Planet Rugby

Preview: Cardiff Blues v Sale

18th January 2013 07:32

Share:

Leigh Halfpenny Cardiff Blues

Full-back: Leigh Halfpenny

The battle to avoid the Pool 6 wooden spoon sees Cardiff Blues host Sale in the Heineken Cup on Saturday.

The Blues have made two changes to the side that picked up a four-try bonus point in Toulon.

There is one change in the backs with Lloyd Williams returning from suspension to start at scrum-half, Lewis Jones moves to the bench. In the forwards Scott Andrews starts in place of Benoit Bourrust who moves to the bench.

Cardiff Arms Park ground staff have been working hard to prepare the pitch with the RAF on standby to help clear the pitch of any overnight snow.

"Our Heineken Cup campaign started in Sale and it was a ridiculous game to lose. We played well for sixty minutes, with a great team performance but didn't get the result we wanted," said director of rugby Phil Davies ahead of the game.

"Our position in the group obviously isn't where we want to be. We want to be making the quarter-finals and in a couple of years time challenging in the competition. At the moment, the reality is that we are a young side and we are gaining valuable experience in all competitions.

"Saturday's match is a match we want to win for our supporters. Every time we put the shirt on, especially at the Arms Park, it's our responsibility. We want to try and create our own legacy now, making sure we build on all the great work some of the players and coaches have done here in the past. There is always something to every game we play and the players share that sentiment."

Meanwhile, Sale have dropped fly-half Danny Cipriani to the bench and instead go with Rob Miller at number ten, as Cameron Shepherd continues in the full-back position.

Sharks have been preparing for this game using the 3G pitches at the Salford City Stadium as the pitches at their Carrington training base are frozen solid. Their opponents on Saturday are enduring a long losing run in the Heineken Cup having lost their last six.

This will be the sixth meeting between the sides in the Heineken Cup with the home side winning every game. Earlier this season, Sharks looked out of it at half time but an inspired performance by substitute Cipriani saw Sharks win 34-33. A win would mean the Welsh region keeping their place in the top six of the tournament's seedings for 2013/14's draw.

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Michael Paterson, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Jason Tovey, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.

Sale: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Jordan Davies, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Charlie Amesbury, 10 Rob Miller, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Richie Vernon, 7 David Seymour, 6 James Doyle, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Tom Holmes, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Aston Croall.
Replacements: 16 Marc Jones, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Tom Cruse, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Mark Cueto.

Date: Saturday, 19 January
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park
Kick-off: 15:40
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Eddie Hogan-O'Connell (Ireland), Will O'Connor (Ireland)
Assessor: Andy Clift (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs AustraliaBarbarians vs Australia Preview
USA vs New ZealandUSA vs New Zealand Preview
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
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
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs MunsterCardiff Blues vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gonsUlster vs Newport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Report
Glasgow 17 - 9 Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Report
Leinster 33 - 8 EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615