Toulouse out for revenge
September 4, 2009
Napolioni Nalaga will be hoping to rediscover his scoring touch against Toulouse © Getty Images
Toulouse will be out for revenge when they take on Clermont Auvergne in a re-match of last season's Top 14 semi-final at the Stade Marcel Michelin on Sunday. Clermont won 19-9 at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in Bordeaux before losing the final to Perpignan.
Toulouse overtook Clermont at the top of the standings in midweek, defeating Bayonne 21-17 after Clermont lost out 26-21 to Jonny Wilkinson and Toulon.
Both sides have shown flashes of their powerful best thus far but have struggled to put together a meaningful run, Toulouse blotting their copybook with a 17-15 away loss to Perpignan last weekend.
Toulouse are forced to employ Cedric Heymans at fullback following serious injuries to both Maxime Medard and Clement Poitrenaud, but are boosted by the return of Frederic Michalak in the No.10 jersey.
Clermont will have been worried by their inability to score a try against Toulon, making it two games in a row where they have failed to cross the whitewash.
A 9-9 draw with Brive was powered by Brock James' boot, while it was centre Seremaia Bai and fullback Anthony Floch who chipped in from the kicking tee against Toulon.
Clermont have slipped to fourth behind Perpignan, but victory this weekend will see them soar back above Toulouse.
Clermont Auvergne: A Floch; A Rougerie, GJ Canale, S Baikeinuku, N Nalaga; B James, M Parra; T Domingo, ME Ledesma Arocena, D Zirakashvili, J Cudmore, T Privat, JPR White, A Audebert, E Vermeulen
Replacements: B Cabello, V Debaty, L Jacquet, J Bardy, K Senio, W Fofana, RB Russell, L Faure
Toulouse: C Heymans; V Clerc, F Fritz, Y David, Y Donguy; F Michalak, BT Kelleher; DCF Human, W Servat, JB Poux, Y Maestri, PE Albacete, J Bouilhou, Y Nyanga, L Picamoles
Replacements: A Vernet Basualdo, Y Montes, J Ledevedec, T Dusautoir, JB Elissalde, M Ahotaeiloa, Y Jauzion, CAI Johnston
With the deadline for World Cup ticket applications now over, Tom May outlines his hopes, gripes and wishes for next year's global gathering
Floundering Leicester, exquisite Exeter and two old England players tearing up trees - it's the Monday Maul
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship and all the domestic action from the northern hemisphere
Chris Robshaw talks to Tom Hamilton about mental and physical preparation and coping with pressure ahead of the World Cup