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Cardiff Blues v Wasps - LV= Cup match preview
Flanker Josh Navidi will captain Cardiff Blues in the opening LV= Cup clash against Wasps at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night.
The Blues have made four changes from the side which suffered a home defeat to Munster in the RaboDirect PRO12 last time out.
Owen Williams comes in for Dafydd Hewitt in the centres, while Gareth Davies replaces Jason Tovey at fly-half.
In the forwards, Luke Hamilton comes in at flanker for Andries Pretorius, with Robin Copeland swapping to No. 8 and Sam Hobbs replacing Campese Ma'afu at prop.
Wasps, meanwhile, give first starts of the season to Jonah Holmes, Sam Jones, Tinus Du Plessis and Phil Swainston.
Lee Thomas and T Rhys Thomas are both named to start against their former club, while director of rugby Dai Young will also be facing his old side.
Replacements Matt Everard, Will Taylor and Nathan Morris form part of the match-day squad for the first time this season, while Dave Hughes will make his first ever senior appearance if he comes off the bench.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Gavin Evans, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 6 Luke Hamilton, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Ryan Harford, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Thomas Young, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Dafydd Hewitt.
London Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Chris Bell, 12 Lee Thomas, 11 Jack Wallace, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Jonah Holmes, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Jones, 6 Tinus Du Plessis, 5 Marco Wentzel (capt), 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Simon McIntyre.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Tim Payne, 18 Will Taylor, 19 Dave Hughes, 20 Matt Everard, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Tom Varndell, 23 Hugo Southwell.
What they said...
Cardiff director of rugby Phil Davies
"The LV=Cup is a fresh competition so it's a fresh start for us.
"We have made a couple of changes to last weekend's team but it will be a mix of the squad we have now. We want to take the competition as seriously as possible and win enough games to make it through to the semi-final.
"Without our internationals last weekend we saw some of the younger members of the Blues stepping up. I hope all our players, when wearing a Blue shirt, run out with pride and passion."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young
"It will be a bit strange alright going down there and playing against my old side, but once the game gets going it's like any other."
"We don't have the luxury of resting a lot of players to be honest. We have a very small squad and with a lot of players unavailable this weekend and with two retirements already this season, the job for me is to try and mix and match as best I can with the players who are here and fit.
"I will be giving a game to guys who haven't started much this season but in some positions I don't have much of a choice in giving them a break."
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|Saturday 31st January|
|14:40||Harlequins vs Bath|
|15:00||Leicester vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Ospreys|
|18:30||Scarlets vs London Irish|
|Sunday 1st February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Cardiff Blues|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Saracens|
|14:30||Dragons vs Exeter|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th February|
|14:00||Sale Sharks vs Scarlets|
|14:30||Cardiff Blues vs Leicester Tigers|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Bath vs Ospreys|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:15||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Sunday 8th February|
|14:30||Dragons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Saracens vs Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com