Planet Rugby

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Montpellier

07th December 2012 09:39

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Sam Warburton for Cardiff Blues

Back in blue: Sam Warburton

Cardiff Blues are without several star players as they look for a first win in the Heineken Cup this season against Montpellier on Sunday.

Phil Davies side narrowly lost to Sale in Round One in a 34-33 defeat, before suffering a heavy loss in Dublin against champions Leinster.

Selection for the match has been restricted with a number of Cardiff Blues players picking up injuries over recent weeks. Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts and Bradley Davies all suffered medium-term injuries, while on international duty with Wales.

Michael Paterson, Dan Fish, Andi Kyriacou and Tom James all suffered injuries in the last two matches against Zebre and the Ospreys.

"Only a fortnight ago things were looking very positive for us, when we were welcoming back some key players," said Cardiff Blues director of rugby Davies.

'However, we have been extremely unfortunate to pick up a raft of injuries in the last few weeks.

"It is frustrating that we cannot select from a full strength squad for these crucial matches, but on a positive note, it gives a chance for some of our other players to step up and show what they can do."

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Tafa'ao Filise, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Owen Williams.

Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Thiery, 14 Yoan Audrin, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Pierre Bérard, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Aliki Fakate, 4 Drickus Hancke, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Rassie van Vuuren, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Barry Fa'amausili, 19 Mickael Demarco, 20 Kelian Galletier, 21 Eric Escande, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Timoci Nagusa.

Date: Sunday, December 9
Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Leo Colgan (Ireland), Michael Black (Ireland)
Television match official: Peter Ferguson (Ireland)
Timekeeper: Huw Lewis (Wales)

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