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Sunday’s Champions Cup Team News

After two amazing quarter-finals on Saturday, the weekend of Champions Cup action continues with Leicester v Stade Francais and Racing 92 v Toulon.

Leicester Tigers v Stade Francais (13:45 kick-off)
Back-rowers Brendon O’Connor, Lachlan McCaffrey and Mike Fitzgerald return to the Leicester Tigers line-up for Sunday’s European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final against Stade Français at Welford Road.

O’Connor came through his first appearance following injury last weekend as Tigers recorded a bonus-point win over Gloucester in the Premiership and is joined in the back row by Fitzgerald and McCaffrey, who have both sat out the last two weeks.

In the backline, Mathew Tait returns at full-back and captains the team, with Telusa Veainu switching to the wing and Freddie Burns is alongside Ben Youngs at half-back.

Club captain Ed Slater joins internationals Logovi’i Mulipola and Tom Croft among the replacements.

Meanwhile, Stade Français make ten changes from their last match, a 21-18 loss to La Rochelle in the Top 14.

Djibril Camara switches from wing to full-back as France centre Jonathan Danty returns in midfield, with Jérémy Sinzelle in on the left wing.

Ex-Tigers scrum-half Julien Dupuy and Morné Steyn make up the half-backs combination, while Sergio Parisse returns to captain the side from number eight.

Jono Ross, Alexandre Flanquart, Remi Bonfils and Zurabi Zhvania are the other changes to the Parisian side’s pack.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait (c), 14 Telusa Veainu, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Mike Fitzgerald, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Harry Thacker, 1 Marcos Ayerza
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Logovi’i Mulipola, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Tom Croft, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Adam Thompstone
Stade Français: 15 Djibril Camara, 14 Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Jérémy Sinzelle, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Raphaël Lakafia, 6 Jono Ross, 5 Alexandre Flanquart, 4 Hugh Pyle, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Remi Bonfils, 1 Zurabi Zhvania
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Paul Alo Emile, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Julien Tomas, 22 Jules Plisson, 23 Hugo Bonneval

Racing 92 v Toulon (16:15 kick-off)
Racing 92 have made ten changes for Sunday’s Champions Cup quarter-final clash up against reigning champions Toulon.

Johan Goosen switches from full-back to outside centre, allowing for the return of Brice Dulin in the 15 jersey, while Juan Imhoff returns on the left wing.

Maxime Machenaud and Dan Carter get the nod at half-back having been rested last week in the Top 14 win over Bordeaux-Bègles.

There are two new faces in the back row as Chris Masoe starts at number eight against his old club, with Bernard le Roux in the number seven jersey.

Wales lock Luke Charteris returns in the second row, while Luc Ducalcon and Dimitri Szarzewski get the nod up front.

Meanwhile, Toulon are without Drew Mitchell after he was injured against Clermont in last Sunday’s loss, but France captain Guilhem Guirado is fit to start for the champions.

Delon Armitage takes Mitchell’s place at full-back as Maxime Mermoz returns to partner Ma’a Nonu in midfield, with Mathieu Bastareaud dropping to the bench. James O’Connor and Matt Giteau both return on the wing and at fly-half.

Steffon Armitage drops to the bench, replaced by Charles Ollivon, with Toulon’s only other change in the pack being the replacement of Alexandre Menini by Florian Fresia at loosehead prop.

Racing 92: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Joe Rokocoko, 13 Johan 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 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Khatchik Vartanov, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Yannick Nyanga, 20 Manuel Carizza, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Rémi Talès, 23 Marc Andreu
Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Josua Tuisova, 13 Maxime Mermoz, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 James O’Connor, 10 Matt Giteau, 9 Jonathan Pélissié, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Charles Ollivlon, 6 Juan Smith, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Mamuka Gorgodze, 3 Manasa Paulo, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Florian Fresia
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Levan Chilachava, 19 Steffon Armitage, 20 Mathieu Bastareaud, 21 Tom Taylor, 22 Éric Escande, 23 Thibault Lassale