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- European Rugby Champions Cup
- Pool 2
- 11th Jan 2014
- KO 15:40
- Ground: Allianz Riviera
- Att: 31,170
Heineken Cup Pool 2: Toulon v Cardiff Blues match preview
- Saracens ready for 'huge game'
- Robshaw: We will front up
- Cuthbert eyes Toulon scalp
- Barnes: Tempo key for Sarries
- Lancaster: Europe vital for us
- Easterby - Win wasn't perfect
- Care worry for England
- Bitter-sweet for Ulster coach
- Home nations hope
- Ulster v Montpellier: Teams
- Treviso v Leicester: Teams
- Gloucester v Munster: Teams
- Ospreys v Northampton: Teams
- Connacht v Zebre: Teams
- Harlequins v Clermont: Teams
- Racing Metro v Scarlets: Teams
- Ulster miss out on Euro bonus
- Saints keep hopes alive
- Sarries suffer in France
- Leinster overcome slow start
- Connacht earn Zebre stripes
- Racing win for Scarlets
- Tigers keep pace with Ulster
- Clermont through to quarters
- Heineken Cup preview
- Howe Blog
- Kearney: We showed character
- North - We still have a chance
- Gopperth focused on next week
- Davies happy with performance
- A new Munster emerging
- Munster playing with pride
- Perry Blog - Edinburgh v Perpignan
Cardiff Blues travel to face Toulon on Saturday knowing that a victory in France would see them take over at the top of Pool 2.
After an opening day defeat at Exeter, the Blues have won three straight games to sit second in the standings behind the French outfit with two rounds of games remaining.
However, while Cardiff head into the showdown on the back of an encouraging PRO12 win against the Dragons last time out, Toulon arrive in turmoil following a home defeat to Grenoble that has called into question the future of head coach Bernard Laporte.
The visitors will have to make do without the services of Rhys Patchell at the Allianz Riviera in Nice with the young fly-half having been ruled out for four months with a knee injury.
Gareth Davies, whose late try secured victory over the Frenchmen in week two, replaces Patchell, while loosehead prop Gethin Jenkins returns to captain the Welsh region in what will be his first appearance since October.
In total, Blues director of rugby Phil Davies makes five changes to the side that beat the Dragons, with Chris Dicomidis, Chris Czekaj and Gavin Evans also getting the nod.
Davies said: "Toulon will be smarting from last week's defeat in the league and they won't have been happy they lost the game to us in Cardiff earlier in the season. It's a massive challenge and they will be extremely motivated. But it is one we are ready for.
Toulon have opted to drop English full-back Delon Armitage to the bench for the clash in Nice with Drew Mitchell selected in his stead.
Fellow Australian Matt Giteau returns at inside centre in place of Maxime Mermoz, partnering Mathieu Bastareaud in the midfield, whilst in the pack Joe van Niekerk and Craig Burden start at flank and hooker respectively.
Toulon: 15 Mitchell, 14 Wulf, 13 Bastareaud, 12 Giteau, 11 Smith, 10 Wilkinson (capt), 9 Tillous-Borde; 1 Sheridan, 2 Burden, 3 Hayman, 4 Botha, 5 Suta, 6 Smith, 7 Van Niekerk, 8 Armitage.
Replacements: 16 Orioli, 17 Fresia, 18 Castrogiovanni, 19 Gunther, 20 Armitage, 21 Mermoz, 22 Michalak, 23 Mikautadze.
Cardiff Blues: 15 Halfpenny, 14 Cuthbert, 13 Smith, 12 Evans, 11 Czekaj, 10 Davies, 9 Williams; 1 Jenkins (capt), 2 Breeze, 3 Bourrust, 4 Dicomidis, 5 Paulo, 6 Cook, 7 Navidi, 8 Copeland.
Replacements: 16 Williams, 17 Hobbs, 18 Andrews, 19 Down, 20 Jenkins, 21 Jones, 22 Hewitt, 23 Fish.
Watch Toulon v Cardiff on Sky Sports HD2 from 15.30 on Saturday
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|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Sunday 25th January|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Munster 65 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Clermont Auvergne 18 - 6 Saracens|
|Bath 20 - 15 Glasgow|
|Montpellier 27 - 26 Toulouse|
|Saturday 24th January|
|Scarlets 3 - 26 Toulon|
|Ulster 26 - 7 Leicester|
|Northampton 8 - 32 Racing Metro 92|
|Benetton Treviso 23 - 20 Ospreys|
|Castres 19 - 47 Harlequins|
|Wasps 20 - 20 Leinster|
|Sunday 18th January|
|Ospreys 9 - 20 Northampton|
|Racing Metro 92 53 - 7 Benetton Treviso|
|Toulouse 18 - 35 Bath|
|Glasgow 21 - 10 Montpellier|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Harlequins 3 - 23 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 13 - 22 Clermont Auvergne|
|Leinster 50 - 8 Castres|
|Toulon 60 - 22 Ulster|
|Saracens 33 - 10 Munster|
|Friday 16th January|
|Leicester 40 - 23 Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com