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Heineken Cup Pool 4: Harlequins v Racing Metro preview

Last updated: 15th December 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Heineken Cup Pool 4: Harlequins v Racing Metro preview

Jonny Sexton: Starts at fly-half against Harlequins

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British and Irish Lions pair Mike Phillips and Jonny Sexton will start for Racing Metro in Sunday's Heineken Cup clash with Harlequins.

The half-backs came off the bench in last weekend's 32-8 loss to Quins in Nantes but have been promoted for the winner-takes-all clash at the Stoop.

Full-back Juan Martín Hernandez is the only survivor from the starting line-up, with Wales international Dan Lydiate named at blindside flanker.

In contrast, Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea has made just one change for the Pool 4 contest.

Tom Casson picked up a knock last week and is replaced at inside centre by New Zealander Tim Molenaar.

Charlie Walker has been retained on the wing, partnering Sam Smith and Mike Brown in the back three, while England international prop Joe Marler is named among the replacements as he makes his return from injury.

"We are under no illusions that they will be a different beast this weekend," said Quins fly-half Nick Evans.

"They weren't at the races as they would like to have been last weekend.

"We know they will come here and be extremely physical. They will want to take the game by the scruff of the neck, put their big set piece into motion and get their big boys over the gainline.

"If it is the Welsh boys or Irish boys, it does add a bit more flavour to it but we will concentrate on ourselves as much as possible.

"We have been playing well at The Stoop. At the start of the season we probably didn't make it a hard a place to come as it had been for the last few years.

"But in the last few games we have really been playing well and teams have been finding it hard to score against us."

Harlequins: 15 Brown, 14 Walker, 13 Hopper, 12 Molenaar, 11 Smith, 10 Evans, 9 Care; 1 Marler, 2 Ward, 3 Collier, 4 Matthews, 5 Robson, 6 Wallace, 7 Robshaw (c), 8 Easter.

Replacements: 16 Gray, 17 Marler, 18 Doran-Jones, 19 Kennedy, 20 Trayfoot, 21 Dickson, 22 Botica, 22 Lindsay-Hague.

Racing Metro: 15 Hernandez, 14 Plante, 13 Chavancy, 12 Roberts, 11 Vakatawa, 10 Sexton, 9 Phillips; 1 Khinchagishvili, 2 Lacombe, 3 Tonga'uiha, 4 Metz, 5 Ghezal, 6 Lydiate, 7 Battut (c), 8 Gerondeau.

Replacements: 16 Maurouard, 17 Arous, 18 Ducalcon, 19 Kruger, 20 Le Roux, 21 Machenaud, 22 Wisniewski, 23 Fall.

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Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

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