7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
Racing have been boosted by the arrival of former Brive centre Fabrice Estebanez - another member of France's World Cup squad - and Fijian back rower Josh Matavesi but are set to be without injured trio Frans Steyn, Mirco Bergamasco and Benjamin Sa while Sebastien Chabal is struggling to make the opening tie.
"Cardiff Blues are our first opponents and out of our three group opponents they are probably the ones I am most familiar with," said Nallet.
"They have six of Wales' World Cup players - Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Lloyd Williams, Gethin Jenkins, and Bradley Davies - in their squad and of course France played Wales in Auckland less than a month ago.
"Of course that game is still fresh in my memory but I won't take that into consideration on Friday night - the Heineken Cup is a whole different competition and situation.
"In addition to their World Cup players they also have other great players in their ranks like Paul Tito.
"I did notice him when he was playing in New Zealand and, although I have not followed him so closely and as much since he came over to Europe, he was a brilliant back then so I don't think that has changed much.
"And then there is Bradley Davies. He is part of the new generation and is really talented, he has a bright future ahead of him and is excellent in the line-out.
"The Heineken Cup is a hugely prestigious competition and we are really looking forward to our second season in the competition."
Last season Racing, who were in the same group as eventual champions Leinster, beat ASM Clermont Auvergne 16-9 in Paris and Saracens 24-21 on the road but lost their final three Pool matches to drop out of contention for a place in the knock-out stages
"This season we are again in a relatively tough Pool," said Nallet. "We do not have any French or Irish opposition this time, only Welsh, Scottish and English clubs, and he know the level will be challenging.
"We know that in each Heineken Cup tournament each Pool is full of top teams, the best In Europe, and that, regardless of the form of each club in their domestic league, when the Heineken Cup matches are played they produce something special.
"Quite often we see teams who are not doing that well in their own table come up with massive European campaigns, so the rankings do not always mean that much in terms of what is going to happen in the Heineken Cup.
"Generally speaking British teams lead both national and European tournaments with the same energy and focus but, having said that, the ambitions in the French clubs are up there with the rest.
"We have had a mixed start in the Top 14 but that does not stop us from wanting to make a great start in the Heineken Cup."