Preview: Clermont v Toulouse

Date published: January 3 2015

Clermont have made 13 changes to their team for Sunday’s Top 14 clash with Toulouse at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin.

A classic clash of two of France’s heavyweights and it should be an intriguing battle between the best defence in the league (Clermont) and the top-scoring away team in France.

Toulouse have lost just two of their last eleven matches and will seek revenge for their loss on home soil earlier in the season, but they have not won in the Auvergne since 2008.

Clermont will be looking to bounce back from defeat in Lyon last week while Toulouse will want to build on a workman like home win over Racing.

Clermont have named their first-choice XV with French internationals Damien Chouly, Benjamin Kayser, Thomas Domingo and Sebastien Vahaamahina all back to start while Morgan Parra and Camille Lopez form the half-back duo.

For Toulouse, young hooker Julien Marchand will start for just the second time. Wing Timoci Matanavou and Alexis Palisson return to the starting XV while Yannick Nyanga replaces Imanol Harinordoquy. The visitors have also named an all-international bench.

Clermont: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Zac Guildford, 10 Camille Lopez , 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 John Ulugia, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Paul Jedrasiak, 19 Alexandre Lapandry, 20 Ludovic Radosavljevic, 21 Mike Delany, 22 Jonathan Davies, 23 Clement Ric.

Toulouse: 15 Maxime Medard, 14 Timoci Matanavou, 13 Yann David, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Jean Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Yannick Nyanga, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Iosefa Tekori, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Vasil Kakovin.
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Patricio Albacete, 19 Yacouba Camara, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Luke McAlister, 22 Yoann Huget, 23 Kisi Pulu.

Previous Result: Clermont won 13-9
Kick-off: 21:00 (20:00 GMT)
Referee: Christophe Berdos