Wallabies Abroad: Giteau to captain Toulon

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies veteran Matt Giteau will captain Toulon in the Champions Cup on Saturday, when the side takes on Leinster.

Toulon can deliver a knock-out blow to Leinster, with a win all but ending the Irish side’s chances of a quarter-final berth.

Giteau will play at flyhalf, with Drew Mitchell starting on the wing, while Quade Cooper and James O'Connor have missed out on selection.

Adam Ashley-Cooper will make his debut for Bordeaux when they take on the Ospreys, lining up at outside centre for the clash.

His Wallabies teammate, prop Sekope Kepu has been named at tighthead.

Wallabies halfback Will Genia will play his third match for the French team this weekend, in the Champions Cup, when they take on Benetton Treviso.

A knee injury hampered his start at the cub but the 27-year-old said he was becoming more comfortable each week.

“I was a little rusty because I had not played for a month and had suffered a knee injury in the World Cup final and I had to learn the calls and moves, which was a little more difficult as they were all in French," he told reporters this week.

"But I am feeling better and better and the adaptation is not proving that hard as Stade like to move the ball around just like we did with the Wallabies.

“They like to have the ball and move."

Genia will be joined by former Rebels lock Hugh Pyle in Stade Francais’s starting XV for the match, while prop Paul Alo-Emile will come off the bench.

Former Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravoro will start on the wing for Glasgow against Scarlets, after a hat-trick performance for the side a week ago.

George Smith will again start at openside for the Wasps against Bath, to whom they went down by just two points last weekend.

Wasps currently sit on the top of their Champions Cup pool but another loss would put that in jeopardy.

Peter Betham will start at outside centre for Leicester when they take on Munster on Monday morning (AEDT).

Former Wallaby Mark Chisholm will start at lock for Munster in the match.

CHALLENGE CUP

Three Aussies featured in a dramatic last-minute Montpellier win over Cardiff, with former Queensland Reds back Ben Lucas lining up at fullback and former Brumbies halfback Nic White playing nine.

Former Brumbies and Waratahs forward Sitaleki Timani came off the bench for the French side.

Montpellier scored a converted try in the 82nd minute to clinch the thriller by just one point, 23-22.

Peter Kimlin came off the bench for Grenoble against Agen in a high-scoring encounter on Friday night, with his side winning 48-45.

Former Wallabies captain James Horwill has not been named for the Harlequins side to face Rugby Calvisano.

Ex-Queensland Reds flanker Beau Robinson signed with the English club this week but won’t be making his debut just yet.

Luke Burgess will start at scrumhalf for Zebre against La Rochelle.

JAPAN

Nick Cummins returns to the Coca-Cola Red Sparks line-up after three weeks out of the team, set to come off the bench against the NEC Green Rockets.

Former Wallabies flanker Scott Higginbotham will miss again, still recovering from a serious leg injury.

Digby Ioane has not been named for the Honda Heat in their match-up against the NTT Shining Arcs.

Flyhalf Berrick Barnes has shifted to the bench for the Panasonic Wild Knights after their first draw of the season, with Wallabies backrower Ben McCalman lining up at number eight against the Kubota Spears.

Bernard Foley will start at 10 for the Ricoh Black Rams against Suntory Sungoliath as they battle to avoid possible relegation.

Mark Gerrard rounds out the Aussie fly half contingent in Japan, starting for the Toyota Industries Shuttles against the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

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