Gloucester Cardiff Blues Live: Latest score and updates from European Challenge Cup final
Cardiff Blues will be bidding to claim European Challenge Cup victory tonight as they take on Gloucester in the final.
Danny Wilson has reinstated much of the side that beat Pau in the semi-final at Cardiff Arms Park after resting many of them for Judgement Day.
But there are a few injury-enforced absentees, with captain Gethin Jenkins being ruled out of the clash after suffering a calf injury in the semi-final.
It is the first of the European finals to take place in Bilbao this weekend, with Leinster taking on Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final on Saturday.
Cardiff Blues: Gareth Anscombe; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Blaine Scully; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Tau Filise, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Josh Navidi, Nick Williams, Ellis Jenkins (capt).
Replacements: Kirby Myhill, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, Damian Welch, Olly Robinson, Lloyd Williams, Garyn Smith, Matthew Morgan.
Gloucester: Jason Woodward; Tom Marshall, Billy Twelvetrees, Mark Atkinson, Henry Trinder; Billy Burns, Callum Braley; Josh Hohneck, James Hanson, John Afoa, Ed Slater (capt), Mariano Galarza, Jake Polledri, Ruan Ackermann, Lewis Ludlow.
Replacements: Motu Matu’u, Val Rapava Ruskin, Fraser Balmain, Freddie Clarke, Ben Morgan, Ben Vellacott, Andy Symons, Tom Hudson.
Referee: Jérome Garcès (France)
Kick-off: 8pm UK time
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Live updates here:
The back-row battle
The back-row is certainly an area of strength for the Cardiff Blues – and that’s even without long-term absentee and two-time Lions captain Sam Warburton.
Ellis Jenkins, Josh Navidi and Nick Williams will be hoping to do some damage in the back-row and stand-in skipper Jenkins explained why the breakdown is such a big part of the Blues’ game.
I think it’s always a key area of our game in terms of how we like to play with trying to get turnovers and trying to get our backs well over the ball but I think there’s different areas that Gloucester will look to play to their strengths as well.
So it’s about trying to play to our strengths and sort of dictate the game of how we want it to go.
That’ll definitely be something that we’re looking to do.
Ellis Jenkins of Cardiff Blues
Ellis Jenkins of Cardiff Blues
Something to get you in the mood
This should get you excited for tonight.
A series of highlight from both the Cardiff Blues’ and Gloucester’s journey to the final.
Blues fans enjoying themselves
It’s fair to say the Cardiff Blues fans are in good spirits…
Looking back at 2010
It’s been eight years since the Cardiff Blues last graced a Challenge Cup Final.
Back in 2010, they beat star-studded Toulon 28-21 in Marseille to make history as the only Welsh side to lift a European trophy.
Richie Rees and Ceri Sweeney were the half-back pairing that day and we caught up with them for a special podcast to look back on that sunny day in France eight years ago.
You can listen to it below.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live blog of the Cardiff Blues’ Challenge Cup Final against Gloucester.
Can the region match their success of 2010 and give departing head coach Danny Wilson the perfect send-off?
We’ll have all the build-up to the match in Bilbao as well as live updates throughout so stay tuned.