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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 23 October, 2017
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O'Shea among the tries while Davidson's Aurillac beat O'Sullivan's Biarritz

We’ve rounded up all the Irish involvements in England and France over the weekend.

THERE WERE A number of Irish coaches and players involved in the English and French club action over the weekend.

We’ve rounded it all up so you can keep an eye on the Irish abroad.

Aviva Premiership

Friday evening saw David Humphreys‘ Gloucester win for the second week in a row as their form appears to move in a positive direction, with a last-gasp James Hook penalty ensuring a 24-23 victory over Mark McCall‘s Saracens.

Eoin Griffin Former Connacht centre Eoin Griffin was back on the pitch for London Irish. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Equally as positive was a precious success for the Irish contingent at London Irish, who squeezed past the Exeter Chiefs on a 28-26 scoreline yesterday, Shane Geraghty striking a drop goal in the dying moments.

The ever-present Tom Court was at loosehead again, while ex-Connacht centre Eoin Griffin got his third start of the Premiership season alongside the Irish-qualified Fergus Mulchrone in midfield.

Tomás O’Leary was again among the replacements for Brian Smith’s Exiles.

Former Ulster out-half Gareth Steenson kicked four penalties and two conversions for the defeated Chiefs to ensure a losing bonus point at least. Compatriot Ian Whitten was part of Exeter’s match day squad too.

37-year-old Peter Stringer played the closing 10 minutes of Bath’s entertaining 39-26 win at home to Wasps, a victory that moves Mike Ford’s men to within a point of league leaders Northampton, who were beaten 20-7 by Sale Sharks.

Meanwhile, Conor O’Shea‘s Harlequins continued their turnaround in league form as they jumped to seventh in the table thanks to a bonus-point 32-12 win over Leicester at the Twickenham Stoop.

Rugby Union - Aviva Premiership - Gloucester Rugby v Bath Rugby - Kingsholm Stringer was involved in Bath's victory over Wasps. Source: David Davies

Ireland U20-capped hooker George McGuigan played the final 20 minutes of Newcastle’s comprehensive 38-7 success over London Welsh, although there was no involvement for Danny Barnes this time around.

Limerick native Paul Rowley again started at scrum-half for London Welsh, with Peter Browne lining out in the back row for the Exiles.

Greene King IPA Championship

Second-placed Worcester maintained the pressure on leaders Bristol with a 62-26 hammering of the Cornish Pirates on Saturday, in which they scored no less than 10 tries.

Former Munster lock Darren O’Shea made his eighth start of a strong season, and managed to dot down for his second Worcester try. The 22-year-old appears to be making strides of progress under the coaching of the highly-regarded Dean Ryan.

Darren O'Shea makes a break Former Crosshaven RFC man O'Shea was in try-scoring form. Source: Alex Todd/INPHO

On the Pirates side was Ulsterman Kieran Hallett, who kicked three penalties and one conversion in the number 10 shirt.

Meanwhile, in-form Peter Lydon scored a try and slotted three conversions from fullback in London Scottish’s 26-22 win at home to Leeds to ensure the club remains third in the Championship.

The ex-Kilkenny College man was with Stade Français last season, but has settled comfortably at London Scottish alongside former Ireland back row Neil Best, who was used off the bench against Leeds.

Bristol, without either of their Irish players, won 27-17 away to Jersey, for whom Leinster-produced back row Michael Noone appeared off the bench.

Bottom club Plymouth Albion – who are in danger of going into administration – picked up a much-needed victory on Saturday. Ex-Munster out-half Declan Cusack was the hero, kicking 14 of Albion’s points in a 19-18 win over Kevin Maggs‘ Moseley.

Declan Cusack Declan Cusack was vital for Albion. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Rockwell College alumni Eoghan Grace was at openside flanker for Plymouth, while Ben Woods continued in the 13 shirt. The club have now turned their attention to raising £250,000 by Wednesday in order to avoid the threat of administration and subsequent punishment of a 20-point deduction.

There was disappointment for the strong Irish group at Rotherham Titans, as they suffered a 28-19 defeat at home to Nottingham, for whom prop Conor Carey appeared off the bench.

Willie RyanMichael Keating, Sean Scanlon and James McKinney all started for the Titans, while Ulster’s Ali Birch was used as a replacement. McKinney kicked two conversions, while ex-Leinster wing Keating’s superb attacking form continued as he crossed for this fifth try in eight starts this season.

Guinness Pro12

Glasgow scored three tries in poor weather conditions to secure a 22-7 win at home to the Scarlets on Friday night, with once-capped Ireland international James Downey making his seventh appearance of the season off the bench.

James Downey is tackled by Harry Robinson First-team starts have been limited for Downey so far. Source: Kevin Barnes/INPHO

Top 14

Grenoble dropped to sixth in the French league after a 34-16 defeat to Raphaël Ibañez’s daring Bordeaux side on Saturday afternoon. Bernard Jackman and Mike Prendergast‘s men have struggled on the road this season, although they did make a bright start at Stade André Moga with a second-minute try through Benjamin Thiery.

Ulsterman Chris Farrell played the full 80 minutes at outside centre as his strong season continued [Midi Olympique picked him out as one of Grenoble's best performers], while ex-Clontraf scrum-half James Hart was used off the bench with around 15 minutes remaining.

Meanwhile, Racing Métro – for whom Ronan O’Gara is defence coach – went down to a 32-23 defeat away to Toulon, who were driven by the impressive midfield duo of Juan Martín Hernández and Matt Giteau.

The Parisians stay fourth in the Top 14 heading into the Champions Cup fortnight.

Pro D2

Simon Mannix’s Pau remain top of the French second tier after a 20-8 win on the road against Dax, although Perpignan’s bonus-point victory at home to Carcassone means the lead is reduced to seven points.

Former Munster number eight James Coughlan was instrumental in Pau’s latest victory, completing 74 minutes of the game in the back row.

Jeremy Davidson, the former Ireland lock, came out on top of the battle of the Irish coaches on Saturday, as his Aurillac team saw off Eddie O’Sullivan‘s Biarritz 24-20 at Stade Jean-Alric.

Jeremy Davidson 31/8/2010 Jeremy Davidson won the battle of the Irish coaches in Pro D2. Source: Darren Kidd

Munster academy product Brian Hayes played the full game for Aurillac, who now move up to fifth in the table, while former Ulster and London Irish man Conor Gaston did the same on the left wing.

25-year-old prop Paddy McAllister was used off the bench with 20 minutes left, his sixth appearance of the season after injury held him back earlier in the campaign.

O’Sullivan’s Biarritz drop to fourth in the Pro D2 following this defeat.

Elsewhere, Westmeath lock Mark Flanagan started in the number four jersey as Mont-de-Marsan lost 39-32 away to Massy, meaning they shift down the table to seventh position.

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