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Preview: Sale Sharks v Cardiff Blues

12th October 2012 10:02

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Alex Cuthbert Cardiff Blues 2012

Back in: Alex Cuthbert

Cardiff Blues welcome back wing Alex Cuthbert to their starting line-up for Sunday's Heineken Cup clash with Sale Sharks at Salford City Stadium.

Cuthbert replaces Harry Robinson while there are four changes up front with Sam Warburton, Marc Breeze, Bradley Davies and Tafa'ao Filise starting, having missed the match against Glasgow.

"We've enjoyed a great tradition in the tournament as the Blues," said director of rugby, Phil Davies.

"We're one of the top seeds and are very eager to protect that status, so we're keen to do well in the competition as a whole.

"It will be very direct, forward battle on Sunday.

"There are areas which we can improve on, particularly the consistency with which we perform all the moves.

"We need the players to deliver that for us and we need to make sure that we give them the confidence to do that.

"We need to encourage them to play positively and get those key fundamentals right."

Meanwhile, North West youngsters Will Addison, Nathan Fowles, Mark Jennings and Tommy Taylor are all named in Sale's starting fifteen.

Addison switches to outside centre and Fowles teams up at half-back with Nick Macleod, following two appearances off the bench against Bath and Leicester Tigers. Jennings makes his senior debut on the right wing, whilst Taylor is at hooker in an unchanged pack.

"Everybody at the club worked hard last season to qualify for the Heineken Cup. Going into this game, we want to relieve a little bit of the pressure on ourselves. All we're after is a performance like last Friday, to take some of our chances, and I'm sure that win's not far away," said director of rugby, Bryan Redpath.

"Cardiff Blues have been a strong side through the years in the Heineken Cup and are the number one seeds in our pool. They'll be a tough nut to crack. We'll approach the game with increased confidence, especially after the first half display against Leicester, and we must make sure that we're smart during the second half.

"Will Addison is a very talented player. He's had to fill in on the wing to cover injuries and a suspension, but I view him as a natural thirteen. Nathan Fowles added a lot of energy when he came on last weekend and didn't look out of place. We're giving him a chance to perform on a big stage and he's got a big role to play. Mark Jennings has played well in the Jets matches and has trained well. He's a physical boy who'll come up against some big players. We need to be on our mettle - it's an opportunity for all three of them to play well in a big game."

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Sale: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Mark Jennings, 13 Will Addison, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Richie Vernon, 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis-Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Kearnan Myall, 20 James Gaskell, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Johnny Leota.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Lou Reed, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Tafa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Andi Kyriacou, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Dan Fish.

Date: Sunday, October 14
Kick-off: 12:45 BST
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Patrick Péchambert (France), Sébastien Cloute (France)
Television match official: Jean-Marie Piraveau (France)
Timekeeper: Tony Turner (England)
Citing commissioner: Iain Goodall (Scotland)

  • Sale Sharks Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 30
Newcastle vs Sale15:15
Saturday , December 20
Sale vs Exeter14:00
Saturday , December 27
Sale vs Leicester14:00
Sunday , January 4
Wasps vs Sale14:00
Saturday , January 10
Sale vs Northampton14:00
Sunday , February 15
London Welsh vs Sale14:30
Saturday , February 21
Sale vs Saracens14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , December 6
Sale vs Saracens13:00
Saturday , December 13
Saracens vs Sale17:15
Saturday , January 17
Sale vs Clermont AuvergneTBC
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
  • Sale Sharks Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Sunday , November 9
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks 32 - 29 Wasps
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale Sharks
Saturday , October 18
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 Munster
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , October 11
Northampton 43 - 10 Sale Sharks
Sunday , October 5
Sale 25 - 14 Wasps
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
5Leicester Tigers821
6Wasps820
7Sale Sharks820
8Harlequins819
9Gloucester816