Our overview of Heineken Champions Cup Pool A continues with a look at three-time finalists Racing 92.
Heineken Champions Cup record
Three times Racing have reached the final of EPCR’s elite competition, but each time they have finished runners up – in 2016 (when they lost 21-9 to Saracens), 2018 (when they were edged out 15-12 by Leinster Rugby) and 2020 (when they were beaten 31-27 by Exeter Chiefs).
Racing fell at the semi-final hurdle in May, losing 20-13 to eventual champions Stade Rochelais, after topping Pool A with four wins from four games, overpowering Stade Français Paris 55-31 on aggregate in the Round of 16 and defeating Sale Sharks 41-22 at home in the quarter-finals.
Director of rugby
Laurent Travers has been with Racing since 2013, joining initially as forwards coach before being promoted to his current role as director of rugby in 2019.
The 53-year-old, who won the Heineken Cup with CA Brive in 1997, began his coaching career at ASM Clermont Auvergne as an assistant coach in 2001 and then joined forces with Laurent Labit at US Montauban in 2005, qualifying them for the Heineken Cup for the first time in 2008.
The pair moved to Castres Olympique in 2009 and spent four years there, guiding them to the French title in 2013 before switching to Racing.
Wade-com Back! 😂
The speed king returns to rugby, scoring on his @racing92 debut against Section Paloise 💪#HeinekenChampionsCup @ChristianWade3 pic.twitter.com/vquc9Jqyz9
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) October 10, 2022
Racing boast a multi-national squad featuring internationals from Argentina, South Africa, Scotland, Australia, Fiji and Georgia, as well as France.
Up front, France hooker Camille Chat, prop Eddy Ben Arous, locks Bernard Le Roux and Cameron Woki, and flanker Wenceslas Lauret are supported by Springboks prop Trevor Nyakane and Georgian prop Guram Gogichashvili.
In the backs, France centre Gaël Fickou is surrounded by foreign talent, most notably Scotland fly-half Finn Russell, Argentina wing Juan Imhoff, Fiji fly-half Ben Volavola and English wing Christian Wade.
Racing open their Pool A schedule with a rerun of that 2018 final, hosting Leinster in Le Havre on December 10.
They then face successive matches against Harlequins, visiting Twickenham Stoop on December 18 before entertaining the English side on January 15 in Paris.
The Parisian outfit close their pool games with a trip to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on January 21.