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Toulon Look Set To Add To Their Southern Hemisphere Superstars

Toulon Look Set To Add To Their Southern Hemisphere Superstars
By Conor O'Leary

Just when you think that Toulon's squad couldn't get any bigger they go out looking for another big signing.

Since the retirement of Jonny Wilkinson last year, Toulon have tried five different players at the outhalf position - Nicholas Sanchez, James O'Connor, Juan Martin Hernandez and Freddie Michalak. Two of those - O'Connor and Sanchez have already left the club, while Hernandez is only on a six month contract.

Added to that is the fact that Michalak, Giteau, O'Connor and Hernandez are more suited to other positions, it's not hard to see why Toulon want to strengthen their outhalf ranks in their quest for world dominance.

They were rumoured to be in the hunt for All Black Colin Slade, but with the financial power of James Coughlan's Pau also interested, Toulon seem to have turned their attention to Wallaby rugby player/ magician Quade Cooper.

It does make sense. With the likes of Bryan Habana, Matt Giteau, Mathieu Bastareaud, Leigh Halfpenny and the incoming Ma'a Nonu - the playmaking skills of Cooper could scare teams into submission before they even get out on the pitch.

Cooper is currently out injured with a shoulder issue from Super Rugby duty with the Reds, and is expected to travel to the club this weekend for 'advanced negotiations' while attending the upcoming Champions Cup game against Leinster.

Perhaps Leinster should be pleased they aren't facing next year's Toulon team:

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Potential Toulon team 2015/16:

1. Xavier Chiocci, 2. Guilhem Guirado, 3. Carl Hayman, 4. Samu Manoa, 5. Romain Taofifenua, 6. Mamuka Gorgodze, 7. Steffon Armitage, 8. Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe; 9. Sebastian Tillous-Borde, 10. Quade Cooper, 11. Bryan Habana, 12. Ma'a Nonu, 13. Mathieu Bastareaud, 14. Napoilioni Nalaga, 15. Leigh Halfpenny;

16. Craig Burden, 17. Alexandre Menini, 18. Martin Castrogiovanni, 19. Jocelino Suta, 20. Juan Smith, 21. Jonathan Pelissie 22. Matt Giteau, 23. Drew Mitchell

Not included: David Smith, Delon Armitage, Josua Tuisova, Virgile Bruni, Sebastian Bruno, Fabien Barcella, Levan Chilachava, Gerhard Vosloo.

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