Saturday, 19 January 2013

Tigers v Toulouse, the big one!

Tigers make one change from the stalemate in Swansea side with Thomas "the tank" Waldrom steaming into the side at the expense of Our Lord and Saviour JC, who drops to the bench.  

Manu Tuilagi is rumoured to be unfit and his naming a ruse; we shall see but if that happens then Matt Smith will surely come in for 100th start in The Stripes.  

The Tongan Octopus Steve Mafi will be making his 50th start for Tigers; he will hope to hit top form and get the crowd "Steeeeeeeeeeeeve"-ing at full volume. 

Geordan Murphy is still unfit which means Mat Tait, Niall Morris and Adam Thompstone continue in the back three.  This is easily the department that makes me most worried.  Doussain and Beauxis are typical French half backs and not afraid to put boot to ball; they will surely be peppering Tait with high balls from word go.  He better deal with them better than he did last week.

At the end of the day we're at home and have 5 players who rodgered the All Blacks 2 months ago.  We should have nothing to fear and really we'll only have ourselves to blame if we end up in the Amlin.

Leicester Tigers
15 Mathew Tait
14 Niall Morris
13 Manusamoa Tuilagi
12 Anthony Allen
11 Adam Thompstone
10 Toby Flood
9 Ben Youngs
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Tom Youngs
3 Dan Cole
4 Louis Deacon (c)
5 Geoff Parling
6 Steve Mafi
7 Julian Salvi
8 Thomas Waldrom

16 George Chuter
17 Logovii Mulipola
18 Martin Castrogiovanni
19 Graham Kitchener
20 Jordan Crane
21 Sam Harrison
22 George Ford
23 Matt Smith

Toulouse come into the game on hot form after winning their last 3 games, including being the first team this year to win away to Castres.  Their squad is star packed and reminiscent of a Tigers squad before the Salary Cap ravaged our squad depth; of the 23 players named in their match day squad only Yohan Montes is not a full international and even he has played for France A against Romania.  Louis Picamoles is a dump truck at number 8, hopefully Cockerill and O'Conner will have spotted that he ALWAYS carries the ball in his left hand as exposed by Will Greenwood on this week's Rugby Club.  Yohan Huget is the former Bayonne winger who missed last season's World Cup due to a missed drugs test and Luke McAlister is of course the former Sale centre who made his Sale debut at Welford Road in the same game as Aaron Mauger, handing Tigers the match when our debutant centre intercepted theirs.

According to OPTA's rather bizarre rankings Toulouse have a better scrum than we do.  I'm sure Dan Cole and Martin Castrogiovanni will be looking to remind Gurthro Steenkamp of his last visit to Welford Road, the Glory Day when our scrum (with those two to the fore) tore the Springboks apart.  Equally my fellow Crumbie Terracers will hopefully be in fine voice when it comes to line out time.  Tolofua is a 19 year old with a short fuse and who could easily wilt under the examination from Parling and of course the terrace!

15 Clément Poitrenaud
14 Vincent Clerc
13 Florian Fritz
12 Luke McAlister
11 Yoann Huget
10 Lionel Beauxis
9 Jean-Marc Doussain
1 Gurthro Steenkamp
2 Christopher Tolofua
3 Census Johnston
4 Yoann Maestri
5 Patricio Albacete
6 Grégory Lamboley
7 Thierry Dusautoir
8 Louis Picamoles

16 Gary Botha
17 Vasil Kakovin
18 Yohan Montes
19 Romain Millo-Chluski
20 Yannick Nyanga
21 Luke Burgess
22 Yannick Jauzion
23 Maxim Medard


  • If we win the group we will be either 5th or 6th seeds.  If Saracens lose to Edinburgh we will be heading to Ulster, if they win we'll be heading to Toulon.
  • If we win the game but come second in the group (i.e. give Toulouse both bonus points) then we will be going to Harlequins
  • If we lose then we are out of the Heineken Cup, but will go into the Amlin Challenge Cup and face a trip to Perpignan.
  • All HC QF's to be on the 5/6/7 of April whilst the ACC QF's can also be played on Thursday the 4th.

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