Coach: Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers. Last season: Beaten finalists. How they qualified: 2nd in Top 14/semi-finalists.
Recruitments: Finn Russell and Simon Zebo offset the retirements of Dan Carter, Yannick Nyanga and Patricio Albacete, as does 17-year-old French under-20 World Cup winning backrower Jonathan Joseph, who comes from the RC Massy production line.
Key man: Russell. He has provided the X-factor to the Z-factor of Zebo (five tries in five games has him joint top try-scorer) and Racing have flourished in their indoor La Defense Arena. This season’s formguide:WLWLW W.
Prospects: Renowned coaching ticket, exciting signings and motivated by narrow loss in last season’s final, they could be real contenders. Pool winners.