Planet Rugby

Preview: Stade Français v Harlequins

03rd April 2014 12:35

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Mike Brown Harlequins stade francais

In top form for Quins: Mike Brown

Joe Marler will make his 100th appearance for Harlequins in Friday's Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final against Stade Français in Paris.

The England prop, who this week re-signed for the club until 2016, starts in a side which has just two changes from the victory over London Irish last weekend.

Tim Molenaar starts at outside centre and partners Jordan Turner-Hall in the single change to the backline.

In the forwards, Charlie Matthews is named with George Robson in the second row, between an unchanged front and back row.

Rob Buchanan, who is named among the replacements, returns from injury and will look to make his first appearance since October.

Meanwhile, Stade Français have made a 12 changes to the side that narrowly lost the Parsi derby last weekend as they line-up a makeshift team.

Springbok fly-half Morné Steyn does retain his starting berth but there is no sign of the French team's Six Nations contingent as they look to keep their poweder dry for the Top 14 season run-in.

There will be a hint of revenge in the air as Stade look for payback for defeat in the 2011 Challenge Cup Final, which Quins won 19-18 at the Cardiff City Stadium, in a game that condemned the Parisians to their third defeat in a major European final.

Harlequins are one of the teams coming into the last eight in the Challenge Cup from the Heineken Cup, and considering the team named by the hosts, the English club will fancy their chances.

Stade Français chose to kick the ball in open play on fewer occasions (14 per game) than any other club in the pool stage but that is likely to change with Steyn at 10.

Mike Brown was the top metre maker in the pool stage of the Heineken Cup this season (565 metres). No one made more offloads (18) than Brown in the pool stage of the Heineken Cup.

The teams:

Stade Français: 15 Peter Lydon, 14 Richard Kingi, 13 Paul Williams, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Djibril Camara, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Clement Daguin, 8 David Lyons 7 Olivier Missoup, 6 Nicolas Garrault, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Gerhard Mostert, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Laurent Sempéré (c), 1 Zurabi Zhvania.
Replacements:16 Michael Van Vuuren, 17 Romain Frou, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Anton van Zyl, 20 Pierre Rabadan, 21 Vincent Mallet, 22 Adrea Cocagi, 23 Julien Arias

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (C), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 George Merrick, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Paul Sackey.

Date: Friday, April 4
Venue: Stade Jean Bouin
Kick-off: 21.00 local (20.00 BST/ 19.00 GMT)
Referee: Leighton Hodges

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