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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 20 March, 2018

Chiefs all set for 'World Cup of Clubs' against Toulon

The clash in France is close to confirmed, with the Super Rugby champions set to bring their star All Blacks.

Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

IT HAD ALL gone a bit quiet on this front over the last few months, but it now looks almost certain that the unofficial ‘World Cup of Clubs’ will take place on the 2nd of February in Toulon.

The Chiefs, the back-to-back Super Rugby champions, have stated their desire to see the fixture against Heineken Cup holders Toulon happening, and are now awaiting the green light from the FFR and LNR, French rugby’s governing bodies.

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) have given the Chiefs their consent for the game to take place, and has agreed that some of the franchises’ All Blacks – who include Brodie Retallick, Liam Messam and Aaron Cruden – will be involved. With Toulon likely be largely unaffected by the France v England Six Nations match on the 1st of February, it looks like this clash will see both side close to full-strength.

Chiefs CEO Andrew Flexman told Rugby Heaven that he has every confidence the fixture will go ahead in 2014, even though paperwork still needs to be completed.

It’s looking very promising but there is not yet an unconditional green light because there is just a bit more detail to be worked through in terms of written approvals required from the likes of the FFR (French Rugby Federation) and the LNR (organisers of France’s Top 14 national championship).

“We’ve had the verbal assurances we’re needing around that sort of stuff but for whatever reason, the French being the French, things aren’t moving quite as quickly as we would like. But it’s probably fair to say that we’re preparing within this organisation as if we are all go.”

The fact that the Chiefs will be in their pre-season in February complicates the issue of whether or not the game will be an accurate reflection of their strength, but the wonderfully-named Flexman says that won’t be an excuse.

“For us it’s more about the first leg in our pre-season, but having said that I don’t wish to understate the significance of the game and we’ll be going over there to win it.”

Who do you think will come out on top? Toulon’s power game or the daring attacking prowess of the Chiefs?

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The Heineken Cup lives on… for now

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