Noves wary of Saints
April 6, 2003

Toulouse are struggling with injury problems ahead of their quarter-final against Northampton Saints.

France duo Clement Poitrenaud (toe) and Xavier Garbajosa (knee) are both very doubtful for their crucial home clash with Bourgoin on Saturday, though it is hoped they will recover in time for their clash with the Saints at the Stadium de Toulouse on April 12.

Fellow back Nicolas Jeanjean is also in doubt for the forthcoming games - he is waiting for results on a knee scan - while in the forwards Isitolo Maka (broken ankle) will not make it and Cedric Soulette is out with a calf problem.

The good news for the 1996 champions is that outside half Yann Delaigue is fully fit again and played in the Toulouse seconds' 53-3 victory over Pau on Sunday.

Guy Noves, the Toulouse head coach, said: "I am worried about the team ahead of the quarter-final. Not because of the injuries we have but simply because of the quality of Northampton - they are one of the best, if not the best, team in Europe at the moment.
"They already have a very impressive team and I have learned that they have brought in the New Zealand wing Bruce Reihana as one of their extra players, so I am naturally concerned about their overall quality.

"Our first half of the season was good, but, without 15 of my players during the Six Nations Championship, the conditions are not ideal to prepare matches of such great importance.
"We haven't even started proper training for this weekend's game against Bourgoin yet because the players have to recuperate after their various internationals."

(All kick-offs LOCAL time)
1930 Llanelli v Perpignan Tony Spreadbury (E) BBCW/B E
1445 Toulouse v Northampton Saints Alan Lewis (I) FT2/B Euro
1535 Leinster Lions v Biarritz Olympique Steve Lander (E) RTE/FT2/B Euro
1600 Leicester Tigers v Munster Nigel Williams (W) BBC/RTE

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