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European Rugby Cup: Toulon has an appointment with history

September 15 category:Sport
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European Rugby Cup: Toulon has an appointment with history

Jonny Wilkinson (g) and Steve Borthwick take the trophy for the European Cup on 26 April 2013 in Twickenham


Seeking recognition, RC Toulon has the opportunity to write a page in its history Sunday (16.00) in the "rugby Temple" Twickenham with a confrontation against the Saracens that could open the doors to a first finals of the European Cup.

This story has already found her hero Jonny Wilkinson, the living rugby legend and idol of England, who find in Toulon captain of the "garden" of his exploits when he started with the XV of the Rose in April 1998 will face his successor in the XV of the Rose, Owen Farrell (21), second director of the European Cup (92 points).

If he saw his first finals of the European Cup, Sir Jonny consciousness, soon 34, of the issue and the symbol of this meeting. "I'll try to have fun. It's a bit of pressure but also a great opportunity. It's a good mix," said the opener, expected by the French and the English.

CTN has not won a title for twenty years. Rebuilt in recent years with an international armada (Sheridan, Hayman, Botha, Fernandez Lobbe, Wilkinson, Giteau ...), it was sometimes mocked for its failures.

"Much has been said we were rock stars and mercenaries, said flanker Steffon Armitage. If that means we want to win trophies and to please the public, then yes, that's what we are."

"We want to show everybody that we're a team and there is no better way to do that than to win this competition," he adds.

Launched in exponential growth, Var team has never looked stronger. The manager Bernard Laporte align its Sunday best team -Only Michalak, back from injury, will be on the banc- at kickoff with no less than 585 selections, against "only" 278 the Leader of the Premier League.


The Toulon have carefully prepared this appointment after two warnings in two weeks in the Top 14: a draw conceded at home (26-26) against a team "bis" Clermont and a defeat (25-24) to Grenoble that particular showed difficulty in melee.

And facing the Saracens and their game "Anglo-South African" blending power and mobility around Schalk Brits, Steve Borthwick, Kelly Brown, Brad Barritt, leaning against the boot of Owen Farrell, the slightest gap in the conquest sector or the front game could be fatal.

Players of Racing Metro had made fresh hen seeing their remarkable start to the match (25-12, 30th) coolly annihilated, with 32 points (ten penalties) Farrell (37-28).

By choosing to permanent appointment its South African giants Danie Rossouw and Botha, four of the five English (Sheridan, Kennedy, Wilkinson, D. Armitage, S. Armitage on the bench) and the powerful Bastareaud Bernard Laporte has chosen a similar alloy that promises to make sparks.

For Londoners, emerging power came to disrupt the traditional landscape of English rugby, the challenge is the same: its legitimacy with a first European final.

"We want to get into the memory of the Saracens says winger Chris Ashton, who joined the ambitious London club this season. I have been in the final of the European Cup (with Northampton in 2011) and I would like come back with this great group. "

"Toulon has a team of stars but we are not devoid of talented players," recalled winger XV of the Rose.

Only downside, despite the presence of "Wilko" and many stars of international rugby, Twickenham will not even be open to third parties. Only 25,000 of the 82,000 seats were sold.

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