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Toulouse

  • Lamboley, Nyanga, Medard (2), Huget (2),
    Conversions: Barraque, Bezy (3),
38 - 5

Zebre

  • Berryman,

Heineken Cup preview: Toulouse v Zebre

By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter   Last updated: 12th October 2013  

 Mauro Bergamasco

Mauro Bergamasco: Will need to be on top form if Zebre are to avoid a heavy defeat

Toulouse flanker Thierry Dusautoir R v Racing Metro

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Toulouse host Zebre this Friday in Pool 3 as the new Heineken Cup season gets underway.

The French side are four-time winners of the competition and go into this season's tournament amongst the favourites to lift the trophy.

Despite a mixed start to the Top 14 campaign Toulouse still sit fourth after five wins and four defeats, courtesy of having already claimed seven bonus points. An impressive 28-10 win over Stade Francais means that Guy Noves' side go into the Zebre match full of confidence.

Zebre, however, arrive in France having picked up just one win in five RaboDirect Pro12 matches so far - they lost 30-7 at Newport Gwent Dragons last time out.

Andrea Cavinato's team are huge underdogs and the Italian visitors know it will take a gargantuan effort to overcome Toulouse, especially away from home.

The chances of an upset are slim with Zebre still looking for their first win in the competition and Toulouse unbeaten against Italian opposition.

Depth

Noves has a host of French internationals to choose from but has opted to leave Louis Picamoles on the bench. He is joined there by Thierry Dusautoir, who will hope to make his return from injury at some stage in proceedings.

"The goal is to get the best in this competition and the best course would be to take five points. But we also have to beware of this team who imposed themselves in Cardiff," backs coach Jean-Baptiste Elissalde told the ERC website.

Mauro Bergamasco starts for Zebre with the Italy international's experience likely to be key if the away team are to cause a shock.

George Biagi has failed to recover from an ankle injury though, meaning that Michael Van Vuren starts in the second row, whilst no 8 Samuela Vunisa makes his Heineken Cup debut.

There is also a start for Giulio Toniolatti on the wing with Leonardo Sarto ruled out through injury.

Toulouse: 15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Yann David, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque 9 Sebastien Bezy; 1 Guthro Steenkamp, 2 Christopher Tolofua, 3 Yohan Montes, 4 Romain Millo-Chluski, 5 Iosefa Tekori, 6 Gregory Lamboley, 7 Yannick Nyanga (c), 8 Gillian Galan.

Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Census Johnston, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Patricio Albacate, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Hosea Gear, 23 Thierry Dusautoir.

Zebre: 15 Ruggero Trevisan, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Dion Berryman, 10 Tommaso Iannone, 9 Brendon Leonard; 1 Salvatore Perugini, 2 Davide Giazzon, 3 Carlo Fazzari, 4 Michael Van Vuren, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 6 Mauro Bergamasco, 7 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 8 Samuela Vunisa.

Replacements: 16. Tommaso D'Apice, 17. Matias Aguero, 18. Dario Chistolini, 19. Emiliano Caffini, 20. Filippo Cristiano, 21. Alberto Chillon, 22. Luciano Orquera, 23. Roberto Quartaroli.

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European Rugby Champions Cup Table

European Rugby Champions Cup Table - January 19 2014
Pos Team P Pts
4 Zebre 6 0
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
15:15Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
14:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92

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