Planet Rugby

Bayonne not scared of Toulon

14th August 2014 11:28


pat noriega bayonne

New man: Patricio Noriega

New Bayonne coach Patricio Noriega is refusing to be intimidated ahead of a Top 14 opener against reigning champions Toulon.

The former Argentina and Australia prop arrived in the Basque country over the off-season, having spent two years in Paris with Racing Métro and Stade Français.

After letting Christian Lanta and Christophe Deylaud go, Bayonne brought in Noriega for his first head coaching job in France.

He will face a baptism of fire first up, against a Toulon side which won both the Top 14 and Heineken Cup trophies last season.

But despite the multitude of World Cup winners and Test stars who will line up against them, Noriega is confident Bayonne will be up to the challenge on home soil.

"I'm never afraid. They have a great team with lots of international players," he told Rugbyrama.

"The most important is undoubtedly Matt Giteau at ten. He started his career at scrum-half, and he played with me, since he has played everywhere and has a lot of experience. He's the key to their game.

"Then they have an excellent front row, a very good second row, a back row capable of dominating their opponents and powerful, quick backs. They are a very good side, but we are not scared.

"It's our first game, and with the rest of the staff, we're very optimistic about putting in place everything we have worked on until now.

"It's a game of rugby and from the moment you go onto the pitch, it's 15 against 15. The player opposite you will have two arms and two legs just like us. We obviously have a lot of respect for them because they are the champions, but that's it. It was last season, and this is a new season which is starting."

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
Friday , December 19
Bayonne vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Saturday , December 20
Toulon vs Lyon18:00
Racing Metro Paris vs La Rochelle18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
  • Top 14 Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , November 8
Oyonnax 37 - 9 La Rochelle
Clermont Auvergne 51 - 9 Stade FrancaisClermont Auvergne vs Stade Francais Report
Grenoble 34 - 30 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 21 Toulouse
Castres 22 - 14 ToulonCastres vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 10 Bayonne
Friday , November 7
Montpellier 10 - 25 BriveMontpellier vs Brive Report
Sunday , November 2
Toulon 61 - 28 Grenoble
Saturday , November 1
Lyon 17 - 41 Toulouse
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 21 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
  • Top 14 Table
Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
1Clermont Auvergne1136
3Stade Francais1131
4Racing Metro Paris1129