Cardiff Blues return to Magners League action this weekend as they travel to Glasgow Warriors on Friday night.
The Blues, who hold the last Play-Off place in the Magners League, may be 12 points adrift of the leaders, but have a game in hand over all 3 teams ahead of them, as well as their nearest rivals for a top four spot, Ospreys.
The Blues have won their last two matches in the Magners League, against the Ospreys and Aironi, but have been victorious just once on the road in their last five encounters in all competitions.
Despite having won their last five games against Scottish opponents and winning their last two matches against Glasgow, they travel to Scotland missing a number of key players through international calls ups, injury and suspension.
Ben Blair is still out with a knee injury, Gethin Jenkins recovering from an operation on his toe, Michael Paterson out with a foot injury, Lloyd Williams out with an injured shoulder and Tom Shanklin recovering from knee surgery.
The Blues have been dealt a further blow with the news that Casey Laulala is expected to be out of action for about three weeks with a hamstring strain suffered against Harlequins last weekend. Tom Davies also suffered a calf strain in that match and won’t feature for four weeks, while Richie Rees is suspended until the end of March.
There is better news for the Blues with second row forward Deiniol Jones returning to action after treatment to a bulging disc in his back and is joined on the bench by Xavier Rush who has recovered from and injured neck.
Bradley Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Jamie Roberts, Sam Warburton and John Yapp are all in the Wales squad, as in Chris Czekaj who was called into the squad on Monday. Scott Andrews returns from the Welsh squad to start in the front row.
Wales face Scotland on Saturday with Cardiff Blues outside half Dan Parks starting for the Scots at Murrayfield.
Glasgow Warriors have won their last two games, against London Wasps and Newport Gwent Dragons in the European Cup, but the Warriors’ only victory in their last four Magners League matches was 30-18 at home to Edinburgh on 27 December.
15 Dan Fish 14 Richard Mustoe 13 Gavin Evans 12 Dafydd Hewitt 11 Tom James 10Ceri Sweeney 9 Tom Slater
8 Ma’ama Molitika 7 Martyn Williams 6 Andries Pretorius 5 Pau Tito (c) 4 Bryn Griffiths 3 Scott Andrews 2 T Rhys Thomas 1 Tafa’ao Filse
16 Gareth Williams 17 Sam Hobbs 18 Nathan Trevett 19 Deiniol Jones 20 Xavier Rush 21 Rhys Downes 22 Lewis Williams 23 James Loxton
Referee: Dudley Phillips (IRFU)