Planet Rugby

Preview: Toulon v Stade Français

26th April 2012 12:09

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George Smith in Stade Francais jersey

At centre: George Smith

According to the ERC, George Smith will start at inside centre for Stade Français against Toulon in their Amlin Challenge Cup semi-final on Friday.

Smith will don the number twelve jersey for the Parisians against his former employers and joins fellow Australian, Morgan Turinui, in the midfield.

In another surprising call from the side sitting in sixth spot in the Top 14 table, Italy captain Sergio Parisse can only make the replacements bench.

David Lyons will instead wear the eight shirt alongside Pierre Rabadan and Antoine Burban.

Stade Français go into the European clash on the back of a 35-31 success over Perpignan while Toulon drew 25-25 with Castres last weekend.

Smith goes up against his former Wallaby team-mate Matt Giteau in the fixture, with the back named alongside fly-half Jonny Wilkinson.

England international Wilkinson continues alongside Sébastien Tillous-Borde while Joe van Niekerk leads this side from number eight alongside an in-form Steffon Armitage.

Toulon possess a mighty bench with Sebastien Bruno, Eifion Lewis-Roberts, Carl Hayman and also Luke Rooney all having to settle with riding pine at Stade Felix-Mayol this Friday.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Toulon: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Geoffroy Messina, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sébastien Tillous-Borde, 8 Joe van Niekerk (capt), 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Pierrick Gunther, 5 Dean Schofield, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Laurent Emmanuelli.
Replacements: 16 Sebastien Bruno, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Joe El Abd, 20 Gabi Lovobalavu, 21 Luke Rooney, 22 Fabien Cibray, 23 Jocelino Suta.

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Morgan Turinui, 12 George Smith, 11 Julien Arias, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jerome Fillol, 8 David Lyons, 7 Pierre Rabadan, 6 Antoine Burban, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 David Attoub, 2 Aled De Malmanche, 1 Stan Wright.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Sempere, 17 Rabah Slimani, 18 Olivier Milloud, 19 Anton van Zyl, 20 Sergio Parisse, 21 Jonathan Danty, 22 Julien Dupuy, 23 Djibril Camara.

Date: Friday, April 27
Kick-off: 20:55 (19:55 BST)
Venue: Stade Felix Mayol
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Dudley Phillips (Ireland)

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