Heineken Cup Pool 2: Can anyone stop Toulon?

The greatest club competition in the world returns to Sky Sports this weekend and we look at the contenders in Pool 2.

Last Updated: 09/10/13 3:11pm

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Heineken Cup Preview - Pool 2

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With all their money and muscle it is hard to see anyone but Toulon topping Pool 2 of the Heineken Cup.

Bryan Habana is the latest super star to join the club but also look out for Juan Smith whose career-ending Achilles problem seems to have disappeared under the Mediterranean sun.

Glasgow could go through as best losers and will look for bonus points away at Toulon and Exeter and maximum points from Cardiff. Exeter will continue their learning curve while Cardiff, who are battling in the Pro 12, could find this campaign a long one.

Last season finish: Champions
Head coach: Bernard Laporte
Captain: Jonny Wilkinson
Ground: Stade Félix Mayol
Sky Bet odds: 9/2
Key man:Bryan Habana. In fine form for South Africa and should become a firm favourite at Stade Félix Mayol
Overview: The defending champions will be looking to repeat that feat this year. The start-studded super team have added even more talent to their pool with the likes of Habana, Ali Williams, Drew Mitchell, Martin Castrogiovanni and Juan Smith joining their ranks. They have been accused of being a team of mercenaries which may have been a true three or four years ago, but this team have gelled as a side and were devastated not to win the Top 14 last year as well as the Heineken Cup.

Last season finish: Pool stages
Head coach: Gregor Townsend
Captain: Alastair Kellock
Ground: Scotstoun Stadium
Sky Bet odds: 50/1
Key man: Alastair Kellock - a great player and a great captain who will lead his men well.
Overview: The in-form team of the Pro 12 and they could go a long way in this tournament. Coach Gregor Townsend has done wonders instilling confidence and belief into this team. They can play out wide with speed on the ball if they want too and also have some gnarly old forwards who can front up with the best of them. They have a tough first outing away against Toulon but they will battle hard to at least get a losing bonus point.

Last season finish: Pool stages
Head coach: Phil Davies
Captain: Matthew Rees
Ground: Cardiff Arms Park
Sky Bet odds: 80/1
Key man: Leigh Halfpenny - can the player of the Lions series give the Blues an edge in Europe?
Overview: The Blues are struggling domestically a bit but the return of Sam Warburton will boost them. A side that has Gethin Jenkins, Halfpenny and Warburton in should have the foundations for an excellent team but it depends where they want to go with this tournament? A loss first out against the Chiefs will be a big blow to them and it will be a long road back for the Blues.

Last season finish: Pool stages
Head coach: Rob Baxter
Captain: Dean Mumm
Ground: Sandy Park
Sky Bet odds: 80/1
Key man: Dave Ewers. The Zimbabwean born No.8 has been in impressive form and could qualify for England if he chooses to. Also look out for flanker Tom Johnson who may get back into England contention with a good showing.
Overview: They have been going about their business in the Premiership and will put up a good fight at Sandy Park Stadium. They are still cementing their place in the Premiership and the Heineken Cup is a learning curve for them - a learning curve that they are thoroughly enjoying, They have a fantastic rugby ethos and a work ethic second to none with a pack that can dominant, however they need a sprinkle or two of stardust if they want to go further in Europe.

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