Montpellier v Cardiff Blues - Heineken Cup match preview

Last Updated: 14/12/12 2:29pm

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Sam Warburton: Returns to the Cardiff Blues starting line-up

Sam Warburton: Returns to the Cardiff Blues starting line-up

Sky Bet

Sam Warburton returns to the Cardiff Blues starting line-up for the second clash of their Heineken Cup double-header with Montpellier at Stade Yves-du-Manoir on Saturday.

The Wales captain had been due to make his return from international duty last weekend but was a late withdrawal from the side due to illness.

Warburton's inclusion is one of three changes to the pack, with the front row being completely overhauled in the wake of the 35-24 defeat in the first of the fixtures between the two sides.

Props Taufa'ao Filise and Benoit Borrust as well as hooker Rhys Williams are brought in to replace the trio of Scott Andrews, Sam Hobbs and Marc Breeze. The only other change sees Lewis Jones come in for the suspended Lloyd Williams at scrum-half.

Cardiff are still without still without Leigh Halfpenny, Bradley Davies, Jamie Roberts, Andi Kyriacou, Michael Paterson, Chris Czekaj, Dan Fish and Tom James, who are all on the injury list.

The Blues have effectively been eliminated from the competition after three straight defeats in Pool Six but will be looking to salvage some pride and thwart Montpellier's hopes of reaching the knockout stages.

Montpellier have made a total of nine changes for the clash, with the hosts also opting for an all-new front row.

Montpellier: 15 Martin Bustos Moyano,14 Timoci Nagusa, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Paul Bosch, 11 Yoan Audrin, 10 Santiago Fernandez, 9 Julien Tomas, 8 Johnnie Beattie, 7 Kelian Galletier, 6 Alexandre Bias, 5 Aliki Fakate, 4 Mickael Demarco, 3 Juan Figallo, 2 Rassie van Vuuren, 1 Yvan Watremez.

Replacements: 16 Mickael Ladhuie, 17 Na'ama Leleimalefaga, 18 Barry Fa'amausili, 19 Thibaut Privat, 20 Fulgence Ouedraogo, 21 Eric Escande, 22 Shontayne Hape, 23 Benjamin Thiery.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Andries Pretorius, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Lou Reed, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Tau Filise.

Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Macauley Cook, 20 Robin Copeland, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Owen Williams.

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