Top 14. Toulouse without several Blues in Montpellier: “We don’t send our players to the fire…”

The coach of Stade Toulousain, Virgile Lacombe, indicates that the turnover made against Montpellier is assumed, because the club has learned lessons from last year. (©C.M, pour Actu Rugby)

The Toulouse Stadium made his choice. For moving to Montpellier this Sunday, October 2, 2022, at the end of the 5e day of Top 14the Rouge et Noir will play without the internationals Antoine Dupont, Anthony Jelonch and Peato Mauvaka, all 3 lined up during the first 4 days and who have been offered a rest period.

Mola: “There is a planned rotation, over given periods”

This rest should be related to the international deadline which will arrive in a little over 11 months, namely the World Cup 2023. At the beginning of September, the head coach, Ugo Mola, indicated that he had had discussions with the coach of the XV of France, Fabien Galthié, as well as his staff, in order to discuss the management of the internationals during this crucial season for French rugby.

“We talked, just like with our players, and we set the scene. I am not a fan of the planned rotation, but I can tell you that there is a planned rotation, over given periods, so that we manage to spare our troops, ”admitted the technician, making it clear that rest beaches would be arranged by the Toulouse club for its Tricolores.

Lacombe: “How to better live this period of duplication…”

But this turnover, very present within the Stade Toulousain at the start of the season, was also born of a reflection of the staff during the off-season. He realized that last year, he had pulled too much on the rope with certain elements. “If you arrive in the final phase with guys who have 30 games in their legs and nothing left in the barrel, it won’t work”, had dropped the rear coach, Clément Poitrenaud. The idea: not to repeat the same mistakes.

Words that bounced back this Friday Virgil Lacombe, the assistant coach of the forwards: “This is the assessment that we made of last season: how to try to end the season with players who are still full of energy. And above all, how to better live this period of duplication, which is consistent for us. Understand by this that Toulouse anticipates the periods without its internationals and wants to have certainties with certain players who will have to ensure the blow at that time. Last year, they had not met expectations, with in particular this series of 6 defeats in the league, which had not happened to the club for at least 60 years.

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Toulouse international hooker Peato Mauvaka has made it clear that he will be a substitute for the derby against Castres.
Toulouse international hooker Peato Mauvaka and scrum half Antoine Dupont (in the background) will not make the trip to Montpellier. (©Icon Sport)

Do not do as in Pau

“We are really looking to integrate a few more young players, to rotate our workforce more, and our group allows it too. We don’t send players to fire in Montpellier, far from it”, wishes to specify Virgile Lacombe, who assures that the aligned team will have the look “and the weapons to try to compete against THE big one in the championship of the moment. “.

But doing without some internationals was not a great success for Toulouse during the trip to Pau (Marchand and Lebel were resting). Peato Mauvaka had in particular railed on the investment of the team and a lack of respect towards the Béarnais. “Rotating the workforce and putting little commitment into it are two different things,” retorts Lacombe. And Toulouse also knows where he is stepping: “We will measure ourselves against what is best in the Top 14 at the moment”. And even if the Rouge et Noir will have a few absentees, this poster is nonetheless the clash between the first 2 of the Top 14 at the dawn of this 5e daytime.

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