Sport Rugby

Friday 15 December 2017

Scouting report - Toulon v Leinster

Strengths: The depth of Toulon's star-studded squad makes them a dangerous prospect for anyone. That was proved on Saturday when Jonny Wilkinson missed the Toulouse game through injury but Frederic Michalak stepped in and scored 27 points in a 32-28 victory.


Toulon boast an impressive home record and the bearpit atmosphere at the Stade Felix Mayol will be a key factor as they aim to defend their Heineken Cup title.

Weaknesses: Leinster are arguably the fittest team in Europe and they will look to use their pace against an ageing team who can at times be inconsistent.

Key players: Jonny Wilkinson – The man for the big occasion. As Matt O'Connor put it, "Wilkinson will kick goals from anywhere", and Leinster will have to keep their discipline in check if they are to pull off a famous victory.

Carl Hayman – The 34-year-old former All Black will face one of his toughest tasks to date against Cian Healy. Hayman is in his fourth year with Toulon and is central to what is a formidable pack.

Injury doubts: Wilkinson – Missed the win over Toulouse with a leg injury but his side are confident that he will be fit enough to return on Sunday.

Ali Williams – Injured his right bicep in the defeat to Clermont Auvergne and is a major doubt for this weekend.

Bakkies Botha – Fractured his forearm back in January and has yet to feature since. Toulon, however, are hopeful that the Springbok will return against Leinster.

Recent results: Put the defeat to Clermont Auvergne behind them with that impressive win against Toulouse. South African winger Bryan Habana also made his comeback in the victory.

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