Preview: Pau vs Racing 92

Date published: December 3 2015

Racing 92 will be looking to continue their impressive start to the season when they face Pau on Friday.

On the back of a home win over Toulouse, which followed their superb victory at the Scarlets in the Champions Cup, the Paris outfit will enter this game at Stade Du Hameau confident of picking up the points. However the league hopefuls' last Top 14 away game did result in a heavy 34-8 loss against Castres at Stade Pierre-Antoine.

Few expect Pau to cause a shock though this Friday, especially as they were well beaten 46-10 at Bordeaux-Bègles last weekend and Racing 92's squad depth is leading to talk of silverware being on the cards in 2016. Maxime Machenaud is a key man in that challenge as his playmaking from scrum-half has been superb.

Rugby World Cup winner and new star signing from New Zealand, Dan Carter, will soon be donning the light blue shirt too but not this week as he continues to be a spectator, learning from watching the Racing 92 side ahead of their Champions Cup home and away fixtures against Northampton Saints when he should debut.

His All Black team-mate, Colin Slade, is on the bench for Pau who sit twelfth in the Top 14 table after three wins and six defeats from their opening nine fixtures. Watisoni Votu replaces Santiago Fernandez at inside centre.

The teams:

Pau: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Sireli Bobo, 13 Julien Fumat, 12 Watisoni Votu, 11 Mosese Ratuvou, 10 Brandon Fajardo, 9 Thibault Daubagna, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Paddy Butler, 6 Sean Dougall, 5 Daniel Ramsay, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Sylvain Charlet, 2 Mehdi Boundjema, 1 Jeremy Hurou.
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Chris King, 18 Jovili Domolailai, 19 Loic Bernad, 20 Samuel Marques, 21 Colin Slade, 22 Jale Vatubua, 23 Euan Murray.

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Thibault Dubarry, 4 Manuel Carizza, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Davit Khinchagashvili.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Wenceslas Lauret, 19 Chris Masoe, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 Henry Chavancy, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Ben Tameifuna.

Venue: Stade Du Hameau
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Sébastien Minery
Assistant referees: Cédric Marchat, Laurent Breil
Television match official: Bruno Bessot