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Australia international Matt Giteau will start at fly-half for Toulon in their European Champions Cup quarter-final on Sunday despite not having played for almost four months.
Giteau will dictate play for the reigning champions in their tough trip to fellow Top 14 outfit Racing 92 after recovering from a groin problem, leaving former All Black Tom Taylor to warm the bench.
Giteau has not played since mid-December and underwent surgery in January to fix the problem.
Fellow Wallaby James O’Connor will play on the left wing with Englishman Delon Armitage lining up at full-back due to the absences of South African flyer Bryan Habana and Aussie back Drew Mitchell.
New Zealand legend Ma’a Nonu will play on Giteau’s outside shoulder with Maxime Mermoz prefered to fellow France international Mathieu Bastareaud at second five-eighths.
Opposite Giteau will be another All Black star in Dan Carter, who gets the nod at outside half despite playing at inside centre against Toulon in the league a couple of weeks ago.
South African Johan Goosen switches to the centres in place of the injured Henry Chavancy and New Zealand international Casey Laulala.
Another former All Black, Joe Rokocoko, will start at right wing for Racing, for whom former Kiwi international Chris Masoe will wear the No.8 jersey.
Toulon have also been boosted by the news that captain Guilhem Guirado is fit to play hooker despite suffering a neck injury in last week’s home defeat to Clermont.
Gloucester club captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the English Premiership Rugby club at the end of the season to join French Top 14 club Clermont. Scotland captain Laidlaw joined...
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