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Preview: Stade Francais v Leicester Tigers

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Leicester Tigers travel to Paris for the final match in the pool rounds of the European Champions Cup on Sunday with plenty to play for despite already securing a place in the quarter-finals.

Two-time European champions Tigers have won all five fixtures in Pool 4 so far and have already booked a home game in the last eight. The seedings after Round 6 determine the full quarter-final line-up as well as the format for the semi-finals where home country advantage is always important.
Saracens, Tigers and Racing 92 occupy the top three places in the seeds going into Round 6 as the only unbeaten teams in the tournament, while Sunday’s hosts Stade Francais are still in the frame for quarter-final qualification as one of the three best runners-up in the pools.
The quarter-final line-up will be confirmed at the conclusion of this weekend’s fixtures in Pool 2 which kick-off at 3.15pm UK time. Fixture dates and times will be announced at a later date following consultation between tournament organisers EPCR and their broadcast partners across Europe.
This is a first trip to the Stade Jean Bouin in the French capital for Tigers since a 26-15 defeat in December 2003. The stadium has since been redeveloped and has a 20,000 capacity.
Tigers won the most recent meeting of the clubs, at Welford Road in November, with tries from Vereniki Goneva, Ben Youngs, Matt Smith and Brendon O’Connor. Click here for the match report.
Director of rugby Richard Cockerill, looking ahead to this weekend, said: “We did the job that had to be done against Treviso last week and we know we’ve qualified with a home quarter-final. But we still have a lot to play for in this competition.
“Stade’s set-piece was as strong as ever against Munster last week and we will have to match them physically and mentally in front of their own crowd. But you also have to be bold enough to play your own game and not be too afraid to play. Against good sides, you will only a get a few chances and you have to be able to take them.”
Dan Cole and Tom Croft are both in line for a 150th appearance for Tigers on Sunday while colleague Marcos Ayerza makes his 60th appearance in Europe, moving above Graham Rowntree into sixth in the club’s all-time list in the tournament.
The Stade team includes former Tigers scrum-half Julien Dupuy, a European Cup hero in the run to the 2009 Final. The France international is back to fitness after being injured at Welford Road during the first meeting this season.
Sunday’s match will be a 24th trip to France for Tigers in the European Cup. Those fixtures have brought eight previous wins, at Pau, Toulouse, Beziers, Perpignan, Clermont Auvergne, Bourgoin and Montpellier, plus the 2001 Final against Stade Francais at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Kick-off is at 2.00pm local time, 1.00pm UK time. If you are not travelling to the game, you can keep up to date via the Tigers website and the club’s social media pages. This match is also broadcast live by BT Sport.
If you are travelling to the game, we’d love to see your photos of the Tigers Family on tour. If you’re visiting the tourist sites or just going to the game, and you’re wearing your Tigers colours, you can email your photos to us at [email protected] and we’ll use a selection in our online galleries and in the Tigers match programme.