Cardiff Blues 13 - 19 Exeter Chiefs
Sat 18 January 15:40 Cardiff Arms Park Att: 12,125 Ref: John Lacey Heineken Cup

Flanker Jenkins handed Euro starting spot

Fri 17 Jan 2014 11:55 Flanker Jenkins handed Euro starting spot
Former Wales Under-20 captain Jenkins is one of four changes for Blues as they hunt a crucial win in the final game in Pool 2 to propel them into the last eight of European rugby this season.

Director of Rugby Phil Davies hands the captaincy to prop Sam Hobbs, with Wales international Gethin Jenkins (knee) ruled out.

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 at Blues.

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

Davies said: “We’ve put ourselves in a strong position after five tough pool games and great credit must go to the players for some strong performances that have led us to this position.

“However, the biggest challenge for the squad is in front of us this against Exeter. Only a big performance will be good enough to put us into the quarter-finals of Europe.

“Exeter Chiefs are a well organised side and have a talented squad that has been together as a unit for a long time. Rob Baxter will have his team highly motivated to finish the campaign strongly.

“But we are in a great position and are excited about the fact we have a game at Cardiff Arms Park, hopefully in front of a full house, with something to play for. It’s terrific to be able to go back home and show what the Blues are all about for 80 minutes.”

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Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Chris Czekaj, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lloyd Williams; 1 Sam Hobbs (c), 2 Kristian Dacey, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 4 Chris Dicomidis, 5 Filo Paulo, 6 Macauley Cook,  7 Ellis Jenkins, 8 Robin Copeland

Replacements: 16 Marc Breeze, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Dan Fish, 23 Richard Smith