Wallaby Douglas urges Bordeaux-Bègles to “defend” against Toulouse

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Paris (AFP) – Australian lock Kane Douglas has said second-placed Bordeaux-Bègles will need to be solid defensively when they host Toulouse champions and leaders in the French Top 14 on Saturday.

Douglas, 32, is expected to play in a sold-out Chaban-Delmas stadium against the league’s top scorers inspired by fit French half-backs Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack.

The teams met four times last season, including Toulouse winning the national and European Champions Cup semi-finals.

“I think we have to attack the game, with our physique. We can’t be afraid of losing. That’s how they play, you have to be up to it,” Douglas told AFP.

“We are going to have to fight in defense, it will be a question of who wants it the most and I hope that the local public will support us,” he added.

Douglas made the last of his 31 appearances for the Wallabies in 2016.

In November, Australia relaxed its eligibility rules to allow overseas-based players with fewer than 60 caps to make the national squad.

“I would love to play international rugby again. It’s a bit out of my control,” he said after last Sunday’s impressive 37-14 victory at Racing 92.

“All I can do is play the best I can. If that gets me more tests that would be great.

“I raised my hand to play another test for sure,” he added.

His agreement on the west coast of France is in effect at the end of the season with the local newspaper Sud-Ouest announcing that he is about to sign a new two-year agreement.

“Hopefully something will be sorted out next week,” said the 2.02m forward.

“It’s the best thing for my family to stay put. I think me and the club want the same. The club want me to stay, I want to stay,” he added.

Arnold twins

Kane Douglas made his Wallabies debut in 2012 GLYN KIRK AFP / File

This weekend he is set to face two fellow Australians from the Toulouse engine room, who also grew up in New South Wales.

Twins Richie and Rory Arnold are both 2.08m tall and helped Toulouse double the Top 14 and Champions Cup last season.

Rory was one of the players to benefit from the Wallabies’ selection decision last month, along with La Rochelle lock Will Skelton and French Stade hooker Tolu Latu.

“They (Arnolds) are a little bit taller so whoever calls our lineups has to take that into account, where we throw the ball,” said Douglas.

“As much as they’re tall and looking pretty skinny, they’re pretty solid when they hit you or you hit them. They don’t come too far from my hometown in Australia. They raise them pretty well there.

“Both are playing very well and winning trophies. It’s really good to see,” he added.

Elsewhere, veteran scrum-half Morgan Parra will be missed by Clermont who will host Biarritz on Saturday during injury days after announcing he would leave the club he joined in 2009 at the end of the season.

Calendar (every hour GMT)

Saturday

Lyon v Brive, Castres v Racing 92, Clermont v Biarritz, Montpellier v Perpignan (all 1400), Pau v Toulon (1600), Bordeaux-Begles v Toulouse (2005)

Sunday

Stade Français against La Rochelle (2005)

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