Wallabies abroad: O'Connor to start for Toulon

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

James O’Connor will make his starting return for Toulon against Pau as they look to secure a home semi-final in the last Top 14 round.

O’Connor came off the bench last week in his first match since being arrested in Paris earlier this year, but will be in the thick of the action at inside centre, with Drew Mitchell on the wing.

Liam Gill will start at openside for Toulon, looking to continue his stellar form in the clash, while former Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen will come off the bench for Pau, who could sneak into finals with a win.

Sitaleki Timani will start for Clermont in a top-two clash with La Rochelle, as his side vies to cement a week off and a home semi-final.

Bordeaux is all but out of finals contention. Luke Lones and Adam Ashley-Cooper will both feature in Bordeaux’s final round match against Racing 92, who are just clinging on to sixth spot.

Bordeaux are five points adrift of the top six, needing a bonus-point win to even go close to clinching an unlikely playoff spot.

Will Genia will be missing when Stade Francais takes on Montpellier for a chance to leapfrog Racing into the finals, with Montpellier looking at a top-two finish.

Montpellier is within striking distance of a week off, currently in third, with Joe Tomane at inside centre and Nic White coming off the bench.

Peter Kimlin’s Grenoble has already had its fate sealed this season, set for relegation to the Pro D2.


Kurtley Beale is coming home. Photo: Getty ImagesKurtley Beale will be at fullback for Wasps, as the top of the table Coventry side take on reigning Premiership champions Saracens, in a blockbuster clash to decide the competition’s home finalists.

Dave Dennis will be at number six when Exeter takes on Gloucester, with a chance to clinch top spot with a big win, as the Chiefs sit in second.

Ben Tapuai will be in the centres in Bath’s clash with the Sale Sharks, with his side just outside the top four teams that will qualify for the semi-finals.

Peter Betham will line up on the wing for Leicester against Worcester, as the Tigers look to cement their fourth spot, with Cooper Vuna coming off the bench for the Warriors.

James Horwill will start in the second row for Harlequins, when they take on Northampton.