Friday, 12 October 2012

Teams named for Toulouse Challenge

Tigers make 5 changes from the side that dispatched Sale last Friday night as they go to Toulouse on Sunday looking for their first win on French soil since 2006.  Scott Hamilton replaces Adam Thompstone in the back three in the most controversial of the changes.  Hamilton has been in poor form for the best part of the year whilst Thompstone set Welford Road on fire with a debut hat trick.  The side is named with Morris on the wing and Hamilton at full back but I hope that is the other way round in practice.  Morris has been superb at the back in the last 2 games.  The other talking point is the switching of Thomas "The Tank" Waldrom to 7 to accommodate  both Steeeeeeeeeeve Mafi and JC in the back row.  These are definitely are 3 best fit back rowers but a lack of balance has to be a worry.  The other changes see Geoff Parling return from an EPS enforced rest, at the expense of Man of the Match Ed Slater rather than Graham Kitchener, Dan Cole does his usual swap with Castro and Toby Flood returns to replace George Ford.  The big news on the bench is that Marcos Ayerza is straight into the fold after a disappointing Rugby Championship, poor early form meant he ended up missing out the later weeks altogether, though now he has in effect had a very long high quality preseason which will hopefully pay dividends in May.  Boris "The Finger" Stankovitch makes way.

15 Scott Hamilton
14 Niall Morris
13 Manusamoa Tuilagi
12 Anthony Allen
11 Vereniki Goneva
10 Toby Flood
9 Ben Youngs
1 Logovi'i Mulipola
2 Tom Youngs
3 Dan Cole
4 Graham Kitchener
5 Geoff Parling
6 Steve Mafi
7 Thomas Waldrom
8 Jordan Crane (c)

16 George Chuter
17 Marcos Ayerza
18 Martin Castrogiovanni
19 Ed Slater
20 Richard Thorpe
21 Sam Harrison
22 George Ford
23 Matt Smith

Toulouse are sitting pretty in 2nd in the Top 14 and after thrashing Toulon in their last match at Le Stadium will be in high spirits for this encounter.  Toulouse name a real mixed bag of youth and experiance with 18 year old school boy Gael "Fickou" Fuckyou starting at 12, 21 year old JM Doussain starting at 9 and then old war horses Vincent Clerc and Clement Poitrenaud filling out the back three.  Fuckyou is a summer signing from Toulon after impressing for the French Under 20s and will be making his "H Cup" debut.  Up front we have a mighty Samoan encounter as Logovi'i Mulipola will be proping against former Sarrie Census JohnstonGirthro Steenkamp knows all about the Tigers and will hope for a better game than he had in the famous "Glory Day" win for Leicester against his touring Springboks.  The back row of Nyanga and Duisatoir looks dangerously pacey compared to Tigers.  On the bench 18 year old hooker Christopher Tolofua is one to watch.  A French Polynesian he went on this summers tour to Argentina.  I think when when Dan Cole was told to look out for an 18 year old hooker in Toulouse he had something else in mind. Aging general Yannick Jauzion still has a touch of class and will still cause problems if he can get his hands free to off load.

15 Clément Poitrenaud
14 Vincent Clerc
13 Florian Fritz
12 Gaël Fickou
11 Yoann Huget
10 Luke McAlister
9 Jean-Marc Doussain
1 Gurthro Steenkamp
2 Gary Botha
3 Census Johnston
4 Romain Millo-Chluski
5 Yoann Maestri
6 Yannick Nyanga
7 Thierry Dusautoir
8 Louis Picamoles ,
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Antoine Guillamon, 19 Patricio Albacete, 20 Jean Bouilhou, 21 Yannick Jauzion, 22 Luke Burgess, 23 Timoci Matanavou

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