On Saturday, December 23, 19,000 spectators at the Stade Ernest-Wallon will attend the classic match of the 100% Red-Black French championship, the outcome of which is particularly uncertain. In fact, the dynamics of Stade Toulouse and Rugby Club Toulon have reversed themselves in the European window over the last two weekends.
Toulon achieved four successes in the championship (2to, 28 points) lost their first two Champions Cup matches and some confidence. Attacker Baptiste Serin, who has dazzled since the restart of the championship after the World Cup, injured his shoulder against Exeter on December 9 and will be out of action for four months.
French champions from Toulouse (6) since the end of the World Cup, which has been greatly reduced due to the large number of international players in their squadto23 points) regained his glory by scoring almost 100 points in two continental matches against Cardiff (52-7) and then Harlequins (47-19).
“You shouldn’t think of yourself as other people either. “The top 14 and the European Cup are two completely different things.”Toulouse center Sofiane Guitoune warned in an interview with Agence-France-Presse (AFP). “In any case, we want to have a big match at the Stadium with our families before the holidays.”
The story between Toulon and Toulouse goes back a long way. When founded in 1908, RC Toulon adopted the colors red and black to match the colors of its sponsoring club. Toulouse Stadium. Although there has been an apparent rivalry between the goalpost of the South West and the goalpost of the South East since the final of the 1985 French Championship, which Toulouse won after extra time, the links between the two clubs are close.
The years 2000-2010, marked by frequent moves of the poster to Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome, also sparked this, amid differing approaches between the Toulouse team and the stacking of foreign stars in Mourad Boudjellal’s RCT.
Names such as Yann Delaigue, Christophe Deylaud, Christian Califano, Patrice Collazo, Frédéric Michalak, Vincent Clerc, Yoann Maestri, Alexis Palisson and Maxime Mermoz have worn both jerseys throughout their careers. Selevasio Tolofua, who came to Toulouse in the off-season, could also start in the third row against his former team this Saturday.
“These are two cities where rugby is a religion and have a strong history in the sport. Former fly-half Yann Delaigue, who was born in Toulon and became French champions at both clubs, told AFP. Everyone has a very strong but different DNA. (…) The people of Toulouse play on the move, while the people of Toulonna are more in the fight.”
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Two clubs have stimulated the transfer market in recent years; This is unusual in Ovalie. Springboks star winger Cheslin Kolbe left the Pink City to join the docks in the summer of 2021, having been linked with Toulouse for two years for a significant transfer fee.
No Jaminet, Marchand’s return
This season, just a month after the end of the World Cup, RC Toulon made official the transfer of Melvyn Jaminet, who stayed at Toulouse for only one season and was mostly managed by Thomas Ramos and Italian Angel Capuozzo. The French national full-back has therefore joined the training club since November 27, but will not be able to play this evening as a verbal agreement has been made between the two clubs.
“There is no clause in his contract, but we all agreed that Melvyn will not play in this match for everyone’s sake.”CR Toulon coach Pierre Mignoni announced.
On the other hand, international hooker Julien Marchand will finally return to the pitch after being deprived of it for three and a half months. The player from Toulouse has not played again since the injury to his left hamstring muscle in the opening match of the World Cup against New Zealand on September 8 (27-13). He will replace Peato Mauvaka on the bench against Toulon on Saturday evening.