LV=Cup preview: Sunday

Date published: October 21 2011

Scarlets travel to the Cardiff on Sunday for a Welsh derby clash against the Blues in the second round of the LV=Cup pool fixtures.

The Scarlets travel to the Cardiff City Stadium on Sunday for a Welsh derby clash against Cardiff Blues in the second round of the LV=Cup pool fixtures.

Elsewhere Saracens host Exeter while Newcastle visit London Irish.

Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
Saracens vs Exeter
London Irish vs Newcastle


Cardiff Blues v Scarlets
At Cardiff City Stadium

In the last 16 head-to-heads between the two Welsh regions, the Scarlets have edged ahead with the Scarlets winning 10 of their Welsh derby encounters.

Cardiff Blues have made four changes to the side that lost to Newcastle last week.

In the backs, Adam Thomas moves from the wing to outside centre in place of Owen Williams while exciting prospect Harry Robinson starts on the wing. There are two changes in the forward with Josh Navidi starting at blindside and Rhys Shellard at openside.

“The Newcastle match was an opportunity for us to increase the depth of our squad and see how players will progress for the future,” said Blues backs coach Gareth Baber.

“It was the ideal match to do it, especially away from home. We could see how they would react in a tough environment of playing up in Newcastle.

“Luke Hamilton had a very good game, as did James Down in the second row. Rhys Patchell at outside half is only 18 years of age, but showed game management and craft beyond his years.

“Hopefully it will be a fast, open game if the weather permits. Both teams like to play open rugby.”

Meanwhile, Scotland wing/centre Sean Lamont back in camp at Parc y Scarlets and lined-up for his return to regional action.

Gareth Davies returns back to the starting XV at scrum-half after recovering from injury.

“It was a great achievement for our group of players against Leicester regardless of team they brought,” said Scarlets Head Coach Nigel Davies.

“The balance was similar to theirs and we'll take a lot out of that and we put a decent score-line on them as well.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13Adam Thomas, 12 Cory Allen, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Rhys Downes, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Rhys Shellard, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Ryan Harford, 2 Ryan Tyrrell, 1 Nathan Trevett.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Jamie Corsi, 18 Thomas Davies, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Lewis Williams, 23 Owen Williams.

Scarlets: 15 Daniel Evans, 14 Dale Ford, 13 Adam Warren, 12 Sean Lamont, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Johnathan Edwards, 6 Matthew Gilbert, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Sione Timani, 3 Simon Gardiner, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Phil John (c).
Replacements: 16 Rhodri Jones, 17 Emyr Phillips, 18 Rhys Thomas, 19 Richie Pugh, 20 Rhodri Williams, 21 Dan Newton, 22 Lee Rees.

Date: Sunday, October 21
Kick-off: 14.30 BST

Saracens v Exeter Chiefs
At Vicarage Road

Saracens welcome back Richard Wigglesworth and Kelly Brown from World Cup duty and both come into the starting line-up.

Hayden Smith is another international who starts the game with the US Eagles second row partnering George Kruis.

In the backline, Rodd Penney will celebrate his 102nd Saracens appearance with a start on the wing while Joe Maddock switches to full back. Owen Farrell starts the game at fly half.

On the bench, Matt Stevens is another player returning from New Zealand while Charlie Hodgson and Alex Goode also come back into the squad. Back row Matt Hankin will make his full Saracens debut should he come off the replacement's bench.

Exeter were the only side to defeat Saracens on home soil in the Premiership and coach Rob Baxter is hopeful his players can replicate their fortunes.

Not surprisingly Baxter has stuck with virtually the same side that beat Ospreys last week. The only changes come in the back division where Australian Pat Phibbs is handed his first start in place of Kevin Barrett; Josh Tatupu replaces Bryan Rennie in the centre, and Myles Dorrian is another set to be given a maiden start when he replaces Academy youngster Jack Nowell at full-back.

On the bench, Samoan international Junior Poluleuligaga comes into the match-day squad for the first time this season following his exertions at the recent Rugby World Cup.

Saracens:15 Joe Maddock, 14 Rodd Penney, 13 Kameli Ratuvou, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Duncan Taylor, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 George Kruis, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George (c), 1 Deon Carstens.
Replacements: 16 Harry Allen, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Hugh Vyvyan, 20 Matt Hankin, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Alex Goode.

Exeter Chiefs15 Myles Dorrian, 14 Mark Foster, 13 Josh Tatupu, 12 Phil Dollman, 11 Nic Sestaret, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Pat Phibbs, 8 Chad Slade, 7 Ben White, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 James Phillips, 4 Chris Bentley, 3 John Andress, 2 Simon Alcott, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clark, 17 Ben Rogers, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Charlie Walker-Blair, 21 Junior Poluleuligaga, 22 Bryan Rennie, 23 Jack Nowell.

Kick-off: 15.00 BST

London Irish v Newcastle Falcons
At Madejski Satdium

Delon Armitage and Shontayne Hape will start for London Irish this weekend after returning from the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.

The game will be Hape's debut in an Exiles shirt after his move to the club in the summer.

Nick Kennedy will captain the side and clock up his 200th appearance in an Exiles shirt when he takes the field. This will be celebrated next week when London Irish take on Bath.

Ross Samson and Steve Shingler will form the half back combination. Alex Corbisiero and Sailosi Tagicakibau return to the fold and are named on the bench.

“It is important to get the right result this weekend and build some momentum moving back into the Premiership,” said London Irish Head Coach Toby Booth.

“Newcastle are coming off a good win from last weekend and will be confident coming to play us, so we will have to be at our best to get the win.”

Meanwhile, Newcastle Falcons have made four changes to the side that beat Cardiff Blues last week.

Jeremy Manning comes in for the rested Jimmy Gopperth at fly-half, while Jamie Helleur takes up the inside centre berth occupied by Manning last weekend.

Luke Eves who had an impressive stint on the wing against the Blues replaces Corne Uys at outside centre with Alex Tait returning to the wing.

Chris Pilgrim gets the nod ahead of Jordi Pasqualin at nmumber nine with Falcons boss Alan Tait making just one change in the pack with James Hall replacing Euan Murray in the front row.

The Falcons opened up their LV= Cup campaign with a convincing 33-3 triumph against Cardiff and aim to make it back-to-back