Racing 92 'in at the deep end', says skipper Chavancy ahead of Saints showdown
Racing 92 captain Henry Chavancy says his side have been 'thrown in at the deep end' as they prepare for their Champions Cup opener at Saints on Friday night.
The French side come to cinch Stadium Franklin's Gardens for the first European fixture of the campaign.
And Racing are not currently in the best of form as they have lost their past three matches in the Top 14, leaving them eighth in the league standings.
Chavancy knows squaring up to Saints won't be easy but he is excited by the prospect of a match that could get his team back on track.
“The smallest of defeats can be crippling,” Chavancy told epcrugby.com.
“We’re starting with a very difficult match against Northampton, away from home, so we’ll be in the deep end straightaway.
“We know we’ll need a win if we hope to do something in this competition.
"It’s exciting and stressful at the same time.
“The matches are very exciting.
“We’re really looking forward to getting the Champions Cup started and measuring ourselves against the best teams, starting with Northampton.”
Racing have had a habit of reaching and losing finals in recent years.
They lost to Saracens in the 2016 showpiece, to Leinster two years later and to Exeter Chiefs last year.
But Chavancy feels that experience can only be beneficial as the French giants bid to finally get over the line this time round.
The 33-year-old centre said: “It’s hard to deal with losing a final, all the more so given the cruel scenario. It’s a learning process despite being hard to take.
“That’s three finals that we’ve lost now, but that gives us an even bigger appetite. We really want to win it. We know how.
“We know what we have to do to hopefully win the trophy.
"It’s up to us now to put all the ingredients together and to do what’s necessary to return to the final and to lift the trophy.”