Stade Français, which is making a risky trip to La Rochelle on Saturday to open the 18th day of the Top 14, will play its leading role with Toulouse, traveling to Perpignan, while Racing 92, cornered, will have to revolt on Sunday facing Toulon.

Stade Français (1st, 55 points), with five victories in a row in this period of doubles with the Six Nations Tournament and the best current defense, knows that a trip to Marcel-Deflandre, where Stade Rochelais displays an insolent success (seven victories in eight receptions), “is always complicated” according to Jeremy Ward. “In La Rochelle, it’s going to be difficult, we know that, but we’re in a good period: we have big ambitions,” insisted the South African center.

For the coach of the Parisian club Karim Ghezal, it is in the head that the difference can be made against the maritime club (7th, 40 pts): “we work a lot on the mental endurance of the players”. As for the Rochelais, who are struggling at the end of winter (three defeats in five matches), they need to gain points and confidence: the Pink Soldiers could pay the price.

Despite all its internationals involved on the Tournament front, Toulouse (2nd, 55 pts) continues to string together victories (five in a row). The reigning French champion has “gained a lot of confidence”, according to his forwards coach Jean Bouilhou. And it is not a trip to Perpignan (13th, 31 pts) which should stop the red and black machine, currently the best attack in the championship and carried by its young guard.

“We want to extend this series,” explained one of its representatives, third row Mathis Castro Ferreira. Usap, which remains in a heavy failure in Toulon (44-22), is therefore warned.

Racing 92 (6th, 40 pts), in a spiral of five defeats in a row and deprived of its double South African world champion Siya Kolisi, operated on Tuesday on a finger on his right hand, clearly has its back against the wall. The reception of Toulon (5th, 41 pts) must therefore sound like a revolt. “The atmosphere is still good but we have to stick together, not pull each other in the way because it’s a pretty delicate period,” admitted Ciel et Blanc hooker Camille Chat, before add, lucidly: “We no longer have room for error, we have used all our “bonuses””.

“It’s a special match” which awaits the Var club on Sunday, said Pierre Mignoni, the RCT rugby director, warning that the Arena’s synthetic turf must force the Toulon defense to be “more consistent » than during his last outings.

Finally, in the other meetings of the day, the Section Paloise (8th, 40 pts), in ambush to enter the Top 6, welcomes its neighbor Bayonne (9th, 38 pts), in a Basco-Béarnais derby which promises sparks. Bordeaux-Bègles (3rd, 45 pts), on alternating current, will travel to Montpellier (12th, 33 pts), Lyon (11th, 33 pts) will host Castres (4th, 44 pts), while Clermont (10th, 36 pts) will receive the red lantern Oyonnax (23 pts).