Preview: Clermont v Toulon

Date published: May 15 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_471966718

Toulon delivered yet more final misery on Clermont two weeks ago but les Jaunards could take a sliver of revenge on Sunday.

In a repeat of the Champions Cup final, the teams will meet at the Stade Marcel Michelin, although the team in red will bear little resemblence to the European champions.

That's because Bernard Laporte has decided to rest many of his big guns, with youngster UJ Seuteni getting the nod at fly-half.

The Australian youngster will make his first appearance for Toulon in squad featuring only three players who started at Twickenham.

It's a gamble from the European champions, who are just three points clear at the top of the table and aren't yet guaranteed a semi-final spot.

Only the top two qualify automatically for the semi-finals in Bordeaux, and Toulon could conceivably drop to fourth this weekend if they pick up nothing and other results go against them.

While a final game at home to Oyonnax will give them a chance to get back into the top two on the final day, it's a risky ploy.

As for Clermont, they showed a lot of steel to bounce back from their European disappointment with a big win at Grenoble last time out.

They seemed to get their rhythm back again and with their attacking game in full flow, they were tough to stop.

Intriguingly this game pits the league's best attack against the league's best defence, but it's Toulon who have racked up the most points, while Clermont have been the meanest defensively.

The latter may well continue on Sunday, but it's hard to see Toulon really threatening a full strength Clermont side.

They've not won at the Stade Marcel Michelin this century, and while Clermont haven't been quite as dominant at home this year, they've still got the league's best home record.

Next week les Jaunards are in Montpellier for what will potentially be a tough final match, but five points in this one would ease the pressure, and if Toulouse and Stade were to slip up, Clermont could even secure a semi-final spot before that trip.

The teams:

Clermont: tbc

Toulon: tbc

Date: Sunday, 15 May
Venue: Stade Marcel Michelin, Clermont-Ferrand
Kick-off: 21:00 local (20:00 BST, 19:00 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Pechambert
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès, Bruno Gabaldon

COMMENTS