Saturday 20 December 2014

Scouting report - Munster v Toulouse

Published 31/03/2014 | 02:30

Strengths: The most successful rugby club in Heineken Cup history (four wins), French powerhouses Toulouse will not fear their first-ever trip to Thomond Park.

SCOUTING REPORT: MUNSTER V TOULOUSE, SATURDAY APRIL 5, 1.30

Head coach Guy Noves is in his 21st season in charge of the club. His experience, coupled with the balance between French internationals and the southern hemisphere imports, will pose a serious threat to Munster's proud home record.

Weaknesses: Connacht proved that Toulouse can be mentally fragile – although it is difficult to imagine them making the same mistake twice against Munster. The loss of Thierry Dusautoir (torn biceps) would weaken any team, but without him, there are question marks over the leaders left to fill the void.

Key players – Louis Picamoles: The outstanding No 8 in world rugby for the last couple of seasons, the 28-year old is in the prime of his career and will provide Toulouse with go-forward ball as he looks to put his Six Nations nightmare behind him.

Florian Fritz: Back in action over the weekend for the first time since December, the centre's return from an arm injury is timely as Toulouse are likely to target Munster through the middle.

Injury doubts – Luke McAllister: Forced off with a back injury after just 13 minutes in the draw with Stade Francais two weeks ago, the former All Black is in a race against time to be fit for the game in Limerick.

Recent results: Toulouse are without a win in their previous two games. A four-point defeat (32-28) to rivals Toulon on Saturday left them in sixth position in the Top 14 and eight points off the top.

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