Racing 92 face Saracens in Saturday’s European Champions Cup final
Saracens bid to put to bed their Champions Cup final pain from 2014
The French club are looking to win their first ever European trophy
We will have a first-time European winner on Saturday in Lyon when France’s Racing 92 take on English champions Saracens.
Sarries were beaten 23-6 by a Jonny Wilkinson-inspired Toulon team in their last European final two years ago. But the Aviva Premiership title holders face Racing 92 hoping to become the first team in history to win all nine games in a European campaign.
The Parisians have a multinational squad, including All Black great Dan Carter, but last won the French title in 1990.
Meanwhile, Saracens will be captained by centre Brad Barritt, who is joined by Duncan Taylor in midfield outside England duo Owen Farrell and Richard Wigglesworth at half-back.
South African scrum-half Neil De Kock has failed to recover from a tweaked hamstring so Ben Spencer is named among the replacements, as is England hooker Jamie George.
Petrus du Plessis, Schalk Brits and Mako Vunipola form the front row ahead of England locks duo George Kruis and Maro Itoje, with Billy Vunipola continuing at No 8.
This will be the sixth meeting between the clubs in the competition; Racing won the first encounter in 2010/11 but Saracens have won all four since
Four of the previous five matches between the sides have been won by margins of fewer than 10 points. This will be Racing 92’s first appearance in a European final
This will be the sixth Anglo-French decider. Premiership clubs have won three with the Top 14 winning two. 14 of the previous 20 finals have been decided by margins of seven points or fewer, while just three finals have seen over 50 points scored in total
Saracens have failed to score a try in five of their six knockout games against French opposition in the Champions Cup (W2, L3)
Saturday’s contest will be between the competition’s best attack and best defence; Saracens (34.1) have averaged the most points per game this season while Racing have conceded the fewest (12.8)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Saracens: Owen Farrell
Statistically, Farrell (41/57) has succeeded with the most kicks at goal this season in Europe. No other player has reached 25, and he is also the top point scorer (106).
Racing 92: Dan Carter
The reigning World Player of the Year has been a revelation, taking the club up a level with his composure on the ball and pristine decision-making.
Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Johannes Goosen, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Ben Tameifuna, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski (c), 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Khatchik Vartanov, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Henry Chavancy
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt (c), 11 Chris Wyles, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Michael Rhodes, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Marcelo Bosch
Date: Saturday, May 14
Venue: Grand Stade de Lyon
Kick-off: 17:45 local (16:45 BST, 15:45 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (Ireland), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)