The Rugby World Cup is over with a great performance by France in the Final. Now gradually the Top 14 clubs will be filling up with returnees from several countries. In some clubs this could prove radically changing.
There are several matches this weekend which would have been considered top-drawer in former years but the performances so far this season of Perpignan, Biarritz and Stade Français may well have taken gloss off those matches.
Fixtures, Round 9
Friday, 28 October 2011
20.45: Castres vs Racing Métro at Stade Pierre-Antoine
Saturday, 29 October 2011
14.15: Bayonne vs Perpignan at Stade Jean-Dauger
14.15: Bordeaux-Bègles vs Lyon at Stade André Moga
14.15: Toulon vs Brive at Stade Mayol
14.15: Clermont vs Biarritz at Stade Marcel-Michelin
16.15: Toulouse vs Stade Français at Stade Ernest-Wallon
20.45: Agen vs Montpellier at Stade Armandie
Log after Round 8
Clermont has leapfrogged over Castres. Agen and Brive have climbed highest, Perpignan dropped lowest. The two Basque clubs are in the relegation zone.
1 Clermont 30
2 Castres 30
3 Toulouse 28
4 Toulon 24
5 Agen 20
6 Brive 18
7 Racing Métro 17
8 Perpignan 17
9 Stade Français 15
10 Bordeaux 13
11 Montpellier 13
12 Lyon 12
13 Bayonne 11
14 Biarritz 10
Toulouse will be without Patricio Albacete for the next two months after injuring his right ankle against Bègles-Bordeaux last weekend. Hefty threequarter Rupeni Caucaunibuca has undergone a knee operation and will be out for some time, perhaps for the whole season.
Clermont are allowing their four French internationals a longer rest after their tough Final against the All Blacks on Sunday. Julien Pierre, Julien Bonnaire, Morgan Parra and Aurélien Rougerie are expected to report for training only on Monday, 7 November. Lee Byrne of Wales, less active at the World Cup, is also getting a bit of time off. In addition Alexandre Lapandry is out for about four weeks with a stress fracture of his foot.
Brive, who have been doing better than preseason expectations are being plagued with injuries. Azoulai, Yann Fior who tried a return from injury last week, Galala, Geraghty, Laval, Ribes and Vaotoa are out while there are doubts about Alexandre Bias, Pat Barnard, Agustin Figuerola, Petrus Hauman and Retief Uys.
All Black prop Neemia Tialata has arrived in Bayonne. But Joe Pietersen is injured again and, apparently, seeking to return to the Cape. Joe Rokocoko and Mike Phillips have reported for duty. None of them will be playing this weekend.
Juan Martín Fernandez Lobbe will not be playing for Toulon for quite some time following an operation. Olivier Missoup will not be playing for some time either following his four-month suspension.
Racing-Métro are letting Juan Martín Hernández rest again and also Henri Chavancy but have Juan Jose Imhoff back in action.
Bayonne squad: Avril, Renaud Boyoud, Clément Baiocco, Roumieu, David Da Ros, Vitolio Manukula, Aretz Iguiniz, Pierre Lafond, Rob Linde, Abdellatif Boutaty, Troy Flavell, Guillaume Bernad, Julien Puricelli, Marc Baget (captain), Jean-Joseph Marmouyet, Dwayne Haare, Julien Audy, Cédric Garcia, Clément Otazo, Benjamin Boyet, Lacroix, Lionel Mazars, Sam Gerber, Marvin O'Connor, Bastien Fuster, Thibault Visensang, Garth Ziegler.
Racing-Métro squad: Grégory Arganèse, Antoine Battut, Eddy Ben Arous, Bianchin, Julien Brugnaut, Johan Coetzee, Julien Côme, Karim Ghezal, Lane, Bernard le Roux, Metz, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Jone Qovu, Vaquin, Guillaume Boussès, Sébastien Descons, Nicolas Durand, Gaëtan Germain, Juan Jose Imhoff, Julien Jané, Mathieu Lorée, Julien Saubade, Virimi Vakatawa.
Toulon squad: Steffon Armitage, Sébastien Bruno, Kristian Chesney, Joe El Abd, Laurent Emmanuelli, Jean-Philippe Genevois, Pierrick Gunther, Carl Hayman, Davit Kubriashvili, Eifion Lewis-Roberts, Christophe Samson, Dean Schofield, Jone Tawake, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Henjak, Benjamin Lapeyre, Christian Loamanu, Geoffroy Messina, Andre Pretorius, Luke Rooney, David Smith, Sébastien Tillous-Borde, Jonny Wilkinson (captain).
Castres vs Racing Métro at Stade Pierre-Antoine
Referee: Patrick Pechambert
Assistant referees: Nicolas Datas, Philippe Gorbenko
Television match officials: Hervé Dubes
Bayonne vs Perpignan at Stade Jean-Dauger
Referee: Laurent Cardona
Assistant referees: Sébastien Cloute, Sébastien Hebert
Television match officials: Gilles Cogne
Bordeaux-Bègles vs Lyon at Stade André Moga
Referee: Jean-Luc Rebollal
Assistant referees: Laurent Millotte, Christophe Graviou
Television match officials: Bruno Bessot
Clermont vs Biarritz at Stade Marcel-Michelin
Referee: Mathieu Raynal
Assistant referees: Flavien Hourquet, Thomas Dejean
Television match officials: Gérard Borreani
Toulon vs Brive at Stade Mayol
Referee: Salem Attalah
Assistant referees: Jérôme Lamirand, Bruno Fiche
Television match officials: Laurent Valin
Toulouse vs Stade Français at Stade Ernest-Wallon
Referee: Christophe Berdos
Assistant referees: Frank Maciello, René Bordeneuve
Television match officials: Daniel Gillet
Agen vs Montpellier at Stade Armandie
Referee: Pascal Gauzere
Assistant referees: Christophe Dutreuilh, Didier Dussaut
Television match officials: Jean-Claude Levrier
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