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Top 14: a weakened Stade Toulousain receives a proud Montpellier


A gala poster between the undisputed leader of the Top 14 and the reigning French champion, marred by a period of duplicates.

A poster worthy of a championship final, but cut off from its most beautiful stars.

This Sunday (9 p.m.), Stade Toulousain, guaranteed to stay at the top of the Top 14 regardless of the result, receives Montpellier, champion of France and… inconstancy.

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Internationals on the floor

One week before the start of the Six Nations Tournament, many talents from both clubs will be absent for this clash.

The Stade Toulousain deprived - among others - of Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Anthony Jelonch, Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Thomas Ramos and Melvyn Jaminet retained with the Blues.

Peato Mauvaka still absent through injury.

François Cros, Pierre-Louis Barassi and Mathis Lebel released by Fabien Galthié.

Ange Capuozzo also available to Ugo Mola.

Read alsoAntoine Dupont: “I already feel the pressure mounting for the World Cup”

For this meeting, Montpellier can count on Bastien Chalureau, Yacouba Camara or even Alexandre Bécognée, all three released by the staff of the XV of France.

Philippe Saint-André will not be able to count on Mohamed Haouas and Paul Willemse, retained by the Blues, nor Paolo Garbisi selected with Italy.

Without forgetting, the absence of Léo Coly, injured and out of pocket for about a month.

Toulouse proudly advances

However, Stade Toulousain is wary of this international period.

Last season, deprived of its best elements, the Haut-Garonne club had conceded six defeats in seven games at the start of 2022. “

We must not change anything.

Everyone must realize that it's a tough time and everyone must hang

on, ”plants the third line Sélevasio Tolofua.

Same speech in the versatile three-quarter Juan Cruz Mallia, who will start in 10 against the MHR.

We are without our internationals but the group is the same, the team is the same and Stade Toulousain is the same.

Yes, there are more rotations but that does not change anything.


And against the reigning French champion, the leader of the Top 14 expects a big fight.

It's a team of very big ball carriers

, recalls Selevasio Tolofua.

A very efficient team close to the brand line.

Ahead of that will be a very big fight and it will be a great duel the whole match against Montpellier.

“Despite the poor form and inconstancy of the MHR since the start of the season, Clément Poitrenaud wants to remain wary.

It's a massive team, well organized, good in the occupation but also on recovery balls.

A team with an Irish profile and especially in Munster, so we shouldn't be too out

of place ”plants the three-quarter coach.

Toulouse have won twice against the Irish province in the Champions Cup.

Montpellier reassembled

Despite its title of champion of France, Montpellier advances with little confidence.

The Hérault club has not had two wins in a row for nine games, and even remains on two games without a win.

Montpellier champion of inconstancy.

A lack of confidence but also a lack of players.

Without its internationals, the MHR must also deal with the many absences.

Yet called up with Italy, Paolo Garbisi, injured, did not play in 2023. Geoffrey Doumayrou was hit in the knee and is already out for the season.

The wound too many for Jean-Baptiste Elissalde.


It's the lot of many seasons, but combined with the injury of Arthur (Vincent) and Paolo (Garbisi), it's a bit too much of a mess

" plagues the Montpellier coach, in remarks reported by

the Midi Libre


In Haute-Garonne, Montpellier arrives as an outsider.

Especially since the MHR is often in difficulty against Stade Toulousain.

Only one victory for the Cistes against the Rouge et Noir in the last five games.

We have to go back to March 27, 2021 to find a Hérault success against the Haut-garonnais.

A 29-16 victory on Toulouse soil, which could lead to another.

Especially since Mohed Altrad's club has not forgotten the first leg.

At home, Montpellier had lost 17-19 against Toulouse, yet deprived of many of its executives already at the time.

When they came at the start of the season, we were told about a third team.

When you see the names of the players on the match sheet, "third team", it makes me laugh

, ”recalls Marco Tauleigne.

However, the Montpellier third line wants to use this experience to secure a result for Ernest-Wallon.

We have to manage to keep continuity in the game. I hope we won't just do half-time against Toulouse because otherwise we'll pick up.


An expected clash between the last two reigning French champions who, in the absence of internationals, will not lack spice and stakes.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-01-29

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