Wednesday 20 March 2019

Toulon drop Steffon Armitage for Leinster encounter but name star-studded XV

Toulon's Steffon Armitage
Toulon's Steffon Armitage

Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe has been preferred to Steffon Armitage in the Toulon back row for Sunday's Champions Cup quarter-final clash with Leinster at the Stade Velodrome in Marseilles.

Armitage completely dominated the breakdown area in last year's encounter between the sides in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup but the Argentinean has got the nod from Bernard Laporte for this encounter.

Carl Hayman captains the side from tighthead prop, while World cup winners Bakkies Botha and Ali Williams will pack down in the second row.

The absense of Armitage means that Lobbe, Juan Smith and Chris Masoe make up the back row.

The backline is filled with talent and potential danger for Leinster.

The French half back partnership of Sebastian Tillous-Borde and Frederic Michalak will look to provide quality ball for centres Matt Giteau and Mathieu Bastaraeud.

The back three includes Bryan Habana and Delon Armitage on the wings and Wales star Leigh Halfpenny at full-back.

Toulon: (15-9) Leigh Halfpenny, Delon Armitage, Mathieu Bastaraeud, Matt Giteau, Bryan Habana, Frederic Michalak, Sebastian Tillous-Borde; (1-8)Xavier Chiocci, Guilhem Guirado, Carl Hayman, Bakkies Botha, Ali Williams, Juan Smith, Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Chris Masoe.

Replacements: (16-23) Jean-Charles Orioli, Alexandre Menini, Levan Chilachava, Steffon Armitage, Drew Mitchell, Rudi Wulf, Michael Claassens, Jocelino Suta

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