Cardiff Blues team to face Zebre

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor
23 February 2018

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Cardiff Blues have been forced to make six changes for their Guinness PRO14 clash with Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi on Sunday (1pm GMT).

A combination of injuries and international duty have hit Danny Wilson’s pack, while the back-line remains unchanged from last week’s 25-18 victory over Munster.

Injuries see the Blues field an entirely new front-row of Rhys Gill, Kirby Myhill and Anton Peikrishvili.

Damian Welch comes in for Seb Davies, who is in Ireland with Wales, while Olly Robinson and Josh Turnbull step up from the bench after Macauley Cook and Nick Williams were ruled out.

Wales’ Capital Region are aiming to build upon an impressive double over Munster and Toyota Cheetahs but Wilson knows his side can take nothing for granted against a rejuvenated Italian outfit.

The Cardiff Blues head coach said: “We have a number of boys who picked up bumps against Munster and were late calls.

“They’re senior players which is a blow. Over the last two games we’ve had two really good wins and these guys have been pivotal but it has taken its toll. That said it provides an opportunity for others.

“We all know it’s a very tough place to go to win. Gone are the days where you go to Zebre to pick up a bonus point win.

“It’s an extremely difficult place and they got a result last week against Connacht away, and beat them quite comfortably.

“They’re not the route-one, set-piece and kicking-only teams that they used to be. There is far more to them and therefore they are a real threat.

“I certainly want our record to be three Italian wins this season, but by no means is that an easy achievement.”

There are a number of new faces on the bench with Dragons hooker Rhys Buckley providing short-term injury cover. Academy back-row forward Alun Lawrence could also make his first PRO14 appearance having made his senior debut last month.

Cardiff Blues: Rhun Williams; Aled Summerhill, Garyn Smith, Rey Lee-Lo, Owen Lane; Jarrod Evans, Lloyd Williams; Rhys Gill, Kyle Myhill, Anton Peikrishvili, George Earle, Damian Welch, Olly Robinson, Ellis Jenkins (capt), Josh Turnbull

Replacement: Rhys Buckley, Brad Thyer, Scott Andrews, James Down, Alun Lawrence, Tomos Williams, Steve Shingler, Blaine Scully

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