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Friday May 3, 2024

Battle of the halfbacks as Toulouse vs Harlequins squads announced

It is on. Two of the most exciting club teams in the world will take to the Stadium de Toulouse in battle on Sunday, as both sides aim to make history in the largest of all European competitions.

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Toulouse will welcome Harlequins to their home ground in what is expected to be a free running, free for all in the vibrant south of France sun. Toulouse, who have won the competition on five occasions, will be looking to book their place in the final as they aim to pull ahead of their closest rivals Leinster in making it a record fifth title.

Standing in their way will be a pumped-up Harlequins, who remarkably find themselves in the semi-final of Europe’s finest competition for only the first time in their long history.

The key battles are expected to come in the form of halfback combinations; Antoine Dupont and Romaine Ntamack against the fast flowing Quins duo of Danny Care and Marcus Smith. Both combinations have gained huge respect within their own regions, so to see the battle between the two pairs will be a fascinating occasion.

Toulouse Starting XV

15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Juan Cruz Mallia, 13. Paul Costes, 12. Pita Ahki, 11. Matthis Lebel, 10. Romain Ntamack, 9. Antoine Dupont (c), 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Peato Mauvaka, 3. Dorian Aldegheri, 4. Thibaud Flament, 5. Emmanuel Meafou, 6. François Cros, 7. Jack Willis, 8. Alexandre Roumat

Replacements:

16. Julien Marchand, 17. Rodrigue Neti, 18. Joel Merkler, 19. Richie Arnold, 20. Mathis Castro-Ferreira, 21. Paul Graou, 22. Santiago Chocobares, 23. Thomas Ramos

Harlequins Starting XV

1. Fin Baxter 2. Jack Walker 3. Will Collier 4. Irne Herbst 5. Stephan Lewies (Captain) 6. Chandler Cunningham-South 7. Will Evans 8. Alex Dombrandt 9. Danny Care 10. Marcus Smith 11. Cadan Murley 12. Andre Esterhuizen 13. Luke Northmore 14. Louis Lynagh 15. Tyrone Green

Replacements:

16. Sam Riley 17. Joe Marler 18. Simon Kerrod 19. George Hammond 20. James Chisholm 21. Will Porter 22. Jarrod Evans 23. Oscar Beard

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Director of Rugby Billy Millard commented: “It’s been a special build-up. The excitement and energy levels are high and we’re looking forward to another great challenge on Sunday. We know we’re up against a good opponent but we’re relishing the opportunity, there’s no fear amongst our boys and we’re excited to get across to Toulouse and challenge for the result.” 

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