The statements ahead of Toulon vs Pau
Here are the main statements of the Toulon and Pau staff and players ahead of the game between the two teams at the Stade Mayol, for the 26th and final day of the Top 14.
Richard Cockerill, RCT manager: “We’ve got to keep on the same momentum, both in our results and in the way we’ve been playing over the last few weeks. This will be a crucial game for Pau as well, as they’re trying to get into the top six. The Top 14 is quite difficult, as it is a high-level league in which physical strength is crucial. So, the games are tough every week-end. I’m not thinking about the qualifier, the semi-final or even a possible final. I’m focusing on Pau and so are the players. We’ll see how things unfold afterwards.”
Laurent Delboulbes, RCT prop: “Even going through difficult times, the team has stuck together throughout the season. We’ve not always played good games, but we’ve always been around the play-off spots. We mustn’t let the pressure off now. Pau are going to try to secure a place in the top six. So, we know what to expect. We want to present our supporters with a home qualifier and we know we’ll be able to rely on them if we play a knockout game at the Stade Mayol. That’s very important. ”
Romain Taofifénua, RCT second row: “There is no added pressure. We know this game is crucial for a qualifier and we’re preparing for it as best we can. We needed to win the last games to qualify and that’s been done already. But now, we mustn’t let the pressure off and grab the home qualifier. We’ve gathered up confidence the last few weeks with this string of victories and we feel we’re on a really good spell.”
Simon Mannix, Pau manager: “Toulon is one of the best places in France to play rugby. I have tremendous respect for the stadium, the supporters, the Chairman, the team. Everything that happens over there remains interesting to watch. Mayol is a legendary stadium in French rugby. Four of our players – Steffon Armitage, Pierrick Gunther, Tom Taylor and Andy Crammond – used to play for RCT and, of course, my thoughts go to Carl Hayman and what he achieved there – notably, with Steffon Armitage. These guys are legends in Toulon and we won’t need many words to prepare for the game.”
Sources: pre-game press conference.