Calvisano v Cardiff Blues
October 11, 2008
Tom Shanklin returns to the Cardiff Blues midfield against Calvisano © Getty Images
Cardiff Blues Head Coach Dai Young has made seven changes from the side that defeated Sale last weekend for their opening Heineken Cup clash with Calvisano on Saturday.
In the backs Tom Shanklin, Nicky Robinson and Jason Spice all return, while Maama Molitika and Gethin Jenkins both return from injury to take thir places amongst the forwards. Deiniol Jones partners captain Paul Tito in the second-row and Gary Powell gets a starting spot at tight-head. Backrower Andy Powell, who has been in impressive form, switches from the flank to Number 8.
Speaking ahead of the match Young said, "We need to give Calvisano the respect they deserve. They certainly will be up for the first game of the competition. It's the worst time to go out there and they are never easy to play against. When you look at the scalps the Italian teams have taken it's always been in the first or second round.
"We played there a few years ago and know what to expect. They will be very physical, very much along the lines of the Italian national team, physical up front and set piece dominated. A slow game with a lot of scrums and line-outs will suit them.
"We have to move it about as much as we can and raise the tempo. We need to get a good start to the game and be a 100% better than we were last week. But if we are to do anything in this competition we have to go out there and win. People who think that it is easy to win in Italy have never been there and played."
Calvisano: L McLean; D Forcucci, A Pratichetti, M Pratichetti, L Nitoglia; G Fraser, P Griffen; H Tui, L Ghiraldini (c), B Evans, V Bernabo, P Sidoli, A Zanni, A Persico, J Purll
Replacements: A McKenzie, A Moreno, D Dal Maso, M Zaffiri, P Patelli, N Raineri, M Stanojevic
Cardiff Blues: Ben Blair, Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Robinson, Tom Shanklin, Gareth Thomas, Nicky Robinson, Jason Spice, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, Maama Molitka, Paul Tito (c), Deiniol Jones, Gary Powell, T Rhys Thomas, Gethin Jenkins
Replacements: Taufa'ao Filise, Gareth Williams, Scott Morgan, Robin Sowden Taylor, Richie Rees, Ceri Sweeney, Jamie Roberts
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league