CARDIFF plan to play their European Champions Cup matches against Toulouse and Harlequins despite being without most of their players.

The Arms Park side are due to kick off their campaign against the French giants, and reigning champions, in the capital on Saturday, December 11.

However, 42 of their players and staff will be in quarantine in England via Dublin after leaving red-listed South Africa with a further six staying behind after testing positive for coronavirus.

Cardiff's URC fixtures against the Lions and Stormers were postponed but they have to fulfil their European encounters with those that travelled to South Africa.

AVAILABLE: Uilisi Halaholo of Cardiff

AVAILABLE: Uilisi Halaholo of Cardiff

Wales internationals Josh Adams, Uilisi Halaholo, Tomos Williams, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies and Ellis Jenkins will be joined by those on the fringes and academy prospects.

Director of rugby Dai Young said: "Anyone from this trip will be ineligible to face Toulouse and Quins but we have got a number of internationals back home and we'll do everything in our power to honour these fixtures.

"The team will be made up of the internationals who haven't come with us and some of our best academy players. I'm confident they will do the jersey proud but we need to Cardiff support to get right behind us.

"Gruff Rees will lead the team and he will be assisted by Thomas Rhys Thomas and Richie Rees, who remained in Cardiff to coach those not travelling.

"I know they and the boys will want to do it for the boys in quarantine, we will be watching from our rooms and it will be a real boost if we see a packed Arms Park.

"They will be supporting the boys, those of us in isolation and the club during what has been the most stressful and challenging period I have experienced as a director of rugby. I am confident those players will do the jersey proud."

The majority of the Cardiff squad will quarantine in England for 10 days before starting preparations for the festive derbies in the URC, including the New Year's Day trip to face the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

The situation will have a big impact on the conditioning of the players, with a large number having been inactive since the end of October.

Cardiff boss Dai Young

Cardiff boss Dai Young

Young said: "Of course it has been difficult but people's safety and wellbeing is the most important thing and we'll be treated the same as everyone else. It's not ideal for professional sportspeople but it's par for the course.

"There are a lot of people experiencing similar, stuck 1,000s of miles from our loved ones and our thoughts are also with them.

"What sits really uncomfortably with me and the biggest thing that upsets me is going home and leaving people out here. As a director of rugby that's the biggest thing I'm struggling to cope with.

"If it was an injury one or two of us would definitely stay out here but we are not actually allowed to do that in these circumstances - that doesn't sit well.

"But they are in really good hands, the doctor is checking on them twice a day and all the medical things are in place if there were any issues, which there's not.

"Thankfully all the guys staying behind remain in good spirits and any symptoms they have are mild.

"They will support each other and the people with South Africa Rugby Union, who have been first class, we have total trust in."