sport

Castres unchanged for decider

Castres are unchanged from the side that beat Montpellier a fortnight ago as they attempt to repeat last year's heroics by pipping Toulon to the Top 14 title on Saturday.

Castres denied Toulon a double last year after beating them by a scoreline of 19 - 14 in the final, two weeks after Toulon won the European title after defeating Clermont.

It was Castres' first title since 1993 and centre Romain Cabannes hopes they can upset the odds again to deny Toulon another double after their 23-6 Heineken Cup triumph against Saracens last weekend.

"We are very proud and very happy and once again we've surprised ourselves. Everyone always considers Castres the outsiders and us above all," the 29-year old said.

"We're very humble, but it's not a false humility, we really believe it.

"We know we're a good team but we also know that it's very difficult to reach the final given the other teams in the competition, so we have earned the right to be here.

"We are very proud and we would really like to give a good account of ourselves.

"We know Toulon want to win this trophy but it's still in our hands after we won last year and we would like to play our best and show our true worth again.

"The fact that outsiders can still overcome the odds and win helps a club like us who aren't able to sit on top of the table for the whole season.

"With a few things going our way in the playoffs, we can dream about winning the trophy once more."

The only change for Toulon from the side that beat Saracens last week sees New Zealand lock Ali Williams replacing Danie Rossouw to play in the second row alongside South African Bakkies Botha.

Roussow is named on the bench, and like Toulon's Johnny Wilkinson, is set to retire after the game.

Toulon: 15 D Armitage, 14 D Mitchell,13 M Bastareaud, 12 M Giteau, 11 B Habana, 10 J Wilkinson (capt), 9 S Tillous-Borde, 8 X Chiocci, 7 C Burden, 6 C Hayman, 5 B Botha, 4 A Williams, 3 J Smith, 2 JM Fernandez Lobbe, 1 S Armitage.

Replacements: JC Orioli, A Menini, J Suta, D Rossouw, V Bruni, M Mermoz, M Claassens, M Castrogiovanni.

Castres: 15 B Dulin, 14 M Evans, 13 R Cabannes, 12 R Lamerat, 11 R Grosso, 10 R Tales (capt), 9 R Kockott, 8 Y Forestier, 7 B Mach, 6 R Herrera, 5 R Gray, 4 RC Ortega, 3 P Fa'asalele, 2 A Claassen, 1 Y Caballero.

Replacements: M Bonello, S Taumoepeau, C Samson, J Bornman, C Garcia, S Bai, D Kirkpatrick, M Lazar.