Preview: Racing 92 v Toulon

Date published: April 8 2016

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Racing 92 have made ten changes for Sunday's Champions Cup quarter-final clash up against holders Toulon.

Johan Goosen switches from full-back to outside centre, allowing for the return of Brice Dulin in the 15 jersey, while Juan Imhoff returns on the left wing.

Maxime Machenaud and Dan Carter get the nod at half-back having been rested last week in the Top 14 win over Bordeaux-Bègles.

There are two new faces in the back row as Chris Masoe starts at number eight against his old club, with Bernard le Roux in the number seven jersey.

Wales lock Luke Charteris returns in the second row, while Luc Ducalcon and Dimitri Szarzewski get the nod up front.

Toulon are without Drew Mitchell after he was injured against Clermont in last Sunday's loss, but France captain Guilhem Guirado is fit to start for the champions.

Delon Armitage takes Mitchell's place at full-back as Maxime Mermoz returns to partner Ma'a Nonu in midfield, with Mathieu Bastareaud dropping to the bench. James O'Connor and Matt Giteau both return on the wing and at fly-half.

Steffon Armitage drops to the bench, replaced by Charles Ollivon, with Toulon's only other change in the pack being the replacement of Alexandre Menini by Florian Fresia at loosehead prop.

Form: Racing 92 have won six of their last seven home games in the competition, however, the solitary defeat in that run came in their only knockout appearance in the competition against Saracens in last season's quarter-final. Three-time winners Toulon have won all of their last nine knockout matches in the Champions Cup; their only loss came in their first quarter-final against Perpignan in 2011. This will be Toulon's first away quarter-final since that defeat against Perpignan in Barcelona, with their last three appearances at this stage all coming at home. Toulon have won their last two away fixtures in the Champions Cup; a third consecutive win would equal their best streak away from home in the competition. The holders have played five matches against Top 14 opposition in the Champions Cup with three wins. Racing conceded the fewest tries (6) of any team in the pool stage, and Toulon the second fewest (7). 

The teams: 

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Johan Goosen, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Khatchik Vartanov, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Manuel Carizza, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Marc Andreu

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 James O’Connor, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Jonathan Pélissié, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Charles Ollivlon, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Manasa Paulo, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Steffon Armitage, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Éric Escande, 23 Thibault Lassale

Date: Sunday, April 10
Venue: Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Kick-off: 17:15 local (15:15 GMT)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle (England), Luke Pearce (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)

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