Toulon

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - RUGBY CHAMPIONS CUP -

Coach: Patrice Co­lazzo. Last sea­son: Quar­ter-fi­nal­ists.

How they qual­i­fied: 4th in Top 14, beaten in le bar­rage. Re­cruit­ments: Julien Savea, Liam Mes­sam and Rhys Webb are among their lat­est big names, while a host of de­par­tures/re­tire­ments in­cluded Chris Ash­ton, Ma’a Nonu, Juan Martin Fer­nan­dez Lobbe (now on coach­ing ticket), Semi Radradra and Duane Ver­meulen.

Key man: An­thony Bel­leau. The light-footed 22-year-old out­half is usu­ally the spark for Toulon’s best rugby

This sea­son’s for­mguide :LLWLWL. Prospects: Hmm. Un­der­min­ing talk of scaled-down am­bi­tions, there’s been yet an­other over­haul in coach­ing and play­ing staff un­der the volatile and im­pa­tient Mourad Boud­jel­lal. Toulon have started the new sea­son with four de­feats and sit ninth. Ho-hum. Proven pro-Euro­peans, though. Pool win­ners.

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