Deprived of a hundred internationals, already in Japan for the World Cup that begins in a week, the Top 14 continues its march with two dashing leaders, Lyon and Bordeaux-Bègles, who are aiming for the pass of four Saturday against Brive and the French Stadium.
"All behind the XV of France". A seven-day entry to the World Cup of Blues against Argentina (21 September), the Top 14 shows his support: blue-white-red armband arm referees, coaches and captains, rooster crowing to replace the siren and Marseillaise of circumstance in the stadiums.
Recurrent debate of French rugby, the "duplicates" with international matches will not pause the fall. If the Top 14 will release for the shock against the Pumas, he will resume his rights to the quarterfinals in Japan (October 19).
The absence of the 31 players of the XV of France and a hundred international in total influences the competition? After three days, the top of the ranking is shared by two clubs more or less spared, the LOU and the UBB.
In Lyon, only two players - recruits - are missing: Demba Bamba and Fidjian Josua Tuisova. And this already well-run collective has three famous teams: Stade Français (43-9), Toulouse (22-12) and Toulon (6-20).
The 3rd line Loann Goujon will be suspended for the reception of the Brivistes (18h00), who remain on a convincing victory against their neighbor Clermont.
In Bordeaux, miss Jefferson Poirot and six Georgian, Fijian or Samoan players. But UBB is not without arguments with his opener Matthieu Jalibert, best director of the championship, to confirm his three inaugural victories against Stade Français (20:45). The Parisians, for the moment, brought back only one point in two displacements.
The start of the season was difficult for Stade Toulousain (8th), deprived of a dozen players, with two defeats in three games to the key. The defending champion moves to La Rochelle, beaten in the semifinals last year and today last good after three days. The Maritimes have not beaten Toulouse since October 2017.
Showered at Brive's neighbor, Clermont (4th) is expected to turn at home against Pau (5th). Not retained with the XV of France, Morgan Parra makes his return behind the fray, recovered from his injury to an ankle.
Montpellier (3rd), coached by Xavier Garbajosa, is aiming for a first away win on Sunday in Agen, which has already left home points in the race to maintain.
Saturday also, Bayonne receives Castres. Sunday, Toulon, already trainee (11th), aims a first success in Mayol against Racing (6th).
Program of the 7th day:
(15h30) La Rochelle - Toulouse
(18h00) Bayonne - Castres
Clermont - Pau
Lyon - Brive
(8:45 pm) Bordeaux-Bègles - French Stage
(12h30) Agen - Montpellier
(16h50) Toulon - Racing 92
© 2019 AFP