French Top 14: Toulon v Racing Metro Preview

French Top 14: Toulon v Racing Metro Preview

The pick of this weekend's Top 14 actions will see Toulon and Racing Metro square off on Saturday the 25th of August.

The 2018/19 French Top 14 season kicks off this coming weekend with the pick of the action seeing giants Toulon and Racing Metro clash at the Stade Mayol in the commune of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.

Toulon v Racing Metro 92
Saturday 25 August
Stade Felix Mayol

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 7/20
Draw 18/1
Racing 24/10

The mega-rich club from the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region will be looking for a much more fluent season than they had last time out. While they did manage to make the knock-out phase of the tournament, Toulon only won 14 of their 26 round-robin phase games and suffered many shock defeats.

The off-season hasn't been too kind for this weekend's hosts. They lost a few key players, including last year's Top 14 leading try-scorer Chris Ashton, who has returned to England in a bid to make the Red Roses squad.

They have made some smart signings in a bid to counter-act the loss of Ashton and his fellow stalwarts, bringing in internationals Julian Savea, Rhys Webb, and Liam Messam.

Racing Metro 92
The Parisians will be looking for a much more fluent start to the season than the one they endured last year. Metro were really slow burners during the 2017/18 season, but when they got going they played some delightful rugby with their late-season surge seeing them finish second on the overall standings. However, a shock semi-final defeat to Castres would curtail their chances of claiming the title.

Like Toulon, Racing have lost quite a few veterans during the off-season with  Dan Carter, Patricio Albacete and Casey Laulala all moving on or retiring.

Racing have done some smart recruitment during the off-season bringing in Scottish pivot Finn Russel, former New Zealand international Dominic Bird and Irish winger, Simon Zebo.

Verdict: Racing 24/10
Racing did the double over Toulon last season and I'm backing them to make it three wins in their last three against this weekend's hosts.

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Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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