Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Racing Métro

11th December 2013 09:42

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Mike Phillips Racing metro Harlequins

First start for Racing: Mike Phillips

Harlequins have made just one change to their team to play Racing Métro in Round 4 of the Heineken Cup at The Stoop on Sunday.

The only change to the starting side which won in Nantes sees Tim Molenaar named at inside centre, replacing Tom Casson, who picked up a knock last week.

In an unchanged forward pack, Chris Robshaw captains the side with Nick Easter continuing at number eight

Among the replacements, Joe Gray makes his return from injury, with Ollie Lindsay-Hague named at 23.

Meanwhile, Racing have made wholesale changes to their team with Jonny Sexton and Mike Phillips teaming up in the halfbacks while fellow British and Irish Lion Dan Lydiate starts on the flank.

Full-back Juan Martín Hernández is the only survivor from the starting line-up that was thrashed last weekend.

Harlequins success in Paris was sorely needed following opening defeats to the Scarlets and Clermont earlier in the competition.

Based around an outstanding effort from their forward pack, especially former England international Nick Easter, whilst collecting a crucial try bonus point away from home.

Quins now sit three points behind Clermont in the race to top Pool 4, with Racing currently bottom of the Pool despite being only two points behind their hosts this weekend in one of the more competitive groups in this year's Heineken Cup.

Welcoming back Jamie Roberts at inside centre though is a significant boost for the Top 14 side, with the Wales international having missed the last three months due to injury.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Tim Molenaar, 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 Will Collier, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Nick Kennedy, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Racing Metro: 15 Juan Martín Hernández, 14 Adrien Planté, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Virimi Vakatawa; 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Camille Gerondeau, 7 Antoine Battut (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Karim Ghezal, 4 Fabrice Metz, 3 Soane Tonga'uiha, 2 Virgile Lacombe, 1 Davit Khinchagishvili.
Replacements:16 Jeremie Maurouard, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Juandre Kruger, 20 Bernard Le Roux, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Jonathan Wisniewski 23 Benjamin Fall,

Date: Sunday 15th December
Venue: The Stoop
Kick-off: 1245 (local & GMT)
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallacher, Gary Conway (both Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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