Planet Rugby

Preview: Castres v Toulon

21st February 2013 17:41

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Toulon centre Mathew Giteau L runs to score v Castres

At 12 for Toulon: Matt Giteau

Top 14 leaders Toulon travel to fourth-placed Castres on Friday with a formidable line-up, despite this weekend's clash with the Six Nations.

Toulon will arrive at Stade Pierre Antoine with a starting line-up featuring 12 internationals and a handful more on the bench.

Fresh from their 51-6 win over Montpellier last week, RCT will look to go one better than the 22-all draw at this venue last season.

RCT have not won in Castres since 1985 but on current form - they have the league's best record on the road this term - Bernard Laporte's team look capable of becoming only the second side to win there this season.

It's set to be a tight battle between the two best defences in France with Castres having conceded just 19 tries in their 18 games so far compared to Toulon's 17.

Castres have made five changes to the side that narrowly lost in Biarritz last week with veteran Fijian centre Seremaia Bai returning in midfield. Former Worcester wing Marcel Garvey starts on the wing.

For Toulon, former French international scrum-half Sébastien Tillous-Borde will make his first start this year alongside Jonny Wilkinson behind an all-international pack.

Castres Olympique: 15 Romain Teulet, 14 Romain Martial, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Jan Bornman, 7 Piula Faasalele, 6 Ibrahim Diarra, 5 Rodrigo Capo Ortega, 4 Matthias Rolland, 3 Karena Wihongi, 2 Brice Mach, 1 Saimone Taumoepeau.
Replacements: 16 Mathieu Bonello, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Benjamin Desroche, 19 Ewert Wessel Jooste, 20 Daniel Kirkpatrick, 21 Remi Lamerat, 22 Pierre Lakafia, 23 Anton Peikrishvili.

Rugby Club Toulonnais: 15 Benjamin Lapeyre, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Rudi Wulf, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Sebastien Tillous Borde, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Joe van Niekerk, 5 Nick Kennedy , 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Jean Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Pierrick Gunther, 20 David Smith, 21 Geoffroy Messina, 22 Nicolas Durand, 23 Levan Chilachava.

Date: Friday, February 22
Venue:Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres
Kick-off: 20.50 (19.50 GMT)
Referee: Patrick Pechambert

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