Wallabies abroad:Cooper to start for Toulon

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Former Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper will kick off his 2016 rugby year starting at flyhalf for Toulon in the French Top 14.

Cooper has not started for his new club since they were handed an upset defeat by Wasps in the European Champions Cup in late November.

Since then, usual 10 Matt Giteau has returned to the line-up, while Tom Taylor was preferred to Cooper in Toulon’s match against Toulouse last weekend.

Cooper will be joined by two other Wallabies in the Toulon starting XV, with Drew Mitchell on the left wing and James O’Connor on the right.

Giteau will miss the match, in which Toulon will be hot favourites.

Wallabies halfback Will Genia will once again start at number nine for Stade Francais as the Parisians look to kick off 2016 with a major upset over Toulouse.

In matches played overnight, a host of Aussies were on the end of a brutal one-point Montpellier loss to Brive.

Former Wallabies captain Ben Mowen played 54 minutes in the narrow loss, while Nic White was injected into the match with 18 minutes remaining.

Their ex-Brumbies and Wallabies teammate Jesse Mogg played the entire 80 minutes, at fullback.

Wallabies and Bordeaux teammates Adam Ashley-Cooper and Sekope Kepu suffered a narrow defeat to Racing 92, 23-18.

Ashley-Cooper was injected into the match in the 49th minute but was unable to make an impact on the scoreboard, as Bordeaux finished tryless, while Kepu came on in the 56th.

Former Wallabies forward Peter came off the bench for Grenoble in the 55th minute, helping them to a 42-17 victory over Oyonnax.

PREMIERSHIP

Wallabies veteran George Smith worked hard but his Wasps couldn’t clinch a win over Sale Sharks.

The Sharks kept a perfect home record intact as they handed another loss to Wasps, 15-9 ,with Smith laying seven tackles and having nine carries in the loss.

Peter Betham missed Leicester's defeat to reigning premiers Saracens, with three penalty tries sealing the Tigers' fate.

James Horwill and Cooper Vuna are set to face off tomorrow morning (AEDT) when Worcester hosts Harlequins.

PRO12

For the second week in a row, Taqele Naiyaravoro was a part of a losing Glasgow side, after facing Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

The match was moved from Glasgow’s usual home ground due to flooding and after a 23-11 loss last week the Warriors were keen for vengeance.

Glasgow scored one try in the match, going down by just three points this time around.

Lock Mark Chisholm featured in a low-scoring Munster win over Ulster, 9-7.

Chisholm played the full 80 minutes in the win that put them in fifth spot.

Luke Burgess will start at halfback when Zebre plays Benetton Trevison in the early hours of Monday morning (AEDT).

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