Habana to lead Toulon

Springbok wing Bryan Habana will captain Toulon against the Sharks at the Stade Mayol on Friday night.

The French club will face a near full-strength Sharks team, who are on a pre-season tour to France ahead of their Super Rugby campaign which kicks off on 27 February.

Toulon will be missing a number of their French internationals, who’ll be on Six Nations duty against Italy on Saturday. This gives their fringe players a chance to stake a claim for regular starting positions in the Top 14 side.

However, the team is still bursting with international talent including French pivot Frédéric Michalak and England veteran prop Matt Stevens, both of whom have played for the Sharks in Super Rugby. England’s Delon Ermitage makes his return at fullback, while Australia’s James O’Connor starts on the wing.

Regular starters not selected for this game include Duane Vermeulen, Juan Martín Fernández Lobbe, Steffon Armitage, Matt Giteau, Ma'a Nonu and Drew Mitchell.

The match, which kicks off at 9:30pm SA time, will be broadcast by SuperSport.

Toulon – 15 Delon Armitage , 14 James O'Connor, 13 Théo Belan, 12 Louis Rousset, 11 Bryan Habana (c), 10 Frédéric Michalak, 9 Jonathan Pélissié, 8 Charles Ollivon, 7 Gregory Annetta, 6 Samu Manoa, 5 Konstantin Mikautadze, 4 Thibault Lassalle, 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Jean-Charles Orioli, 1 Alexandre Menini.
Subs: 16 Badri Alkhazashvili, 17 Thomas Vernet, 18 Andrew Cramond, 19 George Stokes, 20 Kylian Jaminet, 21 UJ Seuteni, 22 Anthony Meric, 23 Manasa Saulo.

Sharks team

Photo: Bertrand Langlois/AFP Photo