Planet Rugby

Preview: Toulon v Perpignan

21st November 2013 16:54

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Johnny Wilkinson Toulon v Perpignan

Star of the show: Jonny Wilkinson

Top 14 co-leaders Toulon host Perpignan on Friday hoping that a big win will take them clear at the summit of the standings.

Toulon are level with Montpellier at the top of table but with les Héraultais hosting defending champions Castres on Saturday, Jonny Wilkinson and co. will be aware that a bonus-point win should be enough to move ahead again.

Despite having a star-studded squad, Toulon have lost fewer players to the November Tests than Perpignan. RCT are missing 10 internationals duty while USAP are without 13.

Perpignan have lost on their last four visits to the Var, where they have not won since 2009.

Toulon have the best defence in the Top 14 having conceded just eight tries in 11 games. Toulon also have the league's second best attack having scored 24 tries, three less than Clermont but five more that Perpignan.

Friday's visitors are in good form however and lie just four points off the lead.

Toulon are without former Springbok Danie Rossouw, who is facing the possibility of surgery on a hip injury. Virgile Bruni makes his first appearance on the bench after a public spat with coach Bernard Laporte following his signing for Perpignan.

USAP have named former France scrum-half Nicolas Durand at fly-half in the absence of a specialist. James Hook, Tommy Allan and Camille Lopez are all away on international duty while Dewaldt Duvenage, who was set to play at 10, got injury on Thursday.

Bertrand Guiry returns to the back-row for the first time since Round Three.

The teams:

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Alexis Palisson, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sebastien Tillous Borde, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Ali Williams, 4 Jocelino Suta, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Jean Charles Orioli, 17 Florian Fresia, 18 Pierrick Gunther, 19 Virgile Bruni, 20 Rudi Wulf, 21 Drew Mitchell, 22 Michael Claassens, 23 Xavier Chiocci.

Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Watisoni Votu, 13 David Marty, 12 Wandile Mjekevu, 11 Richard Haughton, 10 Nicolas Durand, 9 Tom Ecochard, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Jean-Pierre Perez, 6 Bertrand Guiry, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Guillaume Vilaceca, 3 Kisi Pulu, 2 Romain Terrain, 1 Sebastien Taofifenua.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Delonca, 17 Jean Baptiste Custoja, 18 Nicolas Rabat, 19 Karl Chateau, 20 Tim Menzel, 21 Jens Torfs, 22 Romain Fernandez, 23 Giorge Jgenti.

Results last season: Toulon 46-13 Perpignan; Perpignan 15-21 ToulonDate: Friday, November 22
Venue: Stade Felix Mayol, Toulon
Kick-off: 20.45 local (19.45 GMT)
Referee: Sébastien Clouté
Assistant referees: Laurent Cardona, Laurent Breil
Television match official: Eric Gauzins

  • Top 14 Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse14:45
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
Saturday , November 8
Castres vs Toulon18:00
Racing Metro Paris vs Bayonne18:00
Montpellier vs Brive18:00
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  • Top 14 Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Sunday , October 12
Toulouse 21 - 10 ToulonToulouse vs Toulon Report
Saturday , October 11
Bordeaux-Begles 59 - 7 CastresBordeaux-Begles vs Castres Report
Montpellier 25 - 9 Oyonnax
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 10 La Rochelle
Stade Francais 23 - 19 Racing Metro ParisStade Francais vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Lyon 24 - 19 Bayonne
Friday , October 10
Grenoble 26 - 25 BriveGrenoble vs Brive Report
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles 51 - 21 Clermont Auvergne
Bayonne 10 - 15 Montpellier
Castres 51 - 10 Grenoble
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  • Top 14 Table
Overall 2014
Top 14 Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne931
2Toulon928
3Bordeaux-Begles927
4Montpellier926
5Stade Francais926