Toulen vs. Ospreys: Heineken Cup Match Preview- By Adam Currie on October 9, 2010 20:15 GMT
Superstar-studded RC Toulon welcome the Ospreys to Stade Felix-Mayol today in a Pool 3 match being hailed as one of the games of the weekend.
Today marks the kick off of Heineken Cup representation for the French outfit, who have never competed in the the European elite tournament, however have entered the Challenge Cup on six separate occasions.
Welsh contingent Ospreys however have taken part in every Heineken Cup campaign since their inception, having made the quarter-finals for the last three years, however failed to build on this and progress.
Joe van Niekerk, Pierre Mignoni, Carl Hayman and Felipe Contepomi are all missing from the Toulon squad- a mortal blow for most teams, however Toulon are not most teams
Some of the world's biggest names will be on display with the likes of Juan Fernandez Lobbe, Carl Hayman, George Smith and Jonny Wilkinson turning out for the French club, and Jerry Collins, James Hook and Shane Williams for the Welsh.
Today clash could prove tricky for the Welsh away as Toulon boast a first-rate squad with senior players at 8, 9, and 10.
Toulon: Lamont, Sackey, Kefu, Messina, Lapeyre, Wilkinson, Henjak, Fernandez Lobbe, Smith, Missoup, Samson, Schofield, Kubriashvili, Orioli, Taumoepeau
Ospreys: Byrne, Bowe, Bishop, Hook, Williams, Biggar, Phillips, Thomas, Holah, Collins, Wyn Jones (capt), Gough, Jones, Hibbard, James
As per normal, all eyes will be on Jonny Wilkinson today with the flyhalf having been at his reliable best so far this season
Toulon are thought to be the favourites here, which is pretty much in line with the fact that Ospreys have a losing record against French sides in Europe - winning only 41 percent of their ties against Top 14 opposition.
This will be the match of the weekend, with both teams harbouring the ability for an absolute classic if all goes to plan.