The forthcoming Heineken Champions Cup Pool 5 back-to-back matches between Montpellier and RC Toulon will have extra significance for France captain and hooker Guilhem Guirado.
On Thursday – nine days before Toulon entertain Montpellier in Heineken Champions Cup Round 3 – Montpellier announced that they had agreed a three-year contract with the 32-year-old Toulon forward from the start of next season.
Guirado, who won the trophy with three-time winners Toulon in 2015 and has made 70 European appearances for them and Perpignan, knows all eyes will be on him if he plays at Stade Felix-Mayol on December 8 and the GGL Stadium eight days later.
— Montpellier Rugby (@MHR_officiel) November 29, 2018
“We have a very tight pool,” he told Montpellier’s official website. “For us [Toulon], it will be very complicated [to qualify], as we have already lost a home match. We will need to be dominant at home and win away from home.
“Nothing is decided yet, but we know that it will be very difficult against our rivals, none more so than a team like Montpellier, who have major ambitions in this competition. The two matches against them will be on a knife-edge.
“When you play for Toulon, who have shone so much in this competition, it is difficult to leave them!”
Guirado’s current club won the European Cup three years in a row – from 2013 to 2015 – but this season they prop up Pool 5 with one point, after losing both their opening games, whereas Montpellier are third with five points, three behind leaders Newcastle Falcons.