Ntamack, Guirado and Ollivon fit, Dupont forfeit, world champion Kolbe on vacation ... Some Top 14 globalizers find the field this weekend for the 9th day while others recover from injury or a course successful.
For them the Top 14 starts, yet it is already one-third of the regular season. The absence of the international has upset the beginnings, benefiting two ambitious little affected by the World Cup, Lyon and Bordeaux, and a promoted, Bayonne, which form a surprising podium.
- Toulouse invigorated? -
What did defending champion Toulouse do without his stars? Three wins in eight games, 14 points and an unusual 11th place. At the time of the remake of the last final against Clermont, Saturday at 20:45, the Toulouse count on the return of the globalists to finally fill their points counter and the Stadium.
Maxime Médard, Yoann Huget, Sofiane Guitoune, Cyril Baille and Romain Ntamack, world revelation of the year, could be aligned after resuming training on Monday. The scrum half Antoine Dupont is on the other hand flat because of his back pains.
As for supersonic winger Cheslin Kolbe, he started Thursday with the world champions a lap of honor throughout South Africa. Like him, three other Springboks will be slow to return: Eben Etzebeth (Toulon), François Steyn and Handré Pollard (Montpellier), also injured on the cheekbone.
"The return of the internationals, I hope, will give a second wind, it feels good to see them again," says Regis Sonnes, assistant coach of Toulouse.
Clermont, who limits the breakage to 4th place, will at least be deprived of his second line Sebastien Vahaamahina, suspended until moving to Toulon the weekend of December 21 for his nudge against the Welsh.
The other Clermontois of Japan postulate, starting with the first eliminated (Peceli Yato, Greig Laidlaw and Tim Nanaï Williams), but also the French (Rabah Slimani, Arthur Iturria, Camille Lopez, Damian Penaud and Alivereti Raka) back since Monday.
- Emergency Racing -
At Racing 92, it was urgent for the squad to regenerate. The Ciel et Blanc, penultimate, play Sunday a lowland derby against Stade Français lantern rouge.
"Ten players have joined us, it puts butter in the spinach, it brings freshness," says the manager of Racing Laurent Travers, according to which "it's another championship" that begins.
Which globalist can be aligned Sunday? "All" simply answers Travers. All, with the notable exception of Leone Nakarawa, the Fijian has still not put his nose in France as it was expected and not giving clear news to his club.
At the top of the ranking, Jefferson Poirot has returned well, in a group of Bordeaux-Bègles (2nd) who works very well with new coach Christophe Urios.
"They have built a new story, to me to prove that I will be able to express myself with this team and bring something," says humbly the left pillar, who wants to "melt into the mass."
In Lyon Sunday, La Rochelle could line up three-quarter versatile Vincent Rattez and rest the 3rd line Grégory center Alldritt, strongly requested by the staff tricolor.
- Retirees in Mayol -
To face Montpellier Saturday at Mayol opening day (15:30), Toulon has retained among its globalists only French Charles Ollivon, who has just extended his contract for the next five seasons, and Georgian Beka Gigashvili and Mamuka Gorgodze ( who has already replayed the 7th day).
"We'll see if we integrate right now or if we wait," said Patrice Collazo, RCT manager, pointing out that "the season for them will be almost twelve months."
The negative point, ironically emphasizes the coach Var, "is that now to make the team is worse than a sudoku.It is already complicated and we still lack a few", as tricolores Baptiste Serin, Christopher Tolofua and Emerick Setiano, who train with the group but are not ready, or like the Italian Sergio Parisse.
Montpellier could count on Yacouba Camara and the young international retirees Louis Picamoles and Guilhem Guirado. The former captain of the Blues, arrived from Toulon, "can not wait to start" under his new colors against ... his former club.
Finally, it will be necessary to wait until at least December for Pau to align the now ex-All Black Ben Smith (33 years), author of a doubled for his 84th and last selection against Wales a week ago. Already another era.
rz-rap-tra-ol / pga / Bde
© 2019 AFP