Preview: Racing 92 v Leicester Tigers

Date published: January 13 2017

Racing 92 have opted to make seven changes as they look for a first Champions Cup win of the season against Leicester Tigers.

Dan Carter returns to the starting XV at fly-half, with Brice Dulin coming in at full-back to replace Juan Imhoff. The other changes in the backs see Henry Chavancy start at outside centre, with Casey Laulala shifting to inside centre, and Marc Andreu take over from Teddy Thomas.

In the pack Antoine Claassen shifts to blindside flanker to make way for So'otala Fa'aso'o at number eight, while in the front-row there are two new faces.

Virgile Lacombe gets the start at hooker, while France international Eddy Ben Arous comes in at loosehead prop.

Meanwhile, Mathew Tait returns from injury to join the Leicester Tigers line-up for the Champions Cup fixture against Racing 92 in Paris on Saturday.

Full-back Tait is in line for his first appearance since the league win over Harlequins in November after recovering from a fractured jaw.

Freddie Burns moves to fly-half with Owen Williams ruled out by an elbow injury in the only other change to the backline from the Premiership match against Wasps last week.

In the forward pack there is a return for Graham Kitchener and Lachlan McCaffrey who were both among the replacements at Wasps.

Harry Thacker and Luke Hamilton come on to bench this week and there is also a place for Jack Roberts who missed out at Wasps with injury.

Form: This will be the third time the clubs have met in the last 12 months, Racing won their semi-final encounter last season before Leicester's triumph in Round 2 earlier this season. Leicester's last away game saw them kept scoreless for just the second time; Ulster also managed the feat in 2004. Leicester have lost 10 of their last 11 away games against TOP 14 opposition, their only victory in that run coming against Montpellier in 2013/14. Leone Nakarawa has made 14 offloads this season, at least three more than any other player. Leicester have spent just 13 minutes and 32 seconds in possession on average per game this season – only Zebre (10m 59s) have had less possession.

The teams:

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Casey Laulala, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Xavier Chauveau, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Matthieu Voisin, 6 So'otala Fa'aso'o, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Gerbrandt Grobler, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Ben Tameifuna, 19 Ali Williams, 20 Olivier Missoup, 21 James Hart, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Albert Vulivuli

Leicester Tigers: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Tom Brady, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Will Evans, 6 Mike Williams, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Greg Bateman, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Mike Fitzgerald, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Jono Kitto, 22 Sam Harrison, 23 Jack Roberts

Date: Saturday, January 14
Venue: Stade Yves Du Manoir
Kick-off: 20:45 local (19:45 GMT)
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell (Wales), Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: Jonathan Mason (Wales)

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