Preview: Harlequins v Grenoble

Date published: April 21 2016

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Harlequins have made five changes to their starting side that will face Grenoble in their Challenge Cup semi-final at the Stoop on Friday.

George Lowe, the sole change to the back-line, starts at outside centre as he comes into the line-up that suffered defeat against Saracens.

In the forwards, loosehead prop Joe Marler has returned from suspension and joins former Wales tighthead prop Adam Jones in the front-row.

James Horwill and Luke Wallace are both named in the second and back-rows respectively as Harlequins look to book their spot in the final.

On the bench, Nick Evans will look to make his first outing since February after recovering from a broken leg sustained against Gloucester.

Meanwhile, Grenoble are boosted by the returns of hooker Arnaud Héguy and wing Xavier Mignot for Friday's clash.

They will however be without talismanic number eight Rory Grice so Steven Setephano retains his place at number eight, while Fabien Alexandre and Mahamadou Diaby are the flankers.

Sona Taumalolo and Dayna Edwards start as their props while Ben Hand and James Percival are the lock combination.

The half-backs are Charl McLeod and Jonathan Wisniewski while Nigel Hunt and Chris Farrell are at centre and Lucas Dupont and Mignot start as the wings. Gio Aplon is full-back for the visitors.

Form: This will be the first meeting between the clubs in European competition. This will be Harlequins' fifth appearance at the semi-final stage of the Challenge Cup; they advanced to the final on three of the previous four occasions and lifted the trophy each time. Harlequins have won seven of their eight home games against Top 14 opposition in the Challenge Cup, including the last five in a row. This is the first time Grenoble have reached the semi-final stage of the Challenge Cup; they lost their previous quarter-final tie (two legs) to Connacht before beating the same opposition in the quarter-final this season. Grenoble have won their last two games against Premiership opposition in the Challenge Cup, previously they had won just two of 13. The two recent wins against an English club both came against London Irish, who were defeated by Harlequins in the quarter-finals.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 James Horwill, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Nick Evans, 23 Ross Chisholm

Grenoble: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Xavier Mignot, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Nigel Hunt, 11 Lucas Dupont, 10 Jonathan Wisniewski, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Steven Setephano, 7 Fabien Alexandre, 6 Mahamadou Diaby, 5 James Percival, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Dayna Edwards, 2 Arnaud Héguy, 1 Sona Taumalolo
Replacements: 16 Loick Jammes, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Walter Desmaison, 19 Mathias Marie, 20 Henry Vanderglas, 21 James Hart, 22 Fabien Gengenbacher, 23 Fabrice Estebanez

Date: Friday, April 22
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Marius Mitrea (Italy), Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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