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Fickou started France's clash with Ireland in the Six Nations.
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Toulouse rest Fickou, Médard and Maestri as attention turns to Munster
Guy Novès has decided to leave the French international trio out of this weekend’s clash with Toulon.

TOULOUSE HEAD COACH Guy Novès has decided to give French internationals Gaël Fickou, Maxime Médard and Yoann Maestri a rest weekend, meaning the trio will miss the clash with Toulon in the Top 14 on Saturday.

All three players were involved in les Bleus‘ Six Nations campaign under Philippe Saint-André in recent months, as well as starting last weekend’s 27-27 draw away to Stade Français.

As a result, Novès has allowed Fickou, Médard and Maestri to benefit from a week’s holidays, which includes the important clash against Toulon on Saturday evening. The experienced coach’s move surely comes with one eye on Toulouse’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Munster on the 5th of April.

Another man who will not feature this weekend is out-half Luke McAlister, who picked up a back injury against Stade Français. The Kiwi playmaker has not yet been ruled out of the clash with Munster though, with Toulouse remaining optimistic over his recovery.

France wing Yoann Huget will be available against Toulon, after missing out last weekend, while Novès is hopeful that Yannick Nyanga and Yann David will be fit too. Powerful centre Florian Fritz is expected to make his comeback from an arm injury at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille [Toulon have relocated the match], having last played in December.

Club captain Thierry Dusautoir remains sidelined, having ruptured his right biceps in January, when Toulouse announced that the back row would miss “four months” of action.

France European Rugby Cup Claude Paris / AP/Press Association Images Bakkies Botha is hopeful of returning against Leinster in the Heineken Cup. Claude Paris / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

As for Bernard Laporte’s Toulon, Var Martin report that second row Ali Williams has been ruled out of the encounter with Toulouse after sustaining a biceps injury, and the All Black is now a doubt to face Leinster in the Heineken Cup on the 6th of April at the Stade Mayol.

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South African Bakkies Botha is also on the injury list for this weekend, meaning RCT do have second row issues.

Botha fractured his forearm against Brive on the 25th of January, when he was ruled out for six weeks. That time frame has passed, but the 34-year-old has not made his playing return yet.

Saturday evening’s fixture is of great importance to both clubs, with Toulouse currently lying sixth in the Top 14 [the final play-off spot] and Toulon sitting in second [which would mean a guaranteed semi-final], level on points with third-placed Montpellier.

Both clubs have four regular season fixtures remaining.

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