Pumas' Isa guides Toulon out of Top 14 relegation zone

Paris (AFP) – Argentina back-rower Facundo Isa scored his second try this season as struggling Toulon beat Biarritz 13-9 in the French Top 14 on Saturday with incoming head coach Franck Azema watching on from the stands.

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Isa, 28, came off the bench to cross in torrential rain in the first half as former Clermont coach Azema witnessed his first fixture before replacing the sacked Patrice Collazo next week.

Toulon, three-time European champions, move from 13th, the relegation play-off spot, to 11th with the win with temporary head coach James Coughlan at the helm.

On the Mediterranean coast, the sides were level 3-3 after penalty goals from Anthony Belleau and Ilian Perreaux.

Isa replaced Tongan Lopeti Timani after 28 minutes and made his impact just before the half hour mark.

Toulon were camped in the Basque 22m before Isa picked up the ball from the base of the scrum and slid over profiting from the greasy surface.

Louis Carbonel and Perraux added a penalty each in the second half as Toulon claimed just their third win in nine matches this season.

Elsewhere, clubs were without 28 players away on France duty ahead of next month's Test series.

Isa's Argentina team-mate Nicolas Sanchez is a doubt to face Les Bleus after he left the field with less than an hour played in Stade Francais' 18-9 defeat at Pau.

Fly-half Sanchez walked off holding an ice patch on his shoulder after a late tackle by opposition back-rower Lekima Tagitagivalu.

Later, former New Zealand fly-half Lima Sopoaga makes his first Lyon start for the trip to Montpellier.

South Africa's Cobus Reinach and Handre Pollard feature for the hosts before joining the Springboks' squad ahead of facing Wales next weekend.

Bordeaux-Begles welcome Clermont before champions Toulouse head to Racing 92 in Sunday's late game.

The Parisians' Kurtley Beale and the away side's Australia lock Rory Arnold are set to be involved before joining up with the Wallabies before heading to Scotland next weekend.