Who are the Stade Francais players Munster need to look out for?
Waisea Vuidarvuwalu (Wing/Centre)
Is a 25-year-old Fijian one of the most dangerous backs in Top 14.
He, like many other Fijians plying their trade in France, was picked up from the Sevens circuit having broke through for Fiji during the World Series in 2011-12.
He scored 25 tries that season and quickly broke into their 15 a side team.
Thereafter Stade Francais offered him a contract.
He has a lazy style of play and running but the knack of making the big moments happen.
He has played wing and centre for Stade and is most dangerous off counter attack or turnover ball where he has the speed and footwork to go the length of the field.
Despite being tall and very athletic he isn’t great under the high ball and Munster will test him there today.
Rabah Slimani (Prop)
Slimani is on the bench today, as he was last weekend in the last minute win over Toulouse, but he is ordinarily Stade and the French first choice at tight head.
What does that say about Stade priorities that neither Slimani nor ex-Leinster Prop Heinke Van Der Merwe starts today’s game.
Impact off the bench? Stade winning the Top 14 title last season was largely down to their ability to win penalties at the scrum and former Springbok Morne Steyn kicking the points.
Slimani’s technique is illegal and because there has been a big focus in the Top 14 on improving the quality of rugby (the power of tv) he hasn’t been allowed to influence games as much this season with referees either penalising him directly or making Stade play the ball at the feet of their number 8 instead of keeping it in for a double push.
With the 6 Nations around the corner and a new coach in Guy Noves, Slimani will be hoping for enough time to dominate their Munster counterparts in this sector which French sides still see as the core foundation of rugby.
Sergo Parisse (Number Eight)
No selection of Stade Francais talent is complete without the talents of Sergio Parisse.
The reality is the Italian is the one that makes this team tick.
Stade Paris are in 11th place in the Top 14 after 12 matches and as champions, with their squad, that’s not good enough.
One of the main reasons is that they have player most of the season so far without Parisse due to the World Cup and also a calf injury that was slow to heal.
Stade have an incredibly talented squad, but one full of difficult characters and Parisse seems to be a player that controls the dressing room as well as being so influential on the field.
CJ Stander has been outstanding and this is another chance for him to test himself against the best.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved