Cardiff Blues v Montpellier - Heineken Cup match preview

Last Updated: 09/12/12 12:36pm

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Cardiff Blues have suffered a late blow ahead of today's Heineken Cup clash with Montpellier after Sam Warburton was forced to pull out.

The Wales captain has been laid low by a chest infection and will sit out the game on medical advice.

Josh Navidi will start at openside in place of Warburton, with Robin Copeland taking over the blindside role and Luke Hamilton added to the bench.

Cardiff were already without a number of key players as they look to hit back from defeats to Sale and defending champions Leinster.

Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts and Bradley Davies all suffered medium-term injuries while on international duty with Wales.

Michael Paterson, Dan Fish, Andi Kyriacou and Tom James all suffered injuries in the last two matches against Zebre and the Ospreys.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Andries Pretorius (c), 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Sam Hobbs.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Tafa'ao Filise, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Owen Williams.

Montpellier: 15 Benjamin Thiery, 14 Yoan Audrin, 13 Thomas Combezou, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Pierre Berard, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Maximiliano Bustos, 4 Drickus Hancke, 5 Aliki Fakate, 6 Alexandre Bias, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 8 Johnnie Beattie.
Replacements:16 Rassie van Vuuren, 17 Yvan Watremez, 18 Barry Fa'amausili 19 Mickael Demarco, 20 Kelian Galletier, 21 Eric Escande, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Timoci Nagusa

What they said...

Cardiff's director of rugby Phil Davies

"Only a fortnight ago things were looking very positive for us, when we were welcoming back some key players," said Davies. "However, we have been extremely unfortunate to pick up a raft of injuries in the last few weeks.

"It is frustrating that we cannot select from a full strength squad for these crucial matches, but on a positive note, it gives a chance for some of our other players to step up and show what they can do."

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