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Friday May 1, 2015

European Champions Cup Final Preview - Clermont vs Toulon yet again

European Champions Cup Final Preview - Clermont vs Toulon yet again

On 14 July 1789 the French Revolution came to a head with the storming of the Bastille, and mayhem ensued. Tomorrow, at Twickenham, a very different kind of French Civil war will take place, although the outcome promises to be the same.

Clermont and Toulon have proven themselves as the crème de la crème of Europe, not just this season, but over the past few years and it is only fitting that they fight it out for the biggest prize in Northern Hemisphere Club Rugby.

They have been in this position before, two years ago in Dublin, when Toulon won 16-15 in a fascinating encounter. Toulon also went on to retain their crown last year.

Since then the left boot of King Jonny has gone, although in Leigh Halfpenny Toulon have a right boot just as lethal. The Armitage brothers, Centres Matt Giteau and Mathieu Bastareaud, and now captain Carl Hayman have all survived the two years and this time round can boast World Cup winners Ali Williams and Bryan Habana as team mates.

Toulon has already beaten Clermont in the Top 14 this season, a division that they lead. There’s only going to be one winner tomorrow. Surely? Wrong.

Yes Toulon lead Clermont in the Top 14, but by 4 points and the sides have to still meet at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin. They were also uncharacteristically beaten by La Rochelle last weekend.

Clermont have made no secret that this competition is their priority, they want to win this, they will also be out for revenge for 2013 an eye on getting revenge and Saracens are an example of what a Clermont side out for payback is capable of.

They also have a squad with stand out players in every position. Nick Abendanon, Fritz Lee, Camile Lopez and Aurelien Rougerie were all nominated for 2015 European Player of the Year; no club had more players represented on the long list.

Everything considered, our verdict for the final is this: Je ne sais pas!

Here is a reminder of how close it was the last time these two teams met in a European Final. Who do you think will come out on top this time around?

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European Champions Cup Final Preview - Clermont vs Toulon yet again | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos