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Anglo Welsh LV Cup kicks off with Welsh flavour

Anglo Welsh LV= Cup kicks off this weekend

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Article Published: Friday 9 November 2012

The Anglo Welsh LV Cup kicks off with an extra spice for Welsh fans as Newcastle Falcons have been replaced with London Welsh.

This means that all four Welsh regions and London Welsh are in action this weekend in the first round of LV= Cup fixtures.

The competition will see many of the regions’ younger faces given the chance to impress while the club’s internationals are on duty with their countries.

Teams competing in the LV= Cup are split into four pools of four clubs, each Welsh region drawn alongside three English sides.

Sides in Pool One play teams in Pool 4 while teams in Pool 2 play those in Pool 3.

Each team plays four pool matches - two home and two away - with the top side from each pool qualifying for the semi-finals.

The Scarlets flew the flag for Wales in the competition last year, finishing top of Pool 3 above English sides Harlequins, Gloucester and Newcastle.

Although they topped the group, the West Wales region faced a difficult semi-final trip to the East Midlands and exited the competition after a 27-12 defeat to Northampton Saints.

Simon Easterby’s side start their campaign this year with a trip to Worcester Warriors on Saturday. After back-to-back PRO12 wins over Edinburgh and Zebre, the Scarlets will be confident ahead of their clash with a team who were comfortably beaten by Exeter last weekend.

After disappointing cup campaigns last year, the rest of the Welsh regions will be looking for a significant improvement as they pursue some silverware. The Ospreys face arguably the toughest fixture in the opening round of fixtures as they welcome Gloucester to the Liberty Stadium tomorrow night.

Elsewhere, Dai Young returns to his former club when Wasps take on Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park with Blues Director of Rugby Phil Davies looking forward to the clash.

"Dai Young and myself have had a few head to heads over the years but this one will be a bit more potent than most being the first game in the LV=Cup," he said.

"David did a great job here as a player and as a coach and it will be great to welcome him to the Arms Park.
"We don't want to make his visit too pleasant of course but with a few old boys coming back it will certainly add a bit of spice to this fixture."

The Blues will be looking to get back to winning ways against the English side and Davies is relishing the chance to compete in a new competition.

"The LV=Cup is a fresh competition so it's a fresh start for us,” he added.

"We want to take the competition as seriously as possible and win enough games to make it through to the semi-final.

"Dan Fish, Robin Copeland and Lou Reed are all showing their class on the field with Josh Navidi's captaincy style quietly driving the team forward."

In the remaining games, the Dragons face a trip to Bath as they look to avert a run of five successive losses while London Welsh host fellow Aviva Premiership side Exeter at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday.

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LV= Cup Pool 1

Saracens 2 2 0 0 46 29 0 8
Dragons 2 1 0 1 72 66 1 5
Bath Rugby
2 1 0 1 53 25 1 5
Gloucester Rugby 2 1 0 1 45 37 1 5

LV= Cup Pool 2

Northampton Saints 2 2 0 0 61 30 1 9
Cardiff Blues 2 2 0 0 41 34 0 8
Sale Sharks 2 1 0 1 45 58 1 5
London Irish 2 0 0 2 38 60 1 1

LV= Cup Pool 3

Leicester Tigers 2 2 0 0 46 29 1 9
Wasps 2 1 0 1 72 54 3 7
Newcastle Falcons 2 0 0 2 44 59 1 1
Scarlets 2 0 0 2 20 43 1 1

LV= Cup Pool 4

Exeter Chiefs 2 1 0 0 28 27 0 8
Harlequins 2 0 0 1 20 25 1 5
Ospreys 2 0 0 2 44 72 1 1
London Welsh 2 0 0 2 16 65 0 0
Note : Pool 1 plays Pool 4 and Pool 2 plays Pool 3.