Cardiff Blues welcome Dai Young's London Wasps team to the Arms Park this Friday for the first LV= Cup match of the season.
A Josh Navidi-led Cardiff Blues will welcome Dai Young's London Wasps team to the Arms Park this Friday for the first LV= Cup match of the season.
“The LV=Cup is a fresh competition so it's a fresh start for us,” said Director of Rugby Phil Davies.
“We have made a couple of changes to last weekend's team but it will be a mix of the squad we have now. We want to take the competition as seriously as possible and win enough games to make it through to the semi-final.
“Without our internationals last weekend we saw some of the younger members of the Blues stepping up. I hope all our players, when wearing a Blue shirt, run out with pride and passion.”
Meanwhile, Jonah Holmes, Sam Jones, Tinus Du Plessis and Phil Swainston are all starting for Wasps for the first time this season and all will be hoping to make their mark in the coming weeks.
Lee Thomas and T Rhys Thomas are both named to start against their former club while on the bench, Matt Everard, Will Taylor and Nathan Morris will form part of the match-day squad for the first time this season, while London Wasps Academy youngster Dave Hughes is in line for his first ever senior appearance.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 6 Luke Hamilton, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Ryan Harford, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.
London Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Jack Wallace, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Jonah Holmes, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Tinus Du Plessis, 5 Marco Wentzel (capt), 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Will Taylor, 19 Dave Hughes, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Tom Varndell, 23 Hugo Southwell.
Date: Friday, November 9
Venue: Cardiff Arms Parks
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant referees: Jon Mason (Wales) Simon Rees (Wales)
Saracens vs Leicester
Matt Cornwell will lead Leicester Tigers in the opening LV= Cup fixture of the season.
Micky Young returns for his first game since the opening day of the season and the backline also includes Academy prospect Henry Purdy on the wing, and Andy Forsyth making his first appearance of the campaign at centre.
Kieran Brookes is included, while French flanker Lucas Guillaume makes his senior debut for Tigers alongside fellow debutant Michael Noone and Richard Thorpe in the back-row.
Sam Harrison, George Ford and Mathew Tait are included among the replacements.
Saracens name a side that has a mixture of youth and experience with players such as Sam Stanley, Ben Ransom, James Short, Ben Spencer and Nick Auterac lining up alongside the likes of Joe Maddock, Nils Mordt, Petrus du Plessis and Alistair Hargreaves.
Jono Ross is in line to make his debut after being named at No.8 and there could be further debuts with Lorenzo Romano, Max Crumpton and Nick Tompkins named on the bench.
It's a ground that many in the Saracens side will know well, both from the pre-season friendlies between the two sides in recent years and a number of the squad who are dual registered with the championship club.
“We face the reigning LV=Cup champions and we know that Leicester will come to us wanting to defend that trophy. We have to meet that challenge and expect the fierce level of competition that we always do against the Tigers – whatever the competition or venue,” said Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall.
Saracens: 15 Ben Ransom, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Sam Stanley, 11 James Short, 10 Nils Mordt (capt), 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Jono Ross, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Nick Fenton-Wells, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 George Kruis, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton, 17 John Smit, 18 Lorenzo Romano, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Matt Hankin, 21 Luke Baldwin, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 Nathan Earle.
Leicester: 15 Niall Morris, 14 Henry Purdy, 13 Andy Forsyth, 12 Andrew Symons, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Matt Cornwell (capt), 9 Micky Young, 8 Michael Noone, 7 Richard Thorpe, 6 Lucas Guillaume, 5 Joe Cain, 4 Rob Andrew, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Jimmy Stevens, 1 Jonny Harris.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Fraser Balmain, 18 Ryan Bower, 19 George Oliver, 20 Tom Price, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Mathew Tait.
Date: Friday, November 9
Venue: Vicarage Road
Referee: David Rose (England)
Assistant referees: Sean Brickell (Wales) Kelvin Shorte (Wales)
Television match official: Neil Ballard (Wales)
Ospreys vs Gloucester
Gloucester's backline sees the likes of Martyn Thomas, Shane Monahan, Tim Molenaar, Tim Taylor and Dan Robson come in while there is a welcome debut for Drew Locke.
Similarly, in the pack, the experience of Tommaso d'Apice, Dario Chistolini, Matt Cox and skipper Peter Buxton is backed up by a number of promising young forwards, including current England U20 squad members Elliott Stooke and Ross Moriarty.
Meanwhile, the relationships that Gloucester have built in recent times with players dual registered with the likes of Cinderford and Hartpury, pays dividends.
Second-row Ed King and back-row Ben Sparks, both from Cinderford, have both been registered to take their place amongst the replacements.
Meanwhile, Ospreys have handed Marc Thomas and Will Price their first start.
Scott Otten, Nicky Smith, Nicky Thomas, Rhodri Hughes, Arthur Ellis, Sam Davies and Nathan Edwards will all make their Ospreys debuts if they come off the bench.
Ospreys: 15 Ross Jones, 14 Tom Grabham, 13 Ben John, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Will Price, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Sam Lewis (capt), 6 George Stowers, 5 James King, 4 Lloyd Peers, 3 Joe Rees, 2 Matthew Dwyer, 1 Marc Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Rhodri Hughes, 20 Arthur Ellis, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Nathan Edwards.
Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Shane Monahan, 13 Drew Locke, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Ian Clark, 10 Tim Taylor, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Peter Buxton (capt), 7 Matt Cox, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Will Graulich, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Tommaso d'Apice, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Tom Heard, 19 Ed King, 20 Ben Sparks, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Steph Reynolds.
Date: Friday, November 9
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Referee: David Rose