Home team Away Team

Toulon

  • Penalty (3), Smith,
    Penalty goals: Wilkinson (5),
    Conversions: Wilkinson (4),
43 - 20

Cardiff Blues

  • Hobbs, Paulo,
    Penalty goals: Halfpenny (2),
    Conversions: Halfpenny (2),

Heineken Cup Pool 2: Toulon v Cardiff Blues match preview

Last updated: 11th January 2014  

Toulon s fullback Delon Armitage scores during Top 14

Delon Armitage: Has been dropped for Saturday's clash by Toulon

GARETH DAVIES CARDIFF BLUES

Gareth Davies: Will start at fly-half for Cardiff in France

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Video

Gallery

Article/Blog

Teams

Also see

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.

Massive challenge

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

SkyBet
Click here for more betting
Forthcoming European Rugby Champions Cup Fixtures
TimeFixture
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday 17th October
European Rugby Champions Cup
19:45Harlequins vs Castres
Saturday 18th October
13:00Sale vs Munster
15:15Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne
19:45Leicester vs Ulster
15:15Glasgow vs Bath
17:15Racing Metro 92 vs Northampton
Sunday 19th October
17:15Leinster vs Wasps
15:15Toulon vs Scarlets
13:00Toulouse vs Montpellier
13:00Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 24th October
19:45Munster vs Saracens
Saturday 25th October
13:00Ulster vs Toulon
19:45Scarlets vs Leicester
15:15Bath vs Toulouse
17:15Montpellier vs Glasgow
17:15Northampton vs Ospreys
Sunday 26th October
13:00Clermont Auvergne vs Sale
15:00Castres vs Leinster
17:15Wasps vs Harlequins
17:15Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92
Saturday 6th December
TBCMunster vs Clermont Auvergne
TBCSale vs Saracens
TBCCastres vs Wasps
TBCHarlequins vs Leinster
TBCUlster vs Scarlets

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com