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LV= Cup: Jonathan Joseph starts for London Irish; Cardiff Blues depleted by Six Nations call-ups
England centre Jonathan Joseph will wear the number 13 jersey for London Irish when they take on Cardiff Blues in the LV= Cup on Friday night.
Joseph will join Guy Armitage in the centre, with Kieran Low joining Bryn Evans in the second-row and Mike Mayhew again starting at hooker.
Cardiff Blues director of rugby, Phil Davies, has named a line-up depleted due to international call-ups.
The Blues have no chance of making the LV= Cup knockout stages and are without Wales trio Sam Warburton, Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny.
Jason Tovey, Rhys Patchell and Michael Paterson all start for the home side.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Gavin Evans (capt), 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Alex Walker, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Nathan Trevett.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Taufa'ao Filise, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Chris Czekaj.
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Guy Armitage, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Shane Geraghty (c), 9 Pat Phibbs, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Jebb Sinclair, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Kieran Low, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Mike Mayhew, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Davey McGregor, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 James Sandford, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Steven Shingler, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Jack Moates.
What they said...
Cardiff Blues director of rugby, Phil Davies
"We can expect a tough challenge from London Irish as they have a big pack. They like to attack from their kicks and like to change direction after a few phases. They're a clever team with a good scrum and line-out. They will be a threat for us but we haven't been outgunned by anyone this year. We fronted up against Sarries last week and we need to front up again."
London Irish boss Brian Smith
"Cardiff will be a formidable challenge tomorrow evening especially on their home patch and the squad is well aware of that. We know what is at stake and our destiny is in our own hands."
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|15:00||Leicester vs Northampton|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Ospreys|
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|Sunday 1st February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Cardiff Blues|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Saracens|
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|Saturday 7th February|
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|Sunday 8th February|
|14:30||Newport Gwent D'gons vs London Welsh|
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com