Planet Rugby

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Toulon

19th October 2012 08:51

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Sam Warburton for Cardiff Blues

Fit to play: Sam Warburton

Sam Warburton will lead Cardiff Blues in an unchanged starting line-up for their Heineken Cup Pool clash with Toulon at the Arms Park on Sunday.

Wales flanker Warburton has been declared fit after suffering a dislocation to a finger in last week's disappointing loss away to Sale Sharks.

International team-mate Jamie Roberts also starts, having recovered from a heavy hit to the ribs also in last week's game in Salford.

"We're aiming to play a brand of rugby that will get our supporters on their feet and keep them entertained and we saw a bit of that last Sunday," said Blues director of rugby, Phil Davies.

"If we could have played like that for 80 minutes it would have been awesome.

"We need to be more consistent but the hard work that has been put in has been tremendous.

"Toulon, are a powerful unit, a powerful team with world-class players in every position times two.

"They have a galaxy of stars but we also have our own, which is important, and the match will be a great opportunity for us.

"It will be a heck of an occasion to test ourselves against one of the best squads in Europe.

"Their salary cap is three or four times ours but we have a group of young players who are up for the challenge.

'It's a great opportunity to get stuck in and try to beat them.

"We want the victory and have the opportunity to do it."

Meanwhile, Toulon name former Cardiff player Gethin Jenkins in their side ahead of Englishman Andrew Sheridan. Also in the team is Jonny Wilkinson and Matt Giteau.

Toulon are without back-row Joe van Niekerk and hooker Sebastien Bruno this week, who are replaced by Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Mickael Ivaldi in an impressive pack.

Heineken Cup betting odds

The teams:

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 Jason Tovey, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.

Toulon: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Vincent Martin, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 David Smith, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Frederic Michalak, 8 Chris Masoe, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Juan Fernandez Lobbe, 5 Jocelino Suta, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Davit Kubriashvili, 2 Mickael Ivaldi, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Charles Orioli, 17 Andrew Sheridan, 18 Carl Hayman, 19 Pierrick Gunther, 20 Maxime Mermoz, 21 Benjamin Lapeyre, 22 Nicolas Durand, 23 Simon Shaw.

Date: Sunday, October 21
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
Kick-off: 12:45 BST (11:45 GMT)
Referee: George Clancy

  • Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
  • Rugby Champions Cup Table
Pool 1
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Leinster622
2Northampton617
3Castres69
4Ospreys65
Pool 2
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulon624
2Cardiff Blues614
3Exeter612
4Glasgow Warriors611
Pool 3
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Toulouse623
2Saracens620
3Connacht613
4Zebre60
Pool 4
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Clermont Auvergne624
2Harlequins616
3Scarlets611
4Racing Metro Paris67
Pool 5
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Ulster626
2Leicester Tigers621
3Montpellier611
4Treviso60
Pool 6
European Rugby Champions Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Munster623
2Gloucester614
3Edinburgh612
4Perpignan67