Planet Rugby

Preview: Munster v Racing Metro

18th January 2013 08:09

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Simon Zebo Munster Heineken Cup

Munster need more tries: Simon Zebo

Munster must beat Racing Métro with a bonus point at Thomond Park on Sunday if they hope to book a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

The two-time champions, who will be without suspended fly-half Ronan O'Gara, are second in their Pool and three points behind leaders Saracens, who are expected to beat Edinburgh on Saturday.

Munster failed to really impress at Murrayfield last week and will need to improve for the visit of the Parisians, who are aiming for a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

The Irish lost 22-17 in the French capital when they two teams met in the opening pool game at the Stade de France back in October.

Munster have won their Round 6 tie for the past five seasons and have lost just two home pool games in the history of the Heineken Cup.

20 French clubs have played on Munster soil in the Heineken Cup with no wins to show.

Racing Metro grabbed three tries in the first 20 minutes against Saracens but failed to secure a try bonus point. Alongside Montpellier, Munster have missed fewer tackles than any other club in this tournament, averaging 7.4 misses per game.

Racing have made 13 changes to their starting XV and are without suspended French international hooker Dimitri Szarzewski as well as centre Fabrice Estebanez. Playmaker Juan-Martin Hernandez, wing Juan Imhoff centre Henry Chavancy have been rested. Former Bath pivot Olly Barkley starts at ten.

For Munster, Ian Keatley takes over from O'Gara and Mike Sherry starts ahead of Damien Varley in an otherwise unchanged starting XV. JJ Hanrahan comes onto the bench.

Munster (revised): 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Casey Laulala,

Racing Metro: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Julien Jane, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Sereli Bobo, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Mathieu Belie, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Antoine Batut, 5 Fabrice METZ, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Benjamin Sa, 2 Benjamin Noirot, 1 Julien Brugnaut.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Andrea Lo Cicero, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 20 Benjamin Fall, 21 Santiago Dellape, 22 Sebastien Descons, 23 Masi Matadigo,

Date: Sunday, 20 January
Venue: Thomond Park
Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle, (England) Robin Goodliffe (England)
Television match official: David Grashoff (England)

  • Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 17
Harlequins vs Castres19:45
Saturday , October 18
Sale vs Munster13:00
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:15
Leicester vs Ulster19:45
Glasgow vs Bath15:15
Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton17:15
Sunday , October 19
Leinster vs Wasps17:15
Toulon vs Scarlets15:15
Toulouse vs Montpellier13:00
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso13:00
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Rugby Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster622
2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon624
2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulouse623
2Saracens620
3Connacht613
4Zebre60
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne624
2Harlequins616
3Scarlets611
4Racing Metro Paris67
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ulster626
2Leicester Tigers621
3Montpellier611
4Treviso60
Pool 6
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67