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Cardiff Blues

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Harlequins

30th January 2014 12:05

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Isaia Tuifua Cardiff Blues 2014

On the bench: Isaia Tuifua

Cardiff Blues are poised to hand new centre signing Isaia Tuifua his debut in their LV= Cup clash with Harlequins.

Tuifua recently joined the Blues from Taranaki and the big-hitting Samoa international could now be unleashed after being named on the bench as the region looks to finish the LV= Cup on a high and build momentum before a return to the Pro12.

Tom Williams switches to full-back with Dan Fish named on the wing. Richard Smith is recalled.

Fit again fly-half Gareth Davies will partner Lewis Jones at half-back and Gavin Evans will play at inside centre alongside Wales' Owen Williams.

Filo Paulo makes is back in the second-row while Macauley Cook returns at blindside flanker.

Robin Copeland is released from Ireland and takes his place among the replacements.

"All of our players are looking forward to the game as it's another great opportunity for our young team to show just what they are capable of," said Director of Rugby Phil Davies.

"We have a number of injuries, but this is the strongest team we can send out. We will be giving it everything to secure a big result and build momentum before our return to league action next week.

"Harlequins are one of the teams in the Premiership that I admire most," he added.

"They have developed a fantastic brand of rugby with a strong set piece backed up by an attacking game full of speed and tempo.

"They've worked exceptionally hard to become one of the top sides in European rugby, have been ultra-consistent and boast a very powerful squad. We have a big challenge ahead of us, but it is one we are relishing."

Meanwhile, Harlequins have made four changes to the side which beat Leicester Tigers last weekend.

Sam Smith is named on the wing in place of Tom Williams who will be out between six to eight weeks with a leg injury, while Sam Stuart makes his first senior start for the club.

Darryl Marfo is named at loosehead prop, with Sam Twomey making his first start of the season, in the second-row. Tom Guest captains the side at number eight and will make his 200th senior appearance for the club.

Among the replacements, Elite Player Development Group (EPDG) members Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher School) and Henry Cheeseman (Whitgift School) are named, with Jordan Burns looking to make his first appearance of the season.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Dan Fish, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Ellis Jenkins (c), 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 James Down, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Thomas Davies.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Chris Dicomidis, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Simon Humberstone, 23 Isaia Tuifua.

Harlequins: 15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Harry Sloan, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Sam Stuart, 8 Tom Guest (capt), 7 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 George Merrick, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Darryl Marfo.
Replacements: 16 Nic Mayhew, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Henry Cheeseman, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Louis Grimoldby, 23 Ugo Monye.

Date: Friday, January 31
Kick-off: 19:05 GMT
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Neil Perkins (Wales)
Timekeeper: Lyndon Young (Wales)
Assessor: David Herbert (Wales)

  • Cardiff Blues Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
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
Sunday , November 23
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
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
  • Cardiff Blues Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
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
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton29
2Cardiff Blues28
3Sale Sharks25
4London Irish21