Cardiff Blues have made five changes in the forwards for their Boxing Day match against the Newport Gwent Dragons There are two changes in the front row with hooker Rhys Williams coming in for Marc Breeze who suffered a finger injury against Scarlets.
The other change sees Sam Hobbs replace Taufa’ao Filise who moves to the bench. Lou Reed replaces James Down in the second row and Robin Copeland replaces Josh Navidi on the blindside.
Cardiff Blues’ only victory in their last seven RaboDirect PRO12 matches was 14-7 against Zebre in Parma on 25 November and they take on a Newport Gwent Dragons who have won three of their last four encounters in all tournaments. However, the Dragons’ solitary win against Blues in Cardiff remains 25-13 on 7 November 2003.
Speaking ahead of the match Cardiff Blues Director of Rugby Phil Davies said,
“We can expect a tough game against our visitors the Dragons and a lot of people are saying it has added significance for Heineken Cup qualification, but we as a team have to treat it as just another game, as it’s a long old season.
“Obviously it’s a very important game, as it’s a derby match and there are local bragging rights at stake, however, it’s just one more game. We had a tight result against the Dragons earlier on in the year so it’s important that we don’t underestimate them.
“There are some top players at the Dragons. Whatever team Darren Edwards and Rob Appleyard prepare will be extremely competitive. They are very good rugby men, very knowledgeable, and that will help their cause I’m sure. However, we have to concentrate on what we are doing.”
Cardiff Blues have released more family tickets for the Boxing Day fixture, which gives two adults and two children the chance to watch some of Wales' best players in action for the outstanding value of just £30.
Tickets for this crunch match can be purchased online at www.cardiffblues.com/tickets or by calling 029 20 30 20 30. The phone lines will close at 5pm on Christmas Eve.
15. Jason Tovey 14. Alex Cuthbert 13. Gavin Evans 12. Dafydd Hewitt 11. Harry Robinson 10. Rhys Patchell 9. Lewis Jones
8. Andries Pretorius (c) 7. Sam Warburton 6. Robin Copeland 5. Lou Reed 4. Bradley Davies 3. Scott Andrews 2. Rhys Williams 1. Sam Hobbs
16. Kristian Dacey 17. Taufa’ao Filise 18. Benoit Bourrust 19. James Down 20. Josh Navidi 21 Alex Walker 22. Ceri Sweeney 23. Richard Smith