Toulon v Toulouse - Top 14 match preview

Last updated: 24th May 2013  

Toulon s scrum half Frederic Michalak passes during a training session

Frederic Michalak: Back at scrum-half for Toulon

TOULOUSE Top 14 CELEBRATION

Toulouse celebrate their win over Racing Metro in the Top 14 play-off quarter-final

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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.

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