Planet Rugby

Preview: Toulon v Sale

14th December 2012 10:37

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Toulon s Frederic Michalak runs with the ball sept 2012

Starting: Frederic Michalak

Toulon have benched several of their top players for the Heineken Cup Pool match with Sale at Stade Félix Mayol.

The big-spending French outfit did not have things their all way at Salford City Stadium last week despite winning 17-6 against the English side.

But with a five-point lead in the Pool, Toulon have left such star names like Jonny Wilkinson, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Carl Hayman and Mathieu Bastareaud on the replacements bench.

Fred Michalak, Joe van Niekerk, Davit Kubriashvili and Maxime Mermoz have been handed starts in the respective players' places while Nick Kennedy and Gethin Jenkins will wear shirts five and one.

This will be the first visit to Stade Felix Mayol for Sale Sharks, who name Rob Miller on the left wing and Danny Cipriani wearing number ten.

Aston Croall makes a rare start at hooker while Mark Cueto is moved to outside centre.

The teams:

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Rudi Wulf, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Joe Van Niekerk, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Nick Kennedy, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 22 Jonny Wilkinson, 23 Simon Shaw.

Sale: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Mark Jennings, 13 Mark Cueto, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Rob Miller, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Gaskell, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 2 Aston Croall, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruise, 17 Vadim Cobilas, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Sam Tuitupou, 23 Charlie Amesbury.

Date: Sunday, December 16
Kick-off: 16:00 (15:00 GMT)
Venue: Stade Félix Mayol
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Paul Haycock (Ireland), Brian MacNiece (Ireland)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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Friday , October 17
Harlequins vs Castres19:45
Saturday , October 18
Sale vs Munster13:00
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Leicester vs Ulster19:45
Glasgow vs Bath15:15
Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton17:15
Sunday , October 19
Leinster vs Wasps17:15
Toulon vs Scarlets15:15
Toulouse vs Montpellier13:00
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso13:00
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Pool 1
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1Leinster622
2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
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2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
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2Saracens620
3Connacht613
4Zebre60
Pool 4
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1Clermont Auvergne624
2Harlequins616
3Scarlets611
4Racing Metro Paris67
Pool 5
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1Ulster626
2Leicester Tigers621
3Montpellier611
4Treviso60
Pool 6
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PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67