Throwback: The Two Star Studded FRENCH Line Ups That Contested The 2013 Champions Cup Final

Throwback: The Two Star Studded FRENCH Line Ups That Contested The 2013 Champions Cup Final

Cast your mind back to 2013, Barack Obama is still the president of America, The All Blacks are still Rugby World Champions, the Lions are preparing for their tour to Australia and two French sides have made the Champions Cup final.

The stage is set at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin with no Irish sides having failed to reach the showpiece event with Munster falling to Clermont in the semi-finals and Ulster to Saracens in the quarters.


Both Clermont and Toulon did some fine work in the player market with both sides fielding incredible line ups!

Clermont arguably had the better of the two backfields with former Wales and Lions fullback Lee Byrne starting in the yellow jersey with former All Black Sitiveni Sivivatu and former Fijian Napolioni Nalaga either side of him. Toulon's backfield with just as impressive with Rudi Wulf and Alexis Palisson either side of Delon Armitage.

There was a clash of the ages in the midfield with Wesley Fofana and Aurelien Rougerie combining to face Matt Giteau and Mathieu Bastareaud. Clermont lined up with Morgan Parra and Brock James as their halfback with Toulon fielding Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Jonny Wilkinson with the latter proving to be the match-winner. 

Andrew Sheridan, Sebastien Bruno and Carl Hayman formed the superstar Toulon front row with Thomas Domingo,  Benjamin Kayser and Davit Zirakashvili opposing. Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Julien Bonnaire, Gerhard Vosloo and Damian Chouly completed Clermont's pack with Toulon's powerhouse back completed by Bakkies Botha, Nick Kennedy, Danie Rossouw, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Chris Masoe.

Clermont's bench: Ti'i Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Clément Ric, Julien Pierre, Julien Bardy, Ludovic Radosavljevic, David Skrela and Regan King.

Toulon's Bench: Jean Charles Orioli, Gethin Jenkins, Davit Kubriashvili, Joe van Niekerk, Steffon Armitage, Maxime Mermoz, Frederic Michalak and Jocelino Suta.

The Final: Clermont 15-16 Toulon

An uninspiring first half saw Wilkinson and Morgan Parra slot a penalty each before the all-French final burst into life in the second half as Clermont quickly scored twice through Napolioni Nalaga and Brock James.

Delon Armitage scored in the corner to give Toulon hope and the trusted Wilkinson kicked his side to victory.

Man of the match: Matthieu Bastareaud

Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud may have got the nod as the official Man of the Match.

Line Ups:

Clermont Auvergne: Lee Byrne; Sitiveni Sivivatu, Aurelien Rougerie (c), Wesley Fofana, Napolioni Nalaga; Brock James, Morgan Parra; Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Nathan Hines, Julien Bonnaire, Gerhard Vosloo, Damien Chouly.
Replacements: Ti’I Paulo, Vincent Debaty, Clement Ric, Julien Pierre, Julien Bardy, Ludovic Radosavljevic, David Skrela, Regan King.

Toulon: Delon Armitage; Rudi Wulf, Mathieu Bastareaud, Matt Giteau, Alexis Palisson; Jonny Wilkinson (c), Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Andrew Sheridan, Sebastien Bruno, Carl Hayman, Bakkies Botha, Nick Kennedy, Danie Rossouw, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Chris Masoe.
Replacements: Jean Charles Orioli, Gethin Jenkins, Davit Kubriashvili, Joe Van Niekerk, Steffon Armitage, Maxime Mermoz, Frederic Michalak, Jocelino Suta.

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