Racing 92 v Scarlets preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups and stats for the Champions Cup clash
Racing 92 look to cement their place in the Champions Cup knock-out stages against Scarlets on Sunday: 13:00 kick-off
A win will seal top spot in Pool Three for the Top 14 side with a game left
Scarlets have lost all four of their pool matches
Racing 92 are set to host Scarlets in the Champions Cup and have decided to shift Rugby World Cup winner Dan Carter into midfield for the game.
Carter has been pivotal to the strong start to the season for the French powerhouse, but this week he moves into the No 12 jersey, with Remi Tales taking up the fly-half duties.
Linking with Carter in the midfield is Casey Laulala, and they come up against Scarlets’ centre pairing of Hadleigh Parkes and Regan King.
Dimitri Szarzewski skippers the French side in the No 2 jersey where he joins Eddy Ben Arous and Ben Tameifuna in the front row – all three scored a try in last week’s win over Glasgow.
A win for the unbeaten Paris side would see them progress to the quarter-finals of the competition, while Scarlets are still seeking their first victory of the campaign.
Scarlets hooker Ken Owens captains the side for the second time in this season’s Champions Cup campaign in a new look front-row with loosehead prop Phil John lining up alongside the captain and international tighthead Samson Lee.
George Earle makes a return to the starting XV having recovered from a calf injury that kept him sidelined over the festive period with Maselino Paulino joining him in the second-row.
Rory Pitman makes a return from a bicep injury that has kept him out since September, and makes his first appearance in the Champions Cup this season. Aaron Shingler moves to the openside with Morgan Allen named at eight.
This will be the fourth meeting between these sides with honours even so far; both sides have picked up away wins and the first meeting (in Wales) was drawn
This is the 5th year in a row that Racing will find themselves at home in the 5th Round of the Champions Cup, however they have lost three of the previous four such matches
Scarlets have lost their last five away games in Europe, only once before (6 games between 2007 and 2009) have they lost more on the spin
The Welsh region have won just once in their last nine fixtures against French sides (L7, D1), however that win came against Racing in France in 2014
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Racing 92: Dan Carter
Scarlets: Steve Shingler
Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Louis Dupichot, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Dan Carter, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Antonie Claassen, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Chris Masoe, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Henry Chavancy, 23 Johan Goosen.
Scarlets: 15 Mike Collins, 14 Steff Evans, 13 Regan King, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Aaron Shingler, 6 Rory Pitman, 5 Maselino Paulino, 4 George Earle, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Kirby Myhill, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Tom Price, 20 Tom Phillips, 21 Rhodri Williams, 22 Dan Jones, 23 Steff Hughes.
Date: Sunday, January 17
Venue: Stade Yves du Manoir
Kick-off: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest (England), Wayne Falla (England)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)