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.
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Grenoble, coached by Bernard Jackman and Mike Prendergast, moved back up to fifth in the Top 14 with a comprehensive 33-19 bonus-point win at home to Oyonnax on Saturday afternoon.
O’Gara’s Racing Métro won at home against UBB. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
The Isére-based club have lost just once at Stade des Alpes this season, although next weekend’s trip to Bordeaux [currently sixth in the league] should be a demanding test of their ability on the road.
Former Ulster centre Chris Farrell was back in the 13 shirt for Grenoble on Saturday, making his eighth Top 14 start of the season and continuing his excellent season. 23-year-old scrum-half James Hart played the closing six minutes off the bench.
Elsewhere, Racing Métro squeezed to a 12-9 victory at home to Bordeaux to maintain their top-four position in the table. Defence coach Ronan O’Gara will have been pleased to see his charges keep their tryline intact during an important win.
London Irish’s tough season in the Premiership continued on Saturday as they suffered a 22-6 defeat away to Mark McCall‘s Saracens, who secured third position with their eighth win of the domestic campaign.
Tom Court was at loosehead again for the Exiles, while former Ireland U20 international Conor Gilsenan made his second Premiership start at openside flanker.
Gilsenan was with Connacht on a loan deal last season. Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Ex-Leinster centre Eamonn Sheridan partnered Irish-qualified Fergus Mulchrone in midfield, while scrum-half Tomás O’Leary was used off the bench in the closing quarter.
London Irish’s drop down the table meant Newcastle moved up to 10th, despite losing 39-31 away to Northampton in an entertaining clash on Friday night.
Former Ireland U20 hooker George McGuigan was among the tries for the Falcons having appeared as a substitute with 23 minutes remaining, while Danny Barnes made his first Premiership start of the season on the left wing.
The ex-Munster man has been playing for the Newcastle’s A side in recent times, but his form has pushed him back into the first team. The 25-year-old will now hope to secure his position for the remainder of the campaign.
Exeter Chiefs suffered a disappointing 26-25 home defeat to David Humphreys‘ Gloucester on Saturday afternoon to drop to sixth. Gareth Steenson kicked two conversions and two penalties to underline his excellent record off the tee.
Jerry Sexton, younger brother of Ireland out-half Johnny, made his Premiership debut off the bench for the Chiefs. The former Ireland U20 lock completed 35 minutes in the second row for Rob Baxter’s men, while Ulsterman Ian Whitten was also used off the bench.
Sexton  celebrates a try for the Ireland U20s in 2013. Source: Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho
As with Barnes, Sexton has been impressing in the English A league, and will look to build on his maiden appearance in the Premiership.