Champions Cup final: Racing 92 player profiles

John O’Sullivan looks at the Parisians ahead of their clash with Leinster in Bilbao

Racing 92’s electric French wing Teddy Thomas. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP

Racing 92’s electric French wing Teddy Thomas. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP

 

15 Louis Dupichot

Age: 22
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 87kg (13st 9lbs) A beautifully balanced runner with excellent acceleration, he has scored five tries in 26 matches and will punish wayward kicking. Leinster will look to test his aerial game.

14 Teddy Thomas

Age: 24
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 90kg (14st 2lbs)
The Biarritz-born wing plays with a smile, is unfettered by convention, and is a joy to behold at his imperious best in attack; quick, strong and with glorious footwork he can be brittle in defence.

13 Virimi Vakatawa

Age: 26
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 92kg (14st 6lbs)
The Fijian wing has adapted impressively to playing in the centre and proved an immoveable object at ruck-time winning two turnovers to add to his attacking skill-sets.

12 Henry Chavancy

Age: 25
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 92kg (14st 6lbs)
He is the defensive lynchpin in the backline and gets through an impressive workload on both sides of the ball.

11 Marc Andreu

Age: 32
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 77kg (12st 1lb)
He may be small in stature but as his nine tries in 15 matches this season illustrates he is a consummate finisher with good footballing skills. He’s fond of the odd dab through or chip and chase.

10 Pat Lambie

Age: 27
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 87kg (13st 9lbs)

He has retained the faith of the coaching ticket to direct the team, a role he discharged brilliantly against Munster when Racing were purring in the first half an hour. He will probably have the place-kicking duties – Teddy Iribaren can kick too - in the absence of Maxime Machenaud.

9 Teddy Iribaren

Age: 27
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 70kg (11st)
The 26-year-old Toulouse-born player who enhanced his reputation at Brive before joining the Parisian club has the onerous task of replacing the team’s ‘petit general’ in Maxime Machenaud; the latter basically ran the game for Racing.

1 Eddy Ben Arous

Age: 27
Height: 6’
Weight: 112kg (17st 8lbs)

He is a real nuisance at ruck time and is difficult to shift if he gets over the ball while his tackle count, 19, in the semi-final win over Munster encapsulates his mobility and work ethic.

2 Camille Chat

Age: 22
Height: 6’
Weight: 99kg (15st 8lbs)

A primary carrier, he possesses the handling skills of a back and a huge appetite for collisions in attack and defence. As Munster demonstrated his lineout throwing can be fallible.

3 Cedate Gomes Sa

Age: 25
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 110kg (17st 4lbs)
Do not be fooled by his size, this young prop is explosively quick and very athletic and is a formidable carrier equally comfortable in taking ball up on the fringes and popping up further afield to stretch his legs.

Former Munster lock Donnacha Ryan. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Former Munster lock Donnacha Ryan. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

4 Donnacha Ryan

Age: 34
Height: 6’7”
Weight: 114kg (17st 13lbs)
He’s become a hugely popular and valued member of the team since recovering from injury and taking his place front and centre in the group dynamic. He’ll make Leinster work for their possession.

5 Leone Nakawara

Age: 30
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 109kg (17st 2lbs)
A magician is terms of offloading, his telescopic arms and peripheral vision make him so difficult to shut down in possession while also possessing the athleticism to excel.

6 Wenceslas Lauret

Age: 29
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 92kg (14st 6lbs)

He has played for France at every level in the 15-a-side game and is another wonderful athlete. He made a staggering 20-tackles in the win over Munster and is someone Leinster need to be mindful of.

7 Bernard Le Roux

Age: 28
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 100kg (15st 10lbs)
The South African-born flanker will have his crosshairs firmly focused on his old team-mate and friend Jonathan Sexton. The French international maintains that this is the best Racing team he’s played on better than the one that finished runners-up in 2016.

8 Yannick Nyanga

Age: 34
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 98kg (15st 6lbs)
He provided a tour-de-force in that opening half an hour of the semi-final in terms of his influence on the game. He may be 34 but he’s such a clever player, using his footwork in contact and a superb lineout operator.

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