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Cardiff Blues make five changes for Benetton Rugby clash

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

17 Feb 2017

Steve Shingler

Cardiff Blues have made five changes for their crunch Guinness PRO12 clash with Benetton Rugby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday (2.30pm).

The Blues have been boosted by the return of Alex Cuthbert, Steve Shingler and George Earle from international duty, injury and suspension.

Taufa’ao Filise comes into the front row in the place of Anton Peikrishvili and Sion Bennett makes his first start for the region on the open-side flank due to injuries.

Following last week’s agonising home defeat to Connacht, head coach Danny Wilson has called for a response as the Blues bid to keep their season alive.

Wilson said: “Connacht was a very big and important game for us and we didn’t do ourselves justice. We let our supporters down and didn’t give a performance that justified trying to get in the top six.

“I’m looking for a response from everybody involved, a performance at home that gets us a win and one that gives us and our supporters something to be more proud of than last weekend.

“Hopefully we can do that moving into a tough couple of games – Edinburgh away and Munster at home.

“It’s plain and simple, we need to win our next three games to have any chance of finishing in the top six which is, and will remain, our long-term goal.”

The Blues battled to a 34-28 victory over Treviso at Stadio di Monigo and have won their last three fixtures against Italian opposition. Treviso have never won at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

With eight rounds of regular PRO12 matches remaining, Wales’ Capital Region sit seventh with 10-points separating them and sixth-placed Ulster.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Alex Cuthbert, Willis Halaholo, Steve Shingler, Blaine Scully; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams (capt); Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey, Taufa’ao Filise, George Earle, Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Sion Bennett, Nick Williams.

Replacements: Matthew Rees, Corey Domachowski, Scott Andrews, James Down, Kirby Myhill, Tomos Williams, Garyn Smith, Tom James.

The following players were unavailable for selection:

Rey Lee-Lo
Josh Navidi
Brad Thyer
Josh Turnbull
Lewis Jones
Dan Fish
Dillon Lewis
Ellis Jenkins
Gethin Jenkins

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