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Reid’s Agen ‘frustrated’ at facing potential record-equaling defeat

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Paris (AFP) Ireland’s Noel Reid said Agen are determined to avoid losing a record 16th straight Top 14 game as they host Clermont on Saturday.

The bottom-of-the-table side will beat the number set by Perpignan in 2018-2019 if they are defeated by the two-time champions this weekend.

“We’d be lying to say that we’re not all very disappointed and frustrated but it’s been a difficult season. There’s been a few disruptions but they’re not excuses,” Reid, who can play fly-half and centre, told AFP this week.

“We’ll be putting our best foot forward hoping to put in a good performance. If you put in a good performance, you’re in with a chance of winning,” he added.

The Catalans were relegated after their poor start two years ago but 30-year-old Reid, who won his only Test cap in 2014, said talk of dropping to the second tier is not on the players’ minds.

“Management and owners need to discuss it between themselves planning wise but for us we have to focus on what we have in front of us,” he said.

“It’s pretty likely we’ll be playing ProD2 next season but at the moment we’re focusing on all the games we have left this season,” he added.

Elsewhere this weekend, Reid’s country of birth welcome his adopted France in the Six Nations after losing their tournament opener to Wales.

Captain Johnny Sexton is a doubt after suffering a head knock during Sunday’s defeat in Cardiff.

Reid featured with Sexton at Leinster for six seasons before departing for Leicester Tigers in 2019.

“If he’s fit then we’ve got a great chance. If Ireland start well and tick away at the scoreboard they could win,” Reid said.

“He’s unbelievably competitive and a great professional. He just sets an unbelievably high standard for himself and the team. It’s pretty infectious when you can see it first hand, training with him every day.”

– ‘Bite your hand off’ –

On Saturday, Reid’s focus will be on proceedings at Stade Armandie before following his compatriots 24 hours later.

Given the option of one victory this weekend, his answer was unequivocal.

“I’d bite your hand off for an Agen win. It would be nice to get the morale and confidence back into the squad,” he said.

“A difference a win can make is massive, for the players to show we can win a game, we are good players. I’ll let the Ireland boys take the loss if Agen can get the win.”

Elsewhere in the French league this weekend, Stade Francais are struggling to name a full 23-man matchday squad for Saturday’s trip to Bordeaux-Begles due to injuries to front-rowers and centres.

Three-time European Cup winners Toulon entertain La Rochelle after the visitors missed out on top spot with last Sunday’s loss at Racing 92.

Fixtures (times GMT)

Friday

Toulouse v Pau (1945)

Saturday

Bordeaux-Begles v Stade Francais (1345), Racing 92 v Lyon, Agen v Clermont, Castres v Montpellier (1600), Toulon v La Rochelle (2000)

Sunday

Bayonne v Brive (1805)

Courtesy: France 24

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