French Top 14

Back In The Heineken Champions Cup: RC Toulon

Back In The Heineken Champions Cup: RC Toulon

RC Toulon’s victory over Glasgow in the EPCR Challenge Cup final secured them a return to the Heineken Champions Cup after a two-season absence.

Jun 6, 2023 by RugbyPass
Back In The Heineken Champions Cup: RC Toulon

RC Toulon’s victory over the Glasgow Warriors in the EPCR Challenge Cup final last month secured them a return to the Heineken Champions Cup, a competition they have been absent from for the past two seasons.

We’ve taken a look at Toulon’s best campaigns in EPCR’s elite tournament, which unsurprisingly consist of their incredible three successive titles around a decade ago.

2012-2013: Champions

Toulon clinched its first EPCR title in the 2012-2013 season, overcoming Montpellier, the Cardiff Blues and Sale Sharks in the pool stage to set up a home quarterfinal against the Leicester Tigers.

The TOP 14 side edged its English counterparts 21-15, before triumphing 24-12 against Saracens at Twickenham Stadium in the semifinals.

A Delon Armitage try and 11 points from the boot of Jonny Wilkinson saw them scrape to a 16-15 win against ASM Clermont Auvergne in the showpiece game in Dublin.

2013-2014: Champions

Toulon made it back-to-back titles in 2013-2014, recovering from a Round 2 loss at Cardiff (19-15) to emerge from Pool 2 – which also included the Exeter Chiefs and Glasgow Warriors – with a home quarterfinal.

They dispatched of then three-time champion Leinster Rugby 29-14 at the Stade Félix Mayol and would defeat another Irish province in the semifinals, as they saw off Munster Rugby, 24-16.

Toulon then produced a commanding performance in the final at the Principality Stadium, as tries from Matt Giteau and Juan Smith, in addition to 13 points kicked by Jonny Wilkinson, propelled them to a 23-6 victory over Saracens.

2014-2015: Champions

Toulon made history as it lifted the trophy for a third straight year in 2014-2015, winning five from six games in the pool stage again, which saw them go up against Ulster Rugby, Leicester and Scarlets.

They eased past the Wasps (32-18) in the quarterfinals, before another titanic battle with Leinster in the semifinals, the game at the Stade Vélodrome needing extra time, before a Bryan Habana interception try helped Toulon to a thrilling 25-20 win.

That set up a second final against domestic rival Clermont, which proved another tense affair at Twickenham Stadium, but Toulon was triumphant again, thanks to tries from Mathieu Bastareaud and Drew Mitchell, plus 14 points from Leigh Halfpenny.