European Rugby Previews

French Top 14 2017 Final: Toulon v Clermont Auvergne Preview


Our rugby scribe previews Sunday afternoon’s Top 14 Grand Final between Toulon and Clermont Auvergne.

It’s not the fairytale final we were all hoping for but it is a blockbuster with France’s two heavyweights set to duke it out in front of a packed Stade de France this Sunday. While Toulon were the flag bearers when it came to running rugby in the late 2000’s, they have been surpassed by Clermont, who play some of the most attractive rugby in the northern hemisphere.

So will Toulon’s battling brutes pull a rabbit out of the hat and win yet another Top 14 title or will Favourites Clermont end their seven-year title drought?
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French Top 14 Semi-Finals: La Rochelle v Toulon Preview


Our in-house rugby scribe previews Friday’s Top 14 semi-final between La Rochelle and Toulon.

It’s everyone’s favourite French underdog versus mega spenders Toulon in the first of this weekend’s Top 14 semi-finals. The visitors will be the weary of the two sides this weekend as they were involved in an almighty scrap with Castres last Friday. The hosts, on the other hand, had the week off due to them topping the Top 14 log at the close of the regular season.
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French Top 14 Semi-Finals: Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92 Preview


Shaun Goosen takes a look at what should be a titanic Top 14 semi-final between Clermont and Racing Metro. 

Clermont resume their 2016/17 campaign at home to Racing 92, in the second of this season’s Top 14 semi-finals on Saturday. Having lost out in yet another European Cup final a fortnight ago, this fantastic Clermont side will be giving absolutely everything to make sure they end the season with some silverware to show for it. Meanwhile, Racing 92, having snuck into this year’s semis off the back of a 13-22 surprise away defeat of Montpellier, will be looking to defend their title in what has been a rather tumultuous year for the Parisian club thus far. This is shaping up to be one hell-of-a-showdown.
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Aviva Premiership Semi-Finals: Wasps v Leicester Preview


We preview Saturday's Aviva Premiership semi-final clash between the London Wasps and Leicester Tigers.

The second of this season’s Aviva Premiership semi-finals will see the table-topping Wasps looking to sting the Tigers of Leicester into submission, to claim entry into their first final since 2008. The Londoners have played a remarkably exciting brand of running rugby under coach, Dai Young this term, with many pundits likening them to certain Southern Hemisphere outfits. They will be heavy favourites to advance to the Grand Final against a Tigers set-up that has only managed to score 58-tries in 2016/17, with an attack that will hardly worry their hosts on Saturday.
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French Top 14 Play-Offs: Montpellier v Racing Metro Preview


Jake white will be looking to extend his Montpellier swansong by ensuring his side gets one over Racing Metro this Saturday. 

It’s Jake White’s bruisers versus Laurent Labit’s superstars in the second of this weekend’s Top 14 Play-Off fixtures. White’s side have enjoyed a much more prosperous season than their counterparts and have thus secured home ground advantage for Saturday' affair. While they may not have a partisan crowd behind them, you cannot write off Racing Metro’s chances as they have goal-kicking ace Dan Carter up their sleeve.

So will the All Black great silence the Altrad faithful with that sniper rifle of a boot of his or will White’s heavyweights beat their opponents into submission?
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French Top 14 Play-Offs: Toulon v Castres Preview


The first of this weekend's Top 14 play-off fixtures sees Toulon host unfancied Castres. 

Toulon and Castres square off at the Felix Mayol this Friday evening in a game that pits an all-star cast up against a bunch of French journeymen and young guns. Toulon have endured a sub-par season which could come to an abrupt halt should they underestimate Castres.
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