Rugby Union: Heineken Cup - Team news

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Cardiff v Munster

Robert Howley will make his Cardiff comeback in their crucial Heineken Cup clash. Howley, Lions' Test match scrum-half elect until a shoulder injury ended his tour three weeks early, is back seven days ahead of schedule.

The Welsh international had targeted next weekend's trip to Harlequins for his eagerly anticipated return to end more than three months' misery but Cardiff's medical staff have been delighted with his rapid progress.

Pontypridd v Brive

Matthew Lloyd will fill the Pontypridd No 8 spot in the Heineken Cup grudge match at Sardis Road. Lloyd takes over from regular No 8 Dale McIntosh who is banned, along with Brive flanker Lionel Mallier, after they were sent off in the infamous clash in Brive two weeks ago. Winger David Manley, flanker Mark Spiller and hooker Phil John all face fitness tests this morning.

Brive's scrum-half Philippe Carbonneau will miss the game because they are unable to find a face mask that would protect the nose he broke in the first game between the teams.


Llanelli v Pau

Frano Botica is back in the Llanelli side for the re-match in Pool E of the Heineken Cup at Stradey Park. The former All Black stand-off limped out of Llanelli's loss in France with a groin strain and was forced to miss last week's home win over Benetton Treviso.

Wasps v Glasgow

Scotland Under-21 flanker Iain Sinclair returns to the Glasgow side for their Heineken Cup game at Loftus Road. The Watsonian loose forward injured his leg in the first match between the clubs two weeks ago.

Glasgow, however, will be without centre Chris Simmers, who strained his hamstring last week in win over Swansea. Danny Ablett, a former Scottish schools cap who replaced Simmers, retains his place.