# Irish Abroad
Ryan helps Racing blow Clermont away and all the exiles' action
Former Connacht man Rory Parata made his debut for Zebre.

AS WE WITNESSED two inter-provincial battles on home soil over the weekend, a host of Irish players featured in the English and French leagues.

Here, we round up the Irish involvement in the Premiership, Top 14 and Pro D2 in recent days.

Aviva Premiership

Leaders Exeter failed to pick up a match point for the first time in 33 regular season games as the in-form Newcastle overcame them on a 28-20 scoreline.

[image alt="Gareth Steenson" src="" width="630" height="394" class="alignnone" /end]

Irish out-half Gareth Steenson kicked a conversion and a penalty to keep himself top of the point-scoring charts with 122, while his fellow Ulsterman Ian Whitten was at outside centre as he made his 16th start of the campaign, but the Chiefs left Kingston Park disappointed.

The defeat means Mark McCall‘s Saracens are now within five points of Chiefs after their bonus-point 38-15 win away to Wasps, with Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje impressing on their returns from injury.

Ulster-bound tighthead Marty Moore was used off the bench by Wasps in the second half at the Ricoh Arena, his 14th appearance of the season for Dai Young’s side.

Donncha O’Callaghan captained Worcester in their 46-25 loss at home to Bath on Friday night, his 13th start of the campaign. Ex-Ulster hooker Niall Annett hasn’t played for the Warriors this season after suffering an ACL injury back in September.

There was a good result for Leicester Tigers, including assistant coach Geordan Murphy, as they beat London Irish to end a run of six consecutive defeats. Gloucester – where David Humphreys is director of rugby – were beaten by Northampton.

Meanwhile, there was bad news for Dublin native and former Connacht out-half AJ MacGinty as the USA international suffered a serious knee injury during Sale’s 30-29 win over Harlequins.

Guinness Pro14

Former Connacht man Rory Parata made his debut on the right wing for Italian side Zebre in their 40-20 defeat to Conference A leaders Glasgow.

[image alt="Rory Parata tackled by Huw Jones" src="" width="630" height="459" class="alignnone" /end]

Parata played the entire 80 minutes for Michael Bradley‘s side, while his fellow ex-Connacht player Ciaran Gaffney had a 25-minute spell off the bench in the second half. Former Ireland U20 international Gaffney was making his 15th appearance for the club.

Former Leinster out-half and current Italy international Ian McKinley came off the bench in Treviso’s encouraging 27-21 win over the Cheetahs as they continued their fine progress this season.

Top 14

Racing 92 had a huge 58-6 win over injury-stricken Clermont yesterday, scoring eight tries in the process, to lift themselves to third in the Top 14 table ahead of their clash with Munster this weekend in the Champions Cup.

Former Ireland and Munster man Donnacha Ryan was in the second row for Racing and completed the full 80 minutes for the first time since his move to the French club, a neck injury having delayed his debut until last month.

34-year-old Ryan will now look forward to the task of welcoming his former team-mates to Racing’s impressive U Arena on Sunday.

[image alt="Donnacha Ryan during a maul" src="" width="630" height="454" class="alignnone" /end]

While Racing are just a point off Top 14 leaders Montpellier, Clermont find themselves all the way down in 10th position, with just six wins from 15 domestic games so far this season. The likes of Camille Lopez, Benjamin Kayser, Remi Lamerat, Greig Laidlaw, Alivereti Raka, Loni Uhila, Aurelian Rougerie, Nao Nakaitaci, Sitaleki Timani and David Strettle have been sidelined through injury.

Elsewhere, former Munster flanker Sean Dougall was in Pau’s back row as they recorded their eighth win of the season, an 11-10 victory at home to Toulouse.

Dougall has featured prominently for Simon Mannix’s side in this campaign, with 11 starts in the Top 14 and Challenge Cup.

Ex-Munster tighthead Dave Ryan came off the bench for Agen in an important 30-3 victory over Castres as they fight against potential relegation into the Pro D2.

31-year-old Ryan made his 13th appearance of the French league campaign as the 13th-placed Agen kept in touch with Brive and Stade Français above them in the table.

Bottom side Oyonnax, with whom Mike Prendergast is the attack coach, scored four tries against La Rochelle but could still only manage a 38-38 draw. Meanwhile, Bordeaux – where Jeremy Davidson is forwards coach – beat Lyon 19-10.

Pro D2

Once-capped Ireland international tighthead Jamie Hagan came off the bench in Beziers’ 23-22 win away to a Perpignan side that included Lifeimi Mafi. Hagan was making his sixth appearance of the campaign, having joined Beziers last season from the Melbourne Rebels.

[image alt="Jamie Hagan" src="" width="630" height="408" class="alignnone" /end]

Former Ireland U19 lock Frank Bradshaw-Ryan was in the second row for Nevers as they recorded a 31-8 win over Aurillac, the ex-Shannon RFC man making his seventh start of the season since his move from Auch in the summer.

Another young Irish lock from was in the second row for Massy as they beat Grenoble, 23-year-old John Madigan making his 15th appearance of a fine first season in the Pro D2 after his move from Munster.

Making his seventh appearance since joining from Oyonnax, former Leinster centre Eamonn Sheridan was on the losing team as bottom side Carcassonne were beaten by Biarritz.

Campionato di Eccellenza

Ireland 7s international Ed O’Keefe, who played for Connacht ‘A’ in recent seasons, was on the left wing for Viadana in their 38-8 defeat to San Dona. Former Galwegians RFC man O’Keefe was making his eighth start of the campaign for Viadana.

* This article was updated at 11.35 to correct Leicester’s opponents from ‘Gloucester’ to ‘London Irish’ in the eighth paragraph, and to add reference to Gloucester’s defeat to Northampton. 

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