Planet Rugby

Preview: Racing Métro v Scarlets

09th January 2014 10:38

Share:

JONATHAN SEXTON RACING METRO SCARLETS

Golden boot: Johnny Sexton

Scarlets boss Simon Easterby has made four changes to his starting lineup for his side's Heineken Cup visit to Racing Métro on Friday.

Aled Thomas replaces Gareth Owen at full-back and Gareth Davies comes in at scrum-half for Rhodri Williams.

In the pack George Earle and Josh Turnbull make way for Johan Snyman and Aaron Shingler at second-row and flanker respectively.

"I think it's important that we finish strongly - we started really well and we'd like to see us finish in the same way," said Easterby.

"The next two weeks are vital; first and foremost is to get some confidence back into the squad but we also need to get some momentum back into the season and get the winning run back again.

"We've contributed to our own downfall in the last three weeks. We've made too many errors, we're not a million miles away but we have to win the tight games - we haven't done that in the last few weeks. We do this first and foremost because we enjoy doing it and losing isn't enjoyable.

"Racing are a physical side - they've showed that at home they are a match for anyone, they've beaten Clermont at home recently and they have the obvious strengths of depth in their squad."

Meanwhile, Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips makes his home debut for Racing, having been signed up by the Parisians last month following his notorious dismissal from Bayonne.

Phillips is one of a number of familiar faces lining up opposite Scarlets, with fellow Wales and Lions international Dan Lydiate named on the blindside.

Johnny Sexton starts in the pivot position, while mercurial Argentine Juan Martin Hernandez is named at inside centre.

Hooker Dimitri Szarzewski misses out altogether, but Virgile Lacombe offers an able deputy in the pack.

Elsewhere, athletic Springbok second-row Juandre Kruger could make an appearance from the bench.

Form: Like the Scarlets, the French side are hoping to end their Heineken Cup campaign on a high having slipped to the bottom of Pool 4.

They have struggled to pose a threat in attack in this year's tournament, having have made fewer carries (62) and metres (258) per match than any other side in the tournament to date. Racing have also had the least amount of average possession per game (11m 49s), the fewest clean breaks (10) and beaten the fewest defenders (24).

The two sides played out a 26-26 draw earlier in the season - their only previous meeting in the Heineken Cup.

The teams:

Racing: 15 Benjamin Fall, 14 Juan Imhoff, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Juan Martin Hernandez, 11 Marc Andreu, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Dan Lydiate, 6 Antoine Battut, 5 Fabrice Metz, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Julien Brugnaut
Replacements: 16 Jerome Maurouard, 17 Soane Tonga'uiha, 18 Luc Dulcacon, 19 Juandre Kruger, 20 Camille Gerondeau, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Benjamin Dambielle, 23 Alexandre Dumoulin

Scarlets: 15 Aled Thomas, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Nick Reynolds, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Frazier Climo, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Rob McCusker (c), 7 John Barclay, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Johan Snyman, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Emyr Phillips, 1 Phil John
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Josh Turnbull, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Gareth Maule, 23 Jordan Williams

Date: Friday 10th January
Venue: Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Kick-off: 1900 local, 2000 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce (Eng)
Assistant referees: Martin Fox, Robin Goodliffe (both Eng)
TMO: Geoff Warren (Eng)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand20:50
More International Match fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615