DFP Header Area

Cardiff Blues make five changes for Welsh derby finale

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

5 May 2017

Five changes for Welsh derby finale

Cardiff Blues have made five changes to their starting line-up for their Guinness PRO12 finale against Newport Gwent Dragons on Saturday (5.15pm).

Following consecutive wins over the Ospreys and Zebre, the Blues are aiming to maintain momentum ahead of a European play-off.

In the backs, Matthew Morgan and Lloyd Williams return to the starting line-up at the Constructaquote Stadium in Caerphilly.

Injuries have led to three more changes in the pack with Corey Domachowski and Matthew Rees coming in to form a new look front-row with Taufa’ao Filise. Sion Bennett also steps in for Josh Navidi.

Danny Wilson’s men claimed a 27-16 victory over the Dragons earlier this season and are targeting a second double over their east Wales rivals on the bounce.

But Wilson knows his side must raise their performance to claim the derby spoils.

He said: “The Dragons will be fired up, there’s no doubt about that. They have some good quality rugby players, and no matter how good or bad your form is, derbies are different.

“It’s a different intensity and you certainly can’t take any opposition lightly.

“We will need to rock up mentally in the right place and fully anticipate a tough day in Caerphilly but hopefully one we can come out on top of.

“We’ve picked up a few short-term injuries (Gethin Jenkins, Rhys Gill, Kristian Dacey and Josh Navidi, on top of those existing but we’re determined to finish the PRO12 with an away win in Caerphilly.”

The injuries have led to further changes on the replacement bench with Ethan Lewis, Keiron Assiratti and Seb Davies all given opportunities, while there is a welcome return to fitness for Tom James.

Cardiff Blues: Matthew Morgan; Alex Cuthbert, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Rhun Williams; Gareth Anscombe, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Matthew Rees, Taufa’ao Filise, Jarrad Hoeata, Macauley Cook, Sion Bennett, Ellis Jenkins (capt), Nick Williams.

Replacements: Ethan Lewis, Anton Peikrishvili, Keiron Assiratti, Seb Davies, Kirby Myhill, Tomos Williams, Steve Shingler, Tom James.