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Toulon name stunning team line-up for Lyon despite World Cup drain

By Josh Raisey

Trending on RugbyPass

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There may be a raft of players absent from the Top 14 with the World Cup only two weeks away, but there is still no lack in class at Toulon.

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The three-time European champions host table-toppers Lyon on Saturday with a side that would cause any side in Europe trouble.

Across the field there are players that could easily be at the World Cup in two week’s time. Not only is Mamuka Gorgodze playing at flanker, presumably before he joins Georgia, but he partners World Cup winner Liam Messam on the other flank, and perhaps the biggest omission of the entire tournament, Argentina’s Facundo Isa at number eight.

Exiled Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb starts behind the scrum, a player that many Wales fans would welcome into their squad in a heartbeat. Outside him is one of the most destructive centre pairings possible with World Cup winner Julian Savea at 12 and Ben Te’o outside him.

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The British and Irish Lion Te’o is another player that only narrowly missed out on a World Cup place after being an integral part of the England team over the past three years. Similarly, Romain Taofifenua is also someone that came close to going to Japan after being drafted into Jacques Brunel’s side when there were fears that Paul Gabrillagues would miss the tournament through suspension.

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With fellow France internationals Christopher Tolofua and Hugo Bonneval also starting, as well as 20-year-old duo of Louis Carbonel at fly-half and Gervais Cordin on the wing, this team is loaded with talent.

With the likes of Eben Etzebeth, Sergio Parisse, Baptiste Serin and Charles Ollivon all to return after the World Cup, as well as new signing Nehe Milner-Skudder from injury, there is no doubt that Toulon will be a force in the Top 14 and the Challenge Cup this season.

During the World Cup, very few teams will be able to match the quality in Toulon side, especially Toulouse and Clermont Auvergne, and this could be their chance to capitalise in the league.

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TOP 14    

Toulon name stunning team line-up for Lyon despite World Cup drain

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