Challenge Cup teams: Saturday, Sunday

Date published: April 3 2015

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Two derby games on Saturday and one on Sunday round off the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals. Here are the team line-ups.

Dragons v Cardiff Blues

Taulupe Faletau will start on the bench for arguably the biggest game of the Newport Gwent Dragons' season as they host Cardiff Blues.

The Challenge Cup quarter-final at Rodney Parade will one of the most high-profile Welsh derbies in recent memory, but Dragons boss Lyn Jones has chosen to stick with the same back row that beat Treviso last week, rather than start Faletau.

The number eight has been away with Wales during the Six Nations, and came off the bench last weekend in Italy, and he will do the same on Saturday as he joins Nic Cudd as back row options among the replacements.

It's a completely unchanged team for the Dragons, with Jonathan Evans and Dorian Jones tasked with running the show in the half-backs. Tyler Morgan also misses out on a starting role, and will be expected to make an impact from the bench.

Meanwhile Cardiff Blues have made the big call of starting Scott Andrews at tighthead ahead of Adam Jones. The 25-year-old is certainly more effective around the park, and Dale McIntosh and Paul John obviously feel his play in the loose will outweigh any benefits Jones could offer in the tight.

With Rhys Patchell injured, Dan Fish comes in at full-back while Gareth Anscombe continues at fly-half. Sam Warburton is also back for the Blues at openside and replaces Ellis Jenkins in the starting lineup.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dorian Jones, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Nick Crosswell, 7 James Benjamin, 6 James Thomas, 5 Cory Hill, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Brok Harris, 2 T Rhys Thomas (c), 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Lloyd Fairbrother, 18 Dan Way, 19 Toby Faletau, 20 Nic Cudd, 21 Luc Jones, 22 Tyler Morgan, 23 Rhys Jones.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Joaquin Tuculet, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Richard Smith, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Jarrad Hoeata, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Simon Humberstone, 23 Gareth Davies.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Kick-off: 12:45 BST
Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant referees: Greg Garner (England), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)


Exeter v Newcastle

Exeter Chiefs have made four changes from the team that lost to Leicester last time out but arguably the most notable thing about their team is the continued selection of Dean Mumm at openside.

The former Wallaby lock will captain the team from the back row, as he lines up alongside Dave Ewers and Thomas Waldrom once more.

There are two changes to the Chiefs pack, with Ben Moon and Tom Francis coming into the front row to replace Carl Rimmer and Alex Brown respectively.

The other changes are in the three-quarters, as Tom James and Byron McGuigan both gets starts. McGuigan replaces Phil Dollman at full-back while James comes onto the wing in place of Jack Nowell, as Ian Whitten shifts into the centres.

Newcastle have made just two changes to their team after last weekend's narrow loss to London Irish, with both changes coming in the backs.

Chris Harris, a try-scorer against the Exiles, replaces Noah Cato, while Gonzalo Tiesi drops out of the team and compatriot Juan Pablo Socino starts at inside centre.

There are also a few changes on the bench, with Josh Furno among those to drop out of the matchday squad. Rory Clegg is among the replacements however, after missing the trip to Reading.

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Byron McGuigan, 14 Tom James, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Will Chudley, 8 Tom Waldrom, 7 Dean Mumm (c), 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Tom Francis, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Elvis Taione, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Moray Low, 19 Ben White, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Chris Harris, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Juan Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Tom Catterick, 9 Ruki Tipuna, 8 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Dom Barrow, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers.
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Calum Green, 20 Dan Temm, 21 Tane Takulua, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Simon Hammersley.

Date: Saturday, April 4
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Venue: Sandy Park
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Neil Paterson (Scotland), Giuseppe Vivarini (Italy)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)


London Irish v Edinburgh

London Irish have made just one change from the team that saw off Newcastle last weekend with Topsy Ojo replacing Tom Fowlie on the wing.

Alex Lewington switches from right wing to left to accommodate Ojo, with Fowlie dropping to the bench.

Other than that, it's an unchanged 23 for the Exiles, who made heavy weather of last week's win over the Falcons as they scraped home 22-21 having led 19-6 at the break.

Edinburgh meanwhile have made four changes to the team that won at the Scarlets, but have still named a strong side for the last eight clash.

While they still have a place in the Champions Cup to fight for in the league, Edinburgh are clearly taking the Challenge Cup seriously, with Scotland trio Dougie Fife, Alasdair Dickinson and Ross Ford all coming back into the side.

They replace Tom Brown, Rory Sutherland and Stuart McInally respectively, while Roddy Grant comes into the back row for Mike Coman.

Ford will captain the side, and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Greig Tonks will continue in the half-backs for Alan Solomons' side.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Andrew Fenby, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Conor Gilsenan, 5 Nic Rouse, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Jimmy Stevens, 17 Matt Parr, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Luke Narraway, 21 Darren Allinson, 22 Chris Noakes, 23 Tom Fowlie.

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Phil Burleigh, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 David Denton, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Roddy Grant, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford (c), 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 John Andress, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Sam Beard.

Date: Sunday, April 5
Kick-off: 17:45 BST
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Laurent Cardona (France), Tual Trainini (France)
TMO: Eric Gonthier (France)

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