Tigers and Toulouse go head to head while Toulon can do Irish sides a favour


It’s a photo finish to determine which is more intimidating – Toulon’s starting team or a bench that includes Gethin Jenkins, Carl Hayman, Mathieu Bastareaud, and Juan-Martin Fernandez Lobbe.

The visitors need a point to guarantee a home quarter-final and have sent out a strong team against Montpellier today. Leinster, Munster and all those chasing one of the two runner-up places that will qualify for the quarter-finals will be keeping fingers crossed for Toulon.

Montpellier know that a couple of points will send them through to the knock-out stage. They are without captain Fulgence Quedraogo and will be motivated to honour forwards’ coach Eric Bechu who died this week. Clermont are the only French team to have won a European game in Montpellier but that might change today.

In Ulster’s pool (four), Northampton will be hoping for a four-try victory at Glasgow Warriors today to put them on 19 points and give them an outside chance of claiming one of the two best runners-up places. They can not overtake Ulster at the top of the pool (19 points) because of an inferior head-to-head record.

The Saints have scored only six tries in the tournament so far and so will be chasing a bagful against a Glasgow side that shows 10 changes from last weekend. If conditions are reasonable then Northampton should manage their five point haul but that may only bring them a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup rather than a Heineken Cup quarter-final.

Tomorrow, Leicester Tigers and Toulouse meet at Welford Road and there are mathematical permutations that could see both teams qualify, but, realistically, the winner of this match will be in the box seat.

The Tigers are two points behind and have scored one try less than their visitors, but will relish the task. Irish man Niall Morris, a try scorer last week, continues on the right wing.

Four-time European champions Toulouse have offered an inkling of how they may play this game in the composition of their team. The big boot of Lionel Beauxis has been brought in at outhalf with Luke McAlister shifting to the centre.

Jean Marc Doussain is preferred to the more physically robust Luke Burgess at scrumhalf. Leicester will relish the challenge and seem well equipped to deal with it.

MONTPELLIER: P Berard; T Nagusa, T Combezou, S Fernandez, Y Audrin; F Trinh-Duc, B Paillaugue; M Nariashvili, A Creevy, M Bustos; M De Marco, M Gorgodze (capt); A Bias, J Beattie, A Tulou. Replacements: E Van Vuuren, Y Watremez, B Fa’amausili, A Fakate, T Privat, K Galletier, E Escande, L Amorosino.

TOULON: D Armitage; R Wulf, M Mermoz, M Giteau, A Palisson; J Wilkinson (capt), F Michalak; A Sheridan, M Ivaldi, D Kubriashvili; S Shaw, J Suta; P Gunther, S Armitage, C Masoe. Replacements: J Orioli, G Jenkins, C Hayman, N Kennedy, M Bastareaud, J Martin Fernandez Lobbe, V Martin, J van Niekerk.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland).

Verdict: Toulon to win

GLASGOW WARRIORS: S Hogg; T Seymour, B McGuigan, G Morrison, S Maitland; R Jackson, N Matawalu; G Reid, P MacArthur, M Low; T Swinson, A Kellock (capt); J Strauss, J Eddie, R Wilson. Replacements: D Hall, R Grant, T Ryder, A Dunbar, S Kennedy, S Wight, P Horne.

NORTHAMPTON SAINTS: B Foden; J Wilson, G Pisi, D Waldouck, J Elliott; S Myler, L Dickson; S Tonga’uiha, D Hartley (capt), P Doran-Jones; S Manoa, C Lawes; C Clark, T Wood, P Dowson. Replacements: M Haywood, A Waller, T Mercey,

M Sorenson, R Oakley, M Roberts, R Lamb, T May.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales).

Verdict: Northampton Saints to win.

LEICESTER TIGERS: M Tait; N Morris, M Tuilagi, A Allen, A Thompstone; T Flood, B Youngs; M Ayerza, T Youngs, D Cole; L Deacon (capt), G Parling; S Mafi, J Salvi, T Waldrom. Replacements: R Hawkins, L Mulipola, M Castrogiovanni, E Slater, J Crane, S Harrison, G Ford, M Smith.

TOULOUSE: C Poitrenaud; V Clerc, F Fritz, L McAlister, Y Huget; L Beauxis, JM Doussain; G Steenkamp, C Tolofua, C Johnston; Y Maestri, P Albacete; G Lamboley, T Dusautoir (capt), L Picamoles. Replacements: G Botha, V Kakovin, Y Montes, R Millo-Chluski, Y Nyanga, L Burgess, Y Jauzion, M Medard.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland).

Verdict: Leicester Tigers to win.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection


Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.