Preview: Cardiff v Munster

Date published: March 17 2016

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USA international Cam Dolan is named in Cardiff Blues' starting XV to face Munster in a re-arranged PRO12 clash at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday.

Dolan is named in the second row for the league encounter and is one of six changes to the side that narrowly lost out to Glasgow Warriors last time out.

Head Coach Danny Wilson makes four changes in his pack with Dolan notably paired with Josh Turnbull at lock.

Macauley Cook is named in the six jersey, Josh Navidi will start at Number Eight and prop Brad Thyer is called up to pack down alongside skipper Matthew Rees and Salesi Ma'afu up front.

A re-jigged back line will see centre Garyn Smith start at outside centre alongside Samoa international Rey Lee-Lo.

Wales international Lloyd Williams plays at half back with Rhys Patchell with Aled Summerhill moving to the wing and Dan Fish into the full back role.

Hooker Kristian Dacey, lock Lou Reed and centre Gavin Evans are named among the replacements while prop Thomas Davies will make his 50th appearance for the region if he comes off the bench.

James Down (concussion) and Cory Allen (ankle) are unavailable for selection.

Head Coach Wilson said: "We've had a good week of preparation and it's important we look to pick up from where we finished our last fixture with champions Glasgow Warriors.

"We were disappointed by the result in Scotland, but we showed in the second half the kind of rugby we can produce to claim a bonus point. Now it's about playing with accuracy and confidence from the start and there has been a real edge to the way we have trained.

"We know the size of the challenge; Munster Rugby are well coached and have huge depth in terms of playing resource,” he said.

"They will have players away on international duty, but are still a very dangerous and talented side. Munster have been one of the best sides in the Guinness PRO12 and Europe over a number of years so it's a big test.”

Meanwhile, Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made five changes from his run-on side that defeated Dragons in their previous fixture.
 
James Cronin and Mike Sherry both return to the starting XV and join John Ryan in the front row with Dave Foley resuming his partnership in the second row with Billy Holland who again captains the side.
 
The return of Robin Copeland at number eight sees Jack O'Donoghue switch to blindside and Dave O'Callaghan move to openside.
 
In the final change, winger Ronan O'Mahony has successfully overcome a hamstring complaint to re-join the back-three.  Darren Sweetnam remains on the opposite flank as does Andrew Conway at full-back.
 
Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley again take charge at half-back with Rory Scannell and Francis Saili continuing in midfield.
 
Should he feature from the bench, academy second row Sean McCarthy will make his first PRO12 appearance. 

Form: This game was one of the round 12 fixtures moved to accommodate the rearranged European games. Cardiff Blues only victory in their last four PRO12 fixtures was 23-13 at home to Ulster in Round 16. The Blues have lost just once at Cardiff Arms Park since November – 13-14 to Leinster on 20 February. Munster have won their last two PRO12 matches at Treviso and at home to Newport Gwent Dragons and away from home in the competition have been defeated just once since the turn of the New Year – 24-27 to Glasgow in Kilmarnock on 19 February. Cardiff Blues only victory in their last eleven encounters against Munster was 17-6 in Cork in January 2013. The Munstermen have not been defeated at Cardiff Arms Park since their visit in the PRO12 in May 2009.

The teams:

Cardiff: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Aled Summerhill, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Blaine Scully, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Josh Navidi, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Josh Turnbull, 4 Cam Dolan, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Matthew Rees (c), 1 Brad Thyer
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Taufa'ao Filise, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Gavin Evans

Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Ronan O'Mahony, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Dave O'Callaghan, 6 Jack O'Donoghue, 5 Billy Holland (c) 4 Dave Foley, 3 John Ryan, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Sean McCarthy, 20 Jordan Coghlan, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 Johnny Holland, 23 David Johnston

Date: Friday, March 18
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park
Kick-off: 19:15 GMT
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Ian Davies (Wales), Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: John Charles (Wales)

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