Cardiff Blues v Toulouse
Sunday 14 January 5.30pm
Cardiff Arms Park
This Sunday, Cardiff Arms Park will play host to a mammoth showdown between two of rugby’s most prestigious clubs in a winner-takes-all European Cup match.
For those not familiar with European rugby, Stade Toulouse is the sport’s equivalent of Real Madrid; a club rich with tradition and trophies – not to mention some of the best players in the world.
Sunday’s European Challenge Cup match will see the continuation of one of world rugby’s glamour fixtures and add a new chapter to its history.
The most famous clash between the two sides took place in 1996, as the pair met at Wales’ national stadium in the Heineken Cup Final. With the game locked 15-all after 80 minutes, the final went into extra-time. The sides traded penalties, before a contravention decision saw the French team awarded a match-winning penalty to seal victory.
Since then, Cardiff beat their French rivals 9-6 in a 2009 European Quarter Final played out in front of 36,728, and more recently claimed a dramatic 17-15 away win in this year’s competition.
That famous victory means that, should they claim another win this weekend, Cardiff Blues would almost certainly qualify for the knockout stages.
Speaking to CardiffBlues.com, Head Coach Danny Wilson said,
“A home game in Europe, at this stage, against the giants of Toulouse is a massive game, full stop. But to play it in the circumstances we’re in, having beaten them away from home which is one of our biggest wins in my time here, but we have to back it up by beating them at home.”
“We know their squad is phenomenal and they’ve got some superstars in there, but we know what’s at stake for us.”
“Hopefully the Arms Park is as busy as it can be. It will make the difference. It’s simple. In tight games where the home crowd gets behind the boys, I certainly feel it as a coach to get that atmosphere.”
Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe; Alex Cuthbert, Garyn Smith, Willis Halaholo, Owen Lane; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Gethin Jenkins (capt), Matthew Rees, Taufa’ao Filise, George Earle, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Ellis Jenkins, Nick Williams.
Replacements: Kristian Dacey, Brad Thyer, Dillon Lewis, Damian Welch, Macauley Cook, Lloyd Williams, Steve Shingler, Blaine Scully.
Tickets for the match are available on the Cardiff Blues website, over the phone 02920 302030 or from the ticket office at Cardiff Arms Park.