Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Cardiff Blues

04th February 2011 09:16

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Chris Czekaj

In at full-back: Chris Czekaj

Cardiff Blues have named a team showing ten changes for their LV= Cup visit to face Harlequins on Sunday.

With three of young players who featured in last Saturday's match on international duty with Wales U20s facing England on Saturday, the Blues welcome back a number of familiar faces.

Chris Czekaj, Richard Mustoe, Casey Laulala, Tom James, Ceri Sweeney and Tom Slater all return to the back-line with Dafydd Hewitt keeping his place at inside centre.

In the forwards the Blues welcome back Andries Pretorius, Paul Tito, Fau Filise and Gareth Williams.

The Blues will need to win and hope that Newcastle Falcons slip up against Exeter and for London Wasps to lose to the Ospreys if they are to progress to the semi final stages of the competition.

Meanwhile, sitting at the top of pool 4 Quins know that they will need a win to guarantee themselves not only a valuable spot in the next round of the competition, but also a home game.

With seven players away on International duty and a number of injuries having hit the squad, Director of Rugby Conor O'Shea has praised the attitude and commitment of the players and is extremely proud of the way every member of the squad has stepped up to put the team in this strong position.

Tha fact that Harlequins are currently unbeaten in their last eught games in all competitions, pays testament to the strength in depth that has been developed in the squad and the renewed confidence that pervades the team.

There are a handful of changes to the side that defeated Wasps, by running in an impressive five tries, in the luxurious grounds of the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi last week.

The front row sees Ceri Jones joined by Chris Brooker and John Andress, with Lewis Stevenson partnering Pete Browne in the second row. The back row of last week's man of the match, Maurie Fa'asavalu, Captain Will Skinner and Chris York remains unchanged.

Double try scorer Karl Dickson continues his impressive 9-10 partnership with Nick Evans, and Tom Casson comes in to link up with George Lowe in the centres. Gonzalo Camacho and Sam Smith (who continues his remarkable try scoring record with 6 tries in 5 games this season) are once again named on the wings, with Ross Chisholm donning the number 15 shirt.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Sam Smith, 13 George Lowe, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Gonzalo Camacho, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Chris York, 7 Will Skinner (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 Pete Browne, 4 Lewis Stvenson, 3 John Andress, 2 Chris Brooker, 1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Joe Gray, 17 Will Collier, 18 Mark Lambert, 19 Ollie Kohn, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ben Urdapiletta.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Chris Czekaj, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Tom Slater, 8 Tom Brown, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Andries Pretorius, 5 Paul Tito (capt), 4 Bryn Griffiths, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Gareth Williams, 1 Tom Davies.
Replacements: 16 T Rhys Thomas, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Nathan Trevett, 19 Maama Molitika, 20 Ben White, 21 Rhys Downes, 22 Gavin Evans, 23 Dan Fish.

Date: Sunday, February 6
Kick-off: 15:15
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Referee: David Rose (England)
Assistant referees: Nick Carrick (England), Peter Huckle (England)
Timekeeper: Laurie Bryant (England)

  • LV= Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Friday , November 7
Scarlets vs Northampton19:30
Ospreys vs Saracens19:35
Harlequins vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:45
Newcastle vs Cardiff Blues20:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
  • LV= Cup Table
Group A
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens416
2Gloucester410
3London Irish46
4Dragons44
Group B
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter414
2Sale Sharks412
3Cardiff Blues410
4Leicester Tigers49
Group C
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath419
2Ospreys46
3Harlequins45
4Worcester45
Group D
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton418
2Newcastle Falcons49
3Scarlets48
4Wasps45