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Connacht


  • Penalty goals: Nikora (3),
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Cardiff Blues

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    Penalty goals: Sweeney (2),
    Conversions: Sweeney,

Connacht v Blues: Teams

At the Sportsground, Saturday September 1, kick-off 5pm

Last updated: 31st August 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Sam Warburton Wales training 2012

Sam Warburton: Missing for Cardiff

Gavin Duffy Connaught Rugby

Gavin Duffy: Will lead out Connacht

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Cardiff will travel to the Sportsground to do battle with Connacht in the opening weekend of the new RaboDirect PRO12 campaign.

Both teams have started the past two seasons with victories while Connacht finished last term with three wins from four.

Connacht have lost only one of their last six matches on home soil while the Blues finished last season with only one win in six.

Ireland international Gavin Duffy will lead out Connacht, having been announced as captain for a second year running.

Duffy is supported on the wings by last season regulars Fetu'u Vainikolo and Tiernan O'Halloran while the centre partnership of Mata Fifita and Eoin Griffin completes the backline.

Kieran Marmion will gain his first cap for Connacht at scrum half. Another regular from last season is out half Miah Nikora who got a good run out in both pre-season friendlies in August.

Connacht have plenty of experience amongst the starting forwards. John Muldoon, Mike McCarthy, and Johnny O'Connor have almost 450 caps between them.

Looking forward

Director of rugby Eric Elwood is looking forward to kicking off with the new season, commenting: "All the pre-season training has led to this point and we can't wait to get going."

The Blues have a good record against the Irish province, having only suffered one defeat since 2005, a 18-16 loss at Sportsground in September 2009.

Coach Phil Davies is missing the likes of Sam Warburton, Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Michael Paterson, Chris Czekaj and Jason Tovey.

There is a starting competitive debut at his new region for hooker Andi Kyriacou, who lines up alongside Taufa'ao Filise and Thomas Davies.

"We are looking forward to the start of the season, after a pretty gruelling pre-season in many ways, the players have worked very hard to be fair to them," said Davies.

"The fitness standards that are needed for regional rugby are high and the players have all worked to achieve that standard. Connacht are a pretty solid team and Dan Parks is now there.

"I'm not sure if Dan is playing as he has suffered an injury but they have a pretty-workmen-like team and I have had experience myself over there with the Scarlets."

"So I know how tough they are there and we are expecting a tough game."

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy (capt), 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Mata Fifita, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Rodney Ah You, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Willie Faloon, 21 David Moore, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Robbie Henshaw.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Gareth Davies, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Rory Watts-Jones, 5 James Down, 4 Robin Copeland, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Andi Kyriacou, 1 Thomas Davies
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Beniot Borrust, 18 Nathan Trevett, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 Cory Allen, 23 Tom Williams, 24 Owen Williams.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - September 20 2014
Pos Team P Pts
11 Zebre 3 0
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Sunday 21st September
Guinness PRO12
16:00Ospreys vs Edinburgh
Friday 26th September
19:35Leinster vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Edinburgh vs Scarlets
19:35Glasgow vs Connacht
Saturday 27th September
15:00Zebre vs Ulster
18:30Munster vs Ospreys
Sunday 28th September
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 3rd October
19:35Ulster vs Edinburgh
19:35Zebre vs Ospreys
19:35Connacht vs Cardiff Blues
Saturday 4th October
18:30Leinster vs Munster
Sunday 5th October
15:00Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow
16:00Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Friday 10th October
19:35Munster vs Scarlets
Saturday 11th October
TBCBenetton Treviso vs Connacht
14:40Edinburgh vs Newport Gwent D'gons
16:00Zebre vs Leinster
17:05Ulster vs Glasgow
Sunday 12th October
16:00Ospreys vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 31st October
19:35Ospreys vs Connacht
19:35Leinster vs Edinburgh
19:35Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso
Saturday 1st November
TBCScarlets vs Zebre
TBCUlster vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Cardiff Blues vs Munster

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