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Toulon v Toulouse - Top 14 match preview
Heineken Cup champions Toulon will look to close in on the double when they tackle Toulouse in the Top 14 semi-final at Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes on Friday.
In a rematch of last year's final, both teams have taken special measures in their preparations - with Toulon staying in Dublin while defending champions Toulouse have been training behind closed doors in Nantes since Monday.
Toulouse boss Guy Noves has opted to name the same team that impressively beat Racing Metro in the play-offs
That means veteran centre Yannick Jauzion remains in the starting XV, with Yann David the only three-quarter on a forwards dominated bench.
"We'll have to be physically ready to deal with the kitchen sink Toulon are going to throw at us," said Toulouse winger Yoann Huget.
Toulon have made two changes to their squad following the success over Clermont.
Frederic Michalak is preferred to the benched Sebastien Tillous-Borde at scrum-half, while Rocky Elsom replaces Joe van Niekerk among the replacements.
Mathieu Bastareaud said: "We're professionals. We've gone halfway, we know we can still achieve something historic. We have the means to do it. But Toulouse will be awaiting us with teeth bared."
Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Rudi Wulf, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Jonny Wilkinson (c), 9 Frederic Michalak, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 6 Danie Rossouw, 5 Nick Kennedy, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Sebastien Bruno, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Gethin Jenkins, 18 Davit Kubriashvili, 19 Rocky Elsom, 20 Steffon Armitage, 21 Maxime Mermoz, 22 Sébastien Tillous-Borde , 23 Jocelino Suta.
Toulouse:15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Yannick Jauzion, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Jean Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir, 6 Jean Bouilhou, 5 Patricio Albacete, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 William Servat, 1 Vasil Kakovin.
Replacements: 16 Jaba Bregvadze, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Romain Millo Chlusky, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Lionel Beauxis, 22 Yann David, 23 Jean Batiste Poux.
|Click here for more betting|
|Friday 15th August|
|18:45||Bayonne vs Toulon|
|Saturday 16th August|
|12:45||Clermont Auvergne vs Grenoble|
|16:30||Castres vs Stade Francais|
|16:30||Bordeaux-Begles vs Lyon|
|16:30||Toulouse vs Oyonnax|
|16:30||Brive vs La Rochelle|
|18:45||Montpellier vs Racing Metro Paris|
|Friday 22nd August|
|18:45||Toulouse vs Castres|
|Saturday 23rd August|
|12:45||Brive vs Clermont Auvergne|
|16:30||Bayonne vs Oyonnax|
|16:30||Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris|
|16:30||Toulon vs La Rochelle|
|16:30||Montpellier vs Grenoble|
|18:45||Stade Francais vs Lyon|
|Friday 29th August|
|18:45||Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier|
|Saturday 30th August|
|12:45||La Rochelle vs Toulouse|
|16:30||Castres vs Bay Of Plenty|
|16:30||Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles|
|16:30||Oyonnax vs Stade Francais|
|16:30||Lyon vs Brive|
|18:45||Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon|
|Friday 5th September|
|18:45||Montpellier vs Castres|
|Saturday 6th September|
|12:45||Brive vs Toulouse|
|15:00||Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris|
|16:30||Stade Francais vs Bayonne|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com