Performance in Paris more important than result – Key

Maintaining their recent improved performance rather than going all out for the five-point victory is the priority for Leeds Carnegie on their Amlin Challenge Cup visit to Paris tomorrow.

Leeds require a four-try bonus-point victory while restricting Stade Francais to nothing if they are to draw level with the French club at the top of Pool Four with one round of matches to go.

It is a tall order for the Premiership's bottom club, whose immediate priority in this four-week break for European and LV Cup action is to continue building on their recent momentum ahead of their return to league action on February 13.

"It's very much about preparing for the Premiership when it comes back round again," said director of rugby Andy Key, whose side host Romanian minnows Bucaresti Oaks in the final Challenge Cup game next Sunday.

"Not being derogative to the competition, that's where we are. We used the two Crociati games to get back on track and we did, scoring 15 tries and conceding none, and doing a lot of the things well that we hadn't been doing prior to that. It's a tough challenge for us at Stade, but exactly what we need at the moment.

"It's the sort of challenge the team needs in order to make sure it understands and knows exactly what it needs to do in the Premiership.

"Everything mathematically is stacked against us qualifying from the pool.

"But where we want to be is to have huge pride in our performance, to come away from that game feeling very good about ourselves, knowing our good form is continuing to take us in the right direction.

"If that gets us an outstanding win, then we'll take that on merit but we'll treat it just as a one-off game."

Leeds's best chance to defeat Stade has perhaps passed after they let slip a half-time advantage in the first meeting between the two sides at Headingley Carnegie, to lose 22-13.

Leeds have been forced to shake up their squad for the trip across the English Channel to Stade Jean-Bouin, with Lachlan Mackay (groin) and Michael Stephenson (dead leg) out for a week.

n Rotherham Titans have strengthened their pack with the acquisition of 25-year-old prop Mark George.

The Nottingham-born powerhouse has played for Birmingham Solihull and Cambridge and enjoyed a stint in Spain, from where Andre Bester this week plucked another front-row, Gorka Imaz.

Bester said of George: "He could definitely go on and play at Premiership level."

George is in the squad for Rotherham's trip to Pontypridd in the British and Irish Cup. Rotherham's visit to Birmingham in the British & Irish Cup has been rearranged for Wednesday, February 2 (7.45).

Semi-finalists last year, Doncaster Knights look to get their B&I Cup campaign back on track at Llandovery tomorrow.

The Knights fell to defeat at Birmingham Solihull last weekend in a cup opener that doubled up as a Championship fixture, a result that enraged director of rugby Lynn Howells.

"We'll have a chat about it in training this week – but it'll be very much a one-way chat," said the Welshman after calming down following defeat to the league's bottom club.