Racing 92 v Munster: Everything you need to know

Province return to Paris with top spot in Champions Cup Pool One in their sights

Munster take on Racing 92 at the Stade Yves du Manoir on Saturday. Photograph: Getty/Dan Mullan

Munster take on Racing 92 at the Stade Yves du Manoir on Saturday. Photograph: Getty/Dan Mullan

 

On Saturday afternoon Munster take on Racing 92 in the Champions Cup knowing a victory would send them to the top of Pool One.

The fixture was originally scheduled to take place on Sunday October 16th, however it was postponed due to the sudden death of Anthony Foley.

Munster have played like a side possessed since that day, and they will be in pole position for qualification into the knock-outs should they win at the Stade Yves du Manoir.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the game.

What, where and when?

Racing 92 v Munster, European Champions Cup Pool One, Saturday January 7th at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir. Kick off: 3.45pm [IRISH TIME].

How can I watch it?

The game is live on Sky Sports 1, with coverage starting at 3.30pm. Alternatively you can follow the game via the Irish Times liveblog, which will be available HERE from 3pm.

The teams

Rassie Erasmus has made 10 changes to the side which ground out a win against Connacht at a wild Sportsground last weekend. One of those sees Jaco Taute, who will be staying with the province for the rest of the season after his loan deal was extended, come back into the midfield. Simon Zebo starts at fullback with Tyler Bleyendaal and Conor Murray at halfback, while Keith Earls could make his 50th European appearance off the bench.

The hosts have also made a raft of changes after they were beaten 17-11 by Toulon last weekend. Dan Carter drops to the bench to be replaced by Benjamien Dambielle. Teddy Thomas is the only survivor in the backline after that defeat - but Juan Imhoff and Joe Rokocoko both return to the fold.

State of play in Pool One

As noted, a win for Munster will see them move to the top of the pool ahead of current leaders Glasgow Warriors. At the start of the season this fixture appeared to be Munster’s most daunting assignment - however with Racing languishing at the bottom of the group with three losses from three it now looks to be a far more managable proposition. Munster have been inspired since the original fixture was postponed - both domestically and on the continent - and a victory would put them withing striking distance of qualification. A defeat would be far from terminal but would likely meanthe province will need to win their last two games, away to Glasgow and at home to the Parisians.

Remembering Axel

There will be a number of tributes ahead of the game as both sides and sets of supporters remember the late, great Anthony Foley. Racing 92 fans have asked their visiting counterparts to help them form a guard of honour for both sides as they arrive at the stadium at around 2.30pm (French time). The Racing players will warm up in red t-shirts carrying Foley’s name and his famous number eight, while supporters will unfurl banners saying ‘Axel’ and ‘Red Army welcome back’ during a minute’s applause. These tributes follow an offer from official Racing supporters groups to give free accomodation to Munster supporters travelling to France.

Information for visiting fans

The Munster Rugby Supporters Club have provided an in-depth guide for travelling supporters, which can be read HERE.

What’s the weather going to be like?

Wrap up warm. Temperatures are expected to be as low as 1C come kick off, with a bit of sleet thrown into the mix as well.

What’s the betting?

Racing 92 12/5, Munster 1/3, Tie 22/1

Munster 10/11 with -7 handicap.

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