Tuesday 23 January 2018

Game at a glance


Sebastien Bruno v Damien Varley

THE old stager versus the coming man. Bruno has been around the block and, at 36, is winding down a career that has brought him from Beziers to Pau, back to Beziers, then a five-year stint with Sale, before hooking up with his old Sale coach Philippe Saint-Andre at Toulon.

Good enough to win 26 caps for France, Bruno is not the most physically intimidating hooker, but he is sturdy and street-wise and an excellent scrummager.

It is a good test for Varley whose excellent form has put him firmly in the Six Nations mix. The 27-year-old's progress has been the result of hard work and determination, making things happen when others may have allowed their careers to stall.

A key ball-carrier for Munster, Varley's scrummaging has also come on hugely, which will be as critical as his line-out throwing tomorrow; Bruno's throwing can be shaky.

Match betting

Toulon 4/9, Munster 7/4, draw 20/1. Handicap betting: Toulon -5pts 10/11.

Form guide


Numbers game

5The number of times England's Dave Pearson has refereed Munster in the Heineken Cup. Four of those games have ended in Munster victories, the sole defeat coming in last season's semi-final against Biarritz.

Irish Independent

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