Toulouse captain Julien Marchand has admitted his side are “very happy and excited” to be back in the Heineken Champions Cup after competing in last season’s Challenge Cup. 

The French side failed to reach the knockout stages in the Challenge Cup last year but have won both their matches so far this season in the Heineken Champions Cup, including an eye-catching 28-27 home win over defending champions Leinster Rugby in Round 2. 

The four-time European Cup winners also defeated Bath Rugby 22-20 at the Recreation Ground, leaving them top of Pool 1 with eight points. 

Speaking at the Heineken Champions Cup launch in Toulouse, Marchand highlighted how important the competition is for a club like Toulouse. 

“We’re very happy and excited to be back in the Champions Cup. We had a good season in the league last year, but it didn’t go as well in the Challenge Cup. It’s positive to be back and we’re happy about it,” said the 23-year-old. 

“We can sense the Champions Cup is very important to a club like Stade Toulousain, a club with so many historical ties to this competition. 

“The club have a record four European Cup trophies, so it’s significant for the club and our image. But it’s up to us to put in our best performances throughout the whole campaign this year.”