Oct 13, 2016
Match Preview: Toulon v Saracens
This weekend marks the return of the European Champions Cup as Saracens take on Toulon in France.
This will be the third Champions cup meeting between the two sides. Current holders Saracens have met three time champions Toulon twice before in the knock out stages of the competition with Toulon emerging victorious on both occasions. They have also met twice before in the Challenge Cup pool stages with home side having the advantage on both occasions.
French powerhouse Toulon are something akin to European royalty, having won the competition three times and never lost at home in the pool stages of the competition. However last season proved that the Top 14 are not invincible, as they finished runners up in their pool before narrowly losing out to eventual finalists Racing 92 in the quarter final.
Last Time Out
The last meeting between the sides took place in 2014 when Saracens and Toulon met in Cardiff for the then Heineken Cup final. It was Saracens’ first experience of a European final and they struggled to break down Toulon’s defence as the French giants, backed up by the metronomic Jonny Wilkinson, powered to a 23-6 victory
One to Watch
Saracens fans may recognise Toulon number 8 Samu Manoa from his time at Northampton Saints, the club he left for the French side at the end of the 14/15 season. The US international is a strong ball carrier and has been regarded by many over recent years as one of the finest back rowers in the game. His match up with the likes of Billy Vunipola will be an intriguing one to follow.
“I think this team has always prided itself on going to places that we’ve never won before I think it’s a huge challenge for this team but it’s one that we’re really relishing and looking forward to. They’re a formidable team, three time European champions speaks volumes about the quality that they possess so its going to be an immense challenge but I think we’re ready for it and looking forward to it.” – Brad Barritt
Where to Follow
Screening – Allianz Park, doors open at 14:00 with kick off at 15:15
TV – BT Sport, kick off 15:15
Twitter – @saracens