Racing 92 have made three changes to their Champions Cup final team from the side that eliminated holders Saracens in the last month’s semi-final in Paris.
The French club, who have spent this week preparing in Corsica for the European showpiece, have gone for Louis Dupichot in place of Teddy Thomas, skipper Henry Chavancy comes in for Olivier Klemenczak, Bernard Le Roux starts at second row instead of Donnacha Ryan.
Recently Kurtley Beale, who missed the semi-final due to suspension for a Top 14 red card, has been chosen on the bench with the demoted Klemenczak and Ryan. Thomas slips out of the matchday 23 altogether.
For Racing, being able to pick such a strong Champions Cup side will have been a relief as nine players contracted Covid in the week following the win over Saracens. That resulted in their Top 14 match at La Rochelle getting postponed.
When Racing did return to play in last weekend’s league meeting with Toulouse, they selected just three of the starting XV from the Saracens game, instead whisking the likes of Finn Russell away early to Corsica to prepare early for the European final.
Has the veteran Wales midfielder spotted a possible flaw in the Chiefs' attack? https://t.co/g1BwWwJc73
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 15, 2020
Saturday will be the club’s third showpiece appearance following defeat to Saracens in 2016 and to Leinster two years later.
They will take on an Exeter side showing two changes from their Premiership semi-final win over Bath, Jack Nowell and Ian Whitten getting called in to start.
RACING: 15. Simon Zebo, 14. Louis Dupichot, 13. Virimi Vakatawa, 12. Henry Chavancy (c), 11. Juan Imhoff, 10. Finn Russell, 9. Teddy Iribaren, 1. Eddy Ben Arous, 2. Camille Chat, 3. Georges Henri Colombe, 4. Bernard Le Roux, 5. Dominic Bird, 6. Wenceslas Lauret, 7. Fabien Sanconnie, 8. Antonie Claassen. Replacements: 16. Teddy Baubigny, 17. Hassane Kolingar, 18. Ali Oz, 19. Donnacha Ryan, 20. Boris Palu, 21. Maxime Machenaud, 22. Olivier Klemenczak, 23. Kurtley Beale,
'I had it in my head I wanted to coach because I was only 23 and thought I was going to be finishing up with injury'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 11, 2020
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now