Thursday, November 10, 2011

Racing Metro vs Cardiff Blues - Three Pumas to start

The first round of the 2011-2012 Heineken Cup starts tommorrow. One of the openning day matches is the Pool 2 clash between Racing Metro of France and the Cardiff Blues of Wales. The teams are to contests at interesting group which also includes English side London Irish and Scottish side Edinburgh. Due to the format of the Heineken Cup it is likely that only the top side from the group will advance to the Quarter Finals. The first match is thus of vital importance to both sides, espeically Racing Metro who are the home side. Teams must win all home matches and lose at most two games on the road to have any real chance. The venue for the match is the Stade Yves du Manoir in Paris.

The Parisians have named a strong side for the encounter with World Cup players from Argentina, France and Italy included as well as former internationals from the likes of Fiji and South Africa. Racing Metro have named three Pumas in its starting XV with Rugby World Cup 2011 winger, Juan Imhoff named on the left wing. He is to play his third consecutive match for the Parisians since arriving as a medical joker following his performances for Los Pumas in New Zealand. He wil be joined by Juan Martín Hernández who continues to improve following his knee injury suffered in early 2011 which ruled him out of the World Cup. Hernández is to start at flyhalf and form a 10-12 combination with French international centre, Fabrice Estebanez. Former Pumas tighthead prop, Juan Orlandi is likely to have a greater chance of a return for international duty now that Martín Scelzo has retired from Los Pumas. Orlandi is to start at tighthead prop for Racing Metro on Friday against the well respected Welsh international, Gethin Jenkins.
Racing Metro

15 Gaetan Germain
14 Sireli Bobo
13 Henry Chavancy
12 Fabrice Estebanez
11 Juan Imhoff
10 Juan Martín Hernández
9 Mathieu Loree
8 Jacques Cronje (Captain)
7 Antoine Battut
6 Johnny Leo'o
5 Jone Qovu
4 Karim Ghezal
3 Juan Orlandi
2 Benjamin Noirot
1 Andrea Lo Cicero

Reserves

16 Thomas Bianchin
17 Eddy Ben Arous
18 Johannes Coetzee
19 Lionel Nallet
20 Nicolas Durand
21 Jonathan Wisniewski
22 Virimi Vakatawa
23 Remi Vaquin

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