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CARDIFF THE MISSING LINK.
Montpellier’s short H Cup adventures has taken them to Ireland and Leinster, England and Bath, Scotland and Glasgow, the only country missing from their nearly full house in the British Isles is Wales, but that mission will be fulfilled on Sunday ko. 13.45. when Montpellier take on Cardiff Blues for their first cross channel visit of this seasons H Cup.
Cardiff have in their squad many Welsh Internationals including Welsh Captain Sam Warburton, Leigh Halfpenny and the all powerful centre Jamie Roberts who apparently is on his way to Racing Metro next season but that story is still not in concrete just yet. Cardiff’s season so far is by no means brilliant, winning just 4 games out of the 10 already played, they are lying in lowly 9th out of 12 in the newly named Rabo Celtic League. Beware, this is no walk in the park for Montpellier as we all know well, the moment that any British team is draw against French opposition they up their game, plus playing in front of their home crowd in the Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday lunchtime is good enough to bring the Boys from the Valleys with their chorale voices to get behind their heroes, this can be a very intimidating place. On the other hand Montpellier in their short life in the H Cup ( 2nd season) are still looking for their first H Cup away win, could it be this weekend. The team selected will definitely have a new look to it with players like Benji Thierry, Aliki Fakate, Paul Bosch on the starting team sheet, and even our lovable Nems, (Leleimalefaga) could be making his first appearance on the bench since breaking his arm at the beginning of the season. Whoever is in that starting line up for Montpellier, they will be giving their very best and taking this opportunity to shine in the eyes of coaches, Galthie, Ledemas, and Glas and just maybe wanting to figure in next weeks H Cup home game against the same Cardiff Blues.
The temperature has dropped this week in Montpellier which will be good preparation for the boys as it’s never hot and always wet in Wales, and they may well find that out on their arrival on Saturday afternoon. The Welsh International record has also taken a battering in recent months which will not be good for the opposition’s confidence, but many great rugby players have rejoiced in the infamous Cardiff Arms Park, this alone could be enough to enhance the mental and physical preparation for Montpellier to record their first away win of their relatively short H Cup career.