Toulon gets Giteau boost
EUROPEAN CUP NEWS: Toulon talisman Matt Giteau is ready to give the three-time Champions Cup winners a huge boost, ahead of their make-or-break matches against Sale Sharks and Saracens in Pool Three.
The French giants currently trail the reigning champions, Saracens, by eight points and have to visit the Allianz Park in Round Six.
They host Sale in Round Five, when Giteau could make his first European appearance of the season.
Now 34, Giteau was a key man in Toulon's hat-trick of titles between 2013 and 2015 and brings a huge amount of experience with him.
He suffered a broken ankle and an additional fracture to his leg playing for Australia against New Zealand in the Championship, but has fought his way back to full fitness.
With 103 caps for the Wallabies, including two World Cups finals, he could be just the man to spark a late push for a quarterfinal berth by Toulon after being registered as an additional player by the TOP 14 outfit in place of fellow Aussie Matt Carraro.
Pool Five leaders ASM Clermont Auvergne have added New Zealand flyhalf Stephen Brett to their squad in place of Hosea Gear, while Connacht have drafted in two players to help ease their injury crisis.
Former Ireland Under-20 centre Tom Farrell could find himself making the leap from the English Championship to the Champions Cup this weekend against Zebre after signing from Bedford Blues.
Farrell has been brought in to replace Cormac Brennan, while prop John Andress, who has European experience with Harlequins, Worcester Warriors, Exeter Chiefs and Edinburgh, has taken over from Conan O'Donnell.
The full list of players that have been nominated by their clubs as Additional Players from Round Five for the 2016/17 European Champions Cup are listed below.
Each club may select three additional players during the course of the pool stage, one of whom must be a front row player. The nominated additional player will replace a registered member of the club's squad and no club will exceed 41 players at any time during the pool stages.
The deregistered player may return to the squad at a later date during the pool stage and replace the additional player he was originally replaced by. Clubs must ensure that the additional player has not been nominated in a match squad of another club in the same tournament during the current season.
The additional player will be eligible to play in the next round of pool matches if his nomination is received by EPCR by noon GMT on the Tuesday before the match. The player must have at least a three-month contract with the club.
CHAMPIONS CUP ADDITIONAL PLAYERS
ASM Clermont Auvergne
Additional player: Stephen BRETT
Nationality: New Zealand
Deregistered: Hosea Gear
Additional player: John ANDRESS
Deregistered: Conan O'Donnell
Additional player: Tom FARRELL
Deregistered: Cormac Brennan
Additional player: Stuart TOWNSEND
Deregistered: Dave Ewers
Additional player: Charlie THACKER
Deregistered: Manu Tuilagi
Additional player: Juan Pablo ESTELLES
Deregistered: Jamie Elliott
Additional player: Matt GITEAU
Deregistered: Matt Carraro
Additional player: Will ADDISON
Deregistered: Denny Solomona
Additional player: Ben EARL
Deregistered: Billy Vunipola
Additional player: Nicky THOMAS
Deregistered: Luke Garrett
Additional player: Julien MARCHAND
Deregistered: Peato Mauvaka
Additional player: Jonny SIMPSON
Deregistered: Dan Tuohy
Additional player: Kurt BAKER
Nationality: New Zealand
Deregistered: Giovanni D'Onofrio