Heineken Cup Pool 4: Harlequins v Clermont Auvergne match preview

Last updated: 11th January 2014   Subscribe to RSS Feed

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Harlequins host Clermont Auvergne at the Stoop on Saturday knowing they need a win keep their hopes of winning Heineken Cup Pool 4 alive.

Quins currently sit four points behind the French league leaders, who can wrap up the pool and qualification for the quarter-finals with victory in London.

Nick Kennedy is finally set to make his full debut for the hosts, the lock being named in Conor O'Shea's starting line-up after struggling a knee injury since his summer move from Toulon.

The only other change in the pack sees Luke Wallace named at blindside flanker, with Tom Guest dropping to the bench.

Danny Care is back at scrum-half and ready for an intriguing battle with opposite number Morgan Parra, who makes a surprise return from injury for the visitors. Ugo Monye is also back in the Quins staring XV.

Despite the return of Parra, Clermont have injury problems coming into the clash and will have to do without Regan King, Damien Chouly, Julien Bonnaire and Thierry Lacrampe

They are still able to name a fearsome-looking back-line as the likes of Sitiveni Sivivatu, Aurelien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana and Napolioni Nalaga will all play outside Parra and Brock James.

The in-form Fritz Lee is at No 8 alongside Alexandre Lapandry and Julien Bardy, while Nathan Hines and Jamie Cudmore form a physical lock combination.

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

Replacements: 16 Gray, 17 Lambert, 18 Doran-Jones, 19 Matthews, 20 Guest, 21 Dickson, 22 Botica, 23 Lindsay-Hague.

Clermont: 15 Buttin, 14 Sivivatu, 13 Rougerie (capt), 12 Fofana, 11 Nalaga, 10 James, 9 Parra; 1 Domingo, 2 Kayser, 3 Zirakashvili, 4 Cudmore, 5 Hines, 6 Bardy, 7 Lapandry, 8 Lee.

Replacements: 16 Paulo, 17 Debaty, 18 Ric, 19 Pierre, 20 Vosloo, 21 Radoslavjevic, 22 Delany, 23 Stanley.

Watch Harlequins v Clermont on Sky Sports HD2 from 13.00 on Saturday