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Three injured France internationals return to training

By Josh Raisey
Toulon's Argentinian number eight Facundo Isa (CL) and Toulon's French full-back Melvyn Jaminet (CR) react at the end of the European Champions Cup rugby union match between Rugby Club Toulonnais (Toulon) and Munster at the Stade Mayol in Toulon, south-eastern France on January 13, 2023. (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP) (Photo by CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images)

Toulon welcomed a trio of injured France internationals back into training this week as they prepare for their trip to face Pau in the Top 14 on Saturday.

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Scrum-half Baptise Serin, winger Gabin Villiere and fullback Melvyn Jaminet were all seen in training, as the three-time European champions shared photos on social media on Tuesday of their session.

All three have not featured so far in this year’s Guinness Six Nations, with varying issues.

The 29-year-old Serin was tipped to be one of the players that would vie to take Antoine Dupont’s blue No9 jersey while the former captain focusses on sevens, but underwent shoulder surgery in December and was expected to be out for four months. Though he was seen in training, a return any time soon would be unlikely given his original prognosis.

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Villiere, meanwhile, failed to make Fabien Gatlhie’s squad for the Six Nations, and injured himself soon after missing out in the Investec Champions Cup clash with Glasgow Warriors.


Jaminet did make Les Bleus’ Six Nations squad, but suffered an injury just days before the Six Nations while on duty with Toulon in a standout performance against La Rochelle.

Though Serin is still likely to be out for some time, the returns of Villiere and Jaminet could be imminent, with the latter providing a boost to Galthie for the back end of the Six Nations.

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Toulon will be looking to bounce back from two defeats in a row, to Bordeaux-Begles and Castres, in the Top 14 when they visit the Stade du Hameau on Saturday.

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mitch 46 minutes ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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