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
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058