IT MIGHT HAVE started out as an Expendables camp full of aging stars in the south of France but over time, Mourad Boudjellal’s passion for Toulon rugby has infected even the biggest earners in his squad.

Toulon’s owner celebrates Bryan Habana’s try.

After becoming the president of the club in 2006, Boudjellal’s side endured some tough seasons but now Toulon are a freight train who don’t know how to go any way other than forward.

Today was probably their worst performance in a meaningful game since choking in the 2013 Top 14 final against Castres but their veteran players made big plays at important times.

Well, except Ali Williams who was sin-binned in extra time but that galvanised Toulon’s experienced core and saw them home against Leinster.

First, Chris Masoe won a turnover penalty that allowed them to take the lead before their bloodhound of a wing sniffed out an interception opportunity.

Their eccentric owner exploded with raw passion after Bryan Habana’s score, and it was great to see such emotion from an owner. He comes out with some fairly off-the-wall statements at times but Boudjellal’s enthusiasm is good for the game.

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The Toulon experiment is funded by Mourad’s millions but at this stage it has developed into so much more than just a collection of galacticos.

Here is how we rated Leinster in their devastating extra time loss to ToulonFor one brief moment, every Leinster fan thought they were going to the Champions Cup final