Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Cardiff Blues will look to book a place in the quarter-finals of the European Rugby Challenge Cup when they travel to France tomorrow.

Having already secured their own spot in the Challenge Cup knock out stages Newport Gwent Dragons will be aiming to secure a home quarter-final when they try to beat Stade Francais for the second time this season.

The Ospreys have made a string of changes in order to offer valuable European playing experience to their squad when they face Benetton Treviso in the European Rugby Champions Cup tomorrow.

After a great performance against French side Toulon in their opening Champions Cup fixture the Scarlets will be looking to go one step better and finish their 2014-15 campaign with a home win.

Grenoble v Cardiff Blues

Cardiff Blues welcome back a trio of Wales internationals for the huge European Rugby Challenge Cup clash with Grenoble at Stade Lesdiguieres tomorrow afternoon (2pm).

Prop Gethin Jenkins, back row Sam Warburton and wing Alex Cuthbert all return to the starting line-up as Blues battle to secure a quarter-final place.

Captain Gethin Jenkins, Kristian Dacey and tighthead prop Taufa’ao Filise will pack down in the front row, while Sam Warburton and Josh Navidi return to the back row.

Lock Filo Paulo is joined in the second row by Chris Dicomidis. Back row Ellis Jenkins, scrum half Tavis Knoyle and tighthead prop Adam Jones are named among the replacements.

Cardiff Blues: Rhys Patchell, Richard Smith, Cory Allen, Adam Thomas, Alex Cuthbert, Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams; Gethin Jenkins (captain), Kristian Dacey, Taufa’ao Filise, Chris Dicomidis, Filo Paulo, Josh Turnbull, Sam Warburton, Josh Navidi.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Sam Hobbs, Adam Jones, Macauley Cook, Ellis Jenkins, Tavis Knoyle, Gareth Davies, Gavin Evans.

Newport Gwent Dragons v Stade Francais

With their place in the European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-finals already in the bag, Newport Gwent Dragons have made six changes to their starting line-up for the visit of Stade Francais to Rodney Parade tomorrow (3pm).

Geraint Rhys Jones gets the nod at fullback and Tom Prydie replaces Matthew Pewtner, who hasn’t recovered from last weekend’s game against Newcastle Falcons. Tom Prydie is joined by wing Hallam Amos, who completes the back three.

The front row has one change made to it as Elliot Dee steps in as hooker to join props Phil Price and Brok Harris. The second row also has one change with James Thomas stepping in for injured Andrew Coombs, who is recovering from a knock he sustained a few weeks ago. In the back row Nic Cudd starts alongside Lewis Evans, who moves to flanker as Taulupe Faletau starts at number eight.

Four changes have been made to the replacements bench as T. Rhys Thomas, Dan Way, Ian Gough and Ashton Hewitt join Lloyd Fairbrother, Cory Hill, Luc Jones and Angus O’Brien.

Newport Gwent Dragons: Geraint Rhys Jones, Tom Prydie, Tyler Morgan, Jack Dixon, Hallam Amos, Dorian Jones, Jonathan Evans; Phil Price, Elliot Dee, Brok Harris, James Thomas, Rynard Landman (captain), Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: T. Rhys Thomas, Lloyd Fairbrother, Dan Way, Cory Hill, Ian Gough, Luc Jones, Angus O’Brien, Ashton Hewitt.

Benetton Treviso v Ospreys

Tyler Ardron will lead the Ospreys for the first time after being handed the captain’s armband by Steve Tandy for tomorrow’s European Rugby Challenge Cup game against Benetton Treviso (3.15pm).

The 23-year old from Ontario, captain of his national side since the 2014 summer internationals, takes over the responsibilities from regular skipper Alun Wyn Jones, who has not travelled with the team to Italy after Tandy rung the changes for their final European Rugby Champions Cup Pool Five match.

A new look half back pairing sees Sam Davies line up alongside Martin Roberts, Tom Grabham comes in for Aisea Natoga on the wing, Richard Fussell replaces full-back Dan Evans and Hanno Dirksen comes in for Ashley Beck in the centre.

Up front James King moves from flanker to second row to cover for Alun Wyn Jones, with Sam Lewis taking his place in the back row. Back row forward Olly Cracknell will make his Ospreys debut if he comes off the bench in Italy.

Ospreys: Richard Fussell, Tom Grabham, Hanno Dirksen, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker, Sam Davies, Martin Roberts; Marc Thomas, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Rynier Bernardo, James King, Sam Lewis, Justin Tipuric, Tyler Ardron (captain).

Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Dmitri Arhip, Morgan Allen, Olly Cracknell, Tom Habberfield, Aisea Natoga, Dan Evans.

Scarlets v Toulon

Outside half Rhys Priestland, who last week became the Scarlets’ highest points scorer, will make his 150th appearance for the region tomorrow when they welcome reigning European Champions Toulon to Parc y Scarlets (5.30pm).

Scarlets are still without six of their front row players in Phil John, Ken Owens, Emyr Phillips, Kirby Myhill, Samson Lee and Rhodri Jones, while locks Johan Snyman and Jake Ball re also unavailable due to injury. However, there is some good news because loosehead prop Rob Evans will make his 50th regional appearance during the match.

The West Wales side will be looking to put in a strong performance and dip out of the 2014-15 Champions Cup in style, maintaining what is developing into a strong unbeaten home record.

Steven Shingler is the only change to the backline with Liam Williams unable to make a recovery from a shoulder injury in time for the huge European clash.

Scarlets: Steven Shingler, Harry Robinson, Regan King, Scott Williams (captain), Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Priestland, Aled Davies; Rob Evans, Ryan Elias, Peter Edwards, George Earle, Lewis Rawlins, Aaron Shingler, John Barclay, Rob McCusker.

Replacements: Darran Harris, Wyn Jones, Jacobie Adriaanse, Sion Bennett, Rory Pitman, Rhodri Williams, Josh Lewis, Kristian Phillips.