Preview: Stade Français v Leicester

Date published: January 22 2016

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Leicester have recalled Telusa Veainu, Matt Smith and Lachlan McCaffrey for Sunday's Champions Cup encounter with Stade Français in Paris.

Tigers are already assured of top spot in Pool 4 after five wins in five games and will be among the top three seeds in the quarter-final. French champions Stade are chasing a quarter-final place as one of the best three pool runners-up.

Veainu comes in on the wing for Tigers after sitting out the win over Benetton Treviso last Saturday, while Smith lines up alongside Manu Tuilagi at centre, and McCaffrey returns in the back row.

Marcos Ayerza, who started among the replacements against Treviso, returns to the front row for his 60th appearance for the club in Europe, overtaking Graham Rowntree to go sixth on the Tigers all-time list in the tournament.

Fellow prop Dan Cole plays his 150th game for Tigers just a week after picking up his club cap for 100 starting appearances.

For Stade, Jérémy Sinzelle returns on the wing as Waisea and Jonathan Danty move inisde a position to 13 and 12 respectively.

Jules Plisson takes over from Morné Steyn at fly-half. Raphael Lakafia returns to the loose trio while Hugh Pyle is added to the second row and Laurent Sempéré starts at hooker.

Form: Stade Français's defeat at Munster took their Pool 4 fate out of their own hands and a win may still not be enough to help them reach the last eight. Leicester have already secured a home quarter-final berth as they took full advantage of Stade's defeat with a bonus-point success over Italian side Treviso at Welford Road.

The teams:

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Jérémy Sinzelle, 13 Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse (c) 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Jonathan Ross, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Laurent Sempéré, 1 Zak Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Laurent Panis, 17 Emmanuel Felsina, 18 Paul Alo Emile, 19 Pascal Papé, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Geoffrey Doumayrou

Leicester Tigers: 15 Matthew Tait, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Telusa Veainu, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Tom Croft, 6 Michael Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza,
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Logovii Mulipola, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Thomas Bell, 23 Peter Betham
 
Date: Sunday, January 24
Venue: Stade Jean Bouin 
Kick-off: 14.00 local (13.00 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland), Mark Patton (Ireland)
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland)

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