Far can go the LOU? -Top 14



7th of the Top 14 on a par with the French stage, Lyon has two days to create the surprise. In addition to a favorable schedule, the LOU seems weapon for the end of season.

a timid start, which presaged the soft underbelly, see the descent. But between steady growth and tightening of the general level, the LOU is poised to invite themselves to the table of the great according to 3 consecutive wins. The Bayonne to warm up (52-7), the trip to Castres to create the exploit and maintain permanently its (16-17), and, finally, the La Rochelle leader, stopped dead in his series of 11 matches without defeat, to prove that it will count on the LOU (29-25).

And if this weekend Lyon still receives Clermont, the context plays in his favor. The Auvergnats, in delicacy in the Championship with 2 wins on the last 6 matches only, drew on their resources to overcome the terrible Irish of Leinster in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup (27-22). Already, several team executives garnish the infirmary for the trip in the land of Lyon: Parra, Lamerat, Rougerie and Zirakashvili are out. In all cases, the DSO should rotate. A boon for Lyon, an opportunity for a club that is marked by the maddening success of his coach.  

Pierre Mignoni, first coach of France

Coach shaped under the direction of Bernard Laporte, Pierre Mignoni has become a very good locker room loud, as much as the fine tactician he is naturally. With at least a symbolic success: according to a study Rugbyrama Pierre Mignoni would simply be the first coach of France in terms of winning percentage. Between Toulon during its golden (2011-2015, 3 European titles, and a shield of brennus as coach of arrears) and Lyon since 2015 (manager champion of France Pro D2 season last with 116 points in the standings), it has a total of 139 wins in 208 matches (or 66.8% of victories). Only Franck Azéma is able to dethrone him (65% of victories). We meet again.

The success of Mignoni in Lyon, is the idea of rally of the Toulon revanchists (Menini, Bruni, Armitage, etc) without making owners imposed entry, have the character to keep his troops and accept the rotation, throwing the young geniuses (Couilloud) and bring back the old hands (Privat), for in the end create a strong cohesion and competition of seine. In the service of a staff that has nothing to envy to others.

one Armada ready for matches cleavers

built over the course of a long season revealing property of talent, the Lyon Group drew and there to chill his opponents. International pillars, Alexander Menini (6 caps) and Francisco Gomez Kodela (11 caps with the Argentina) surround Michael Ivaldi, who now enjoys a strong experience forged in Toulon and Montpellier. The Thomas-Privat hitch requires between an old number 8 (16 caps) samoan who agrees to go up in the cage and the player most aligned to the Top 14 (more than 300 appearances!). The third line Puricelli-Bruni-Fearns proved his level of play: Julien Puricelli is the best ball in the Championship key licensee, Carl Fearns ahead more strong and effective (8 tries, best total of the club). Back from injury, Virgil Bruni, often at the gates of the team of France, is the perfect linking fronts-three quarters (it can also play 8), not to mention Facundo Isa (25 caps with Argentina at 23), who plays the luxury Freelancer (3 tests in 6 appearances) before joining the Bay next year.

Behind, Baptiste Couilloud and Lionel Beauxis, arrived during the season to Bordeaux, now hold the rope to the hinge, but Frédéric Michalak and Mike Harris presents a real insurance in case of failure of the first Duet. Hemani Paea is a bulldozer at the Center, as much as Napolioni Nalaga on a wing. Wings also occupied by one of the essential elements of the club, the New Zealander Toby Arnold, even author of a remarkable season. Flanked by the number 15, Delon Armitage (26 caps with England and fantastic finisher in the cleavers matches) can become the providential man. To top it off, the Stadium Matmut “moved” at Gerland since January to offer a stage up to this new size XXL, with awareness and positive dynamics that resulted. No doubt, this LOU here is ready to overthrow of the mountains. 

Target ongoing sustainability

too long Lyon suffered back and forth between the Elite and the second division: too much for the Pro D2, too low for the Top 14. With the current dynamics of the club and the homogenization of the french Championship, the wheel has turned this season for the LOU. The goal of maintaining assured, heads can turn with confidence to next season, where reinforcements of weight coming. Clement Ric (Clermont) and Richard Choirat (Bayonne) to supplement Gomez Kodela right of the fray, Lacombe (Racing 92) to strengthen the tailgating. Etienne Oosthuizen (24, Sharks) and Théophile Cotte (24 years, attend) can do office to pick a card, the first to forget the “Franco Mostert” jail (which will never come), the second to explode at the highest level after being passed by young selections. Behind, the arrivals of Xavier Mignot (Grenoble, 2 caps with the France) and Jean Marcelin Buttin (Bordeaux, 2 selections also) should bring a surplus of freshness. But the main given in sustainability of the club should be in the ability to stay the English Carl Fearns a few more seasons. One of the best players in the Top 14 2017 would be bound for Gloucester, but LOU is fighting to keep. Rightly. 

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