Planet Rugby

Preview: Leicester v Toulouse

18th January 2013 08:55

Share:

Luke McAlister Toulouse

In the centre: Luke McAlister

Toulouse have named Lionel Beauxis at fly-half alongside Luke McAlister, with the latter moved to 12 for their Heineken Cup clash with Leicester.

Guy Novés's decision heightens the expectation that the French outfit will adopt a kick-minded approach and back their forwards to win up front.

Thierry Dusautoir returns to that pack alongside Gregory Lamboley and Louis Picamoles while hooker Christopher Tolofua is back in the side.

A further boost to the line-up is Census Johnston coming through a late fitness test, which allows him to start at prop alongside Gurthro Steenkamp. Toulouse arrive with a matchday 23 that features 22 internationals. Only prop Yohan Montes does not have an international cap to his name.

There is just one change to the Leicester side that drew 15-all with Ospreys last week with Thomas Waldrom starting at number eight ahead of Jordan Crane, who drops to the bench.

A sell-out crowd awaits the French side at Welford Road for what is a must-win fixture for the hosts while a losing bonus point or two could be enough for Toulouse to sneak into the quarter-finals.

Toulouse recorded a comfortable 23-9 victory over Richard Cockerill's side in the first game between the sides back in October but will be aware the Tigers will be a different proposition at home in front 24,000 fans.

The Tigers will be desperate to secure a place in the last eight, having failed to make the quarter-finals of European rugby's premier tournament for two of the last three seasons.

Leicester are unbeaten in their last 21 home games in the Heineken Cup since Munster won 21-19 at Welford Road in 2006. But Leicester's only win in their last five encounters with French opponents was 23-19 over Clermont in 2011.

Toulouse's only Round 6 victory since 2008 came at Sale Sharks in 2010.

Leicester have won three of the clashes between these sides, while Toulouse's victory over the Tigers earlier in the campaign was their fourth win against their long-standing rivals.

The only time that Toulouse have missed out on a quarter-final spot since 2001/02 was in 2006/07.

Work is well underway to protect the Welford Road pitch from the current arctic conditions in readiness for Sunday's game.

The playing surface has been protected by frost sheets since last week and has been covered by a heatdome since Wednesday.

Daytime temperatures over the next three days are expected to remain around freezing with overnight lows predicted to be around -4C/-5C. Temperatures at Welford Road reached a low of -8C on Tuesday night.

Snow is forecast for Leicester on Friday afternoon but is expected to clear on Saturday.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Logovi'i Mulipola, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Luke McAlister, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Lionel Beauxis, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Gregory Lamboley, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Gary Botha, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Yohan Montes, 19 Romain Millo-Chluski, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Yannick Jauzion, 23 Maxime Medard.

Date: Sunday, 20 January
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 15:00
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Olly Hodges (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Preview
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , September 21
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Connacht 10 - 9 LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Brive 13 - 53 ToulonBrive vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Exeter310
4Leicester Tigers39
5Harlequins38