of lean years, a situation never helped by having your very best players poached by French and Italian sides. Newcastle will look to use this game to find some form for the Premiership back home. That being said, sports bettors should expect a big win for them, and one by 20 points or 

Oyonnax v Worcester

A pair of young clubs trying to compete with older, more established, foes, this game could be a useful pointer to how the French and English clubs are going to measure up against one another in this competition. A close contest in store here, with a narrow home win.

Bordeaux v Bath

Two of the traditional powerhouses of European rugby meet. Neither will be wild at having to play in this competition instead of the Heineken Cup and this should be a bruising encounter leading to a home victory – but not by many.

London Irish v Cavalieri Prato 

One of London’s oldest professional sides host one of Italy’s newest. Despite the Exiles’ poor form in the Premiership so far this season, this is a big step up in class for the men from Tuscany. Irish to win by at least 12 points. 

Viadana v London Wasps 

Two sides who play in yellow and black meet in Lombardy. Both look a little short on form and confidence, so a good run in this contest will do both some good. Wasps look to be far too strong for the Italians, so back an away win and, if you’re feeling bold with your sports picks, there to be a penalty try in this game.

Also check out our preview of Week 1 of the Heinekin Cup.

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