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Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Harlequins

03rd February 2012 09:20


SKY_MOBILE Richie Rees Cardiff Blues

Starting for Cardiff: Richie Rees

Cardiff Blues have named a squad containing eleven internationals to face Harlequins in the LV= Cup on Sunday.

Justin Burnell and Gareth Baber have selected a side with a blend of youth and experience as they gear up for a busy month in the RaboDirect Pro12. The Blues twenty three man squad contains Ben Blair, Gavin Evans, Tom James, Ceri Sweeney and Richie Rees in the backs, all of whom have played for their country.

In the forwards Maama Molitika, Scott Andrews, T Rhys Thomas and John Yapp all have international experience, while New Zealand internationals Casey Laulala and Xavier Rush are on the bench.

"We had to rest some of the senior players last weekend as they have played a massive part of our season so far, and helped us reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals," said Burnell.

"There's a system for us to integrate younger players with the more experienced players and that's why we've picked this side."

"We are preparing for some big PRO12 matches in February and we're trying to identify which players are closing the gap and moving forward."

"I think this competition is also important for our young Welsh talent."

"Perhaps it wasn't set up to be a development competition and maybe there is a different view between the Welsh and English teams, as obviously it's a route into the Heineken Cup for the English clubs."

"Obviously it was a disappointing result for us last week against Gloucester, however, we have to see the bigger picture, in that we are in the process of trying to develop a squad."

Meanwhile, in Harlequins team news, Ross Chisholm continues at full-back alongside Seb Stegmann and Sam Smith who replaces Tom Williams. George Lowe makes a welcome return from the injury he sustained back in November, partnering Tom Casson. Karl Dickson returns at scrum half from his long term injury, with Rory Clegg at fly-half.

Nic Mayhew starts in the front row at loose head with Rob Buchanan and Tim Fairbrother. Tomas Vallejos is picked in the second row alongside Pete Browne as Charlie Matthews starts from the bench. Chris York comes into the starting line up, replacing Luke Wallace, Tom Guest and skipper Will Skinner complete the back row.

Darryl Marfo, Will Collier and Mark Lambert provide specialist cover in the front row with Charlie Matthews and Joe Trayfoot looking to impact in the back five. Richard Bolt provides cover at scrum half with Ben Urdapilleta and Ollie Lindsay-Hague covering the backline.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Macauley Cook, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 T Rhys Thomas (Capt), 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Tyrell, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Sam Hobbs, 19 Paul Tito, 20 Xavier Rush, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Casey Laulala.

Harlequins:15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13George Lowe, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Will Skinner (C), 6 Chris York, 5 Pete Browne, 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 Tim Fairbrother 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Nic Mayhew.
Replacements: 16 Darryl Marfo, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Richard Bolt, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Date: Sunday, February 5
Kick-off: 13:00
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium

  • Cardiff Blues Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
LV= Cup
Saturday , January 31
Wasps vs Cardiff Blues15:00
Saturday , February 7
Cardiff Blues vs Leicester15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Friday , December 19
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets19:35
Friday , December 26
Cardiff Blues vs Newport Gwent D'gons14:05
Thursday , January 1
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues14:05
Saturday , January 10
Cardiff Blues vs Leinster14:40
Wednesday, January 14
Munster vs Cardiff BluesTBC
Saturday , February 21
Benetton Treviso vs Cardiff BluesTBC
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , December 6
Cardiff Blues vs London Irish15:15
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Cardiff Blues Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
LV= Cup
Friday , November 14
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Friday , November 7
Newcastle 21 - 22 Cardiff Blues
More LV= Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Saturday , October 18
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , October 12
Ospreys 26 - 15 Cardiff Blues
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Group B
LV= Cup Table
2Cardiff Blues28
3Sale Sharks25
4London Irish21