Cardiff Blues return to LV=Cup action this weekend taking on Saracens in their new ground, Allianz Park.
Cardiff Blues are currently third in Pool 2 behind Worcester Warriors and Sale Sharks but ahead of Leicester Tigers. With teams in pool 1 playing those in pool 4 and teams in pool 2 take on teams in pool 3, round three sees the rest of the matches played on Saturday afternoon.
Sale Sharks play the Scarlets, Leicester Tigers play London Wasps and London Irish take on Worcester Warriors.
With Cardiff Blues having nine players in the Wales Six Nations squad Phil Davies has made a number of changes to the side that beat Sale Sharks in the Heineken Cup last Saturday.
Jason Tovey comes in at fullback, Owen Williams moves to the wing meaning there is a new centre partnership of Gavin Evans and Dafydd Hewitt. Harry Robinson remains on the other wing but there is a new halfback partnership with Ceri Sweeney linking up with Lewis Jones.
There is almost a totally new pack with Sam Hobbs the only player from the starting line up from last Saturday’s match.
Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby, Phil Davies, said,
“The match against the Sale Sharks was a game we were able to field a full Welsh qualified team.”
“It shows that our Academy system is working well as it has done for a number of years.”
“It has produced some of the best players in Europe with the likes of Jamie Roberts, Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny.”
“There is a new crop of youngsters who have come through which is fantastic and it’s exciting to see these young players develop, and they will have an opportunity to show what they can do on Sunday.”
Sunday 27 January, 3pm kick off, Allianz Park, London.
Saracens v Cardiff Blues (KO 3pm)
Cardiff Blues 15. Jason Tovey 14. Owen Williams 13. Gavin Evans (c)12. Dafydd Hewitt 11. Harry Robinson 10. Ceri Sweeney 9. Lewis Jones
8. Robin Copeland 7. Rory Watts-Jones 6. Luke Hamilton 5. Macauley Cook 4. Michael Paterson 3. Beniot Bourrust 2. Kristian Dacey 1. Sam Hobbs
16. Rhys Williams 17. Nathan Trevett 18. Taufa’ao Filise 19. Cory Hill 20. Thomas Young 21 Alex Walker 22. Gareth Davies 23. Tom Williams
Not available for selection:
Andi Kyriacou- Neck operation return in April
Dan Fish- Suffered shoulder nerve palsy in match against Zebre. Return late January
Tom James- Fractured sesamoid (big toe). Surgery to remove pin on Wednesday 5th December, return in late February.
Jake Copper- Woolley- right knee ACL injury 4 months
Tom Davies- ACL knee reconstruction this week, 4 months