Munster 54 - 13 Cardiff Blues
Sat 08 February 19:15 Thomond Park Att: 13,821 Ref: Guiseppe Vivarini Pro12

Hobbs to captain as Blues tackle leaders

Fri 7 Feb 2014 11:50 Hobbs to captain as Blues tackle leaders
Hobbs is one of eight changes to the side that defeated Harlequins in the LV=Cup last time out as Director of Rugby

Phil Davies looks to select his most powerful side, despite injuries and international call-ups.

The front row sees Benoit Bourrust pack down with the team skipper, Hobbs and hooker Kristian Dacey.

Prop Patrick Palmer, former Cardiff Blues academy player, is drafted onto the replacement bench from Pontypridd due to injuries.

Lock Chris Dicomidis returns to join Filo Paulo in the second row while Robin Copeland returns from Ireland training to start at Number Eight against the team he will join this summer.

In the back line, Dan Fish moves to full back while Harry Robinson and Chris Czekaj return to take the wing spots.

Lloyd Williams is in at scrum half to partner Gareth Davies at half back.

Dicomidis, one of eight changes for Blues, said the team were looking forward to the challenge of facing the leaders in their own backyard.

He said: “Saturday is a massive game for us. We are back to the RaboDirect PRO12, after a good win last Friday against Harlequins.

“The boys are really looking forward to the challenge. It’s the start of a massive period for us now, four big games in the Rabo and we need to climb up that table.

“Munster are a quality outfit with quality players,” he added. “They have a few boys out on international duty but they have great strength and depth.

“Munster will be a huge challenge for us, but one we are looking forward too. As they are top of the table there will be a huge amount of pressure on them compared to the pressure on us. We feel we can go out there and express ourselves and play.”

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Harry Robinson, 13 Owen Williams, 12 Gavin Evans, 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 Patrick Palmer, 19 James Down, 20 Luke Hamilton, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Simon Humberstone, 23 Isaia Tuifua