The weekend's French domestic action: Round 22

The weekend's French domestic action: Round 22

As Round 22 of the Top 14 approaches, spots 1 to 4 of the overall stands are occupied by Toulouse, La Rochelle, Racing 92 and Clermont respectively.

This weekend, Toulouse will host Pau at Stade Ernest Wallon on Friday evening, La Rochelle take on Toulon at Stade Felix Mayol, Racing host Lyon in Paris while Clermont are not scheduled to play.

In other fixtures, a mid-table clash will see Stade Francais travel to Stade Chaban-Delmas to tackle Bordeaux after the latter's recent, frustrating one-point loss to Clermont. The Parisians are four points behind the home side and a five-point haul from the game could potentially see them leapfrog both Bordeaux and Toulon who are both resting on 43 points overall.

The struggling Montpellier have an opportunity to grab a fifth victory if they can hold off the sixth-placed Castres at Stade Pierre Fabre and the round will conclude with Bayonne tackling the visiting Brive at Stade Jean Dauger.  

Toulon are knocking on the door of the top four, although, as touched on above, they face a monumental challenge in the form of Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle outfit who, after coming off a 26-22 loss to Racing on 7 February – will be fired up for this round’s contest.

It is not anticipated that Toulouse will have much difficulty with Pau, although the former will be missing some big names who are on national duty with France in the Six Nations, which could very well be a significant factor.

The same can be said for Racing as they take on eighth-placed Lyon; the absence of the likes of Bernard Le Roux, Teddy Thomas and Finn Russell will surely even the playing field somewhat, making for what could be an intriguing clash.

Toulouse and La Rochelle still have a game in hand, which strengthens their positions at the top of the table even more as Racing and Clermont hunt the top two spots.


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