With Toulon continuing to splash the cash on marquee signings we look at what the Galacticos of Rugby starting XV for next season will be if we include the signings that have already been confirmed and players who are rumoured to be close to signing for the current European champions.
15. Leigh Halfpenny
After signing from Cardiff Blues last season, Halfpenny has enjoyed a good start to his Toulon career. With Halfpenny arguably the best place kicker in the world, Toulon know that they don’t just need tries to win them games with Halfpenny rarely missing from the tee.
14. Napolioni Nalaga
Nalaga will swap Clermont Auvergne for Toulon for the start of next season with the Fijian looking to make an instant impact. He scored a try against Toulon in the Heineken Cup final in 2013 and Toulon won’t be very happy if their new signing scores a decisive try against them in the Champions Cup Final in May.
13. Mathieu Bastareaud
Bastareaud signed for Toulon from Stade Francais in 2011 and the French International is now regarded as one of the most dangerous 13’s in world Rugby. He may not have started many games in this years 6 Nations but for Toulon he is one of their most important players and is one of the first few names on the teamsheet.
12. Ma’a Nonu
The World Cup winner will end his All Blacks career after the World Cup where he will join the current European and French champions. For years Nonu has been regarded as the best 12 in world Rugby and he will look to build a formidable centre partnership with Bastareaud.
11. Bryan Habana
On the left wing Toulon have another World Cup winner in Bryan Habana. The South African joined the French side last season and was influential in his side winning the double. He may be in his thirties now but he is still pacey as ever which Leinster fans will know all about.
10. Quade Cooper
With rumours reporting that Cooper is set to sign a two-year deal after the World Cup, Toulon fans will be excited to see one of the best outhalves in the world line out for their side. After some injury setbacks Cooper has had a difficult two years but every Rugby fan will know the talent he possesses and he will be a nightmare for every defence in the Top14.
The impressive Tillous-Borde arrived in 2011 from Castres and has developed into one of the best scrum-halfs in Europe. His club form has also caught the eye of Philippe Saint-Andre, where Tillous-Borde will look to fight off competition to start for France in the World Cup.
8. Duane Vermeulen
Another signing that has not been confirmed, however many think we won’t have to wait too long for an announcement. Since making his debut for the Springboks in 2012, Vermeulen has caught the eye of many wealthy clubs in France with it now looking increasingly likely that Toulon have won the race for the signature of the number 8.
7. Juan Smith
In 2013 Smith decided to come out of retirement and Toulon gave him the opportunity to return to Rugby and he has never looked back since. Smith may be 33 now but he has still at least two more seasons left in the tank where he will look for more silverware.
6. Steffon Armitage
After so many marquee signings in the past few years Steffon Armitage has proven to be one of the most important for Bernard Laporte’s side. After joining Toulon from London Irish, Armitage has developed into one of the best flankers in Europe with many asking for him to be brought back into the English squad.
5. Paul O’Connell
The rumours have started that the Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has his heart set on bringing Paul O’Connell to the Felix Mayol. O’Connell still has a year left on his Munster contract but he may opt to leave Thomond Park and enjoy a year in France before he may retire.
4. Samu Manoa
The United States International can also play number 8 but with Ali Williams retiring and with Bakkies Botha also near the end of his career Manoa is a great signing for Toulon.
3. Salesi Ma’afu
Another signing from Northampton Saints with former Wallaby Ma’afu joining Toulon next season. With Carl Hayman retiring at the end of the season, Ma’afu is a like for like replacement where he will look to dominate in the scrum.
2. Guilhem Guirado
Guirado would of been sad to leave his hometown club Perpignan but following their relegation last season Toulon were able to snap him up. Guirado has had a magnificent season and will start for France in the World Cup.
1. Xavier Chiocci
Chiocci at 25 has a bright future ahead of him. With the likes of Jenkins and Sheridan leaving the club, Chiocci is now first choice loosehead prop and after making his France debut in the Autumn, he will be hoping to get picked for the World Cup.