Racing 92 will face Leinster Hill from the start

Racing 92 will face Leinster Hill from the start

Authors of the best start to the season in the Top 14, the Parisians begin their continental campaign against Europe’s unbeaten vice-champions.

We had quiet introductions. For its new Champions Cup campaign, Racing 92 were unscathed in the draw, inheriting a heavyweight: European vice-champions Irish province Leinster. Ile-de-France manager Laurent Travers sets the scene: “This team is on a nine-game winning streak this season. Their last two defeats were in European Cup finals (vs. La Rochelle) And in the URC semi-finals (United Rugby Championship, v South African Bulls). They are four-time European champions. Of their group of 23 players, 20 are in the Irish squad. Currently, what The first nation in the world? Ireland…We are going to host one of the best teams in the world. That’s it.

On an impressive streak of five straight wins in the Top 14, including victory in Toulon with a revamped team, Ciel et Blancs go through a serious test of growth on Saturday. Find out where they stand against one of the most feared teams in the competition. “There is no concern but inspiration, Laurent Travers continues. Then, the draw didn’t spare us Leinster and Harlequins and we have a very tough group. We almost face the Irish team and it’s a good encounter. We are happy but aware of what awaits us.»

“We’re going to have to challenge Sexton directly to knock him out of the race.”

The challenge is daunting for the Île-de-France residents, who have never beaten the Dubliners in three encounters. The last was from the final of the competition in Bilbao in 2018, where Racing suffered several twists of fate (a sudden injury to opener Pat Lambie and the loss of Remy Tales in the drop at Extremes). Opposite, Jonathan Sexton’s band impresses. “We are all very impatient. Champions CupOur priority is to Racing’s Scottish opener rounded Finn Russell. Leinster reached the final last year and have had consistent results in the competition in recent years. This is it Very high entry competition.”

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The Irish-Scottish battle between Finn Russell and Jonathan Sexton will be scrutinized. But Altosequan flanker Wenceslas Loret has his own idea of ​​what to do against the master of the XV of Clover who passed through Hautes-de-Seine between 2013 and 2015: “He’s a brilliant player and he likes to lead on the pitch. He had very good results with Leinster or the Irish team. You don’t need to challenge him directly to get him out of the game. Because he gets out of his matches when he’s attacked a bit more…”

“Thanks for the shows that have racing at the front of the stage”

Finn Russell adds: “He knows the game like the back of his hand. I imagine he’ll be behind a lot of their offensive moves, and he’ll be the one figuring out which spots to take when they’re choosing when to attack. (…) He is an exceptional player, he is one of the best openers in the world and it is always a good challenge to face him.

The clash above will take place on Saturday at the Ocean Stadium in Le Havre, as the Nanterre Arena will host concerts by rapper Orelson this weekend. A new restrictive and forced relocation that will force racingmen to quickly pick up their marks in an enclosure they don’t know. A drawback? “We decided to play in Le Havre, and we’re not going to say that’s a disadvantage. We know the situation. There are shows in the arena, and thanks to the shows that racing is at the front of the stage. Laurent Travers sweeps, simple and basic. We hope the racing public and the Le Havre public will attend. To witness the highly anticipated matchup between two of the best teams in the competition.

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