Top 14: Toulouse young guns look to impress
Last Updated: 09/11/12 1:50pm
Sylvain Nicolas: Looking to impress for Toulouse
Toulouse flanker Sylvain Nicolas is looking to make the most of his opportunity in Friday's Top 14 clash against Montpellier at Stade Ernest Wallon.
With 15 players missing due to the international fixtures, third-placed Toulouse have been forced to call upon their younger players.
And Nicolas is determined to take his chance in the Toulouse back-row.
"It's a situation that the club is forced to manage," he said. "Everyone pulls together. With the international players away, it's up to us to show that we are there.
"Montpellier will also be missing some senior players like Fulgence Ouedraogo and Francois Trinh-Duc. However, what we've seen on the video clearly shows that Montpellier remain a team that can perform.
"They have an impressive squad, which can easily play in the play-offs. It's up to us to show that we exist."
Toulouse will welcome back hooker Gary Botha on the bench, while Gael Fickou, who was released from the France squad, is at 12.
Montpellier might also be missing a number of players - they still have a wealth of talent to call upon, with Santiago Fernandez, John Beattie, Shontayne Hape and Mamuka Gorgodze all available.
Toulon will fancy their chances of toppling Clermont at Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin as top visits second on Saturday.
Clermont may boast an impressive home record, they will however be without a number of star players.
Toulon will also be missing players - such as Frederic Michalak and Maxime Mermoz - however they can call on the likes of Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Giteau, David Smith, Mathieu Bastareaud, Simon Shaw, Carl Hayman and Chris Masoe for the trip.
Stade Francais will look to build on their recent improvement in form when they entertain struggling Agen, while fellow Parisians Racing Metro are likely to have too much class for Mont-de-Marsan.
Racing have included the likes of Mathieu Belie, Sireli Bobo, Karim Ghezal, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Jone Qovu and Eddy Ben Arous in their squad for the clash.
Dimitri Yachvili will make his long-awaited return for Biarritz in their clash against Perpignan, while Castres will look to build on their three-game winning streak when they travel to Bordeaux.
Grenoble will good bets to maintain their unbeaten home record against a Bayonne side that has never won at Stade Lesdiguieres.