Heineken Cup Pool 2: Cardiff Blues v Exeter Chiefs preview

By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter   Last updated: 17th January 2014  

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Cardiff Blues host Exeter in a must-win Heineken Cup game in Pool 2 as they look for a victory that would give them a chance of reaching the knockout stages.

The Welsh side sit second in the pool on 13 points and have an outside chance of qualification with a bonus-point win but, more likely, a victory would earn them a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

The visitors, meanwhile, have little more than pride to play for having lost four of their five matches in the competition but will be aiming to go out on a high.

Flanker Ellis Jenkins will make his first Heineken Cup start for Cardiff among four changes for the Blues.

Prop Sam Hobbs leads the side as Wales international Gethin Jenkins is ruled out with a knee injury.

Hobbs will pack down alongside hooker Kristian Dacey, who has recovered from injury to be named in the starting line-up just days after agreeing a new long-term contract.

The final change to the team is a recall for experienced midfielder Dafydd Hewitt at inside centre where he will partner Gavin Evans.

Tinker

Exeter boss Rob Baxter has again tinkered with his squad, recalling Jack Yeandle, Dean Mumm, Dave Ewers and Don Armand to the pack.

Among the backs, Gareth Steenson comes in at fly-half meaning Henry Slade switches to centre alongside Sam Hill.

On the bench, former Cardiff players Ben White and Ceri Sweeney are included, as is Jason Shoemark and James Phillips, the latter of whom is back following a short loan spell with the Cornish Pirates.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Halfpenny, 14 Cuthbert, 13 Evans, 12 Hewitt, 11 Czekaj, 10 G Davies, 9 Williams; 1 Hobbs (capt), 2 Dacey, 3 Bourrust, 4 Dicomidis, 5 Paulo, 6 Cook, 7 Jenkins, 8 Copeland

Replacements: 16 Breeze, 17 T Davies, 18 Andrews, 19 Down, 20 Watts-Jones, 21 Jones, 22 Fish, 23 Smith

Exeter Chiefs: 15 Arscott, 14 Vainikolo, 13 Hill, 12 Slade, 11 Jess, 10 Steenson, 9 Lewis; 1 Rimmer, 2 Yeandle, 3 Brown, 4 Mumm (capt), 5 Welch, 6 Ewers, 7 Armand, 8 Horstmann

Replacements: 16 Bateman, 17 Cowan-Dickie, 18 Fairbrother, 19 White, 20 Phillips, 21 Chudley, 22 Sweeney, 23 Shoemark